Tabs Out | Fabrica’s “Idle Chatter” Series Plows On with Second Installment

Fabrica’s “Idle Chatter” Series Plows On with Second Installment
2.9.18 by Mike Haley


Fabrica Records kicked off their Idle Chatter series in 2016 with a triple cassette featuring Gambletron, NaEE RoBErts, and Wren Turco called “Transparens.” The idea was to have an artist – in this case Wren Turco – choose two other artist to share the release with. Wren Turco described her thinking behind the curation:

“For this series, I chose powerful, diverse, female contributions by artists producing interdisciplinary work in the fields of audio and visual composition. Gambletron and NaEE RoBErts are two individuals that I feel are breaking boundaries in these fields and I am so honored to be working with them. The artwork was created from a sequence of transparent sculptural projections that gradually mutate in motion. The three images used were taken from a current project I’m working on entitled, ‘Jelly Sins.”

Preorders are up now for the second installment, “Held There, Beside The Signified.” Mkl Anderson handles the draft this time around and contributes under his long-haul moniker Drekka. Drekka recordings go back to the late 90’s and have been released on labels like Dais, Auris Apothecary, and his own Bluesanct operation. Anderson went with Pillars And Tongues and Skrei to round out this haunting triple tape. Samples suggest an uphill battle, one that requires stamina and dedication. Plenty of nagging echos and knee-deep mud slides happening during these long-playing tracks. Drekka, for example, lays out 3 dozen minutes of “sound palindromes.” Coupling that with Mark Trecka, Evan Hydzik, Ben Babbitt and Beth Remis’ panoramic Pillars And Tongues work and Giuseppe Capriglione abrasive ambiance as Skrei makes Idle Chatter a marathon, not a jog.

100 copies will be made. Preorders are up now with a release show scheduled for 2/25 @ Trans Pecos in NYC (aka “Big Apples”).

| Tagged Comments Off on Tabs Out | Fabrica’s “Idle Chatter” Series Plows On with Second Installment

Tabs Out | Shedding – Plod and Play, Vol.2

Shedding – Plod and Play, Vol.2
2.7.18 by Mike Haley

“The library investigator’s name is actually Bookman?”
“It’s true.”
“That’s amazing. That’s like an ice cream man named Cone.”

-Kramer and the Librarian, in “The Library

My goodness what I would give for Kramer to BURST into my house while listening to Shedding’s “Plod and Play, Vol.2” on Obsolete Staircase. We’d probably start off with a classic back and forth about what an obsolete staircase could possibly be. That would naturally segue to his plans for levels (you know, like ancient Egypt). But the award winning chatter would come when I was asked what tape was playing…

“It’s called Shedding.”
“Shedding? Who is that?”
“Connor Bell.”
“Connor Bell!? The person who is conjuring bells here is actually named Connor Bell?”
“It’s true.”
“That’s amazing. That’s like a harsh noise man named Wall.”

We’d have so many freakin’ laughs, us two, but Kramer would have made a decent point. “Plod and Play, Vol.2” is a god damn, full-on cornucopia of bells! An errant gravy of small to tall, softly hewed, and slightly rusty bells that make magic *pops* and deeeeep doooooown *plooooooms* with crypto precision. Oh how they plod and play! Shedding shows no shortage when it comes to bells – There are bushy-tailed ones, straight out of the factory, yet to experience stress or strain. With swagger they go by church steeples, pointing and giggling as they sound off with their perky byte-sized bursts. Clunky old timers show up, too. All stout and tired. They mostly make dusty echos and pretend that their flaccid clappers are capable of more than barely chafing their mouths. It’s pathetic to witness, but makes for an excellent backdrop of sound. I think the Liberty Bell even makes an appearance towards the last few minutes of each side. Poor bastard.

The bells may not be real bells, but the tones are, and they’re spectacular. Connor Bell puts these tones through impressive drills. I don’t think Seinfeld ever did an episode about bells, but if they ever do – “Plod and Play, Vol.2” should replace the between-scenes music. Go get a copy!!

| Tagged Comments Off on Tabs Out | Shedding – Plod and Play, Vol.2

Tabs Out | New Batch – Constellation Tatsu

New Batch – Constellation Tatsu
2.5.18 by Mike Haley

The levels of chill Constellation Tatsu‘s winter batch enjoy are, quite frankly, dangerous and irresponsible. This amount of chill could terrorize a small town of simple folk. Hell, it could probably sway a decently populated country (let’s say Latvia) to switch it’s currency to crystals, or the national anthem to a Terry Riley VHS. C.Tatsu doesn’t care though. They’ve done this sort of thing before, and surely will do it again. Unabashed they released their winter batch of four tapes. So, Latvians, say goodbye to singing Dievs, svētī Latviju.

Rose and Hakobune, who both sweat out watercolor on their tapes like they are wringing towels, are returning members to the Tatsu catalog, as are Celer and Forest Management, who collaborate this time around on the immersive narrative “Landmarks.” A description of the recording reads:

“Collaborating for the first time, Will Long and John Daniel combine their methods using tape machines, loops, and computers to score a reimagining of Peter Weir’s film and Paul Theroux’s novel “The Mosquito Coast”. Sourcing inspiration from a view of the film and book as a historical pendulum, the musicians found that these reinterpretations left them nostalgic for a different time, something that’s only partly imagined, and without the defined predictions about the life cycles of mass culture based on our limited understanding of current events.”

Memorygarden禅 puts a plastic beach chair into full recline with their Tatsu debut “districtアトランティス.” I’m sure the rest of the batch would love to raz the newcomer, but who has the energy for that???

“Can the chill be TOO CHILL!?” he asked, holding back tears. Find out: The winter batch is only $16ppd (!!!) and you’d be the most unchill idiot if you didn’t buy them all right now.

| Tagged Comments Off on Tabs Out | New Batch – Constellation Tatsu

Tabs Out | Alien Trilogy – Snake Trader

Alien Trilogy – Snake Trader
2.2.18 by Ryan Masteller

Over at my other gig there’s been an internal resurgence in discussing favorites: album, book, TV show, food … film. To my surprise, there’s a contingent – and it’s not a small one – that considers Ridley Scott’s “Alien” the pinnacle of the cinematic experience. I can’t fault them – “Alien” is a great flick, not my all-time favorite, but I certainly rank it quite highly. (For those of you wondering, Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy was my answer for EVERY SINGLE CATEGORY. I will never apologize.)

So thanks, Alien Trilogy, for allowing me that anecdotal opportunity. The Brooklyn trio has clearly ceased watching films circa 1992 following David Fincher’s prison-planet offering “Alien 3,” a, shall we say, lesser entry in the series. No matter, because we’re not here to debate the merits of pretty much anything beyond the original “Alien” (unless, of course, you’re feeling argumentative and you want to take me on with that, but I don’t recommend it). We’re here to check out tapes, and lots of them, this being a website that prominently features a cassette podcast after all. Today we’re ripping through “Snake Trader” by the band Alien Trilogy, not the trilogy “Alien Trilogy.” Let’s stay focused.

Indebted to all the best, worst, weirdest, and wildest sci-fi, Alien Trilogy takes the historical aesthetics of all the movies that have seeped into their personalities, shakes them up in a martini-mixer-like device, and pours out the intoxicating Romulan ale–ish result as if they were tending bar at an interstellar watering hole. The synth/guitar/drums lineup perfectly delivers the goods, the thick, rapid, noisy, and, dare I say, “alien” sonic assault sounding like a post punk take on whatever soundtrack Terror Vision is releasing these days. Or like I Am Spoonbender’s “Sender/Receiver,” but with vocals and awesome film dialogue samples.

And then there’s this guy on the front with the snakes… Yikes.

This edition of 100 hand-numbered copies available from Already Dead Tapes was probably salvaged from a suspiciously lifeless vessel discovered in deep space. If you decide to order one, don’t be surprised if a facehugger tags along in the package.

| Tagged Comments Off on Tabs Out | Alien Trilogy – Snake Trader

Tabs Out | The Anti-Cassettes of Auris Apothecary

The Anti-Cassettes of Auris Apothecary
2.1.18 by Mike Haley

Generally speaking a desired feature with cassette tapes is that they are easily playable. A dowsing of variants exist, but ideally someone producing a cassette would use high grade magnetic tape, employ real-time or professional duplication, and pack that sucker in a fresh Norelco case. Nowhere during that process would rotten meat or sand make an appearance. Those materials are far from industry standards (I checked). The cassette industry newsletter must have went straight to Auris Apothecary‘s spam folder. Ooops! The Indiana-based label has a long and strong catalog traversing the freeway of possible formats: vinyl, CDr, runs of NES OST tapes, floppy discs, reel-to-reels, etc… They also have a reputation of taking the exit ramp and voyaging the roads far less traveled. The ones paved with rotten meat and sand. I’m talking about anti-cassettes.

Traditionally, anti-cassettes are tapes designed to be impossible to play, or at the very least, a major fucking chore. Auris Apothecary did not invent the format, but have most definitely matured it into a thoughtful art/mind/music experimentation. “Anti-cassettes to us represent a way to implement tangible manifestations of abstract concepts.” said label guru Dante Augustus Scarlatti. “Multiple layers of ideas are embedded into every facet of them, from the audio content and the title, to the artwork and the alteration. Almost every piece of anti-releases are cohesively created and directly tied into one another, rather than simply being a collection of new songs or a random musical object that’s been senselessly destroyed.”

Luckily their plans to use spoiled meat as packaging got canned, along with other bonker blueprints like an ant farm anti-cassette. Sand got the green light in 2010 with AA’s inaugural anti-cassettes Unholy Triforce’s ‎”Sandin’ Yr Vagina.” The plugged-up tapes were filled to the brim with sand, labeled with a vintage label maker, and packaged in an emery clothe (basically sand paper) Ocard. “To this day it’s our most destructive release, musically and conceptually, as it can destroy the machine it’s played in and makes a mess wherever it goes.” If you ask me, anyone attempting to play a tape full of sand deserves to have their deck gnarled up. Dante Augustus Scarlatti has a rosier view. “We very much want people to figure out a way to play back the music contained on our anti-releases. We meticulously test for and can guarantee the salvageability of the audio content for every copy, despite how they may appear.”

Standards are just shy of using a cleanroom and wearing one of those full-body suits (booties to hood style) for their anti-cassette process. While working on “Siberiliszt Inferno” by Unholy Triforce in 2015, a cassette that was literally melted – Melted! – caution was taken not to touch the tape reels. Imagine getting a molten ball of tape and thinking “Let me make sure no one touched the reels!” Up to 71 people may have done that.

Prototypes for the “Baptism” anti-cassette C30 by Rob Funkhouser ran into a unique snag when the water that the tapes were submerged in became cloudy from rust. “We removed the metal and felt pieces” Dante said of the solution, noting an attempt to avoid “compromising the magnetic materials.” That helicopter parenting is what sections off Auris Apothecary’s anti-cassettes from something like “Wind Licked Dirt” by The Haters, an anti-cassette released by Hanson that is played by rubbing it in dirt. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

“Some are harder than others to play back, but none of them are impossible, and they all contain unique music written for the release. Viewing them as “art objects” and never listening is like owning a book for the cover art but never reading it.” The level of difficulty ranges from beginner to expert. If you only feel comfortable toweling off hot sauce and unfurling 50 square feet of aluminum foil, you’re in luck. Maybe you want to tackle a sonic-welded (no screws) tape with toothless spools. Go for it! Or just put the entire damn thing together yourself.

A full archive of Auris Apothecary’s anti-cassettes can be accessed through this anti-link: L#-_I}}][}{\N.k

| Tagged Comments Off on Tabs Out | The Anti-Cassettes of Auris Apothecary

Tabs Out | Mukqs – 起き上がり

Mukqs – 起き上がり
1.31.18 by Ryan Masteller

Mukqswell Allison is no stranger to the Doom Trip roster, having appeared on the spectacular (if I do say so myself) “Doom Mix Vol. 1” way back in seventeen. The erstwhile Good Willsmith–smith returns from whence he came, like a dove to the ocean, with 起き上がり, or “To Get Up,” which some of us relate to and some of us don’t, depending on how tired we are after an all-night bender. (I’m of the early bird variety, non-all-night-bender edition.) Mukqs is up with sun, ready for the day, because he’s a really, really industrious fellow. He may not even have gone to bed the night before, to be honest. I don’t know for sure.

Not changing up the electronic improvisational approach one bit, because that’s what makes the fat stacks of cash roll in, Mukqs breathes his usual exotic life into his soundworlds, crafting something between Castlevania drama and the Hyrule nightlife scene, with of course a little bit of desert-world Mario for good measure. Yes, 起き上がりis a nostalgic pleasure cruise, but with the danger and excitement of a midnight buffet on that pleasure cruise, where you’re not really sure if the custard has curdled or the shrimp have turned yet. But maybe they have, and that’s OK – Mukqs’s style renders the cold remove of electronic music humid and vaporous, and food goes bad pretty quickly in its presence.

As we return on the waves of the dawn, our dreams fading, shouting “We’re up, we’re up!” to our irate mothers and even to Mukqs himself, who of course is quietly tut-tutting in our direction while sipping his third cup of coffee, we are blessed with the weird pulses greeting us from our tape recorder, content in the knowledge that once again, Mr. Maximilian Allison has safely and courageously saved us singlehandedly from a life of boredom. He may also inspire you, too, little ad-libber – I myself once did the improv live-no-overdubs thing with an electric guitar, a practice amp, and a distortion pedal. (I called it “Brachiosaurus,” which would have met the approval of my six-year-old son.) Sadly, no tapes of it exist to this day. Point is, get out of bed and get busy making something! It might be cool.

It might be worth making 125 tapes of. And whaddya know, 125 are tapes available from old Doom Trip. Wait, still available? How have they not sold out already? What the Mukqs?! (OK, nobody says that, I admit it.)

| Tagged Comments Off on Tabs Out | Mukqs – 起き上がり

Tabs Out | Niedowierzanie – Lumière

Niedowierzanie – Lumière
1.29.18 by Ryan Masteller

Can you believe what you’re hearing? Because I can’t, and I’m the one doing all the heavy lifting with this whole “music criticism” thing. Don’t think it’s not a burden, because it is. A massive, massive burden.

Niedowierzanie, a word which I’m copying and pasting from now on, is the musical nom de plume (or de guerre if there’s battle involved, and I’m not sure there’s not) of Léo Maury of France, and he’s been around for a while now doing his thing – a quick check comes up with twelve years. (Gosh, 2006 seems like forever ago.) Literally meaning “disbelief” (see what I did there?), Niedowierzanie does what not many people really know how to do very well: marry the interstellar awe of a really good synthesizer with the pulsing rhythms of a sci-fi action sequence. I can count on one hand the artists who are also really good at that: John Carpenter and Yves Malone, and Yves is pretty much John Carpenter for the twenty-first century (and this is not a slight). Niedowierzanie fits right in with these two loonballs, and “Lumière” is a master class in this type of composition. (Or, uh, I dunno, maybe it’s a week at night school? I honestly don’t know if you need a master’s degree or not for this.)

“Lumière” shines itself into dark crevasses and corners, a beacon of neon in a twisted, violent world. Whether Maury’s walking through the city streets at night or chilling with Mulder and Scully on the wrong side of a chain link fence, he’s got the mood under such control that considering any other option is just stupid. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Niedowierzanie may have just jumped to the top of my Halloween party playlist for next year. And no, we don’t DO the “Monster Mash.”

Creepy crawl all the way over to the Lighten Up Sounds and buy one of the seventy tapes that are for sale, if you dare.

| Tagged Comments Off on Tabs Out | Niedowierzanie – Lumière

Tabs Out | Episode #118


Forest Management - Rotating Angle (Unifactor)
Brett Naucke - The Back Of The Garden (Unifactor)
Dominic Coppola - Honeymoon Phase (Unifactor)
Darren Keen - It's Never Too Late To Say You're Welcome (Orange Milk)
Patrick Shiroishi - Tulean Dispatch (Mondoj)
Sharon Gal - Delicious Fish (Fractal Meat Cuts)
Střed Světa - Rozmístění opakováním (Baba Vagna)
Platzangst - Call Before You Dig (OTA)
Smegma - s/t (Post-Materialization Music)
Charlemagne Palestine ‎– STTT THOMASSS """"DINGGGDONGGGDINGGGzzzzzzz ferrrr TONYYY"""" (Blank Forms)
Jack Taylor - Somnii (Dinzu Artefacts)
Twig Harper, Bill Nace, John Olson - Live At No Response Festival (No Response)


| Comments Off on Tabs Out | Episode #118

Tabs Out | Episode #117


Jack Hardy - For the Sake of Finding Your Clothes (CMM)
Radiator Greys - Life in the Blast Radius (Devine)
Moomaw - ACEJEWEL69/ACIDJOCK420 (Become Eternal)
Inspired School Of Astral Music - Seekers (Cosmic Winnetou)
The Ether Staircase - Aether 6 (Cave Recordings)
Peter Kris - Dutch Flat (Patient Sounds)
Collaped Arc - In Tension (Polar Envy)
Directives - Usphutorontus Deius Nissesubla (Aubjects)
Halfbird - Loomings (SDM)
Grasshopper - Zombie Flesh Eaters ('79) (self released)
Ivy Meadows - Zodiac (Moon Glyph)
Damion Romero - Missing Link (Hanson)


| Comments Off on Tabs Out | Episode #117

Tabs Out | First Terrace Records releases the multifaceted stunner “Compilation 2”

First Terrace Records releases the multifaceted stunner “Compilation 2”
1.26.18 by Mike Haley

Let’s say a friend is telling you a story about, I don’t know, going to Whole Foods for avocado water or whatever. If during that story they offhandedly mention that Huey Lewis was there shopping for chestnut kefir spread I would call them out for burying the lede. The avocado water story, no matter how interesting, becomes meaningless when The News (lol) is now 100% Huey.

First Terrace Records buried the lede with “Compilation 2.” And boy did they pile the dirt on.

The image above shows off the compilation’s exceptional packaging and contents. The gold embossed box with prints and a zine looks like something you would see attached to the article “Woman discovers original Basquiat journal in cigar box.” The curation is flawless. You can stream all thirteen tracks if you don’t trust me for some reason. Even if you do trust me, listen to them anyway for a frothy lathering of damaged energy and a hard-won out of body bubble bath.

BUT the real story here: The runtime of “Compilation 2” is 68 minutes long. Just one minute shy of a very VERY funny number of minutes. Start off with that, then get into how fucking amazing this thing is. That tip is free for First Terrace. The tape will cost you, but it’s worth it.

| Comments Off on Tabs Out | First Terrace Records releases the multifaceted stunner “Compilation 2”