Tabs Out | Germ Class – Dimensions of Value

Germ Class – Dimensions of Value
3.7.18 by Ryan Masteller

I had a Spirograph as a kid. There was something inherently mesmerizing about the repetitive swirling of the cog within the wheel (were they called cogs and wheels?), and I had one of those pens where you could click down a bunch of different colors, so, like, nine-year-old me could easily work himself into a psychedelic spirally heaven. And now I’m holding in my hand “Dimensions of Value” by Germ Class, and each cassette (edition of 50) comes with a unique hand-Spirographed cover by Fernando Brito. I don’t know about you, but the now-none-of-your-business-year-old me has a pretty deep itch, a hankering, an overwhelming twinge of muscle memory to meet up with that nine-year-old kid I used to be and Spirograph the hell out of my mom’s notebook paper.

Fifty unique covers! This is OTA, aka Ostres Amigos, after all, a lovely tape label out of Portugal imprinting their releases with a totally singular aesthetic, a great idea to separate themselves in the tape game. I’ve got a few of their cassettes, and each one is a work of art. Germ Class is no different, and “Dimensions of Value” is the perfect sonic accompaniment to the artwork. A German Army offshoot featuring Peter Kris, Germ Class also features Stephanie Chan of Dunes on vocals and “NH” on “Programming” – look man, I could wander the internet all day, but it just says “NH_Programming,” and I already did the other two. Like Dirty Beaches with a drum machine and a Cocteau Twins fetish, Germ Class pops dark, slinky noir tunes in the microwave with some electro beats and hits the 30 second button. Sparks flash, imprinting themselves on your corneas, and the resulting visual disturbance looks not unlike Spirograph shapes flashing across your field of vision. Hope the damage isn’t permanent.

So I have some bad news – although “Dimensions of Value” came out in November, it’s already gone from the label. But! There’s one available from this guy on Discogs, just don’t fight too hard over it. Or you could always download the record and tape it, then make your own cover. That might be fun to do, actually, on a rainy afternoon.

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