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Tabs Out | New Batch – Hasana Editions

New Batch – Hasana Editions
2.23.18 by Mike Haley

You know that feeling of coming out of a daze, face down on a factory floor, discovering as your mind unblurs from it’s snooze that the workers around you are half robot, half bug? No…? Familiar or not, Hasana Editions has bottled up that tender confusion like hot sauce and wants to dose your eggs with it. Based in Bandung, Indonesia, Hasana is not a new label, but one that has been reimagined.

“Originally started in 2010 by artist Duto Hardono as Hasana Private Press, its project has evolved from publishing the artist’s own works to releasing seminal projects such as Bin Idris. It was defunct for a while before being revived in 2017. Now operated with partial support from the Faculty of Arts and Design, Bandung Institute of Technology, Hasana Editions attempts to tap into and reflect on the creative acts around the region, while fostering and connecting these acts to global scene.”

The two new tapes they have for us, all nestled in metallic paper with artwork far more straight forward than the audio, are a trip. Riar Rizaldi goes into deep Mr. McGoo zones on “I Only Have Visions for You.” Power tools rev and glasses of water spill, but each step taken across the scaffolding or through the kitchen avoid total disaster by a nail clipping. With McGoo, we ended up with a Leslie Nielsen movie. With Riar Rizaldi, we get a blustering, disjointed collage that almost spills boiling lobsters on itself. I’ll take Riar Rizaldi without flinching. And I fucking LOVE me some Nielsen. These sounds were laid to tape in 2017 in Seoul, South Korea.

Mahesa Almeida is more laid back. Not in the sense that they are relaxing pool side. No, more like they never got up off of that factory floor. “A LT O/P A N” is a dehydrated cassette tape that Mahesa chisels sound onto with a jeweler’s hammer and loupe. Sounds ruffle around like lumps being flattened out of a carpet. On the B side, Mahesa hints at his love for video games, sounding off miniature nods to arcade classics, but the motherboards have never been dustier.

Both artist find time to toil, clatter, and shake various objects, bringing fidgety racket front and center. Or maybe that is the bug-robot workers? Both are editions of 100.

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Tabs Out | Graham Repulski – Negative Highlight Reel

Graham Repulski – Negative Highlight Reel
2.23.18 by Ryan Masteller

Get used to it, because I’m pretty much going to always drop a GBV comp on Graham Repulski when I talk about him, and that shouldn’t make you shy away one bit. Sure, he’s got similar affectations as ol’ Bob Pollard, and his voice is right in the same register. Plus, he always records his scrappy rock tunes straight to 4-track, so everything’s blissfully in the red, a perfect complement to the pop rocks and Budweiser fizzing in the back of your brain. At least it feels like I got pop rocks and Budweiser fizzing around when I listen to Graham “Goddamn!” Repulski. He’s probably still reeling from that Eagles Super Bowl win.

Philadelphian or no (and yes, thanks, he is), Repulski channels that blue-collar do-it-yourself-ness of the City of Brotherly Love, curdling the sweet nectar of hope with the sour reality of toil into an at-once recognizable and also comforting concoction. And yeah, you take the good with the bad, and you roll with it no matter what – any Philly homer worth their salt gets it, and that’s why dreams really do come true for guys like Vince Papale and … Vince Papale, basically. Graham Repulski just likes to shake the soda can – the one containing the fizz (again) of your hopes and dreams – a little bit before handing it to you. It’s a Philly thing; maybe you wouldn’t understand.

Buy “Negative Highlight Reel” and 24 other amazing releases from the artist hisself; released January 28, so you can probably still get it. It’ll probably never sell out – I bet Graham just makes a new tape every time someone orders one anyway. Absolute DIY.

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Tabs Out | -otron – Prism Exhiliarated

-otron – Prism Exhiliarated
2.21.18 by Ryan Masteller

The designation “-otron” is much more versatile than you might originally think. Consider, how would you watch replays at your favorite gridiron team’s stadium without a jumbotron? Or, how would you research the most hilarious quotes and make the dankest memes without the online Futurama repository Morbotron? Then of course there’s the O’Tron clan from County Cork, Ireland. And how else would you answer the question, “What was the name of that movie we watched over at Steve’s the other month, the eighties one where the guy got trapped in a computer game or something?” “Oh, ‘Tron,’” of course.

This -otron, without ANY connecting text, just hanging off the end of its hyphen as if it was dangling by a scrappy vine on the edge of a precipice, is a UK producer of seasick techno, guaranteed to fracture your field of vision like a boulder to a windshield … but in color! “Prism Exhilarated” is a “sampletronic” odyssey into the furthest reaches of deep, or inner-, space. Tracks like “Gemini” ping through the terminals of spaceports, transmissions from pilots and astronauts and other people more in charge than me penetrating the electronic mayhem. Tracks like “Geometry4U” burble and burst and make you feel like you should have paid more attention in high school. Its samples feel condescending to me because I’m math stupid.

But wait, there’s more to it than just that!

[“Prism Exhilarated”] is … the world’s very first album release to integrate Soundary’s Prysm technology. … Prysm is a unique duplication system, ensuring that every copy of an album is sonically different from every other. Thus, when you buy Prism Exhilarated on cassette you are purchasing a unique musical artefact available to no-one else. It is the ultimate collector’s edition.

Wow! The self-released edition of 49 cassettes is available from -otron’s Bandcamp page, where you can also find “’reference’ digital rendition (the effective copy 0), which is included with each cassette and also purchaseable as a standalone download.” I mean, you’re essentially getting two tapes when you buy one. Or 49 different tapes when you buy all 49! Are you that brave?

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Tabs Out | William Hooker Trio feat. Ava Mendoza & Damon Smith – Remembering

William Hooker Trio feat. Ava Mendoza & Damon Smith – Remembering
2.19.18 by Ryan Masteller

What’s shakin’, bacon? Is it your floors, your walls, your roof, the very foundation of your abode? Yeah, mine too – we must have something in common, you and me. Is it that we both live on the San Andreas Fault? No, that can’t be it, I don’t live in California. (Do you?) I wonder then if it’s this William Hooker Trio tape. You’re listening to it too?! No way! That’s gotta be the culprit.

This Hooker guy’s a drummer, and you know what that means: lots of late-night practices in the apartment downstairs, and no amount of stomping on the floor for him to shut up at 2:00 a.m. is going to make a difference, because he can’t hear you over the sound of his drums. That’s OK though – all that practice has made him a damn fine drummer, and when he surrounds himself with, say, two other people, it is possible for magic to ensue. Here he comprises his trio with Ava Mendoza on guitar and Damon Smith on double bass for maximum jazz density, setting the stage for that aforementioned magic to be conjured in our midst.

Hooker’s an outrageous bandleader, nimble on the kit, while Smith’s fingers dance over the frets like a ballerina in “Swan Lake” or Robert Loggia in that scene from “Big” with the floor piano. Mendoza is as inventive as the theoretical progeny of Kim Gordon and Sonny Sharrock. Together, on “Remembering,” they activate seismic force, the blasts of power and tense interludes rubbing up against one another like tectonic plates for maximum friction. I am literally jumping up and down with both feet slamming on the floor, and yet they play on.

To be clear, I don’t want them to stop; I just want to be a part of the music, that’s all.

“Remembering” is part of the February Astral Spirits batch. Here’s an aid for your own “remembering”: pick up the dang thing before it sells out. Edition of 175.

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Tabs Out | A Look at the Strategic Tape Reserve

A Look at the Strategic Tape Reserve
2.18.18 by Mike Haley

In 2003 Eamon Hamill left behind New Jersey and it’s 29 turnpike exits and headed for Prague to teach English. By 2012 Hamill was living in Cologne, Germany where he started the “non-aligned, secular organization” Strategic Tape Reserve. STR is a confusing lil’ joy that sometimes feels more like a moving box full of basement-lived VHS tapes than a cassette label. Even their logo has control track damage. The tapes look like they smell mossy and are described with ceremonial chunkiness: “In full compliance with most international regulations in relation to the trafficking of ferrous materials,” Hamill wrote of the label’s first release “the Strategic Tape Reserve is now able to disseminate its inaugural commercial offering, The Modern Door Live cassette album.”

The micro-cryptic presentation makes it reasonable to wonder what, if anything, are dubbed on these incredibly small editions. Which isn’t an accident of course. “I kind of want [Strategic Tape Reserve] to be disparate and surprising and maybe even sometimes not always likeable (though, hopefully, usually likeable).” Hamill said of the purposeful blurriness. “Also, I guess I sometimes try to present STR with a somewhat boring and sinister authoritarian vibe, just because that sort of comes out and I find it funny.”

The Strategic Tape Reserve guardedly presents the recordings from our recreation of the Efficient Processes for Synthetic Funk clinical trials. EPfSF was a Cold War-era research project which attempted to standardize low-input production methods for generating asymmetrical rhythms with military applications.

Full Efficient Processes for Synthetic Funk research paper:
www.strategictapereserve.de/p/blog-page.html

In addition to releases that include The Modern DoormoduS ponY, and Mr. & Mrs. Chip Perkins, Eamon Hamill uses STR as an outlet for his own work as Emerging Industries of Wuppertal and VLK. “Avril and Sean in Camden,” a C57 from VLK released in 2017, is a torturous tiny slab made exclusively out of processed Avril Lavigne and Sean Hannity samples. “The Avril and Sean tape was a cathartic soul cleansing some 15 years after being stuck in a car in Camden listening to nothing but Avril Lavigne and Sean Hannity.” This all reminds me: Hannity never came through with his promise to be waterboarded. Someone remind him.

In the summer of 2004, VLK undertook temporary employment which primarily involved being a passenger in a car that was driven around Camden, New Jersey. Though the job description was undemanding, it arose that a key responsibility for this role was to engage the driver/employer in conversation, thus enhancing the work environment (a Toyota Camry). Regretfully, it became soon evident to both parties that this personal objective would not be achieved, and the driver, activating his contingency plan, put into use his preferred auditory stimuli, i.e. conservative talk radio broadcasts and the glove compartment’s lone compact disk, Avril Lavigne’s Let’s Go. In Camden, the birthplace of modern convenience food, the home of the first Church of Scientology, a city beset by the poverty and crime not uncommon in post-industrial American small cities, VLK spent two months in silent shotgun, bombarded with the pleas from Lavigne and Hannity for simple answers to the increasingly complicated world outside of the Camry’s windows.

Strategic Tape Reserve can and should be found on the dotcom, Bandcamp, and Twitter.

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Tabs Out | Berber Ox – A Year and a Half

Berber Ox – A Year and a Half
2.15.18 by Ryan Masteller

Let’s see, what’s happened in the past year and a half?

[opens notebook, reads a few notes, eyes grow wide in horror, slams notebook shut]

Who ARE we?

Oh, wait, my mistake – Berber Ox’s “A Year and a Half” came out in October 2017, so maybe if I adjust the timeline things won’t seem so bad…

[opens notebook to different page, reads a few notes, eyes grow wide in horror, slams notebook shut]

Look, I’m not going to sugarcoat it – we’re a bunch of animals. And I don’t know what Berber Ox is playing at here – is the Australian artist wallowing in the cerebral grit and grime? Pushing forward some hopeful vibes? Something else entirely? I’m going to go with option 3, because it’s almost impossible to pinpoint any sort of agenda or assign a perspective. Imprint yourself on this thing as you listen to it. I obviously am.

Because there it is, dense as a slab of obsidian, incorporeal like an unsettling fog. “A Year and a Half” marries gurgling electronics, field recordings, and … whatever the hell else Berber Ox has lying around the tool shed, I dunno. Sometimes the tape wants to be lake mist, at others it wants to be a distant but ominously approaching thundercloud. Rhythms skip like pebbles here and there, but, paradoxically, they escape gravity while gravity itself encloses with psychic pressure.

“A Year and a Half” is not necessarily for the faint of heart, yet it rewards deep listening. And if we keep our chins up, maybe the next year and a half will prove less oppressive than the previous.

[eyes notebook, lifts cover slightly, thinks better of it, lets cover fall, folds hands on lap]

Buy buy buy, with your money! At ((Cave)) Recordings.

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Tabs Out | Max Eilbacher’s Strange Electronic Music Valentine

Max Eilbacher’s Strange Electronic Music Valentine
2.14.18 by Mike Haley

Valentine’s Day is a day for doing romance, and snuggles, and smooches, and synth scrambles, and – WAIT, WHAT!? Synth scrambles?! On Valentine’s Day!? That doesn’t sound right. Who would do that?

Well, it’s this Max Eilbacher character. Max Eilbacher isn’t interested in warm cuddles by the Netflix fireplace. On this, the Feast of Saint Valentine, Max announced a “self released” electronic music tape called *let me check my notes* “Electronic Music Tape.” A grating, hour-long loner experience recorded in 2016 and 2017 “at various studios, green rooms, the back of a few tour vans throughout Europe and my parent’s basement.” Max can make a synth sound like a worn down strip of leather or outlawed bleach cleaners, and he spends 60 raw minutes procrastinating between those options on this savage and strange Valentine’s gift.

Roses are red.
Kevin Spacey was in K-PAX.
There will be 50 copies made.
Preorder one direct from Max.

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Baker’s Choice Archive
selections by Jesse DeRosa

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Tabs Out | Hasufel – Forlorn

Hasufel – Forlorn
2.12.18 by Ryan Masteller

Didn’t Hasufel just release a tape, like, a minute ago? You leave these black metal nerds on their own for a second and they keep pumping out that black metal nerd stuff as if their lives depended on it, don’t they? For all we know, their lives DO depend on it. Do NOT underestimate the power of music. Of any kind.

“Forlorn” picks up where “Lord of Carrion” left off, an unholy (you’re going to hear that word a lot in reference to Hasufel) offering to dark entities bent on mischief but who we look to when our lives need meaning and we can’t find that meaning anywhere else. (Why is it that demons and devils are the only ones that listen to us? Why?!?) Perfectly encapsulating the mood of the tape, “Forlorn’s” title track conjures feelings of loneliness, sadness, despondence, abandonment, forsakenness, hopelessness, desperation, and other words I found in the thesaurus. (Thanks Roget’s!) But with tracks like “Ossuary” and “Ziggurat,” the idea of self-importance (even if after death) lingers like a giant granite chip on the shoulder of a pissed-off minor deity. “The Darkness on the Hill” is just the beginning of YOUR JUDGMENT.

As Hasufel, synth slinger Dylan Ettinger has hit that super sweet spot where camp runs together with the actual dark arts so that you don’t have to bust the tape out on Halloween only. He meets us all at the intersection of Bauhaus and Xasthur like a high priest with a wicked agenda or a minor deity with a giant granite chip on his shoulder, ready to lead us in death chants and ominous hymns. We the pliable supplicants are ready and willing to do thy bidding, my master.

“Forlorn” is out on El Tule (Spanish for “the Tule,” I think), but that link takes you to Discogs. You’re better off clicking the Bandcamp link to buy one of these sweet EPs, limited to 100 copies. Don’t sweat what you heard, but act like you know.

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Tabs Out | Episode #119

119

Themed Episode: Games
Dozens - Pinball Mansion (Orange Milk)
$ega & The Rainbow Streets - 想いで100景 (Noumenal Loom)
Bossbattle - Dirty Pots (self released)
Goldberg and the Universe - s/t (Excite Bike)
Mr. Matthews - Competitive Games Of Realness (Trepanner)
Futuresport - White Chimneys (905)
Sam Brown - Wheel Of Fortune (Illuminated Paths)
Battleship - Transhumanist (Car Wash)
Sky Stadium - Cerulean (2:00AM)
Bad Chess - s/t (Moon Myst Music)
Opponents - Psychosexual Spiritual (Out-of-Body)
Discoverer - In Collection (Two Michael Jordans)
Three Legged Race - Rope Commercial Vol.2 (Vitrine)

  

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