Tabs Out | Manuka – Tape Shaping

Manuka – Tape Shaping

3.11.20 by Ryan Masteller

Look, I know you can basically do anything with tape, but did you know you can record Eurorack synth patches to reel-to-reel? Me neither, but that’s why I do this, that’s why I’m here: to learn, to get better at my job, to make the Tabs Out family proud of me. I think we’ve got a real winner on our hands here, and I can’t wait to teach the podcast boys a little something they may not have known.

Manuka, aka Glasgow-based Rory Green, made these three meditative pieces all in one take. You gotta get yourself in some kind of groove to be able to hold that mood for the duration, and sure enough, Green’s basically in a synth trance for this whole thing. Instinctively manipulating the machine so that it emits waves that tiptoe the fine line between sound and light, Green messes with your senses in such a way that you’ll be seeing sound-activated color pods the whole time you’re listening. The color palette changes with the mood. And it’s always moody!

Bouts of synaesthesia aside (which I battle quite frequently; well, “give in to” rather than “battle”), “Tape Shaping” sounds nothing like its process or its parts, and that’s just fine. It gently hijacks your mind and veers it down hidden synthetic paths worn smooth by circuitry and electronics. It makes you feel like you’re riding “Tron” laser bikes, but if those bikes were going way slower and taking in all the computer scenery. Maybe you’re spending the afternoon with your sweetheart on a tandem “Tron” laser bike and heading for a picnic. Anything’s possible!

And anything’s probably in the hands of an expert. Hey, this is a tape about making a tape with tape we’re talking about here, an experimental synthesizer tape at that too, so this should be like catnip for all you weirdos out there, including the Tabs Out boys. I dare you to prove me wrong. 

Please don’t try to prove me wrong, I was just saying it.

These lovely tapes come courtesy of Philly’s own Dead Definition

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