Tabs Out | New Batch – Moss Archive

New Batch – Moss Archive
11.6.17 by Ryan Masteller

Moss Archive

Moss Archive is an enigma. Well, not really, not if your idea of an enigma entails such questions as, “What sort of quality release is MA releasing this month?” That’s more of a general question that all smart consumers ask their entertainment purveyors. And aren’t we all smart consumers in modern capitalist America? Regardless, if you were wondering where the Worcester label’s September 2017 batch falls within the general spectrum of experimental electronic tapes that they tend to release, you’re asking the right person. Because I’m going to tell you. Not here, though, below—where the reviews are. But let’s briefly wet your whistle in the two literal seconds before you read on, shall we? These two tapes show two very different sides of the Moss Archive coin – variety is the spice of life, friends.


I like what label honcho Joe Bastardo says about “Dropup” — “[Some of] the most mind-bending sonic obstacle courses I’ve ever encountered. Not for the faint of heart.” Truer words, folks, have rarely been spoken, as Peter Seligman plasters the insides of your tape player with what is essentially the sonic equivalent of a paintball battle. Scratch that – more like a paintball massacre inside a 5×5 closet. And it’s a ten-on-ten game. Imagine that – all those bodies crammed, air rifles blazing, paint covering everything… inside the closet you built in your stereo! And Seligman makes the electronic sounds emanating from it – this truly is the blurst of times. Whether it’s the gonzo introduction “Obwave,” a made-up word that perfectly captures who Seligman—the man, the DJ, the producer, the New Yorker—is within its phonetic pronunciation, or the gonzo “Arf” (not a cover), or the gonzo “Rauv” (you get the idea, it’s all gonzo), every second of “Dropup” is weird and uncompromising. And the more you come back to the tape, the more you realize that “extra chewing” is sort of a mission statement here, insinuating that all the gooey electro splatters require extended comprehensive mastication to fully reflect their toothsome tactility. What I’m saying is, chew hardy, contemplate, and enjoy.


Joshua Stefane has, ahem, endured a lot, if his discography is any indication. The Ontario-born, Japan-based musician is neck-deep into a career that’s spanned thousands of miles, and he documents it both through sound, via his ambient moniker Endurance, and through vision—his photographs have graced a couple album covers along the way. A translator by trade, Stefane is deft at bridging divides, transcending language and culture with his music and getting right to the center of human emotion. On “Heteros,” “Origin” and “Outside the Body,” sides A and B respectively, guide you on a path to discovery through your own nostalgia, pinpointing the tension associated with painful learning and understanding but directing you to a better sense of self-awareness on the other end. Using tape loops and processing them with pedals and other gear, Stefane harnesses fragments of life and manipulates them into a haunting whole, dour but satisfying like a stormcloud on the immediate horizon that’s about *checks watch, checks track runtimes* fifteen minutes away, which is exactly how long each side is. You can mark the cloud’s approach as you listen to “Heteros,” and you can feel it merge with your being when it finally arrives. Oh, and Sean “Inner Islands” Conrad mastered this? That makes SO MUCH SENSE. This is right up his alley.


For these and all your other Moss Archive needs, you best head on over to the Bandcamp page. Once there, I guarantee you’ll buy more than just these two tapes (limited to 50 each, by the way).

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