Tabs Out | Bary Center – Guide Me Through the Hills of Your Home

Bary Center – Guide Me Through the Hills of Your Home

8.4.20 by Ryan Masteller

Friends, we’re gathered here today for a somber occasion, one for which fanfare may or may not be appropriate (I haven’t decided yet). See, Mark Williams, the man behind the beloved Bary Center brand, has decided to hang up his spikes, as it were, and walk away from the moniker he made so popular, thereby burying it six feet underground in the cemetery right outside this chapel. See? A somber occasion. 

But it’s also one for joy! Sure, there’s the whole “Let’s remember Bary Center fondly and celebrate his career” thing, but there’s also the fact that he’s dropped one last BC tape on us before he rides off into that big old ranch in the sky. (My metaphors are all over the place today.) Not only that, he’s back at it with Brighton superlabel Third Kind, which is releasing it as catalog number 50 – a milestone! We sure do love our round numbers around here. [Ed: That number isn’t funny at all.]

So do you see my predicament? I’m not sure I can balance the emotions on this one. Maybe we’ll just ask our organist to play “Guide Me Through the Hills of Your Home,” chock full of beautiful psalms, and revel in its delight. Oh, our organist, Peg, is under the weather, so we have a replacement organist for the day. And I’m now seeing that he brought his own, much larger organ.

Or, uh, his own, much larger tape deck.

As you can hear from its synthesizer euphony and delicate rhythm patches, “Guide Me Through the Hills of Your Home” is a clear-eyed journey into what’s next. Meditative, contemplative, reflective while also looking to the future, Bary Center’s mood here is of the universal variety, one that anyone can slip into and out of whenever they need a moment of relief from whatever’s happening to them at whatever time. And of course, Bary Center and Third Kind simply fit together as kindred spirits – Williams and label showrunner (and awesome musician) Nicholas Langley previously appeared together under the four-way Third Kind split “Puzzle Time,” itself a glorious celebration of timbre and tone.

No circus music or plates smashing on the ground or whistles or anything of the kind involved at all. Just good, old-fashioned delight. 

So let’s give a proper goodbye to Bary Center, and a hearty “Best wishes!” to whatever’s on the horizon. And cheers to Third Kind on catalog number 50. This IS a joyous occasion!

“C60 housed in a black card box, includes three double sided photograph cards and a quality A4 print of Kate Tumes unique embroidery piece ‘A Benediction.’ Box edition strictly limited to 70 copies.”

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Tabs Out | Strategic Tape Reserve in Bite Sized Chunks

Strategic Tape Reserve in Bite Sized Chunks

8.1.20 by Mike Haley

Okay okay okay, I don’t want to waste anyone’s time! Gonna make this very fast. Almost TOO fast, maybe? You could be thinking “whoa, slow the h*ck down this is TOO fast!!” I don’t care, we gotta get this done.

Strategic Tape Reserve (who you know, or should know) posted the vid STR020-STR042 Release Survey. It includes 8 seconds from each and every title in their bonked out catalog. Look, I can prove it:

See? I was telling the truth. To piggy back on the absurdity I asked STR to submit 8 words on each release. You can find them below, but a warning: We at Tabs Out cannot confirm that each of these is exactly 8 words. If you happen upon one with, for example, 6 or 9 words (heh heh) please contact us IMMEDIATELY as we will need to send STR to cassette jail (aka: they can only release 3″ CDrs for two years). Enjoy!

STR002 (VLK): STR’s second release revisits Shaquille O’Neill’s second release.

STR003 (STR Staff): Wait, but what about STR001? Um… that’s lost.

STR004 (VLK): Last sounds in billboard list just before Y2K.

STR005 (Beauty Product): Cheese-funk done three ways. Retirement community wave.

STR006 (The Modern Door): Ethnographic recordings of traditional musicians from Lower Saxony. 

STR007 (VLK): Leckeyan survey of schunkeln, congalines and arrhythmic clapping. 

STR008 (Jöns): If Jöns sends you a demo, DON’T respond.

STR009 (Belmont Lacroix): Nothing matters under Mr. Chicken on Rialto Boulevard.

STR010 (Emerging Industries of Wuppertal): Music for North German industry-themed gymnastic spectaculars.

STR011 (moduS ponY / Belmost Lacroix): STR’s shortest cassette. Banana confection. Legs akimbo.

STR012 (Mr & Mrs Chip Perkins): Sad New Jersey yuppies’ dinner party doom-lounge.

STR013 (Youth Championships): Frank Lloyd Wright’s estranged son invented Lincoln Logs.

STR014 (VLK): Conservative radio / Canadian pop punk in a Camry.

STR015 (moduS ponY): Talking people get distorted. Everything is contorted. Ouch.

STR016 (Emerging Industries of Wuppertal): Polyolefin cracking models consumer-grade music production processes.

STR017 (Zherbin): Eerie tape loops from Finland. Unsettling. Also spooky.

STR018 (The Tuesday Night Machines): Low-bit Alpine hymns. Peeks crushed. Gameboys yodel.

STR019 (The Blank Holidays): Noisy folk freakouts. Please don’t really break things.

STR020 (Suko & moduS): Long distance collaborative odd-lounge with cow sample.

STR021 (Emerging Industries of Wuppertal): Hacker shit. Recorded using a home desktop computer.

STR022 (V/A): “Jock Jams” for low-velocity pole-walking enthusiasts.

STR023 (The Tuesday Night Machines): Made under canvas with locally-sourced tropical audio.

STR024 (moduS & VLK): Intercontinental camaraderie. Diocletian’s hometown imparts format and tone.

STR025 (HAWN): Post-incident pulled apart New Orleans no-wave. 

STR026 (Whettman Chelmets): Old 4track tapes plundered. Which ones? Nobody remembers.

STR027 (Gwasg Gelert): Illicit, unauthorized Welsh-language Dan Brown audiobook soundtrack.

STR028 (V/A): Big dreams of small supermarkets. Wear a mask!

STR029 (Nicholas Langley): Essential nutrients. Brighton based krauty surf rock reworks. 

STR030 (Severino Pfifferling): Wasser wird durch rotierende Sprüharme auf Geschirr gesprüht.

STR031 (qualchan.): Woozy Pacific Northwest night walks. Watch your footing.

STR032 (The Tuesday Night Machines): TTNM’s 2nd tent-based tape – ON A CAR.

STR033 („DJ VLK”): Ja – la  la  la,  la  la  la… Scheißegal!

STR034 (V/A): A shop window memorial of odd audio curios.

STR035 (Uli Federwisch): Helicopter rescue anthem. Synth sax to the max.

STR036 (Q///Q): Lost voices recovered from a bed of noise.

STR037 (Wether): Athletically-gifted pet inherits found tapes, modular synths.

STR038 (Leaaves): The appropriate number of worlds for such sound.

STR039 (Chorchill): Whispers on the Ruhr. Where is Apel Okuyan? 

STR040 (STR Staff): NOT an audio codebook. Just some normal synthpop.

STR041 (The Tuesday Night Machines): Wooden synthesizers. Felt j-card. Actually from the future. 

STR042 (Whettman Chelmets / qualchan.) :Release prediction! Chelmets / qualchan. tape in September 2020.

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Tabs Out | Episode #158

South City Hardware - Redirected Midi (Third Kind Records)
Deep Learning - Dataverse (Salmon Universe)
Keith Fullerton Whitman - To (a) Certain Extent [i] (Hi-Res Audio)
Detestifi Yellow Swans - s/t (self released)
Operator G - The Poison Toad Bongo Killer (Ghost Jazz)
10th Letter - Escape From ATL (Deanwell Global Music)
Hippies Wearing Muzzles - Euler Haze (Moon Villain)
Clipping. - There Existed an Addiction to Blood (Sub Pop)
Tim Stine Trio - Fresh Demons (Astral Spirits)
Hex Breaker Quintet - Goodnight Sweet Traveler (Baked Tapes)
Mo Nicklz presents J Dilla - Worlds Greatest Producers vol 2 (self released)

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Tabs Out | Baiza / Fogel / Shiroishi – The Hound, the Toad, & the Hare

Baiza / Fogel / Shiroishi – The Hound, the Toad, & the Hare

7.21.20 by Matty McPherson

It’s not everyday that you get Joe Baiza, Corey Fogel, and Patrick Shiroishi in the same room. Think about it: the guitarist of Saccharine Trust, a drummer responsible for some of the most provocative percussion of the last decade, and LA’s uber-prolific saxophone extraordinaire (respectively). When would they ever find time to come together? Would they need a when2meet or doodle poll? 

Well they did back in 2018 (April 14th to be exact), resulting in a tape about the length of a prolonged Frasier episode that has been entitled “The Hound, the Toad, & the Hare”. Composed of six sections, the tape is a concise cut of free-jazz, mastered by Felix Salazar for perfect playback in your deck. And yes, the cover by Baiza somehow combines two pieces of Beat Happening art into one. Huge score.

Coming from experience with Shiroishi’s work, the tape further shows off his dynamic style with the alto and baritone sax, especially in quiet moments. On II and III, Shiroishi’s sax tiptoes over the anxious sputtering of Fogel’s cymbals, chaos uncertain. He does the same thing with Baiza’s strumming, which can range from full fledged no-wave to sensitive, surf-indebted finger-picking. In the tape’s best moment (IV), their sounds all collide for a classic noise burst that ends side A. V and VI continue this quiet-loud dynamic, with greater emphasis on Baiza’s guitar and Fogel’s cymbal echoes that border on a tumultuous psychedelia. That it cuts off so short is the truest tragedy of the tape.

If anything, it has left me yearning for another collaboration from the three. 3 men from distinct contexts deserve a longer set! Don’t worry fellas, I’m setting up the when2meet right now.

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Tabs Out | Body Improvement Calendar – Business Major

Body Improvement Calendar – Business Major

7.20.20 by Ryan Masteller

This is what happens when business-speak gets thrown up all over you.

Imagine being in an office building, leaving your cube, and wandering down to Conference Room B to attend a meeting with your team, pen and pad in hand, ready to take notes. Imagine the meeting starting, and your manager, instead of introducing the topic or firing up a PowerPoint, begins retching brown and red bile all over the place. Now I’ll admit, that’s pretty gross and awfully alarming, and would probably warrant a call to the emergency room. But not here. As she’s retching, she’s also speaking, but it’s a word salad of corporate idioms that can’t possibly be strung together in any coherent way. You notice the other seven or eight people in the meeting nodding at your manager as if she’s making lots of good points, but she’s just barfing the hell out of everywhere. Then they too start retching, vile streams of noxious half-liquid spraying from their face-holes, but they’re also speaking as this is happening.

“… Endless growth …”

“… At the end of the day, we’re going to …”

“… Following best practices …”

“… We’ll circle back around and reach out to …”

This seems like a nightmare, and you’re probably as surprised and appalled as I would be in this situation, but somehow you’re immune to the condition that you’re witnessing and are only able to stare in horrified fascination as this “meeting” becomes something way, way creepier. Voices distort, time slows, and bodies in motion take on rhythmic qualities that remind you of demon-possessed characters in your favorite Hollywood thrillers. Then the office PA clicks on, and a sickly smear of canned music starts playing over the system, meshing nauseously with the vomiting and unholy twerking that somehow is not stopping in front of you. It sort of sounds like that newfangled “vaporwave” fad everybody’s been talking about around the water cooler. But with decidedly more rhythmic elements. 

Then a chilling thought occurs to you. You are not you. You are me. And instead of you watching in glazed terror at your colleagues malevolent transformation, it’s actually me watching it, because I’m in the office – oh no, I’m at work. And instead of this being something I suggest for you to imagine, this is actually happening to me, in real life, right in front of my eyes. I feel like I should do something, like I should call for help. But the music is so soothing, the language so familiar, that I start babbling out “Second quarter results!” and “Achieve productive synergy!” and I start blasting out a noxious spray right along with it. I don’t have the mental capacity to check, but I think I’ve shit my pants.

Somewhere behind the two-way mirror that lines one side of the wall of the conference room, Peter Kris of German Army high-fives whoever he’s working with on this psychological experiment of torment, this “Body Improvement Calendar” guise he’s got going on, confident in the data he’s collecting. “Business Major” is a rousing musical success.

God, do you even want to buy Body Improvement Calendar’s “Business Major” now from Opal Tapes? God bless you, yes you do. 

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Tabs Out | The Spookfish – Pumpkin Beats 2

The Spookfish – Pumpkin Beats 2

7.16.20 by Matty McPherson

Every time I open the newspaper (for your information, I read *insert local metropolitan paper here*), I’m bombarded with an advert for the latest rehash, ripoff, or (dare I type) the dreaded sequel. Nothing gets me more riled up than an unnecessary sequel, and my copy of the Spookfish’s latest release, Pumpkin Beats 2, was headed to the trash can until I tripped over my copy of this New York Times hyperlink and watched the tape somehow miraculously jump into my boombox!

The Spookfish (aka Dan Goldberg), should be a name familiar to Hudson Valley DIY + nature lovers. For the past several years, Goldberg had been hosting a series of Mountain Shows, where people hike and stop for musical performances “at scenic spots”, while cranking out no-fidelity synth tunes and folk ditties for himself as well as the big wigs at Fire Talk. Pumpkin Beats 2, a sequel (of sorts) to the Pumpkin Beats 4-track EP from 2014, was released on Lily’s Tapes and Discs earlier in March and might be the closest experience you can currently have if you wished you could be at Goldberg’s Mountain Shows but now sit at home and stare at cars passing by.

Like the previous batch of Pumpkin Beats, the Spookfish really plays into the idea of “no-fidelity” surreal blips. Many of these songs are rudimentary sketches, laid bare with drum machines and synth sounds (“Oaf” in particular gives off the vibe of running a DND campaign about raiding a Spirit Halloween store on November 1st), or stripped down piano/guitar and murmurs (“Path”, a truly misunderstood slowcore ballad). They rarely stretch above two minutes. In this state, these songs cast off a strange aura out of the ‘ol boombox, like you’ve stumbled into someone’s basement when they’re trying to hold down a young prayer to a pagan temple for themselves. But they’re still friendly and invite you to sit in!

Yet, the best track is really saved for last, with “In the Dark” stretching to SEVEN herculean minutes as the Spookfish combines synth drone/noise and acoustic strumming to weave up the feeling of being drowned out, taken to a passive state. My only complaints are that it’s not longer, nor that it’s ending is anything more than just a sudden stop.

I really did at first want to decimate this album. However, everytime I look up from my room at a barren, empty street (I live in a college town, in a college county, in a college state) in the middle of the night, I feel the strange inkling to start my own occult dedicated to the Spookfish.

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Tabs Out | Benjamin Vraja – Anthology

Benjamin Vraja – Anthology

7.14.20 by Ryan Masteller

Sometimes treasure is real. Not the pirate kind of treasure that lies in heaps in caves on deserted Caribbean islands, known only to those who possess the right maps and compasses and things, and maybe a dash of magic or a sprinkle of prophecy, but the everyday kind, the kind that unearths itself in the cleaning out of a closet or a garage or a space beneath a bed. Well, that’s not to say it can’t be the pirate kind, what with the preponderance of obviously sunken vessels that litter our eastern seaboard, filled to the brim with Spanish doubloons or jewels or artifacts or, say, Nazi gold bricks. In fact, there’s probably so much treasure at the bottom of the ocean just waiting for scientists and explorers to get to that we could probably eliminate poverty as we know it. Now, let’s get in our diving bell and get down there! 

I got off track there a little bit. I’m actually NOT here to talk about pirate treasure, but treasure a little more within our grasp. See, some of us are already flush with treasure, even though we might not know it. I, for instance, have a lot of clearly valuable baseball cards from the late 1980s and early 1990s, not to mention my stupendous and unmatched cassette collection. I’m one of the lucky ones, completely aware of the value of my collections as historical artifacts and cultural signposts. But others, like Matt Vraja, don’t know what they have until they “clean out the family estate.” 

I’m going to avoid telling the whole story, one you can read on the inside of the Jard of Benjamin Vraja’s “Anthology.” Yes, Matt and Benjamin are two different people, I didn’t introduce a typo up there. Matt is Benjamin’s nephew, who never actually met Benjamin before his sudden death in 1996 – Matt had just heard stories of the eccentric musician his uncle had been. But one day, in 2014, he actually came across his uncle’s recordings, and in matching the anecdotes to the fascinating and forward-thinking sounds he was hearing, Matt realized he had to introduce his uncle’s work to a wider audience. 

That’s where “Anthology” comes in. The tape captures recordings that Benjamin made in the 1970s and 1980s, at various studios and academic institutions, and with various equipment. Focused mainly on synthesizers and other proto-electronic gear, Benjamin experimented the hell out of what he had in front of him, and the results are never less than fascinating. Imagine finding lost Don Buchla tapes, or recordings by Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley, Wendy Carlos, or Ray Manzarek. Benjamin Vraja compositions might not fetch the millions of dollars these other big names would, but maybe that’s because he’s still a hidden … treasure. He doesn’t have to be so hidden anymore with this release, which should now be a must-have for anyone interested in early synth experimentalists. 

Honestly, though, sometimes it’s literal pirate treasure that turns up. You really never know.

You can grab this self-released beauty on Bandcamp. Edition of only 45. Truly as rare as gold! 

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Tabs Out | Bonus Episode: Cudighi Sampler

Ben from Cudighi Records talks about his zany ass label and it's spicy namesake. Jams by ELMA, Yuto Ohashi, Yeti, Haunted Gauntlet, Luurel Varas, Apollo Dial, ZigZag Zone, and Toon.

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Tabs Out | Skyminds – Shapes & Traces

Skyminds – Shapes & Traces

7.8.20 by Ryan Masteller

I’m SOOO glad Michael “Selaroda” Henning and Sean “Ashan/Channelers” Conrad are still working together as Skyminds. Their first, self-titled tape on auasca was a droney delight, but the duo has outdone themselves here on “Shapes & Traces,” the inaugural release of Berkeley-based Internal Rhythm. Wanna know a secret? “Shapes & Traces” is also available on a format called “Compact Disc.” I know, right? 

But since tapes are making a comeback, I’m only discussing the music that appears on the cassette release (even though it’s identical, presumably, to the CD version). Did I mention that there’s been some “outdoing of selves,” or something along those lines? I sure did. Skyminds has sharpened their freak-folk aesthetics and pressed their compositional chops to the next level. Falling somewhere between early Pink Floyd and Espers (or thereabouts), the duo folds in gently played stringed instruments and synthesizers and percussion to create layers of minimal psychedelia. It’s not out of the question for their tunes to warm like an ember somewhere in your chest, lodged behind your sternum, and gradually grow in glowing warmth until you feel their universal power reach your fingertips and beyond, radiating outward in shimmering positive vibes. 

That’s what happened to me, anyway.

No surprise, then, that “Shapes & Traces” causes the inner to become the outer in a shining example of collective empathy, a feel-good excursion that makes others feel good as you make yourself feel good. See? This is the ever-expanding cycle. Hewing close to vibes like these is a centering act, very much like the gist of all those Zen-like albums Conrad releases over there at Inner Islands. And even though this isn’t one of them, it’s as kindred-spirit as it gets.

So give this one an order, why don’tcha? Out in an edition of 100 from Internal Rhythm.

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Tabs Out | The Tuesday Night Machines – Acid Tape

The Tuesday Night Machines – Acid Tape

7.6.20 by Matty McPherson

Since I’m not getting anywhere close to Germany in this economy, I have to live out my acid house fantasies with The Tuesday Night Machines’ bluntly titled Acid Tape. A funny lil’ feller, TTNM was on quite the tear last year, making the rounds with a series of consistently shifting tapes that dabbled in drone, ambience, and natural sounds as longform playgrounds to explore the almighty power of modular synthesizers and sidrax organs. In a better economy, he’d be on the front cover of Ambient Monthly! But TTNM is craftier than pigeonholing himself into the ambient market and I’ve got the scoop-he’s pivoting to dance! Perhaps the tip-off came with TTNM’s meta-beat tape for Strategic Tape Reserve or the crunch of Super Dolomiti Crunch, but that’s only a sample of le’ Acid Tape. Armed with just two Cyclone Analogic TT-303 Bass Bots and a TT-606 Drum Drone, TTNM ventures into the fried crevices of acid house.

This is an estate that oozes futurism in neon green. The sound is focused upon a minimal, obsessive regiment comprised only of warped n’ giddy high-hats, laseresque bass wobbles, and on one track a good ‘ol fashion modular synth. Yet, TTNM’s DIY-mindset sees through the limits of that mindset, maintaining a lo-fi state of bliss. One like “Death Valley” might start with a simplistic beat before the regiment makes a sudden swap or a bass wobble uproots any stability, leading to greater speed and excitement. Others like “Un Dimanche à la Campagne” uphold a slow n’ steady BPM that is ready made for a beat tape, even though the wobbly yelps of a 303 are the real vocals. Acid Tape lets abstractions take over this regimented sound, turning what could have been a series of pleasant experiments into another rapid-fire ten track odyssey.

Does it lend itself to the dancefloor? Of all calibers including (but not limited to) analog boombox, mental mindset, and philosophical otherworldliness. Would it be wise to place it in my skateboard chase frenzy video? If you video has the budget, “Sloppy Accident” is the cut. Should TTNM be remixing all those DFA 7” from the “Great Dance Punk Frenzy of 2k3”? That’s just my headcanon.

Edition of 20 from TTNM’s personal bandcamp, complete with ACID sticker!

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