Tabs Out | Various Artists – Splixtape

Various Artists – Splixtape
1.9.19 by Ryan Masteller

We take notice sometimes. We don’t have our heads so far crammed into the earth like ostriches that we are unaware of unusual instances that happen outside of our immediate frame of reference. No matter how often or how thoroughly some of us clean the HQ studio or pat ourselves on the back for it, our job remains the same: to report back to you on the rare and exciting occurrences coming to a boil on the hot stove of independent underground tape culture. We are heroes, in a sense.

And so it is today that we have something rare and exciting – a new tape label, fresh-faced and enthusiastic, not at all ground down yet by the rigors of its operation. Hypnic Jerk (great name) out of Birmingham, Alabama, a place I only know because I pass its exit sometimes on 75 when I’m heading north (otherwise the whole of Alabama is just a peripheral dream to me), is looking ahead to a perfectly stupendous 2019. In this season of year-end lists and other ephemeral nostalgic nonsense, Hypnic Jerk slides “Splixtape” across the counter with an icky wink, ensuring that they’ve made some kind of impression on us music writers who now wearily have to create a “2019 year-end list” Excel doc before 2018 even kicks the bucket.

But we’re not all such a cynical bunch (OK, sure we are, who am I kidding), so it is with some semblance of seasonal joy that I can report “Splixtape” is ACTUALLY worth starting up a new best-of list – its five tracks by four artists expand like atoms across the expanse after some bang of a big type. All four are legends in the long-form guitar/synthesizer evolution field, and all step up big time and deliver: Prana Crafter, ragenap, Tarotplane, and Horse Apples keep you hanging on every second of “Splixtape,” hoping against hope that you drift forever on their vibes. Ranging from celestial ambient to overdriven post rock (guitar only), you’ll find something for every itch you’ll ever need to scratch. Unless of course that itch is some sort of hip hop, metal, indie rock, R&B, vaporwave, EDM, Cheesecake, Afrobeat, etc. itch… that’s actually a lot of itches. You should go to the doctor.

You may have to wait till February 6 for the physicals to drop, but you can enjoy streaming “Splixtape” on Hypnic Jerk’s Bandcamp page right freaking now!

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