In this seventh installment of Who Has Tapes Anymore?, Mike Haley, Ian Franklin, and John Pyle of Tabs Out brings you some of their favorite cassette releases of the last month. Tabs Out celebrated its second birthday this past weekend.
Jeremiah Fisher: Martyrboys (Tonal Shit Research)
What you are diving into here is laser synthesis crawling deep inside the rain forest. Ya got one foot in a puddle, the other planted firmly on a hover board. This rich Silurian session from Jeremiah Fisher is our most recent Tape Of The Month over at Tabs Out. Fisher licks the toads, his synthesizers become them, and the following 30 minutes is an essential nudging of the brain. Pokes, prods, and splashes of absorbing sounds.
Surplus Killing: Loss Of Face (Unseen Force)
Full-on, kick-you-in-the-teeth assault is what this tape from duo Surplus Killing is about. With 32 songs in under 10 minutes, this release is staggering in its execution. No time is wasted and everything matters. Grind and noise combine with hairpin turns, stop-on-a-dime rhythm changes, and sonic howls of torment. Unrelenting and unforgiving, this is the closest thing to controlled chaos. Best played from start to finish for the full, blistering mind shakedown.
Jung An Tagen: Vielheiten (Feathered Coyote)
The debut release from Jung An Tagen sees energetic looped illusions play with an overwhelming array of fantastical beats and manic patterns. It all cultivates into an extraordinary color wheel of acid drenched avant-kraut-pop brilliance. A minimal electronic rabbit hole that dabbles in clap-track danceable workouts. This is something to get excited about is what I’m telling ya. It’s a debut release, which ya gotta be kidding me. Way too dope.
Underwater Death: The Day Of Red Light (Personal Archives)
This bipolar C17 from Underwater Death is an edition of 25 and it’s fucking stupid that it’s still available. Whether UD is dishing out wallowing drone or a vibrant procession of shimmering tones, it always sounds like the score of a creepo movie night down at the grimy-as-hell theater. It’s a short one, but you’ll still need a bath afterwards.
Joshua Dumas: Rough Matinals (Horror Fiction)
My favorite time of day is early morning. Before the sun creeps over the horizon, before the cars start bustling about, before anything seems to be happening at all. This is the time of day when Joshua Dumas recorded these beautifully transcendent solo piano pieces. But there is much more than solo piano playing here. Deep droning wash mixes with light and agile melodies. Sparse but at the same time fulfilling, you can feel the day’s hesitation exposed and laid bare.
En Nihil / Filth Split (Out Of Body)
This is a massively bleak and shadowy split from Out Of Body Records. En Nihil (Adam Fritz) starts things off, slowly building up the hazy gloom with sharp blows that morph into industrial tumult. The next three tracks are equally as crushing as he unloads obscene amounts of powerful rhythms and fierce feedback in calculated chaos. His sounds are huge and severe, but also manage to occasionally drug themselves and lurch like the little girl from The Ring. So tight. On the flip-side, Filth (label head Rob Buttrum) keeps the party going adding coarse, distorted vocals and nasty loops to a similar theme. His tracks aren’t as overbearing as En Nihil, but still give off a stench.
Matthew Akers: A History Of Arson (Out Of Body)
Hot fucking soup this is a dope tape! Matthew Akers pours the soundtrack to everyone’s science homework on History of Arson, blending Carpenter-style horror mode synths with drum machine techno techniques. The end results are glossy and tense, with silky arpeggios and midnight rhythms that beg for repeat listens. If you only listen to one cassette this year while wearing a lab coat and holding one of the weapons from Clue, then something is way wrong with you. But, if you MUST do that, make this that tape.
ADSW: Fixtures (The Centipede Farm)
I’m assuming this quartet headed into the basement for this one, playing it super loose with a pile of instruments, toys, and shit left over from previous tenants. Ma’ was cooking some spaghetti upstairs for everyone, sauce so spicy they can smell it. Just puts 'em in zones while they build mild brouhahas of kook-a-lot fiddling, nonsense, and *gasp* fun. You'll hear sloshy improv that gets chewed up and spit like chaw into an old High Life can. Shit, this sounds like a bad review, but I actually like it. It has a certain gutter summer romance to it. Good times.
Cask: Cask (Tranquility)
Comprised of ambient/drone veterans Chris Gowers, Katie English, Alex Smalley, and Simon Bainton, Cask made this longform exploration of sound and texture is a testament to each artists’ musical prowess. Seamlessly blending each other’s styles into a cohesive unit, this quartet feels self-confident and aware of it’s direction. Drifting beds of melody float and transform with the slightest of movements, shifting effortlessly in a morphing universe of minute splendor.
Forza Albino: Black Dog (Freak Animal)
Copenhagen/Posh Isolation all-stars tackle Come Organisation-style power electronics. While the presence of these individuals might be enough of a selling point, it's what isn’t here that really makes this stand out: unprocessed synths and minimal concrete sounds act as a stark backdrop for vocals that are somehow both visceral and detached. With little reliance on effects or production, Forza Albino has created what will likely be the PE release of the year.
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