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Tabs Out | Kouns & Weaver – The 1990 Cincinnati Reds

Kouns & Weaver – The 1990 Cincinnati Reds

2.17.21 by Ryan Masteller

Oh to be memorialized as a Donruss Diamond King. Zack Kouns and Rick Weaver got the treatment by artist Chrissy Jones for “The 1990 Cincinnati Reds,” and I’m as jealous as it gets. Now to be clear, because there’s not a lot of jock stuff that goes on here on this site or within this podcast, I should warn you that Kouns & Weaver were not ACTUALLY members of that storied team that swept the heavily favored defending champs, the Oakland A’s, led by Bash Brothers and androstenedione enthusiasts Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, in four games. No, the duo didn’t sport rec specs or ever go by the nickname “The Nasty Boys.” No, these two never got caught in 1989 for betting on their own team.

Kouns & Weaver are musicians.

But here they are, adorned in all the baseball card glory a 10-year-old me would have died for, holding in their hearts that one last spark of diamond magic. And you can tell that they’re true fans – this conceit doesn’t stop at the cover art. In fact, each track is named after a player on the 1990 team (or someone closely related to the franchise), so “Hal Morris” once again suits up next to “Mariano Duncan,” and “Rob Dibble,” “Randy Myers,” and “Norm Charlton” warm up in the bullpen. “Jose Rijo” stares you down as he toes the rubber, and “Mr. Red” cheers you on from atop the home dugout. Each player-track is a vignette by Kouns soundtracked by Weaver, and it’s all essentially 1990 Reds fanfic. Which, if I wasn’t writing about this ridiculous, magnificent tape right now, I would probably be doing (although I’d have to substitute the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies for the 1990 Reds – ah, who am I kidding, it would be 2008).

But honestly, it’s amazing to hear about “Joe Oliver” eating dead animals raw outside the stadium as fans file past after a game. And it’s all perfectly accompanied by the Haord/Hausu vibe Weaver drops (and yes, he’s released on both labels, among others). Kouns speaks his sordid alternate-reality tales atop the quirk slurry, all hyper-focused on imaginary details of bygone Cincinnati players. And the fractured view of the past into some sort of hallucinogenic daydream only sort of makes you forget that some of these dudes were hypermacho jagoffs. I mean, wasn’t late owner “Marge Schott” a Nazi sympathizer or something? Isn’t “Marty Brennamen” actually a piece of shit in real life? These things are brushed aside in favor of things like “Chris Sabo’s” brown 1988 Ford Escort, which is totally the kind of car that dude would have driven back then. I’m chuckling at that. I’m not thinking about Brennamen’s on-air toilet mouth.

Edition of 30 (sold) out on Spare No Expanse.

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Tabs Out | Peter Kris – Everything Possuelo Brought to the Table

Peter Kris – Everything Possuelo Brought to the Table

2.16.21 by Ryan Masteller

The last time we checked in with Peter Kris was the Tabs Out Bonus Episode: 2020 Year Ender, where the mysterious German Army member joined Mike, Jamie, Matty, and me, along with a bunch of other esteemed guests, on a chaotic tour through a chaotic year. PK’s entry and contribution to the Zoom call was on brand – he was driving out in California somewhere, probably snarled in traffic, so all we saw was the interior roof of his car on video, maybe a hand or finger here and there – nothing else. 

I’m going to guess that he was driving a brand spanking new Tesla, because with all the GeAr cash coming in from so many releases and a reputation for aligning with cutting edge social issues – here climate change – there’s no way PK’s driving anything that burns gas to make it go. And just after typing this sentence I realize that that cannot be true, because PK’s ceiling was obviously made of some fabric, and Teslas have that cool tinted glass, which is awesome until your car gets crapped on by seagulls. Still, GeAr cash is GeAr cash, so it’s no surprise that “Everything Possuelo Brought to the Table,” PK’s new tape on Never Anything, is in fact a double – ANOTHER double, as this is not his first double tape on Never Anything (in fact, there are multiple Peter Kris double tapes in existence). So that’s two tapes for the price of two, a shocking twenty-seven tracks to last you at least until your number’s called for your Covid vaccination. That may be a while, who knows – it’s all about luck (and being over 65 years old) at this point.

So PK’s mournful, treated guitar accompanies us in stasis, a constant reminder that while we’re mostly waiting for things to make our lives better in one way or another, we’re also waiting to kick the bucket, as all living things eventually do. And that’s fine – I don’t mean to get heavy on you here (maybe Peter does), but inevitability is inevitability, and we just don’t talk about it. Maybe talking about it would actually refocus us on the things that actually matter during the time we’re alive (you know, like getting along with others), but us Westerners usually and willfully refuse to do so. So let’s get past that and wonder what Sydney Possuelo, Brazilian explorer, social activist, and ethnographer ACTUALLY brings to the table, and why PK has decided on highlighting him here on this tape. Possuelo, in my Wikipedia gloss, “is considered the leading authority on Brazil’s remaining isolated Indigenous Peoples.” There we go – a classic PK subject. Brazil loves screwing its Indigenous population over, what with deforestation and such, so let’s turn our eye there. 

That’s a rabbit hole for you, for me, for another time, but while you’re at it, “Everything Possuelo Brought to the Table” is a massive meditative document, like many PK releases, and is perfect for night driving while looking through your glass roof at the California sky beyond. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to look at the road, Teslas can drive themselves.) Peter Kris inhabits the space of the underpopulated and underrepresented parts of the world and gives life to them through carefully curated sonic texture. But he also has a great sense of humor – who else would organize their tracklist alphabetically? Nobody I know.

Oh wait, Pixies setlists were like that.

Tape sold out from Never Anything, but you can PROBABLY get it on the Dark Web. Just don’t use my search engine.

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Tabs Out | Bonus Episode: Strategic Tape Reserve

Eamon from Strategic Tape Reserve stopped by to brainstorm future releases with us, explain what exactly STR is, and attempt to prove that he can be trusted (he can't be). Features Fire-Toolz, Phirnis, Fitness Instruktör, Qualchan., Severino Pfifferling, Modus Pony, VLK, moduS ponY, and Elymr.

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Tabs Out | Diana Duta & Julia E. Dyck – Wave Debris

Diana Duta & Julia E. Dyck – Wave Debris

2.4.21 by Matty McPherson

I may be late to the party, although I’d still like to declare that more tapes should be dabbling in areas of scientific study. Yes, we have perfected the 60s golden age aesthetics (via Jamie Zuerveza’s Astral Spirits tape art) and modular synthesizers run amok on almost any bandcamp baddie’s page. What I’m talking about are tapes that build off of 20th century scientific finds in manners that are as paranormal as they are sleek. Diana Duta & Julia E. Dyck’s Wave Debris embellishes this area of study across its two sides.

Both sides are dedicated to a live (25 minute) and studio (23 minute) rendition of an improvisation entitled Wave Debris. For this piece, Duta & Dyck tapped into English scientist Elizabeth Alexander’s research on “radio frequencies emitted during sunset”, adding their own “field recordings, feedback, and readings from Ron Silliman’s Sunset Debris”. While Alexander’s pioneering work in radio astrology dates back to World War 2, she shifted to geology in the years after. Her untimely death in 1958 has meant that few people have been acquainted with her research, despite it having provided a stable reference point for analyzing the stars.

It is fascinating to see Wave Debris utilize her work as a radiophonic framework in two dutiful directions. The live rendition (performed at sunset from a GDR watchtower) begins with a faint hum as a magnitude of field recordings begin to flood the space. The light ASMR qualities of the field recordings render the sonic space an amorphous shape. At times (especially early in the performance), Wave Debris feels like it is stretching to the heavens. Yet, as the piece continues, the introduction of an omnibus modular synth and the Sunset Debris readings hit a unique space–not quite close but not quite distant enough; a claustrophobic plane akin to Red Desert’s most lurching moments. It fades quietly like a candle succumbs to the winds at dusk.

The studio variant (also performed at the same time) is more vaporous and crackly. At times sounds dissolve just as soon as you begin to circle in on their qualities. Unlike the live version which captures the transcendence of a particular moment, the studio variant uses modular synthesizers to build up towards something greater. The faint hum of those sun radio waves may seem a little more linear, acting as a fabulous guide for your ears towards outer zones. In the last third, it begins to feel like a rainy day on the factory line; it’s a slow buildup that turns into a bulldozer that nearly consumes you full, before closing with a Sunset Debris reading that functions as a denouement; “Did you feel it? Did you find it? Did it fit the picture?” are a handful of the thoughts it leaves you with as it suddenly cuts to black.

It’s a shame that Wave Debris is currently sold out on the Crash Symbols page. No release from their 2020 catalog has quite enthralled me so vividly, while also acting as such as a wonderful guide to the way science intermingles with music in paranormal circumstances. The spectral qualities are far beyond any science  science fiction you’ll read this year, I can promise you that. So, here’s hoping they can strike up a reissue with even more Elizabeth Alexander stickers!

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Tabs Out | Episode #164

Bolus Calcs - Harod 2 comp (Haord)
Slugbug - Harod 2 comp (Haord)
Sea Moss - Bidet Dreaming (Crash Symbols)
Neige & Norceur - La Seigneurie Des Loups (Les Productions Hérétiques)
Ophibre - split w/ Patrick Emm (Ghetto Naturalist Series)
Godflesh - Post Self (Hospital Productions)
Failing Lights - New Year's Eve Dark Ambient (Hospital Productions)
Ocean Floor - Vernalis (Eiderdown)
James A McDermid - s/t (Sounds Against Humanity)
Floor - Oblation (Season of Mist)
Machine Listener - Headfooter (Unifactor)
The Sloppy Boys - Paradiso (Kerchow)
Forgotten Sword - s/t (Resistance Sound)

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Tabs Out | Color Television – Kaleidotropia

Color Television – Kaleidotropia

1.29.21 by Ryan Masteller

I’m not so sure about this one. I mean, here we are, and it’s 2021 already! It’s not even 2020 anymore, yet we’re still open to elevating something as banal as the color television to the level of “conscious interest.” Preceding “television” with “color” isn’t necessary anymore – all televisions are “in color,” and most of them are even on our phones, so “television” itself is sort of an outdated concept. See, I’m a forward-thinking kind of guy, so when I’m confronted by something that forces me to recall, with fondness, I guess, a distant part of my past (and yes, I’m old enough to remember when “color television” meant something) that I no longer have any use for, I get a little agitated about the whole thing. I only have so much time at my disposal, you know.

Color Television immediately jabs a chill pill into my mouth and sends me into a state of near-instant relaxation. Hi. Let me reintroduce myself and my attitude before proceeding. I feel like I’ve been thrust in the middle of an aquarium that surrounds me on all sides, above and below. I am beset by languid beats and melting samples. I am syrup incarnate. Color Television is Hayden Beck, and Color Television the musical artist might have actually hit me with a nostalgia trip pleasant enough to make me consider color television the object important again. How’s that for irony! Through a soupy beat tape chock full of vintage samples, all wriggling together before drifting apart to the seafloor and settling there to gradually disintegrate in the salt, Color Television recalls the outmoded sets adorning Formica counters across America’s kitchens. Coral sold separately.

And then on the television sets, the aquarium that I’m in … that we’re ALL in broadcasts the bubbled transmissions of forgotten studios on repeat, all until, through the magic of evolution, it’s revealed that we’re all just underwater creatures now on this melting planet, and the programming we’re still somehow receiving is the only record of life on the surface. Remember that Kevin Costner movie, “Waterworld”? It’s sort of not like that at all, but they somehow lost the surface of the planet and had to live on floating islands, and I kind of only react to recent things that happen a sentence or two ago, such is my attention span. In MY story we’re underwater fish people now. 

“Kaleidotropia” is a 2018 album that FINALLY sees release on the hallowed format of cassette, only on Orb Tapes.

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Tabs Out | Pet Peeves – Mild Fantasy Violence

Pet Peeves – Mild Fantasy Violence

1.27.21 by Matty McPherson

Post-Punk is in crisis!

Instead of improvising to find new exciting terrain, the kids have taken to deriving this sound to its “type beat” status. BLEH! Meanwhile, the seculars and science skeptics continue to cast doubts on the merits of Math Rock! As if this music actually involves calculators and computers and not a big brain! How can we move past these quandaries and do they perhaps involve a little TV-7 FV?! For Pet Peeves (aka Alex Maerbach and Joe Cavaliere), the answer is a resounding YES.

Mild Fantasy Violence shipped in October’s 4 tape bundle on Personal Archives. One foot is steeped in the improvisations Personal Archives is known for; the “songs” are really just a holy trinity of amped up speedy fast guitar, thump-thump-thump drums, and spoken word interludes. It is high octane. Blind listens literally pull a wombo-combo–you’ll find yourself latching onto one of Maerbach’s wry, winding riggs as Cavaliere accelerates the drums to their breakpoints, before suddenly SNAP! “It’s gone”. Yet it always shifts right back into place, never failing to look forward, as you (the listener) stayed locked into its hypnotic pacing.

The tape has a wickedly amped up approach to punk, even as it likes to stretch out into the 7 minute mark. Sometimes, Cavaliere tries to throw in as many drum fills as he can, and the result is like finding the secret zone in a level and blasting all the baddies (“Bonus Area (Unlocked)”). Other times, both Maerbach and Cavaliere put on their best syncopated feet forward and see how long they can hold it together before it all falls to shambles (“Routine”). Whatever the case, there’s no shortage of noise nor excitement at where the tape leads.

The mending of those improv and punk spheres make the tape a rewarding left-field punk excursion if you have been waiting for a danceable punk that is trimmed of all the fat. Especially if you love an excessive amount of killer loops and mathy maneuvers across its 8 tracks.

Pro-dubbed cassette in an edition of 50! 

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Tabs Out | Bonus Episode: Aaron Dilloway

We tried to interview Aaron Dilloway of Hanson Records but he mainly just walked around his house and showed us tapes. It was an honor and a pleasure.

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Tabs Out | Dura – Mercury

Dura – Mercury

1.21.21 by Matty McPherson

My currently favored hobby is gazing at the moon as a cool breeze slowly encroaches from the coast. You gotta be patient though, waiting for it to come at you. Thus, I recommend acquiring a zero-gravity reclining chair. As far as I know, dusk, dawn, or as close to midnight as you can are preferred; the stillest, most reflective apexes of the day. Of course, it would not hurt to have a quiet, reflective ambient tape in hand either.

Soundtracking these apexes has been Dura’s Mercury. The man behind the project, Mattson Ogg, has been building a steady array of blissed out ambient, in between helping Luke Stewart with recording a couple of his exceptional improvs released on Astral Spirits and Atlantic Rhythms. Maybe you caught him on a 2019 Garden Portal tape or even earlier on Matthew Sage’s Patient Sounds in 2014. Perhaps you are me and you’ve finally decided to just embrace the unknown with Mercury–the first release on the DC-based Atlantic Rhythms this year. 

Atlantic Rhythms has been adamant about documenting “deep contemporary” music. Releases include free noise, jazz, and komische; all build slow and steady over their respective run times. Even with a “jazz” tag in its Bandcamp page, Mercury leans closer to “american primitivism.” No worries though; it still gracefully parallels those genres’ senses of space and improv. 

Previous releases under the Dura moniker have dabbled in shorter (read: nine minutes instead of eighteen) songwriting, Ogg’s return to longform enshrines that type of deep laid back music for waiting. He’s got natural depth for creating silky nocturnal stillness; the kind that happens at those dusk, dawn, or midnight hours I’ve become so fond of. On “‘I’m Perfect in an Empty Room’”, it practically sounds akin to being under a lone roadside light in the mist. The sound stretched out to infinity for over 15 minutes recalls how Windy and Carl take minor moments and stretch them for ages.

But this is no gazey worship! Even with the guitar/delay pedal combo to enact these kinds of zones, side B of Mercury belongs to a vivid deep listening exercise. As “Interior/Exterior/’God Stays Up All Night’” unfurls, so do a number of echoes. Yet, Ogg chooses not to follow them and instead focus on a delicate strum of his guitar. It’s a gorgeous layering, creating the feeling of being alone together, as the tape hiss feels like a light wind coming off from the cosmic shore.

Dura’s releases have been known to go quite fast-something I imagine will happen two-fold with it being on Atlantic Rhythms. So, snag a copy before the Dura-Heads take ‘em all!

Edition of 100 from the Atlantic Rhythms Bandcamp

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Tabs Out | Staffers – In the Pigeonhole

Staffers – In the Pigeonhole

1.19.21 by Matty McPherson

I’ll admit I have a nasty habit of leaving the punk tapes on my racks. And I apologize! Because there are a lot of little strange nuggets passing through, in those black and white cases. Staffers’ In the Pigeonhole is one such that kinda fell through the crevices throughout the last three months. It’s a shame because for 26 rambunctious minutes, Staffers treat punk like it is a rowdy night at the local high school bar where they just restored the mechanical bull.

Now you might think it a little too hyperbolic or sketchy. No, not at all! DC-implant Ryan McKeever has a knack for the “loud post-punk pop” sound synonymous with Parkay Quarts. His history opening for like minded fellows Bodega, Lithics, and Media Jeweler suggest a kinship for taking the wry sound and squeezing out pop ditties and shanties. And his lyrics are equally brimming hazed dejections on presiding in this perpetual hell world. Yet, nine tracks, it never feels like it’s rushing, just brimming with natural flourishes and one-ups.

For In the Pigeonhole, McKeever is aided by like- minded pedal steelers, violinists, and saxophonists. Staffers have a cathartic kind of feel to their tunes. His sing-speak maintains this shambolic nature that pushes the sound further into folksy bar rock. Aided by partner in crime, Anna McClellan, their harmonies go above yelling into the void, begging you to join in the moment on “Though I Could Do It”. Other times, it is found through Colin Duckworth’s pedal steel action that introduces a country twang as clean as a keg pour with a two-finger head (for the ipa heads at home). 

On the standout last track, “Just Another Tuesday”, both the harmonies and twang meet in unison for a sublime “last call” this side of the Moss Cantina. Yeah, another Tuesday has been wasted, along with another year. But, that’s just the cycle of how things go. If anything, Staffers seem to know that, and their nice cut of post-punk pop to reflect keeps things warm as the nights stay chilled.

Edition of 200 available here and here

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