Monday, December 29, 2014

Altars Altars - Colour Loops II

There is something fascinating and pleasant about Colour Loops II. I have listened to this cassette over ten times now, and have been thinking about how to describe that "something". On low or high volume, while doing work or relaxing, the sound has not only complimented my state of being, but made it better. So within this ambient sound scape is a positiveness, making you feel good while listening.

There is so much ambient/drone music ready to be heard with minimal exploration. Sorting through this and enjoying the sounds really depends upon your disposition at the time. The polar extremes of styles can create moods ranging from foreboding to uplifting. To make this process easier, i would categorize ambient/drone music. There are three labels i would use. These would be dark, neutral and bright. Much like Stag Hare, Altars Altars creates an inspirational sound and could be a standard for the "bright" sound of this genre.

This cassette is available on the Altars Altars bandcamp page. The copy i have is number 28 of 50.
With some correspondence with the man behind Altars Altars, i have experienced how nice a person he is. This quality is reflected in the characteristics of his music. You can also stream the first Colour Loops from early 2011 on the bandcamp page. This offering has a similar tone, but a little more organic with it's composition.

 I have really enjoyed listening to Colour Loops II and am sure you will as well.





Links
Altars Altars on bandcamp, on facebook, on soundcloud, on tumblr

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Jean-Sébastien Truchy - Neither

Neither is a poem by Samuel Beckett and was shaped into an anti-opera by Morton Feldman around 1977. Release number 81 on SicSic Tapes is an even more modernistic recreation of the anti-opera, newly composed by Jean-Sébastien Truchy.

This offering by Jean-Sébastien is a totally dynamic sound composition. From it's industrial drone like beginning to the tormented operatic voice, there is very little safe haven for the listener. The sonic output pushes farther, pleasantly contrasting with the few quieter moments of simple static and computer generated voice.  The first side includes a reading of Neither by what sounds like an aging female voice. On the second side the male counterpart argues against the victimization of man by civilization. The thesis is correct in my opinion. Why should our lives need to be legitimized? Love and kindness only require a person capable of sharing these abilities. We need nothing more.

So it is nice to listen to music full of emotion, giving rise to thought and contemplation. This relatively short cassette has unique properties finding their way deep into your head. Neither by  Jean-Sébastien is solid sound, with theatrics reminding me of the awesome Test Dept. album "A Good Night Out". Even though they are completely different contributions, there is a similar tone. The creativeness of this homage to the past is beautiful articulation of thought applied to sound.  

This release is in the most recent batch from SicSic Tapes. Routinely releasing some of the most sought after cassettes and the coolest music. So with that said, this tape is already sold out at the label. I looked on Tomentosa and they have copies still available as a write this.






Links
Jean-Sébastien Truchy website
SicSic Tapes website
Tomentosa - SicSic inventory



Monday, December 8, 2014

Bonding Tapes - Quality Time Volume 1

Quality Time Volume 1 has thrown me far from the spectrum of snug sounds. Each track is like a short vignette giving way to copious talent by a plethora of artists. Amazingly, the amount of diversity 18 different artists contributes does not fracture this release. Instead, the music stays in a tight orbit, blending most seamlessly, and blurring the fact this is even a various artist cassette.

I have listened to the tape countless times. Being completely honest, i have been afraid to write. This is the most difficult description i have had to put together. Compilations are always challenging and this music is otherworldly from the start to finish. There are moments when i feel like i understand, then those occasions deteriorate. Question marks mixed with fascinating sounds fill my head. Seconds ago i had something to say, now just bewildered by the subtle complexity.

When listening to the tape in the truck with my son, i was told this was the opposite of music. "The vocals are in the back and the beat is in the front". I think this was on the Sonic D track titled "Aqua". We were having quality time listening to music (pretty cool using that eh). There are no favorites for me on this cassette. Each track interacts with the environment while you are listening at that juncture. Every artist has the potential to create the coolest mini soundtrack for some point in your day.

Bonding Tapes has released an incredible first release. There are links to each artists on their bandcamp page for further investigation. The cassette purchase includes a sticker, pin and poster. Do not miss out on this because there is a good certainty this label is going to gain traction. The first release with all of the goodies will be a nice way to remember you were with Bonding Tapes on the ground floor.



Links
Bonding Tapes website
Quality Time Volume 1 on bandcamp

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Filthy Huns – Leopard On My Right

Is it possible to experience a mirage for your ears? After listening to Leopard On My Right a number of times, I think I am witness to a refraction of sound. Listening to this cassette closely resembles staring at a distant Fata Morgana. The sounds of each track rapidly change within these spools, still maintaining a rooted consistent groove to bring them all together. There are moments of a late light celebration of Tuareg music. The B side of this cassette pushes strongly in that direction. This is exemplified not only by the sound but the track titles as well, like "Nomad Status". The A side is steady in mood, and reminds me a little bit of listening to the incredible 936 album by Peaking Lights. As a whole, Leopard On My Right never stops. The diversity is immense, the rhythm is hypnotic, the vocals are beckoning with thick and dense guitar. A tape you will just keep flipping and always go back to.

This is the second release by Filthy Huns. Both releases are on the super cool label Not Not Fun. This cassette is sold out at the Not Not Fun shop, but should show up in limited quantities at the usual distributors like Midheaven & Tomentosa. Maybe Not Not Fun will combine both releases on one vinyl album. I am sure this would be a speedy record to sell out. If you do see the cassette for sale, be sure to purchase it. There have been some great tapes for 2014 and this is one of them.






 

Links
Filthy Huns on Tumblr
Nice write up on Tiny Mix Tapes
Not Not Fun Website
Not Not Fun Soundcloud page


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Glass House - Haruspex

Stellar drifting to an orchestrated consonance of sound. Glass House uses a wide array of mechanics creating a dense molecular, salt strewn, ambient classical piece. Thick drones fill the background and sit at the bottom of this sound ocean. The currents at the top are controlled by well tuned musicians with some serious knowledge and experience. The overall tone is slightly foreboding, with sound safety nets cast out for moments of recovery. Overall this cassette keeps the listener slowly swirling in a beautiful maelstrom of precise composition. Pleasing Prince Dakkar on his voyage. Glass House knows exactly the mood they are after and Haruspex is a testament to that end.

This cassette was created in a batch of 80 by the super cool label Cosmic Winnetou. Every release they have is sold out at the label website. Fine confirmation of how good their decisions are at every level. Keep an eye out, there is a new batch due out soon.

Even though Haruspex is sold out at Cosmic Winnetou, you can still acquire this release from the Glass House bandcamp page. Not sure how many they have of the original 80, but they are for sale as this is posted. Also pretty sure Tomentosa will have the Haruspex tape on their site in the near future. Tomentosa has carried all of the Cosmic Winnetou releases.

Lastly Glass House has had three releases on Tranquility Tapes and one on SicSic Tapes. For anyone rolling around in the cassette culture world...... no need to say anymore.


Links
Glass House bandcamp page
Cosmic Winnetou website
Cosmic Winnetou soundcloud page


Monday, November 3, 2014

Stag Hare - The Djorna Trilogy

Have you ever been positively relaxed on a sunny day, attention fixed on nothing more than rays of light and their interaction on this earthly plane? This is Stag Hare for me. Capturing in music nothing more than beautiful simple existence. Delightful drone filling your mind, mixing with seldom grasped feelings of the wondrous journey we are fortunate to partake.

The Djorna Trilogy is an impressive offering from Stag Hare, the project of Garrick Biggs. Three cassettes titled Angel Tech, Pongdools and Gazer. According to Garrick from the Stag Hare website, the trilogy is his second era of music. Everything before the Djorna Trilogy make up the first era while everything after starts the third era. These cassettes were produced in a run of 100 each. They are available now at the Stag Hare website and you can purchase all three, shipped to you in the States for twenty dollars. If you have not had the pleasure of being a Stag Hare fan, this is something i strongly recommend purchasing. If you have been listened to Stag Hare before, you probably already have the Djorna Trilogy and you are just nodding in agreement.

For the music on these three cassettes, i will start off with Gazer. There is no reason other than this was the way i listened to them. Gazer is without any doubt a classic piece of timeless drone stickiness. You will want to set this cassette aside for an uninterrupted listening experience. The tones exuding from Gazer are inspiring, contemplative and peaceful. Transcending musical history, this composition could be from anywhere and is absolutely relevant everywhere. Take a few moments for yourself and let these sounds help remove the haze of responsibility.

Following in the rotation was Pongdools, a entirely different ride than the blissful Gazer. On this cassette Stag Hare locks onto the signature doxology of the first era. Upbeat rhythm sustained for timeless lengths. This is music for movement, thinking and creating. Pongdools exist near the top of the mountain, perched on a ledge. There is still more to climb, but at this resting spot, the value of what has been traveled and what remains is key stoned. The sound is well crafted from experience, with visitations of new places to go.  Driving beats overlaid with a wash of infinite sounds. This is a morning raga for future times. Pongdools helps me understand why Garrick has called this the second era of music.

Angel Tech is purely exalted from a reticulation of techno beats to undisturbed interludes of reflection. This cassette is completely diverse and does seem like the platform for the future third era of music. Within these spools are otherworldly beats leaving the drone to the background. Hazed vocals glaze these tracks. Every sound advocates Garrick's abilities are locking in place for a transformation of sound wave awareness. All of the tracks on Angel Tech resonate with emotion and are filled with merit. By no means leaving the roots, only adding more canopy to the tree.

This will be sold out soon, so please do not procrastinate. I say this from plenty of experience.








Links
Stag Hare website
Bandcamp site

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bikini Barista - This Pit In My Stomach

Captivatingly mysterious is this pleasing cassette by Bikini Barista. Tremendous thought behind every track, commanding your ears to listen, telling your mind to want more. The track titles reflect the music with names like "No Contemplation, Simply Reaction","Scoobies Don't Die" & "Drown Me In It - Bury Me With It".

As the cover picture reveals, there is some spookiness radiating from these synthesizer laden rhythms. Perfect for a late night drive or setting the mood for shadow people darting through your peripheral vision. There is an oscillation from track to track of an ambient plateau of majestic vistas to falling into the smoldering forge of beat creation. These feelings of security and uneasiness provide diversity, keeping This Pit In My Stomach intriguing for a multitude of listens.

Bikini Barista's - This Pit In My Stomach was just released in the middle of this month. I am not sure how many of these cassettes were made, but I am sure this cassette will rotate frequently in your tape player! Currently you can have one shipped straight to your mailbox for five dollars total. Looking forward to where this sound will go for future releases.





Links
Bikini Barista on bandcamp

Friday, October 24, 2014

Moonsicles - Creeper

Going to skip the usual posting intro/buildup and focus straight away on the song "Perooh" from Moonsicles new release Creeper. This track really caught my attention on the first listen. Incredibly cool retro beat and bass, championing the vibe. The guitar riffs are clean and sweet, sparse at times, truly a perfect amount. Wrapping this song up is the synthesizer, the fabric of the track. Emitting sound threads connecting distant and future points of time. All musicians together creating one of the best tracks I have heard in a few years.

Going back to the start of Creeper is really returning to the beginning. This album builds with slowly dripping water to only a half dose of Codeine. Rambling guitar and ceremonial court drums, guided by snakey synthesizer, ooze from the speakers. This gives way to the mysterious questions placed on early eighties New Age music with the song "Crystal Spy". For me as a listener, everything falling in order for "Perooh". After this, "Trembling Grub" shifts back to creep on a time released capsule of the first song "Slow Owl". At this point the music has a vast sounding feel of open expanses of the frontier west. This reminds me a little of the great album "Train Songs" by Two Dollar Guitar. The last track ends with a native beat driven Earth departure titled "Sheyenne". Laid back, diverse, and extremely well crafted, Moonsicles reaches deep with this album, sustaining significance for future listens. 
 
Moonsicles is composed of four musicians, all with hefty experience. Each band member with a pedigree of projects to their names. Creeper is a release of only 100 compact discs, each with individually hand painted covers. A beautiful package of art and sound i am sure will deplete in availability quickly. Moonsicles knows how to play and get music to those who are interested. This is why you can purchase Creeper straight from the band in Austin, Texas.






Links
Moonsicles band website
100 different covers link
Moonsicles on Facebook
Their Soundcloud page

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tallesen - Stills Lit Through

Prepare yourself for a sound journey traveling in Euclidean space. Sound on the number line is far removed from this transit of music. Tallesen's release "Stills Lit Through" envelopes the listener with a barrage of quiet ambient moments relinquishing themselves to a symphonic beat driven opus. There is a tone throughout this album consistent of a futuristic calliope. The modern version of this ancient steam organ, has been precisely calibrated to emit the softest sounding notes. This creates a dreamlike journey for your astral projection. The beats and rhythm tether the listener, providing a pathway back to the security of a more familiar measure.

As this sound exploration  progresses, there is a definite shift to trance like emissions of rhythmic deprivation. Almost as if underwater, a heavy thickness rolls in, reversing the journey out of body to an inward exploration of the mortal coil. The album finishes with a tranquil state of being completely welcomed after traveling so far into this innovative world of sound.

Caymen Johnson or "Tallesen" has created a musical piece offering complete depth and diversity. Playing this quietly or loudly produces separate unique experiences. The fidelity of the cd I used for these words of reflection is superb. The Software label has provided both cd or lp format for this release and I just noticed this is number 50 in the catalog. The cd version looks like it has four bonus tracks not on the lp. You probably will get those in a download upon purchase of the vinyl. I am sure Software has this beyond worked out, making sure everyone is taken care of. Music on Software always merits investigation.




Links
Software Label
Stills Lit Through
Caymen Johnson on facebook


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Phillip K. Glass Dick - Gift of Love = Homies


Connecting early synthesizer forays to the unknown future of sound, Phillip K. Glass Dick's sound is originative. Like the writings of the science fiction author with the same name (minus the glass), both have created a vision of possible ubiquitous realty in a subsequent time.

Listening to different tracks on this cassette, i feel comfortable with the residence of the songs. There exist a groove taking a slow ride through the 80's and moving to distant points in time. Raining samples of post modern noise drip outside creating mood for contemplation and then empty thought. This cruise of upbeat, chill and futuristic is perfectly timed. The diversity of every track helps maintain maximum interest, spanning the entire roll of the spools forward and back. It is hard to pin down any similarities to existing music, making this truly a unique listen. The closest i could denote anything to is the first song on side two, "(My Time SPent With) Prisoners". This song had a strange exuding tone to the mood of Talking Heads "Listening Wind" off the Remain In Light lp.

PKGD has created something really nice on this release titled Gift of Love = Homies. Amazingly inventive, this release sits on the periphery, energizing the enjoyment of listening.  The quality of the artist, sound, packaging and presentation is of the highest standard, as always from Monofonus Press. The label proliferates the best in music and art. Not sure how many tapes were made, but cassettes are available now from the label here. They also have a pretty nice summer batch deal including Gift of Love = Homies here.

 There are samples out there, not on the label site though. I could pull them from other distributors but do not want to use them that way. Found this on Soundcloud. Not from this cassette but parts of it are close in mood and feel.



Links
Some Notes on Phillip K. Glass Dick  
Gift of Love = Homies available at Monofonus Press

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Secret Birds - In Hex

Cassettes of the past are remembered with these thoughts. So much emphasis on the newest releases, taking a moment to go back a few years. Lee Nobles label No Kings has been a favored label for years. Everything No Kings puts out is pure quality and this results with the entire catalog being sold out from the label. So it does not matter about being available or not for thoughts on any No Kings releases. I selected #35 from the shelf, Secret Birds - In Hex.

Ranging from drifting ambient  wash to mind-expanding jams, In Hex has the diversity to be extremely enjoyable. Side one invites the listener in with the calming sounds of "Century Waves". Now on a comfortable raft from the opening, the start of "In Hexagon" pushes a meditative rhythm and cascade of guitars and synthesizer. Similar to a long track from the band Stag Hare.

The middle of this cassette reveals something unusual and rarely heard by contemporary listening culture. "Refractions From The Skull Prism" is an eavesdrop into a tribal ceremony for obscure alien landing fields in the land down under. Almost under breath field recordings mixed with rhythmic beats around a sacred blaze.

After the fire has relinquished itself to embers "A Serpent With Corners" offers another comfortable respite until the epic "Zen Pyramid" begins. This is the longest track on the cassette, building peacefully from the start. Soon entering orbit for planetary departure.

This cassette seems to be unavailable for purchase from the regular places to look. Secret Birds bandcamp page has it available for listening as well as a few remaining earlier recordings still for sale. Very much worth a listen.

These are just words of appreciation.




Links
Secret Birds website
Secret Birds bandcamp page
No Kings label page
Great write up on Honest Bag

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Ogon Batto - Ogon Batto

This is an epic journey in galactic audio travel. From field like recordings from other planets, to stoic organ and piano accompanied space travel, this listening experience is not just background noise. This is a fantastic auditory perception for traveling without seeing. There are planets explored with hearing and not sight. Bent Von Bent operates this interplanetary cassette junket. His instructions are only, listen closely because there is no light to see.

-  listener #75.003 written passage from side one -
"After landing on a water planet, our heads were just high enough to see over a terrestrial dune. There next to a foreign sea is a mysterious vessel. Sitting out of the water and tilted to one side, melodies from even farther away spill forth from the ships hull. The music invites us over the embankment, and then turns ominous causing cover to be taken again. We listen further waiting to build courage and venture fourth."

The first track on side two "Bunker Symfonie IX: Opmars" is a mammoth example of complete submergence in another world. An atmospheric sound scape so foreign, listeners will begin understand the magnitude of this composition. Bent Von Bent has created something really exceptional. 

This is release number seven for the Belgium label Hare Akedod. This is also my first cassette possessed from Hare Akedod. Previous releases were on the radar, but not purchased in time. For Ogon Batto, I secured this quickly from Tomentosa. They are now sold out, but the cassette is still available from the Hare Akedod's Bandcamp site.


 
Links
Bandcamp Site
Hare Akedod Website
Great Write up on Honest Bag

Monday, September 29, 2014

Dylan Golden Aycock - Guitar Meanderings I

Simple beauty exist in the music and presentation of "Guitar Meanderings I" by Dylan Golden Aycock. This is on the label Cabin Floor Esoterica and is superbly packaged and delivered.
Listening to this makes me feel like a neophyte in the world of cassettes. This is my first Cabin Floor Esoterica acquisition and I am looking at #47 on the marker for their releases. 

Dylan Golden Aycock is venerated with patience in his guitar playing. Nothing seems rushed, the strings are effortlessly played with knowledge of space and resonance. This is exemplified by two tracks on the cassette, "Love, The Lord's Lasso" and "Silver Bough". There is also the use of field recordings to diversify the mix. Almost sounding like live out takes from some point in the astronomical day of Dylan Golden Aycock. This representation can be heard on "Sharp As A Razor/Soft As A Prayor" and  "Untitled III". 

With many guitar playing artists rejuvenating this exquisite genre of sounds, listeners have a vast variety of choices. I have been following this genre for many years and can say Dylan Golden Aycock resonates for me. There is an unhurried wisdom in his style and this settles in a pleasant place between my ears.

I purchased my copy at Tomentosa and there are still a few left. They are sold out at Cabin Floor Esoterica, but Dylan Golden Aycock has some available on his Bandcamp page.


Links



Saturday, September 13, 2014

German Army - Social Catalyst

Escaping the past is easy with so much music available. Modern sounds and techniques can create music completely different from what was listened to. Artist today can abandon or copy the past. German Army has grabbed just enough of the frequency of early 80s, and allowed listeners to move forward, still having safe ears in listening pleasure.

The beats and effects on "Social Catalyst"  evoke a diverse trip through a soundscape of cavernous falls. Some light or platform of security and then blackness and unknown sonic beings make themselves present, loud and wondrous. This is early Cabaret Voltaire meets early African Head Charge while listening to a Witchbeam cassette.

Fascinating and simply really good, German Army has always interests me. Sometimes to far advanced for my novice ears, "Social Catalyst" is a release i can keep on flipping over. Out of everything recently being released, Jozik Records delivers another essential cassette for expanding the spectrum of sound. You will be thankful watching theses spools spin, and listening to a German Army release with the ability to appropriate new recruits.

Tomentosa is the place for my purchase. If sold out there Jozik Records still has copies.
Links
A nice read on Tiny Mix Tapes



Thursday, August 28, 2014

CLIPD BEAKS - FKWRK

This is very refreshing. A method of donating money for a good cause, allowing one community to strengthen while helping support another community in need.

As seen on the side of this blog under superior sources, Tome To The Weather Machine has clearly been there from the start. The person behind the blog, Ryan Hall has also created a music label called Heligator Records. This is a digital download only label with a wide array of artists. All proceeds from the downloads go to the Malindza Refugee Camp Library in Mpaka, Swaziland.

Clipd Beaks is the fourteenth release from Heligator Records. The sound is a definitive result of a curated style of music, finely polished and presented. Not that Clipd Beaks is that old, just their sound could be lost anywhere in time and be relevant at that moment. With this single release for Heligator Records, FKWRK starts of with some resemblance to "I Dreamed I Dream" of the first Sonic Youth album. The song changes immensely over its duration and ends with fervor and drive, an apogee of musical culmination.

Help support the library in Mpaka, Swaziland. Download the song for one dollar. If Clipd Beaks isn't your sound, check out Heligator Records for something you are in tune with.





Links
Heligator Records
Malindza Refugee Camp Library
Clipd Beaks on Bandcamp

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mark Banning - Journey To The Light

Originally recorded in 1984, this album has been remastered by James Plotkin and re-released by Students of Decay. Consisting of two tracks, one per side "Journey To The Light" is a completely mesmerizing float above your body.

Thinking about when this was released, "New Age Music" as it was called, was completely uncool for the younger generation at the time. Now 30 years later, many of the so called "New Age" records are being found again by a drone based, ambient guitar, synthesizer group of vinyl enthusiasts.

So much music falls to the ground silently over time. Buried by even more falling music. Some of it is raked and rediscovered, because there really are gems covered under the massive pile of forgotten sounds. For some re-releases I have read, "this was really good but just not given the proper promotion at the time". This is only a modern marketing scheme portraying the weight and shimmer of onyx chess pieces. Labels like Students of Decay are not re-releasing this and trying to sell with explanations of not being properly promoted. Mark Banning's "Journey To The Light" has been rediscovered, re-released and sold on the merit of feelings it embarks upon the listener. Students of Decay has found relevancy with today's taste and brought forth beautiful sounds for listeners of all ages.

Of the two tracks on "Journey To The Light", Everlasting Moments fills side A with a firmly balanced flow of subtle sounds. Swaying synthesizer holds the piece, releasing at times to then be carried by guitar and zither. The underlying current of the synthetic drone is always present as is the binding base. Side B titled A Sea of Glass is a more meditative en devour resembling tambura and sitar being warmed up by ageless Indian raga masters. There is a carefree playfulness being conveyed, envisioning a solitary walk among darting dragon flies in an ancient garden.

This was purchased directly from the amazing Students of Decay label. Mark Banning's splendid composition is still available along with many other artists and their superb works.


 





Links
Students Of Decay
Nice Review on Stationary Travels

Monday, August 18, 2014

Cliffsides - Headspace

It has been a about a year since the last Cliffsides release on Hooker Vision and when Tranquility Tapes revealed the new double cassette by Cliffsides titled Headspace, making a purchase was an understood endeavor. This is an example of how outstanding labels make great choices when it concerns what limited resources they have. Tranquility Tapes is a leader in the world of beautifully done cassettes.

Headspace is a perfect name for this release. With an hour of sounds on each cassette, there is enough diversity to fill all of the space in your head. The first tape "The Fool" is a solid embodiment of synthesizer mastery. You can hear both the past and the future, a soundtrack for a science fiction movie classic or a gripping suspense thriller. There is drift on the ocean and fast paced hover craft cruising. "The Fool" could easily be a timeless synthesizer masterpiece on it's own without the second cassette.

Making this even more spectacular is the second long offering called simply "The Universe". Expansive particle motion by massive galactic bodies. This could be an environmental recording made by dropping a microphone somewhere between two passing galaxies. Thoughts on the first listen to "The Universe" were of artists like Vidna Obmana, Alio Die and Steve Roach. Cliffsides' Ryan McGill has a little more playfulness than those pioneering ambient masters and this is refreshing. The music of "The Universe" is a five star output now. The future will only be old news after you listen.

This is already sold out from Tranquility Tapes. Tomentosa had a few and they sold out right away. Try 905 Tapes, Experimedia or Eclipse Records, but not sure if they will have any or not. 



Here is a nice sampler video
CLIFFSIDES - HEADSPACE from E++ on Vimeo.

Links
Bandcamp page
Tranquility Tapes

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Memorials of Distinction - How To Organise Your Life & Get Rid Of Clutter

If you are ready for a truly artistic romp through musicians on the fringe of the unheard, click over to this bandcamp link and read no further. How do you cleverly combine a myriad of different bands and musicians to create the sticky threads binding an entire album together? Memorials of Distinction will capture you and slowly weave the sound into your ears.

Titled  "How To Organise Your Life & Get Rid Of Clutter", 8 different groups and 16 songs have been woven together like a fine tapestry. Intelligently united using an old self help tape, the entire listen is completely entrancing. The instructions for self help are blended in perfect amounts in between songs. There is just enough of the lecturer to make you want to hear more. I drift while listening. Intrigued by fantastic tips on making my own life less cluttered and then being relieved with music. Saving me from the revelation of how messy i really am. From talk of floppy discs on computers, i would have guessed this self help tape was made in the late eighties. Sure wrong on this, for you roman numeral fans the date on the original tape is MCMXCVI.

The ground the music covers is vast, but with each artist contributing two tracks there is continuity. The first listen is enjoyably perplexing. After immediately liking Mewlips, an individual with a magically different expression, i thought where did this come from? How did  Memorials of Distinction procure these completely unknown entertainers? I went back to the bandcamp site and read the notes. Here each performer is described more in detail, so there is explanation of origin. In the following listens my attention was drawn to Sofia Deville, Porridge Radio and Estamos Fritos three very spacey artists gluing in a relaxing vibe. Mad Kid Library Trap will completely command your ears with a warped punk output.
Smiling Disease is absolutely unique with a sound completely modern in a parallel dimension. The last two artists Lizzard Bleach and sAtAnic rituAl Abuse give the tape the noise it needs. These two artists exist on the periphery, entering music by colliding sound and ideas.

These tapes are available at the bandcamp site. There were only 50 self help tapes to start with, so if you miss out there will never be any more!

I thought the name of the lecturer was really unique and still would like to find out more about the tickler system.







Links
Bandcamp
Josh on Twitter
Memorials of Distinction on Facebook

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Woodbines & Spiders

Woodbines & Spiders (NW) (N)(E)(S) & (SW) (E) (S) The directions are in the title and i am still lost. Hopefully by the end of the record there will be a guide point useful as reference. Most likely not though. Floating on side Bb, 01 Gas Suite C Radiation 60. Looking for a place to set down.

There are ghosts in these grooves. Strange noises clanging, popping, dinging, whaaaing, and voices??? The background is filled with an eerie tone like old heavy dusty drapes. Then finally something all accounts is music. Recognizing sounds gives relief to the audio journey. The music leaves and now the dwindling radius of the record has become more desperate.

This lp is so thick with brain bending audio. Jon Brooks (The Advisory Circle) and Ian Hodgson (Moon Wiring Club) have combined to create to create a modern journey through the imaginations shared by Scout, Jem and Dill. Perfect amounts of everything from fun to cracked tombstones behind the old house.

From creation through production to vinyl offering, this record took seven or eight years to make. Everything about this LP is a mystery. If you want something really different and made superbly, Woodbines & Spiders will take you there.





LINKS
Blank Work Shop
Nice read on Raven Sings the Blues
Moon Wiring Club on Facebook
Jon Brooks on Cafe Kaput

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Marble - Two Women & Tiger


Not going to wait until the end of the post to say grab a copy. You should go to Sacred Phases website right now and GET THIS CASSETTE. There is still a four tape sale happening for ultra listening value. If you follow the above advice, reading this blog site will be substantiated.

Working on organizing my cassettes by label a few weeks ago. Sacred Phases was vying for top spot with most cassettes on one label. Marble "Two Women & Tiger " reaffirms why this is so.

I have not heard of Marble before, but with one sound sample and ongoing love for the Sacred Phases label, the purchase was made. After the first listen, my expectations had been completely eclipsed.

Marble is other worldly tribal beat jungle space jams. Each track on this cassette is filled with intrigue. There are heavy some heavy rhythms on these spools, like trees on the floor of an ancient forest. Bounteous sounds then fill each track like sun sparkling past the leaves on an old growth canopy. You can get lost listening to this.

Links

Sacred Phases Website
Follow Sacred Phases on Twitter
A Few Words on Decoder Magazine


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Witchbeam - Tales of the Ghede Zodiac

Witchbeam is just plain super cool. The best description i have for the output by Witchbeam is not freaked out noise, but calculated classical industrial music of a future time. Of course there is noise, music and voice, all components of past industrial groups, but "Tales of the Ghede Zodiac" must have been created in some forthcoming celestial alignment. There is an underlying refinement within this cassette that can only come with an understanding derived from outside sources. I suspect some sort of time machine is involved or a visiting traveler craving past synthesizer drum beat sessions.

Listening to this cassette is a journey through a far distant manufacturing laboratory. Machinery creating beats gives way to electrical static and equipment hum. Recorded vocal messages are triggered to help along your passage. Back to something being pounded into creation. Each turn produces some new process of wonder. What is being created here? Only Witchbeam knows.

I think everyone in the cassette community has heard of Witchbeam. Their release on Tranquility Tapes - "Shadow Musick Vol. 1" sold out quickly and made it on the best lists of 2013. "Tales of the Ghede Zodiac" has been long sold out from the label 905 Tapes. Tomentosa still has one or more copies left as i write this. There is a copy on Discogs as well.

Experimedia has a new album out by Telecult Powers, the duo of Witchbeam and Mr Matthews. Probably a wise move to purchase a copy of this for helping to understand the future of music.
Also Hausa Mountain has a new cassette release by Mugen "Mugen Volume 8: Witchbeam/Mr Matthews". Here it is on Bandcamp.


LINKS
Witchbeam website
905 Tapes
Witchbeam "Tales of the Ghede Zodiac" on Bandcamp

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Great Blue Heron - Goodnight Ghosts

The guitar singer songwriter album is a seemingly easy genre of music to create and infinitely difficult to master. This style mounts music, voice and lyrics on a microscope slide, only to be scrutinized beyond most other genres of music. I think Great Blue Heron "Goodnight Ghosts" can be unmounted from the slide and happily added to future rotations of music listening.

The first track Dusty Old Heart relays the emotional connection between the individual and their craft. This is not someone just churning out tunes, but rather an account of adeptness in communicating thought. This is followed by what sounds like an auto harp style of ballad playing called Stack Wood. Very nice choice for the second track. Song two is always my tell tale for the entire album; Maintaining interest and diversity and at least as good or more likely better than the first song.

The lyrics to the first track on side B, I Didn't Believe in Ghosts reminds me of the Roky Erickson song If You Have Ghosts. This is my favorite song on the cassette. "I Didn't believe in ghosts until you became one" GBH ..... "If you have ghosts you have everything" RE.  There is a message here!

The marker for any good album/cassette is if you will listen to it again. "Goodnight Ghosts" passes this easily. I have listened to, collected and enjoyed a lot of {folk} music. With this mass as comparison, Great Blue Heron has created an account transcending the past and present. I think Biological Radio recognized this straight away. This is why they chose to release such an accomplished embodiment of work.     

Great Blue Heron - "Into The Water (And I Came Out Pure)" from Biological Radio on Vimeo.


Links
Great Blue Heron on Facebook
Biological Radio
Biological Radio on Discogs

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Movies - American Oil

Just received my copy of The Movies "American Oil" from Spring Break Tapes!  Joe the label curator included some stickers and a pin. Always cool and appreciated. "American Oil" is their second release on SBT. The first "In One Era, Out The Other" released last year, has been sold out for a little while. Both releases are reissues from around 10 years ago. SBT has surfaced this music for those of us in a different loop at the time. A very good choice.

"In One Era, Out The Other" and "American Oil" are completely different. I have a difficult time in even comparing them. If you like more introspective, for the most part slower and more moody songs than "In One Era, Out The Other" would be more for you. There are of few songs on the first release like Don't Steal My Licks and Autograph with the swagger of the tone on "American Oil", but beyond this a totally different mood.

 "American Oil" is just plain more upbeat and punchy. I do not like to compare sounds of present and past artists, but the sound of the band and Timothy James voice makes me think of something i have heard before. I have thought about this for a week and am still perplexed. This could be a stretch but the bass and drums of Joe Jackson's "Look Sharp" mixed with the vocal punch of Iggy Pop's "Zombie Birdhouse" are the two albums filtering two the top.

There is a clarity present on "American Oil". Bass played by Jessica Gelt and Drums by Stevie Treichel sound sharp and resonate perfectly with the voice of Timothy James. Brian Cleary on the keys ads depth and diversity to the album. The song Ed (I Can't Find Those Lyrics) is a great example of this barrel of sound being spun on one finger. Timothy James knows the quality of their sound and even states it in the first song Rock In The Slingshot, "How can life be so good, I got the best drums and bass I could." A great opening track which basically surmises the bands period of existence, "Then we throw it all away". This entire album wallops the speakers with propulsive harmony.

                                                                                         Still available on Spring Break Tapes.



LINKS
Spring Break Tapes - Website
Review on Tiny Mix Tapes
Older Review (2005 first came out) on Delusions of Adequacy

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Young Man Find the Moon - Wica Intina & Joseph Allred

Listening to the cassette for the first time set me back a little bit. If you could read a print out of my thoughts it would have only been one long row of question marks. After going back for another listen the gravity of this sound pulled me in. I kept thinking about someone actually making this music and finally realized i should support the artists who made such a masterpiece of composition.

"Young Man Finds the Moon" starts off with some nice familiar drone. This continues on and is ever present to some extent on both sides. Almost sounding like bagpipes being played over the hills within a secluded cabin. I guess you could say a collage of sound begins, but it is much more. What seems like chaos has order. Sustained brilliance of sound samples straying far enough to keep interest, but not getting lost. There are tethers holding this zeppelin down. Cartoonish voices sped to incomprehensible pitch. Manic guitar playing sounding like a mandolin played with ten espresso shots surging through the fingers. That is just the first side. The second side called "And Our Asteroid Fairy Tale" is both similar and different. This side is more reserved, but both sides play like one continuous composition. There are bumps through out the tape, like a microphone is being put down or a stop button pressed. This makes it feel like Joseph and Wica are creating this in front of me. Unique, raw and special. I have been listening to music off the thoroughfare for a long time. Nothing like this has ever passed my ears.

Meliphonic Records out of Knoxville, Tennessee is a new label for me. They have some cool releases both sold out and available. You can still get this one, but my tape says 14 of 25, so don't procrastinate if you like it. With the tape, I received a nice note from Joseph saying lots more releases are in the near future....


LINKS
Meliphonic Records
Meliphonic Records on Soundcloud

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Zener - Palanca Arbitraria

Horror Fiction Tapes has had a substantial start with six releases in three bundles since September of last year. Every release completely obscure but bound together as a series. This is accomplished by using printed on inserts created from vintage pages of old classic books. Very tasteful and distinct, like a seasoned book in a study. All releases are sold out now, but keep an eye out for the next bundle!

Zener as described within the tape "was", meaning they no longer perform as a band. There are some heavy sounds shaking the speakers when listening to this double cassette. Cassette A starts with menacing guitar echoing forth from a vast, dark and empty space. The listening experience is completely riveting and then followed by moments of repose. There is a suspense element in the calm, knowing the guitars are lurking for another attack. Cassette B is an uniquely different vibe. Drums exist here. More mellow, industrial, creating the beat for threatening tempo changes. The guitar work from cassette A has a companion of equal weight and malice. There is a nostalgia to the past emanating within this release. Listen to this only when you are ready, for this is no background music.

Palanca Arbitraria needs to be listened to possibly with headphones. I chose to play it through the speakers and had a family member yell "Sound like a horror movie". I replied "Not a movie, a Horror Fiction Tape".
They shut the door.




LINKS
Horror Fiction Tapes Website
Zener on Bandcamp
More Reading on Decoder Magazine

Eyes Like Helicopter - The Shift Of It All

Biological Radio just released their Summer Solstice Batch and Eyes Like Helicopter was one of the three creations. After watching a prehear/see video of the title track on the BR Site, and finding a lengthy Soundcloud page, my purchasing decision was settled.

Darren Myers is the man with the guitars and a varied collection of other instruments making up Eyes Like Helicopter. What distinguishes his newest release and music style is a true craftsmanship of sound. With over 13 songs from both sides, sound from The Shift of It All arrives from extremely different places. From beautiful acoustic guitar playing to crazy tribal beats with harmonica, each track is a completely new turn in sonic experience. With this vast amount of variety, listening to the cassette produces no disjointedness but rather an excitement to hear what is next. Keeping this interest is a challenging task to maintain through the course of an entire album, but "The Shift Of It All" is aptly named. Raw and fascinating, artfulness on tape, true music scholars would need to do a thesis on this.

Biological Radio releases this in a cardboard folder with very cool hand stitched artwork on the front. Also a easy to read information card within, documenting all tracks and production details. Elegantly created and limited to 25 copies. Still for sale on their Discogs page. I am sure will be gone quickly.






LINKS
Biological Radio
Eyes Like Helicopter on Soundcloud
The Shift Of It All - Video
Biological Radio on Discogs

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Greg Manata - Washing

I am unfamiliar with Greg Manata. Very familiar with Constellation Tatsu. They did an astonishing job a securing this release. Greg Manata's style of music would fit solidly with so many other labels right now. Inner Islands is the first that comes to mind, followed closely by Rainbow Pyramid.

If I could ride in a star ship like riding in a car, this tape would be playing. And yes my space craft would be equipped with a cassette player. Looking out the window, as the cosmos moves by, "Washing" would be the perfect event soundtrack for the trip. There is a beauty and happiness in this ambient drone. The songs seem to flow and drift and fill the ears, leaving only the view to be satisfied. The third song on the first side "Chamomile" starts out with what almost sound like thrusters slowing the music for the arrival of the next song "Monolith".

Clocking in at over 40 minutes, this cassette is a spool full. With the incredible seasonal batch deals from Constellation Tatsu. There is only going right in making the purchase. And "Washing" is still available!







Links
Washing at Constellation Tatsu
Nice review on Tiny Mixed Tapes
Bandcamp page


(( Husband Material )) - Go Ahead and Start The Family Without Me

I have been been enjoying this tape tremendously! Describing the sounds is a difficult task though. The easy start is the basics {{Husband Material}} with the release titled "Go Ahead and Start the Family Without Me". Probably named because it's creator is still tinkering in the sound laboratory inching the music closer to perfection.

My best attempt at typing what this cassette rattles forth.... Have you ever looked through a really old box of keepsakes? Crumbly and tattered containers, dusty and faded, hiding something that sparkles from a past existence. Each song is all deconstructed on the outside with scratchy noisy melody. Listening carefully or listening over and over for me, the turning worn shell reveals to the ear, a sweet tuneful rhythm hidden within.
This tape is full of fascinating songs, each different but congruent with each other.

Patient Sounds release number PS049. Sold out on the Patient Sounds website. Maybe they will make another batch of these, or it will surface on Discogs. Worth the purchase if you find it.



LINKS
(( Husband Material )) on PATIENT SOUNDS
Straight to the Bandcamp page
Review on TABS OUT

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Rawmean "Of Today"

Rawmean makes me think there is a description of sound style in this moniker chosen by Ramin the creator. Or it could be some deviation of Ramin's name. Maybe both revolve around each other. I purchased this from the Rawmean's Bandcamp page back in February. After listening repeatedly to "Of Today", Rawmean's newest release, here are my thoughts.

There is the beat, this is the "mean". Solid without breaks, on most songs rhythmic, like a boxer on a speed bag. Then slowly sounds are thrown on to the pulsating rhythm. The sound space fills up. These individual samples move the entire piece towards complexity. The beat maintains the temperature and cooks the floating sound parts until perfectly done. Then they are removed and there is only the mean, the "beat". 

The physical cassette is well presented with a fold out j-card of some pretty cool artwork. There are no tracks listed on the cassette nor sides. Maybe this is needed in the digital world, but not at all in the physical. This is a great release overall. Intricate work with sounds and still maintaining the sonic fabric as a whole.

Links
I found this review on Raised By Gypsies for further reading.
Rawmean on Bandcamp

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

DISMAL NICHE TAPES 009

This is a cassette I chose not order, but Matthew curator of Dismal Niche Tapes was kind enough to include this unselected release with my purchase. This generosity made me realize, no matter how many sound samples I listen to on the internet, my decision making process is still dubious! 

POI is Caleb McMurray. His release is titled Teenage Dolomites. I have listened to the tape over and over. Side 1 and 2 have fused into one long warble of keyboard rhythm and beat. Every revolution of the cassette spool is so strikingly solid. There is a weighty groove throughout Calib's debut. Each song is unique but not disjointed with the next. The tracks effortlessly flow together as an album should. This is a well conceived sonic offering, complimented by very cool artwork and layout. Press play on this in the car with friends, you will get the nod.

Thanks POI and thanks Dismal Niche! I am humbled because after listening to sound samples and passing on the purchase, my judgement was given a lesson in wisdom.







Links
Straight to POI - Teenage Dolomites on Dismal Niche Tapes
Dismal Niche Tapes Facebook Page
Caleb the Artist