What was then...
Cassettes have somehow still remained alive throughout its life cycle against all marketable and convenient odds. Today, via digital files, networking with other musicians is easier than it has ever been. To most, cassettes seem like a quaint and deprecated format.
But this not so, say the myriad musicians concerned with the inde-pain-dance of their musics, as cassettes are still a widely used format today. This is mostly accredited to the fact that, as a physical carrier of sonic waves, cassettes (and by that token, vinyl) are simply more aesthetically pleasing and carry more of a novelty compared to the CDs and CDrs which sought to dethrone their crown upon their own christened culture.
I'll be chronicling some recent (and not so recent) recordings found on Bandcamp or elsewhere released on this loved yet jilted format. Ongoing, of course. Here goes...
Out of Print, Streamable
Starting off this embarkment into the modern cassette culture comes this excellent tape. Central Europe has a rich and unknown history with quirky synth tapes, most notably (to me, that is) Harald "Sack" Ziegler and Die Welttraumforscher. This kassette is no different in that department, delivering delicious late 90s synth tones and pitch fuckery and all that fancy jazz. I really do enjoy this kind of EM, the stuff dreams are made ov. This was originally released on Christmas '95 now made available via the Bandcamp platform in a very limited release, recommended.
The digital download comes with some nice goodies (a benefit of this brave new world) including some old artwerks and a zine interview with the masterminds which I cannot comprehend, reminds me of reading some Bad Alchemy. I have not received the very-limited-edition tape yet, so here's a taste of the album.
Kreamy 'Lectric Santa / Asian Women On The Telephone - The Kreamy 'Lectric Santa Sample Library Vol. 1 / Untitled
Out of Print (?), Not Streamable
Digging through my archives as it were for inspiration, I happen upon this artifact from the halcyon days of symmetry. Encasing the noisy racket also contained within the magnetism is this really cool sculpture-like thing of plaster, probably a facsimile of some grape decor one might find on their mother's kitchen wall.
Kreamy 'Lectric Santa is one of those bands that I discovered via the essential Blastitude webzine and have always found interesting. At the time of my purchasing this (in 2015 off Discogs), I didn't realize they were still kicking, or at least still releasing music. But they put up some great noise rock here, with some concrete helpings and electronic yelps to spice things up. Asian Women on the Telephone were another band I had heard of, but in this circumstance I hadn't heard them before the fact. Similarly, they produce some noisy rawk racket, and are named after a Sun City Girls rarity, which is always a bonus. And boy are they wild.
I don't believe this cassette is in print anymore, but it can still be heard on my other blog when I get around to actually reuploading it
Guide to Bizarre Behavior - s/t
2015, Shangorilla Records
In Print, Streamable
Synthy, quirky psych pop/rock form hell knows where. I actually didn't order this from the artist or label themselves, rather I picked it up from Homer's in Omaha back around it came out. Apparently, this was sent out to 50 different record shops on record store (read, not "cassette store") day back in '15, with 7 unique j-card covers to choose from. Obviously, the one above this text is the one I got.
Inside the case and all that is a nice sticker, and a stapled in little piece of poetry I guess, and the obligatory handwritten number out of however many copies they made. Very intimate.
Lurk Late - s/t
2013, Rainy Road
In Print (?), Streamable
Here's another item bought from Homer's, one I found in multiples. Surprising, for a 25 copy run on "International Cassette Store Day". Speaking of, I've found that Homer's' (is that correct?) selection is a bit narrow for my tastes. When I'm in Omaha, I've taken a much bigger liking to the aptly named Almost Music, great selection, great people (or person), and an ace book section. Anyway, back to the tape. It's kinda mediocre harsh noise, the kind of crunchy and noisy noise that I find boring. There are some moments that I like but it's covered with the stuff I dislike about noise, just not for me. The J-card is made of printer paper, if that interests anyone. Oh, and the guy who made it is named "Cooper Lakota Moon", so take that for what you will.
He has the tracks separated on his Soundcloud above so you can give it a listen there, I haven't found any site that's selling it online, so that may be the best bet.
Out of Print, Not streamable
That is a rather ugly, small res, artifact ridden scan. I oughtta replace it one of these days. This is an odd release, consisting of folk improv and vocal yelpings and occasional noisic musings. Looking at the cover, now that I think of it, is it from one of those old arcade golf games? Perhaps a home console one, like the famicom or something.
Whatever the case, good stuff. Don't expect to find it anywhere except secondhand. Word on the digital street says it's out of print.
Decrepit Jaw - Tape Cartridge One
In print, Not streamable
Another one from the relative depths of my tape collection, rather abrasive noise collage. This guy is still kicking it, apparently. Released some new stuff on Immigrant Breast Nest and some activist work. At the same time, too!
I got this from Printed Matter where it still is available for those who want to hear and/or support the artist.
Bull in a China Shop / Grainless - Split
2013, Illegal Records Records
In print, Not streamable
Another old one. Gotta start somewhere, folks or folk or nobody. From Finland, this is some loud noize rock which resembles what it would sound like if bull were in a china shop, and that bull sounded like electric instruments. Some droniness here and there and a little slap and dash of puro noiso and you get this.
Got this from Record Shop X awhile back, probably right when it came out. Still out there if you wanna hear it. Or just wait for me to finally reupload it when I feel less lazy.
Das Torpedoes - The Russian Submarine
2016, Gertrude Tapes
In print, Streamable
If this is of any interest of anyone, here's a little review I wrote awhile back:
Beautiful organ drones probably intended to imitate the atmosphere felt in a sunken submarine (or Kursk, in this case). This atmosphere ranges from peaceful to frantic to foreboding through each track, with the lo-fi production helping accentuate this ambiance. Rather short, but it doesn't feel too short for what it is. Nice little album.That's the short and long of it, as some rather heightly midgets once said or twice. Omaha has a great little music scene.
Fuck Telecorps - Hard On/Off Hearong
In print maybe?, Not streamable
That's good for this batch, see you guy(s) when I build up my collection a bit more.