subota, 1. lipnja 2013.

I Had An Accident Records + best in cassette culture [Fact magazine]

Carstvo kasetnih izdanja underground eksperimentalne muzike.

I Had An Accident Records Mix + Q&A with label owner Justin Bieler | SCV Podcasts Vol 157

It’s a stunning reality to scroll into the online archives of I Had An Accident Records cassette releases and see all the sold out labeled items. Beginning in an era when cassette tapes were nowhere close to as popular as they have become again, they have become a catalyst to this collective interest in the cassette format. The labels track record for bridging some of the best sounds over the experimental grid of modern music is unparalleled and it’s overwhelming inspirational to see how this project has been conducted by the labels small staff. If one could create a map of all the artists and those artists closest networks, you’d have a web that would blanket the world in every way possible. It’s these types of projects that are the ones we believe in the most, creating a bridge that goes far beyond one notch of time and can be a timeless component of how culture evolves.
Label owner Justin Bieler has set out a vigorous path with the label, becoming one of the leading underground cassette tape owners in the world right now. The label offers other mediums but the cassette format has been their choice of print since day one. To officially begin our special label mix series with exclusive interviews from the owners, we offer this very special hour mix and interview into the world of I Had An Accident Records. The tracks were compiled by Justin and were then mixed down by Sound Colour Vibration’s podcast team. Justin also shed some light into the mind set of what has brought I Had An Accident Records to the place it is at today with our exclusive interview. We welcome you to join us for this special release and will have plenty more articles of this nature in the future.
Justin Bieler presents an exclusive IHAA Records Label Mix
Tracks compiled by Justin Bieler, podcast mixed by SACVS
Stream the hour long podcast via Mixcloud by Clicking Here
*I Had An Accident Records Mix Notes from label owner Justin Bieler
Tim Kinsella – Can’t Own A Home
From the album Field Recordings Of Dreams. Interesting guitar methods while tripping on shrooms, Tim Kinsella is famed for his works with Cap’n Jazz, Owls, and Joan Of Arc. A true honor to work with such an amazing artist.
ORPHAN – Day Drunk Dial
Our very favorite vocalist, ORPHAN (aka DenMother) produces haunting loops and vocal waves that remind me of staying sleeping in bed on a cold morning.
Andrew Felix – Guilt Bullet
From the album “Clean” – Andrew Felix produces atmospheric sounds that encounter some tough beats in a very enchanting track.
Walter Gross – In America
From the epic LA Pink Filth, Walter Gross’ interpretation of his experience moving to LA. Walter Gross is an amazing influence on the label. Grimey beats and samples.
Babelfishh – Vomitting Wallets
Our favorite blend of metal and hip hop, Babelfishh owns this track, his vocal styling is out of this world.
Asiatic – Erb N Warfare
Featured on the Urban Warfare comp and the newly released Asiatic debut Problem: Attic. We absolutely love Asiatic, he is a good friend, a joy to talk with, and his stories are real. Hard hip hop that we absolutely love listening to.
Son Of A Bricklayer – Moose Without Antlers Side A
Side A completely blew me away on first listen. Son Of A Bricklayer continues to make some amazing beats and his albums are some of our favorite music pieces, this album may be my favorite ihaa release.
Coyote Clean Up – Double Damage
From the rare cassingle with DenMother titled #blast. Double Damage is the chilled vibes Coyote Clean Up has perfected. Complete dub style sounds, Detroit noise.
Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier – Vasuvio Breath
The rare four way split titled Brief Obessions featured two rare tracks by Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier. We released her Tropical Malady about a year prior – this track is very soothing, very organic, as typical with JSLPC.
Self-proclaimed drag disco, this track is chilling, very dark. From The Spirit Of Opposition, the whole album is dark and harsh like this, like dancing with the dead.
Blvck Ceiling – The Devil Rides Out
Witch house is one of those subgenre’s that some hate, some love. I think Blvck Ceiling is our favorite member of this genre. This was from an album that sold out in 12 hours. Truly amazing material.
Mountainhead – Illumina Faciem Tuam
One of my favorite albums was Gesualdo’s Sacred Music for Five Voices, Mountainhead provides a very soothing and beautiful reintepretation of this album.
SCV interview with I Had An Accident Records label owner Justin Bieler
Conducted by Erik Otis
Sound Colour Vibration: ihaa Records is one of our favorite tape labels, probably our most favorite one. It’s been a big treat for us to connect with all of you on the label and is especially rewarding now that we get to pick your brain on what the label stands for, the history and more. When did ihaa first begin and who were the first people in place that have the label the type of success it is?
I Had An Accident Records: Thank you for allowing us to be part of this. I think it is very clear that Sound Color Vibration takes writing seriously and we value the integrity in your writing.
As the story goes, in 2006 ihaa was formed between Seamus Williams and myself. As I moved from Massachusetts to Oregon the label served as a way for us to remain connected. I don’t think either of us thought of the label as something that would be successful, but instead an outlet for our own creative ideas. Seamus kind of got into other things and slowly detached himself from the label. The type of success we experience at this point comes from the constant devotion we put into the label. Considering how isolated I am to the rest of the world I think it is pretty amazing we are in the place we are today.
SCV: Cassette releases are gaining strength again, especially considering the independent artists who have means to press something in the analog domain without the extremely high prices of vinyl manufacturing. On a sonic level, I don’t hear a lot of people talk about the sound you get from tapes but it’s one of my favorites. What reasons exactly came to shape for the direction the label has taken with cassette tape releases?
ihaa: I Had An Accident started at the end of the decline of the CD. We really struggled to make sense of utilizing that format so in 2009 we made a switch from CDr to Cassette. It was a new territory for us, and we have grown considerably since our first cassette release. We have learned so much and have really set a standard for cassette labels. We have helped build labels and consulted with others. We sell bulk cassettes and give away free advice to so many people.
The sound from tapes really relies on equipment more so than CDrs. It becomes an art in itself creating a master tape and duplicating the cassettes. The quality of sound will depend on the tools you are using. We don’t use Goodwill or found cassette decks. We have a very expensive deck and a professional grade duplicator. We tend to purchase the most expensive tape and spend a lot of time trying to perfect the levels for our output. It took a few years to build out our equipment to what it is today, but I think it pays off as we have a great system and are able to maintain a DIY ethic in creating our tapes. I think if you have the right equipment the sound from a tape isn’t as bad as its reputation. Out of 1,000 cassette labels out there self-duplicating I’d have to say we are probably one of the top ones as far as integrity and quality.
The cassette tape preserves the physical format. I recently bought a few CDs from an artist I really enjoy. When they arrived I burned them onto my iPod and now the CDs set on a shelf somewhere. I have no reason to check out the CD anymore, the mp3 format or aif/wav formats provide an almost carbon copy of the same sound quality of the CD, so I don’t know why I would bother carrying around CDs and a discman anymore. The cassette has its own character. I know not everyone has a great tape deck, let alone a tape deck at all, but part of the charm of the tape is how it can change or recreate the impression of the music. I am still blown away by tapes I listen to on my deck. I don’t even have the best speakers and it all sounds so good. We offer an mp3 download for each release so people can enjoy the album if they don’t have a cassette deck, or if they want to go for a jog or sit at work and not have to have a stack of tapes to go through. When I am at my day job I only listen to my iPod. I find the digital format important.
Lastly, our tapes are a thing of beauty. We made a website of all the photos we take of our tapes, – not to sound conceded but we work hard finding the different color tapes we use and spend a lot of money on it because we love how it all looks.
SCV: Who are the artists on the roster that are coming on for first releases and whose been with the label since the beginning?
ihaa: The label was created as a way for myself and Seamus to release our own material. Our early collaborations were as Heart Heart Julia. From the very beginning Heart Heart Julia was the major focus of the label. I replaced Seamus with George Dutton from England who really allowed the sound of the band to go into directions I never thought possible.
Andrew Felix is one of our favorite artists and we have done four releases with him. I don’t think Felix has done any other physical releases, he has done some amazing digital releases outside of ihaa. I’d love to see him do whatever he wants, and hope that means a few more releases with us. Walter Gross found a warm home in our hearts early on. He has since bridged out to do his own WGRecords to obtain more creative control of his own process, but we are extremely lucky to have a large part of his history on our label.
Coyote Clean Up was “discovered” by our vanity label Afternoons Modeling and we were able to release his earliest tapes before his talents were properly realized and I think he has some vinyl and other releases coming up in the future. I want to mention DenMother as another person we adore. Previously known as ORPHAN and Oliver, we continuously go to her for vocal contributions and solo work. I am not sure if she realizes it or not, but she is one of our favorite people to work with. We literally discovered Asiatic and hope to work with him on future projects.
SCV: What challenges have you overcome as a label owner and what are some of the biggest goals you have reached within the original structure of what you planned the label to be?
ihaa: The largest challenge for us is the marketing piece. I live in Annapolis, Maryland. The music scene here is non-existent after Walter Gross left for Los Angeles. I wish I lived in an area where I could be a physical part of a scene, but I’m not. Overcoming this obstacle and being as successful as I am now is a pleasant surprise. Our original goal was to just have someone buy our music, and we were able to do that. Our original structure really called for handmade packaging and working with friends. Somewhere along the road we decided to produce more professional looking packaging. Our goal now is to just stay simple, remain connected to friends and try not to get too big. We never thought we’d make it this far, and we are very happy to have met as many friends we have along the way.
SCV: What are your goals now that the label has been expanding in awareness more so than ever?
ihaa: It’s hard to believe we have expanded and grown this much. We are focused on continuing to release tapes we strongly believe in, but we don’t want to change what we are doing. We’ve been asked to do vinyl, we’ve always said no… our favorite artist approached us last week about vinyl and we had to say no. We are really passionate about tapes and hope that we continue to be noticed for all our integrity and hard work.
SCV: When you are checking new materials to possibly release, what type of things do you look for or don’t look for to preserve the standard your label has stood for since the beginning?
ihaa: We get a lot of people e-mailing us. We listen to most of it, usually we look for people we already know. We are really interested in helping out friends and working with people that we can have a friendship with. I don’t really like the business approach as much as the socialization and working together. We have maintained a balance of releasing tapes by well respected artists and artists no one has heard of, from beat/hip hop, noise, and ambient releases, the common thread is the friendship we have with our artists. We look for artists that want to work with us, that are not trying to play “collect them all” with releasing as many releases on as many labels as they can… we are really interested in people that are investing their time in the album as we commit to doing the same.
SCV: Who is a part of the team that you could not do without?
ihaa: Hands down Walter Gross. I don’t even know if he even realizes how much we owe him. I remember the first time I met him, I was smoking a cigarette outside of a bar in downtown Annapolis and he approaches me to hand me a flyer of some show he was putting on. I didn’t bother showing up or anything… but this was in 2007, and I started Myspace stalking him a little. It took awhile before I saved enough money to approach him about doing a release and in 2009 we released LA Pink Filth. That album set a new tone and direction for the label and had we not met him we would probably still be in the dark.
I think getting to know Coyote Clean Up also helped us learn more about ourselves. Clearly a very successful artist, his sound gave us some needed attention and taught us how to better communicate with blogs and promoters. Despite him being a cool person to talk to. DenMother is another amazing artist that has helped shape the label, or maybe the label helped shape her… We constantly push her in directions we want her to go and are always amazed with everything she puts out. We are excited to have her be part of two of our upcoming releases in 2013. I think we also have to thank and appreciate all the artists we have worked with over the years, it has been a pleasure to get to know so many people. Jono from Daytime Television has helped introduce us to many people. Devin Dart from Felt Cat Tapes helped us launch into the tape world. Collectively we value each artist we work with and each one brings something special to the table.
SCV: How did the name for the label come about?
ihaa: It was a better name than Penis Culture. That was our two options. I actually have to credit Seamus for the name, and I don’t know how he came up with it – but if you knew him it would make perfect sense. Today I think about it as a philosophy for how we live our lives. Beautify is in the accident, the imperfection… and how often do we create our greatest art pieces by a series of accidents? It just seems to be a reoccurring theme for us at this point.
Oddly enough, dealing with banks has been interesting. I recall one prime example I’ll briefly share. I recently closed one of the ihaa accounts. As I was sitting with the bank employee, my son was running around and being a typical 3 year old boy. I finally calm my son down and have him sitting in my lap when the bank employee asks me what my business name is… rightly so I reply “I had An Accident.” The lady quickly replies “no, what is the name of your business?” I don’t know if she thought I was sharing with her that I just shit myself, or if I misunderstood her question and somehow thought that would be the appropriate response… but I have 1,000 similar stories whenever I go to the bank. And my name is Justin Bieler so I end up getting weird comparisons to that assclown Justin Bieber too. I feel like Michael Bolton from Office Space some days.
SCV: Hahaha, that’s fucking crazy and a damn good film. Where is the label going in 2013 and can we expect any big changes in the structure of purpose of the label?
ihaa: 2012 was a busy year – we came into the year thinking we would release 12 albums… and ended up releasing lord knows how many. In 2013 we plan to reduce the amount of albums we do. With that being said, we have about 20 projects being worked on right now including some amazing artists, DMN SLYR, Son Of A Bricklayer, Tin Window, ORMUS, Shtyro, Feend, Walter Gross… Visitor has been in contact with us… TEAADORA… I have a new project called Lakeside Summer Homes, and another called ‘89palms. I’m missing some good ones, but really – 2013 will be great. We are going to continue hitting hard and work on improving quality more and more to make the best tapes we can.
Check out various tracks from some of the latest IHAA Records releases, streaming via Bandcamp





Below is a small collection of photos taken for the 100′s of releases on the label over the last few years. Listen to a majority of the archive via Bandcamp here.

on bandcamp:

  • Beynon Archival c48
    Works From The Beynon School Of Audio Architecture – Beynon Archival c48
    Sold out
  • Clearing c42
    Scratch – Clearing c42
    Sold out
  • Marina Stewart c10
    Horreur Tape – Marina Stewart c10
    Sold out
  • Jaqkquil / Ectoplasm c40
    Ectoplasm / Jaqkquil – Jaqkquil / Ectoplasm c40
    $6 USD
  • TEAADORA c40
    A Jemais Vierge / VIRGIN FOREVER – TEAADORA c40
    $6 USD
  • Funeral Club c32
    Red Mountain – Funeral Club c32
    $6 USD
  • That Was Then This Is Now c36
    That Was Then This Is Now – That Was Then This Is Now c36
    Sold out
  • Blvck Ceiling c30
    VOID – Blvck Ceiling c30
    $6 USD
  • Shtyro c32
    Live Vile – Shtyro c32
    $5 USD
  • Boogie Boy Metal Mouth c40
    Boogie Boy Metal Mouth – Boogie Boy Metal Mouth c40
    Sold out
  • Feend c30
    Secrets – Feend c30
    Sold out
  • '89palms c8
    Sunshine – '89palms c8
    $5 USD
  • Poems Of Dead Kings c25
    Poems Of Dead Kings – Poems Of Dead Kings c25
    Sold out
  • Ki Choquette c20
    The Glimmer Of A Movement In The Stillness Of Water – Ki Choquette c20
    Sold out
  • Heart Heart Julia c56
    Love And Be Judged – Heart Heart Julia c56
    Sold out
  • Thegntlmn c44
    Earbuds Vol 1 & 2 – Thegntlmn c44
    $6 USD
  • Bizzart c30
    Grey Goo – Bizzart c30
    Sold out
  • Perkin Warbek c70
    L'Anathème d'une Bicyclette – Perkin Warbek c70
    $6 USD
  • Asiatic c35
    Problem: Attic – Asiatic c35
    Sold out
  • Babelfishh c32
    Howl Bender – Babelfishh c32
    Sold out
  • Son Of A Bricklayer / Andrew Felix c21
    Aquatic / Forsaken Worship – Son Of A Bricklayer / Andrew Felix c21
    Sold out
  • Blvck Ceiling c26
    BASTIAN – Blvck Ceiling c26
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    The Spirit Of Opposition – TEXTBEAK - N - TNDROND c48
    Sold out
  • Fear Konstruktor c32
    Green River Shores – Fear Konstruktor c32
    Sold out
  • Choplifta | no_signal c67 / DVDr
    Pile Of Accidents – Choplifta | no_signal c67 / DVDr
    Sold out
  • Sam Hatzaras c32
    2007 - 2012 – Sam Hatzaras c32
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  • DenMother c32
    Insides Out – DenMother c32
    Sold out
  • Julia LaDense c44
    Destinations – Julia LaDense c44
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  • FRKSE c40
    Scholar Drugs – FRKSE c40
    Sold out
  • Ops Esponja / Pocket Change c40
    Infected With Desire – Ops Esponja / Pocket Change c40
    $6 USD
  • Sao c40
    Hollow Earth – Sao c40
    Sold out
  • Heart Heart Julia c15
    Dreams of Ways of Killing Her – Heart Heart Julia c15
    Sold out
  • Wilhelm / Romart c40
    Melody For A Broken Heart – Wilhelm / Romart c40
    Sold out
  • Coyote Clean Up c32
    Double Doom – Coyote Clean Up c32
    Sold out
  • Andrew Felix c21
    Intermediate State (Enter) – Andrew Felix c21
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  • Blvck Ceiling c20
    SHVDOW – Blvck Ceiling c20
    Sold out
  • Big Epoch & Gothic Cholo c56
    Double Reserve – Big Epoch & Gothic Cholo c56
    Sold out
  • Orange Blossom Flyover c31
    Museum Magazine – Orange Blossom Flyover c31
    Sold out
  • Clearing c40
    Stride – Clearing c40
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  • Ectoplasm with DenMother c26
    416 – Ectoplasm with DenMother c26
    Sold out
  • Dopo Dormi c21
    Bought The Ranch – Dopo Dormi c21
    Sold out
  • Ops Esponja c35
    Soaked Salad Wedding Dress (Special Deluxe) – Ops Esponja c35
    Sold out
  • Fukushima Daiichi c32
    Fukushima Daiichi – Fukushima Daiichi c32
    Sold out
  • Julia LaDense / NRYY c50
    Nothing Is Special – Julia LaDense / NRYY c50
    Sold out
  • ___dREàgänN!!!!!! / Julia LaDense & Mantichora c62
    dark. – ___dREàgänN!!!!!! / Julia LaDense & Mantichora c62
    Sold out
  • (the aGitator) c44
    Music for Sensitive Teeth – (the aGitator) c44
    Sold out
  • Justinus Primitive c40
    Children Of The Law Of One – Justinus Primitive c40
    $6 USD
  • Orange Blossom Flyover / Daytime Television c31
    23 ☯ 45 – Orange Blossom Flyover / Daytime Television c31
    Sold out
  • Rivière Amur c34
    Bois Flotté – Rivière Amur c34
    Sold out
  • Grassa Dato / Winter Sunset c28
    ∃! – Grassa Dato / Winter Sunset c28
    Sold out
  • Various 2xc32
    Brief Obsessions – Various 2xc32
    Sold out
  • Slow Head c36
    Concealer – Slow Head c36
    Sold out
  • Big Epoch & Julia LaDense / Bizzart c11
    Realife – Big Epoch & Julia LaDense / Bizzart c11
    Sold out
  • Coyote Clean Up / DenMother c14
    #blast – Coyote Clean Up / DenMother c14
    Sold out
  • Son Of A Bricklayer c24
    Moose Without Antlers – Son Of A Bricklayer c24
    Sold out
  • Mantichora c20
    The Humidity Of Blood – Mantichora c20
    Sold out
  • Mountainhead / Julia LaDense c78
    5 Voices – Mountainhead / Julia LaDense c78
    Sold out
  • TTTRRRAAASSSHHH / Penis Culture c20
    Make Em Bleed Bitch – TTTRRRAAASSSHHH / Penis Culture c20
    Sold out
  • Ectoplasm c58
    Winter – Ectoplasm c58
    Sold out
  • Andrew Felix c20
    Intermediate State – Andrew Felix c20
    Sold out
  • Holysangreciqleta c16
    Holysangreciqleta – Holysangreciqleta c16
    Sold out
  • Igor Amokian / Brian Green c32
    Towards The Sun – Igor Amokian / Brian Green c32
    Sold out
  • Babelfishh c32
    Eyeless Terror – Babelfishh c32
    Sold out
  • Inappropriate King Live & Julia LaDense c16
    Great Americans – Inappropriate King Live & Julia LaDense c16
    Sold out
  • Jono & Julia / Microwave Windows c32
    No Murder – Jono & Julia / Microwave Windows c32
    Sold out
  • ORPHAN | Oliver c32
    Three Times Away – ORPHAN | Oliver c32
    Sold out
  • Julia LaDense c44
    Bored House Wife – Julia LaDense c44
    Sold out
  • Asiatic / GpK / Rajbot / Fear Konstruktor c62
    Urban Warfare – Asiatic / GpK / Rajbot / Fear Konstruktor c62
    Sold out
  • Lost And Found Sound c62
    All Day Deja Vu – Lost And Found Sound c62
    Sold out
  • halluciphile c88
    Love Dad – halluciphile c88
    Sold out
  • Dead Birds c62
    Dead Birds – Dead Birds c62
    Sold out
  • FRKSE c44
    FRKSE – FRKSE c44
    Sold out
  • Julia LaDense / Brian Green c62
    Dead To Me – Julia LaDense / Brian Green c62
    Sold out
  • Worthless Waste c44 / DVDr
    Worthless Waste – Worthless Waste c44 / DVDr
    Sold out
  • Heart Heart Julia c62
    Fables – Heart Heart Julia c62
    Sold out
  • Walter Gross c62
    Megametalmix – Walter Gross c62
    Sold out
  • polO c20
    polO – polO c20
    Sold out
  • Make Believe Bombs c13
    M A G I C K C O L O R V I S I O N – Make Believe Bombs c13
    Sold out
  • Michael Nhat c40
    Just Plain Dying – Michael Nhat c40
    Sold out
  • Tenshun c40
    Mental Suicide – Tenshun c40
    Sold out
  • Psychopop c20
    Double Death – Psychopop c20
    Sold out
  • Bizzart 2x c46
    III – Bizzart 2x c46
    Sold out
  • The Big SADs c32
    Detritus Containus – The Big SADs c32
    Sold out
  • racecardriver c32
    Lake Metroid – racecardriver c32
    Sold out
  • Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier c36
    Tropical Malady – Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier c36
    Sold out
  • Sun Of 81 c32
    Sun Of 81 – Sun Of 81 c32
    Sold out
  • Elevator Boy c62
    Elevator Boy – Elevator Boy c62
    Sold out
  • Coyote Clean Up c32
    Downhill Exxxpress – Coyote Clean Up c32
    Sold out
  • Fear Konstruktor c47
    Mystery Play – Fear Konstruktor c47
    Sold out
  • Andrew Felix c32
    Clean – Andrew Felix c32
    Sold out
  • Headless Kamikaze c10
    Unretrofied. Busted. Killed. And Not Buried – Headless Kamikaze c10
    Sold out
  • Sensible Nectar c32
    Trilateral Commission – Sensible Nectar c32
    Sold out
  • Walter Gross CDR
    Live From Switzerland – Walter Gross CDR
    Sold out
  • Skrapez c62
    Witch Craft – Skrapez c62
    Sold out
  • Bears On Parade c47
    This is Not For You – Bears On Parade c47
    Sold out
  • Tenshun / Screwtape / Julia LaDense c92
    35 Ways – Tenshun / Screwtape / Julia LaDense c92
    Sold out
  • Yana/Make Believe Bombs/Daytime Tv/J. LaDense c62
    Hot Dog Party – Yana/Make Believe Bombs/Daytime Tv/J. LaDense c62
    Sold out
  • Screwtape c60
    A Poor Man's Hypnotic – Screwtape c60
    Sold out
  • ORPHAN c32
    I Don't Have A Home – ORPHAN c32
    Sold out
  • Walter Gross c50
    Solitude – Walter Gross c50
    Sold out
  • Tenshun c32
    Recurring Nightmare – Tenshun c32
    Sold out
  • Chrissy and Julia c30
    Getting Dirty With – Chrissy and Julia c30
    Sold out
  • Walter Gross | Julia LaDense 2x c62
    So Fucken Ghetto/Sin – Walter Gross | Julia LaDense 2x c62
    Sold out
  • Blood Blood c47
    Autumn/Harvest – Blood Blood c47
    Sold out
  • Walter Gross CDr
    Madman – Walter Gross CDr
    Sold out
  • Screwtape c53
    The Mocking Of The Devil – Screwtape c53
    Sold out
  • Shh... This Is A Library c44
    Dream Big – Shh... This Is A Library c44
    Sold out
  • Walter Gross c35 | CDr
    LA Pink Filth – Walter Gross c35 | CDr
    Sold out
  • Sam Francis CDr
    Pure Masonic Zeal! – Sam Francis CDr
    Sold out
  • Heart Heart Julia c62 | CDr
    Lord Did She Sing – Heart Heart Julia c62 | CDr
    Sold out
  • Heart Heart Julia c66 | CDr
    Soundtrack For Anthropologie – Heart Heart Julia c66 | CDr
    Sold out
  • Shh... This Is A Library CDr
    Well Played – Shh... This Is A Library CDr
    Sold out
  • Julia LaDense c44 | CDr
    Pussy Willow – Julia LaDense c44 | CDr
    Sold out
  • Heart Heart Julia c62 | CDr
    The Astorians – Heart Heart Julia c62 | CDr
    Sold out
  • by The Lamb And The Tyger CDr
    The Lamb And The Tyger – by The Lamb And The Tyger CDr
    Sold out
  • Sam Francis CDr
    The Roarkian Template – Sam Francis CDr
    Sold out
  • Needles c62
    American Spirits – Needles c62
    Sold out
  • Shh... This Is A Library CDr
    Shh... This Is A Library – Shh... This Is A Library CDr
    Sold out
  • Tim Kinsella CD
    Field Recordings of Dreams – Tim Kinsella CD
    Sold out
  • The Schwas c44
    Limited 50 – The Schwas c44
    Sold out
  • Switchblade Dicks c44
    The New Sound – Switchblade Dicks c44
    Sold out

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    Looks like I was premature in 2008 when I was eagerly contemplating the demise of the cassette tape as a music format. Earlier this year I bought a music cassette for the first time since the early 1980s, albeit inadvertently since this was the compilation that came with The Twilight Language of Nigel Kneale (more about that at a later date). This week Phil Legard of Xenis Emputae Travelling Band very generously sent a copy of his latest release, Three Spirits, which is another cassette edition. And to top things off, FACT magazine this week launched a review section for new cassette releases. So much for the format being moribund.
    I have to admit my anti-cassette animus has largely dissipated now there’s no reason to rely on them for anything. And I did hang on to my cassette deck… Switching that on for the first time in years and pressing “play” was a considerable novelty, as was the inevitable tape hiss that’s absent from most contemporary releases unless your name is Pye Corner Audio. The resurgence of the format is both interesting and understandable: interesting for its being another example of the way the future never unfolds in a predictable manner; understandable because cassettes are relatively cheap to produce, and there’s still a very evident market for material, analogue artefacts. And the novelty is present, of course, for people young enough to miss out on the delight of friends’ cheap tape machines chewing their lovingly-crafted compilations.
    As to Three Spirits, it’s an excellent release, two sides of sublime atmospheres which at times sound like a local equivalent of Popol Vuh. I’ll be playing this one a lot. Phil writes about the music here, and there’s also a video for one of the tracks. -

    Following on from our Best Bandcamp Releases Of The Month, we’re thrilled to announced a second new column, this time digesting the best contemporary cassette releases. The cassette circuit is a wellspring of inventive and surprising music – and more often than not, the best releases get minimal-to-zero coverage. In the first instalment of a new monthly column, Brad Rose – boss of nonpareil cassette and vinyl label Digitalis Recordings - picks out the cream of under-the-radar tape releases from the last month or so. 

    The number of tapes being released on large and small labels alike these days is ridiculous, and trying to wade through all of it is an impossible task.
    Worse is how many of these cassettes are nice enough but generally unremarkable.  As always, though, there are a handful that stand out from the pack, yet too often go unnoticed.
    This month we dig into subterranean electronics from Black Hat, the industrial grime of Lavas Magmas, Beaunoise getting his remix action on, echo-heavy Pod Blotz, New Age stealth from Discoverer, and a weird as hell tape called Shampoing and Toner.
    Seattle’s Nelson Bean is a relatively new name to me, but this first full-length effort is a doozy.  Electro-tribalism kicks things off on ‘Ashe’ with minimal, dub-infused basslines crawling along beneath layer-after-layer of smoked rhythms. ‘Jaune’ skitters through greyscale landscapes, looped harp samples circling around glitches in the mainframe. Those same scattered beats return on album closer, “Singing Point,” acting as the anchor for Bean’s penchant for experimentalism. It all takes on the feeling of ghost radio stations transmitting from some other realm while the dense thrum of ‘Arabesque’ keeps the proceedings grounded. Covalence is a horror soundtrack from a bleak, distant future.
    INT.eruption is crunchy. Luiz Gonzalez does an incredible job of crafting atmospheres out of unrecognizable piles of gear. This is music that is intricate and dark, a rotting industrial carcass finding a second life amongst the decay.  On first listen one would thinkINT.eruption is heavily dosed with processed field recordings, but dig deeper and nothing is clear. Spectral gears grind in shutdown factories while insects invade through tonal squelches and electronic sonic drips. Makeshift percussion perches below cascading synth melodies that are fading underneath mountains of hiss offering sweeping views of the desolate landscape that Lavas Magmas inhabits. Gonzalez is on top of his game here and this is, by far, his most accomplished work to date.
    This is the kind of thing I would normally hate. Remixes of well-known tunes are practically a cancer these days, popping up everywhere you don’t want them, turning already interesting things into overworked shit.  And yet, I can’t hate on veteran studio engineer (Death Cab for Cutie, Sparklehorse, etc) Beau Sorensen’s album of remixes under his Beaunoise guise.  A big reason this works is his choice of tunes to deconstruct: from the sensual stomp of Barry White’s ‘Playin’ Your Game, Baby’ to the melodic glitch of The Cyclist’s ‘Technicolor!’ and bass blasts of the Kelis anthem, ‘Milkshake’, everything on Remixes flows. This feels less like a collection of random projects and more like an actual Beaunoise album and that’s where Sorenson’s considerable chops come into play. ‘Green Light’ (originally by Leisure and featuring Clive Tanaka) is the real standout, though, sounding like a long-lost outtake from Tanaka’s excellent Jet Set Siempre, and promises to be one of my go-to summer grooves.
    I’ve never really been able to get my head around the Dungeon Taxis label.  There’s an air of mystery surrounding it with the minimally informative website and roster that spans the globe making it difficult to find any particular narrative to latch onto. In the end, that works to their advantage, requiring listeners to consider individual releases on their own rather than part of some overarching chronicle and Pod Blotz – an artist who has been as consistently great as she has been consistently under the radar – is an excellent example of that. Timeless is Suzy Poling’s 20th (by my count) release under this moniker and it’s one of her best.  Swamped drones reverberate through concrete walls, echoing screwed voices into oblivion while bent rhythms pulse and holler.  Poling begins to wail in the distance adding a harrowing edge to this foggy aural soup.  At only 20 minutes (or thereabouts), Timeless still leaves a lasting mark.
    Kansas City’s Discoverer aka Brandon Knocke follows up his debut LP, Tunnels (full-disclosure: I released said LP) with something almost unrecognizable to anyone that’s followed the project since his debut, Build a Base.  Released on VCO (a label co-run by Zombi’s Steve Moore), Mind Deco trades in Knocke’s affinity for funk-inspired beats and basslines for glassine swirls and crystallized synth progressions. ‘Origami’ is fluid, constantly moving forward over low-key grooves while the album’s title track is a blur of washed-out neon drones.  Closer ‘Image Size’ should soundtrack underwater dancefloors everywhere. There’s a certain New Age pastiche element that’s new to Knocke’s solo work, but there’s a depth to his work that a lot of imitators can’t seem to reach.
    This one is a bit of a mystery to me to the point that I don’t even know how I ended up with a copy of it. There’s a long, somewhat ridiculous backstory you can read here, but ostensibly this is a pretty great beat tape from a couple weirdos from Montreal. Sample choices and inspiration ranges from unreleased SWV tracks to J Dilla tribute band rehearsals on contributions from a whole bunch of beat makers like Dr. MaD, KenLo, Malky, and others I’m only aware of because of this tape. In fact, if you told me it was all just one guy with 10 different pseudonyms, I’d just quietly nod an acknowledgement. None of that changes the fact that the 11 tracks on Shampoing & Toner are a damn good time, sounding like a futuristic radio broadcast from Jupiter, complete with soupy interludes and static-filled beat smack. Techinically it’s (another) remix tape, but to me this qualifies as such in name only. I’m gonna have this looping in the car for the next month so anyone catching a ride, you’ve been warned. An aside: please release more beat “tapes” on actual, you know, tapes (same goes for mixtapes for that matter). It’s a beautiful thing. -

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