In this sixth installment of Who Has Tapes Anymore?, Mike Haley of Tabs Out brings you some of his favorite cassette releases of the last month.
((Husband Material)): Go Ahead And Start The Family Without Me (Patient Sounds)
Go Ahead And Start The Family Without Me is a belly flop into syrup falls. You go in dry and come out tacky to the touch, drenched in viscous beats, samples, and drones. This was our January Tape Of The Month over at Tabs Out because of its Flying Lotus meets Michael Keaton in-his-hay-day stylings. Callous pulses are arranged in ways to make you nod your head and scratch your temples. I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. Or perhaps you are not husband/wife material and will live out your days alone with a house full of cats.
Bit Shifter: Life’s A Bit Shifter (Hornbuckle)
I am not well versed in the world of chiptune, and at 33-- raising two youngin’s-- the task of navigating the labyrinth of a new genre frightens me to my poorly maintained core. So while I admit I won't be actively engulfing all there is to offer in the universe of sound, I do like to poke my head in and do some sampling. After a brief scouting I’ve decided that Bit Shifter will be my 8-bit ambassador. Life’s A Bit Shifter is a remastered cassette version of a 2003 CD release with a few bonus tracks, bringing the tally up to 17 in all. All sounds were created and performed on a Game Boy, something you can tell and not tell, if that makes sense. It’s obvious because of the NES style sound bits, but totally not obvious because it’s done so fucking well. Such an amazing release. Thanks for holding my hand through this Castlevania experience, Bitsy.
(D)(B)(H): Beyond Antibiotics (Human Conduct)
This is past free jazz. If you go to the jazz store, this wont be in the free bin. It will be in the dumpster out back in the same trash bag as some discarded coffee grounds and Larry’s lunch. Larry owns the jazz store and eats a lot of seafood, so that ain’t helping the situation. (D)(B)(H) unite here in the form of a sextet with human names Justin Rhody, Marty Belcher, Daniel Wick, John McCormick, Joe Stone, and Chris Rall. The boys casually blow on a sax, drop chains on drum heads, trip over Ikea furniture, and generally make a masterwork of cellar zones. Larry’s is open Weds–Fri from noon to 3:27 PM.
Ryan Emmett: Portrait Of A Dog (Orange Milk)
I love this tape because it weirds me out. Each movement is a slither through an unsettling world. A world that survives in the French drain of a chilled, cloudy basement. Ryan Emmett glides opaque rhythms, foggy samples, and crackling squiggles of sound through the rocks and slime, forming super chill(ing) pieces. Elements that by all means shouldn’t get under your skin, like a quick shot of Billy Paul's "Me and Mrs. Jones" or "techslo" (I’m coining that as a genre right now) get a bleak treatment. If you like jazz in haunted houses or that bit of saliva that collected in the corners of my 8th grade math teachers mouth, then grip Portrait Of A Dog and listen to it naked.
Cruudeuces / Homogenized Terrestrials / Andrew Quitter / Dog Hallucination: The Moon Is Hungry (Intangible Cat)
An exquisitely designed double cassette release featuring four artists with sounds equally as divine. Each act gets ten minutes to hatch their jams. The “Moon Tape” see’s Homogenized Terrestrials and Andrew Quitter calmly spilling introspective repose down the drain. Creamy accelerations and tinges of hypnotic surges wash out the tape. The “Earth Tape” offers Cruudeuces lo-fi basement deterioration, muddled and crushed, along with Dog Hallucination’s caramelized ocean of lavish sound.
Lockbox: Prince Soul Grenade (Hausu Mountain)
First off, I can’t listen/look/hold this cassette without thinking about the Al Gore / George Bush 2000-debate sketch on SNL. Just wanted to get that out of the way. Another month, another mind warper from Hausu Mountain, a label quickly becoming a fave for me. They released that unbelievable D/A/D tape I wrote about last December and now this brisk, choppy lunatic Lockbox. Lockbox pushes absurdly animated jolts of sound oddities native to minimal techno, R&B, and hip hop down hyper-swirled hallways. The results are slanted and agitated with breakneck melodies that will leave cartoon birds swirling around your noggin. It’s basically a super fucked tape. You know what is even more fucked though? The fact that the person behind Lockbox, Jesse Briata, was like 4 years old at that Gore/Bush debate. ”Lockbox” – Al Gore
Friesen / Waters Duo: S/T (Shaking Box Music)
A deep relaxer here. A total set-your-sails, late night lounge-and-feel-it session. I’m going to guess first names, then go check. Derek Friesen and LaPonzo Waters….. No, Devin and Nate. It’s Devin and Nate. So Devin and Nate play guitar and alto sax, respectively, in mega-loose yet tight knit improvisations. They range from spacey and fragile floatation devices to thick, hefty anchors of drone. It’s a cacophony, but still in calm waters. I feel like I’ve been saying a lot about boats and boating. Shit, just remembered the one dude’s name is Waters. Get this.
Sparkling Wide Pressure: Press Reverse And Give Me The Tape (Lillerne)
I’ve heard oodles of Frank Baugh’s Sparkling Wide Pressure material in my time, but hot damn this is a puuuurty one. Not that his previous material is of an insufficient ilk, far from it, brah. But on Press Reverse And Give Me The Tape, Baugh does an ultra-sublime job of blending his styles of warm and relieving guitar ambiance and its fireside folkish acoustic brethren with silo’d vocals in cerebral sound environments. The B side-long track "Holiday World (New Lives)" really shows off the tape’s dreamy pop potency. There are a bunch of easy comparisons that could be made to “big names” but don’t worry about that BS. Just grip this tape and leave those fools in the iTunes store.
Bloodbeat & Aerobicide (Gutter Corpse)
Bloodbeat and Aerobicide are not the names of the artists on these tapes. In fact, you don’t even get to know the names of the artists on these tapes. Allow myself to explain… myself. Gutter Corpse is a fresh label out of Georgia that release sound collages made from the audio of obscure films, and they do it anonymously. The material is a lo-fi sound stew of recycled music, dialogue, and sound effects dubbed onto cassettes with laser etched shells. I wrote a little about Gutter Corpse on Tabs Out and can’t wait to see what’s next from them.
Jason Zeh / Developer Split (Factotum)
A dope split from two of the dopest gentleman. Matt Reis’ Developer material is a bombast of layered racket and squirts of freako sound jabs. A discordant montage of choppiness that eventually takes a menacing snack break/fade out. Zeh’s side is a gnarly unfolding of tape loops and looming tones that mingle with shots of static. No sound clips anywhere online because Factotum is so raw.