8.24.13: Tape Of The Month – August 2013
TITLE: Hold Music
LABEL: Vuzh Music
EDITION: Open Edition
August has been a stupid-busy month. My wife is headed back to work, leaving me to fend for myself in house with a toddler and an infant that I’m sure are both out to ruin me. While preparing for the exhausting task of keeping both of them alive and making sure they don’t completely despise me as a person, I’ve still managed to jam plenty of cassettes, and I’ve been presented with an analog smörgåsbord of pleasant surprises. A brand new San Francisco imprint Tumeric Magnitudes delivered some new names to my ear holes, as did the Already Dead label. I also FINALLY (way overdue) got my tangible Beer On The Rug introduction with Prism Corp Virtual Enterprises’ “Home™” cassette, who’s midi delights gave me the motivation to hook up my Sega Genesis and rack up a few rounds of Side Pocket. The tape that really stood out in the stack of new found August sweetness was the C.Reider “Hold Music” C60 on Vuzh Music.
C.Reider was releasing cassettes as far back as 1995. It was around that time that I got a Plow United / NOFX mix tape stuck in the deck of my first car, an ’88 Buick Regal, so needless to say I wasn’t aware of his noiserings at the time. Previous to “Hold Music”, his last cassette came out in 1999 (also on the Vuzh operation he runs) before opting to switch over to the world of CDRs and MP3s . Despite his vast and long haul of a career my first experience with his sonic jams was this month. What was supposed to be background sounds while anchoring a dresser to a wall (A fucking 120 year old plaster wall with crumbling bricks behind it, so you fucking can’t anchor shit to them without grinding it all to dust, but don’t get me started on that shit. Serenity now!) turned into repeat plays, the safety of my child put on the back burner while Reider burned it out.
“Hold Music” is an even 10 tracks of serious mood music, mostly improvised pieces, with a couple of field recordings. The opener, The Old Way, is a deep-meditation of guttural oscillations and buzzing high-end clocking in at a fairly short four and a half minutes before the first field recording, Band at Fickel Park. Being that Reider is from Colorado, I assume this recording is from the Fickel Park in Berthoud, CO located at 620 Mountain Avenue. The Berthoud Parks & Recs website says they got a newly refurbished tennis court with lights, so be sure to check that out if you’re in the area. The field recording grips the sounds of birds, some wind chimes, and ongoings in the distance. There doesn’t appear to be any manipulations done, just a pure recording of nature, and a nice transition piece from The Old Way to Print Room. Not a field recording of a park, but Print Room keeps my brain in that zone with some breezy vocal drones and the staccato pestering of a woodpecker made using the app NodeBeat, a fancy looking sequencer for your iPad, Kindle Fire, and the like. I don’t usually like when artists list the equipment they use on recordings, mainly because it feels like they are stroking their gear boners, but I dig it here. Maybe it’s because C.Reider notes the use of a wide variety of objects and instruments on each track, and uses them well. It doesn’t come across as snobbish “look what vintage synth I snagged on eBay” blah-blahing. From The Gristleizer and Casper Electronics Novadrone on The Old Way to the tape loops (two to be exact) on the aptly named fourth track, Oily Residue, to the field recordings and Bach samples Reider pans his items and tactics on a dope scale. The track Bottle Reduction lists his paraphernalia as “Bottles, reduction”. Not sure what the bottles were filled with, but judging by the minimal feeps and rumbles, it tasted like what the cover of 2001 on laserdisc looks like. Seven and a half minutes of crystallized drone melt away the A side.
After a quick flip, The B side wastes no time diving into weird territory. An Orange One is a squiggly two minutes and where the previously mentioned Bach sample is used. Good thing that was noted on the Jcard, because I never would have guessed it. Johann Sebastian’s jamming being heavily altered into vivid fantasy dip. The second of two field recordings is Apple Store. Now, I’ve never been in an Apple Store before, so someone fill me in. Is it a fucking party in that place or what?! There’s a chorus of, like, 100 people probably all saying “this isn’t working” and “I need the new version of this” and “the new version of this isn’t working”. I gotta check that place out. Do they serve coffee? Silenus’ Advice is the longest cut on “Hold Music”, taking up 1/4 of the 60 minutes, and a solid ending to a solid tape. A thick delivery of tactile waves blast and bubble, and they are long enough to get lost inside of.
The artwork isn’t anything to write home about, but after spending an hour navigating the diverse aural universe C.Reider created I’m not about to complain. The brown, almost construction paper, with black printing is pretty nice and I’m into all the liner notes on the second panel. I should mention, as he did, that tracks 3,4,5,7,& 8 were made for the Disquiet Junto and track 9 appeared version on the No-R-Mal II compilation. The black cassette shell has black and white labels on both sides, with a little notch cut out of the lower left hand corner where you can see a white stamp that says Vuzh Music. Makes me wonder what else was stamped under this label??? I’m assuming these tapes were originally used for something else and dubbed over. Not sweating it though, cause they are solid home dubs.
You can purchase “Hold Music” for $6.00 from Vuzh Music but, as it’s stated several times in several places, C.Reider prefers trades. So be quick and barter up! So much is going down on this tape. You’re gonna wanna get involved with it for sure!