Tabs Out | Invertebrates – Demo

Invertebrates – Demo

10.3.22 by Matty McPherson

If my brother is sending me a punk tape and I really haven’t a proper clue of what Im to do with it, I let it sizzle. I’d dub this an act of tender love and affection, but the truth is I should of had six minutes sooner! if you have six minutes, you should just do the right thing and take every tape as a study break from real work–enough to study those differences between the shades of hardcore punk; this is real scholarly activity that puts you on the level of Zorn! Such was the case with my excursion listening to Invertebrates, a Richmond, VA based punk quartet that my brother happened to make posters for and somehow knew to save me a tape. Thanks brother, I dearly appreciated this.

Anyways, with limited promotion, Raleigh, NC-based label Sorry State Records and Invertebrates seemed to quickly and quietly sell out of two runs of tapes for this demo. Exactly what was the fuss? Well Chubb, Merm, Jerry, and Minx–some of which are members of Public Aid and “NC punk legends WRIGGLE”–hashed out a bonafide burst of hardcore, pristine ’82 vintage energy; any SST tape hound who thinks “Spot-handshake deal” production is the pinnacle of guitar music will find joy in these 4 cuts. They screen printed the tapes, with slight deviations between the covers. It’s a power move that genuinely indicates “this ain’t no crapshoot, but a quality product that is one of a kind and yours to cherish.”

Over the course of nearly six minutes, the quartet hit the ground with mad-capper energy, power chords, and an unwieldy good time. It’s not so much that this does extend quite well to the pits of Gonerfest or the pages of Maximum Rock n’ Roll, but that these little energy burst is primed and directed with finesse. Clearly, these 4 tracks are explosive, but its a precise “carpet-bomb” type of explosion they burst out. Even while all the cuts are kept to the red (with vocals delivered over a collect call line from hell), there’s a significant push-and-pull melody that keeps a zany, unkempt swagger; the kind that ebbs and flows enough to tell that even if the guitar is slashing and going “AWOOGA,” its the drums who run the tempo and dictate the direction. Such is in particular on Shit Pit’s devious breakdown and shotgun rush blast beats that practically kick the tempo up high enough to force the guitar solo to speed up.

Demo sold out at all sources, although it remains name your price, with all proceeds going to the Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project. Chip in, won’t you?

Tabs Out | Yes Selma – Dulce en Rune

Yes Selma – Dulce en Rune

9.21.22 by Matty McPherson

Chad Beattie’s Yes Selma project is self-described as “the musical vehicle of expression.” Recorded near the start of the year, the multi-instrumentalist creates his own, jubilant one-man orchestras. It’s a joyous ruckus that layers and loops these swap meet sorts of worlds; beautiful treasures hidden amongst the junkers. It’s music that feels as out of time as Dead Can Dance or the folk traditions Power/Rollins and other collaborators nestle into.

An opening field recording is practically a red herring, masking what is a wicked round of hammered dulcimer or glockenspiel driven music. It has that feeling that can summon fall festivities–like Heron’s increasingly radiant instrumentation (and synthesizer usage), or go deep into reminiscents of gothic cathedrals and graveyards, like on Crow. There, the clank of a ritualistic percussive and salon piano eat the world whole. One Red Bird twinkles whilst an alto sax solo from what sounds of an underground cave throws in a rustic quality to the recently designated ambient jazz buzz. But even this song’s spirit is not wallpaper, but horse! Side A closes with Dix Creek Blues, featuring a lovely, fluid performance from the only other musician on this tape, one Creek.

Side A’s amalgamation of ideas does give way to the utter beauty and simplicity of Side B. Snow is Falling is Asheville is simply that, a delicate dance of the hammered dulcimer and twinkling glockenspiel that fulfills a pastoral fantasy. A motorik, droned impulse channels through the piece that puts it in line as a spiritual cousin to Bulbis’ masterful paeans to lockdown. However, Beattie truly comes into their own with Blue Ridge. Here, the hammered dulcimer’s tuning gives it an imagined regionality to its sound as a few key keys of a piano are repeated as if to invoke a stately presence. It rattles with a regenerative spirit, the energy of a blessed fall harvest being celebrated with dance and bountiful feast. Needless to say, I hadn’t anticipated such an otherworldly yet plainspoken affair to find its way into my walkman. But as it goes.

Dulce en Rune is available in the ever-useful cassette format. Layout by David Van designs. Chrome tape is forever. Limited Edition


Tabs Out | Lucas Abela – Making Corner / Full Body Promise

Lucas Abela – Making Corner / Full Body Promise

9.20.22 by Jacob DeRaadt

On this tape we find Lucas doing something completely fresh and new, which keeps me wondering how many tricks he has up his sleeve. Yes, we think of a caveman howling into a contact mic’d shard of wartime glass, but this is an affair altogether psychedelic and manic in a way that reflects Abela’s use of technologies broken down. It reflects a hyper-tonal universe of rubbery tones that confuse and fascinated for much of the first side.

Surprising bright tape manipulation gets out of control bouncy with raw sound jumping out at odd points in the stereo field. At some extremely choppy moments I find myself thinking of some sounds that remind me of my favorite parts of Skozey Fetisch. Hyperdelic shifting music concrète/synth squelch stretches in-and-out of tape manipulation techniques that are constantly shifting.

It all becomes very human with the inclusion of a sudden voice in the mix.  

We’re constantly shifting between different sound perspectives that range from bells, the human voice, oscillating tones, string abuse(?), a mashing mixer making thudding rhythms that fade in and out of the mix. Interrupting vocal tape scratching punctures the bubble and things begin to move around in asymmetrical fashion, dissolving back into kindergarten twinklings sparkling behind the dark mass of other tape manipulation. Truly confused by what’s going on here and I’m very happy with that… Raw sounds buzzing around the stereo field towards the end with expert control, violin stabbing into liquid space. 

Side two goes beyond this into some sustained spaces of looping fragmented voices warbled by a mutant tape device. The signal dissolves from view and is replaced by a thick soup of interrupting ticks: an ADD nightmare routine. A severely individual realm of sound manipulation opens a pulsating new drive of the glitching tick that holds us to the accidental rhythms band departures that the sound takes from its original form as it encounters different acoustic treatments. There’s more of an emphasis on a grooving throbbing loop of material that quickly dissolves into the signature midi doorbell equipment sound, Abela signaling that the experiment is over. Great tape. Great evolution. Luca is no one trick pony. Copies still available as of this review, don’t sleep on a good one. 

Tabs Out | John O’Neill – Cine/Hollywood Tow

John O’Neill – Cine/Hollywood Tow

9.19.22 by Matty McPherson

Earlier this year the Tabs Out East Coast CEO went ahead and premiered a novel invention for noise practitioners. A simple paper sheet, designating set time lengths and genre variation, that should help the scene with schedule organization and variations. At the local noise coffee shop where I frequent, all the trendy noiseniks have been hailing the invention as a boon, the thing that will start an earnest dialogue about what the perfect set length is. We all want this. Admit it, you do too.

I suppose though that there will always be artists that can subvert the need for such paper sheets by sheer talent. The ones who internally understand that when their piece is done, well it is done and no sheet will designate otherwise. John O’Neill is one such fella with a finger on the pulse there. The LA-based artist has remained uncollected for quite a while, that is until Hot Releases finally made a cold call and copitulated to a perfect “no fat or lean” C28 back in January. Cine / Hollywood Tow is 3 whip-smart variations on a theme: “meditative yet solitarily vibing” more or less. Exactly how it is to be achieved comes through the three live performances that make it clear there is no singular manner to the endeavor.

Side A is completely dominated by “Backyard at Zoey & Craig’s 5/27/21”, which finds O’Neill quickly digging into towards stateless, “open-zone” ambient. There’s nary an undercurrent of brooding anger or simmering rage gestating within the just-shy of 15 minutes performance. Ponderous, brisk synth fog, mousy electronic squeals, and small haptics drone into a Pacific Northwest night walk; low to the ground, deep in the soil–chilled and billed. Even a crow that makes a brilliant stage debut; enough that made me turn my back to check if the garage was open. As the piece draws up, a strange sudden quivering pulse comes through, as it to foreshadow the b-side.

Two tracks here on side-b are wisely cut new adventures down in LA. The UCLA-recorded experiment, 69.000.1 startles at first with the change up in palette. O’Neill still finds comfort in abrasive droning textures and sine wave low frequency oscillation. At piercing volumes, it takes me back to anti-gravity rides at the county fair as much as those dreaded “room of mirrors.” Soon though, we’re inside a wild chainsaw demolition derby in Los Angeles with Station to Station (AM Band). Bouts of generator noise, radio hellscape noise, and evil robot blacksmith” field recording noise all intermingle into a playful final boss form. Yet as time moves, a pulsing drum beat moves to the forefront as the noise drone decays. It’s a fusion that provides the industrial strength backbone and excitement. His noise bashes become more smart bomb-oriented. They honk and wail, even sputtering like a Squidward robot trying to fire off lasers or an arcade machine that wants to offer free change. It never bores over its 11 minute run-time; perfect length from what all the noiseniks are saying at the coffee shop.

It was only released 8 days into this year; sadly sold out for a long time but perhaps not a long time?

Tabs Out | Ypsmael – Box of Black

Ypsmael – Box of Black

9.10.22 by Jacob DeRaadt

Ypsmael – Box of Black

Box of Black by Ypsmael is really well-crafted, modern noisy experimental electronic music with ambient touches in parts that encapsulates a lot of the newer digital aesthetics as well as the abstract. Wails of guitar-as-sound-source approach that sometimes lend themselves to melodic phrasings or repetition, but abruptly cut off. Other songs give an electro acoustic dissonance that sustains tension within bursts of high end feedback sends.

Microphones shake… Four track sliding fuckery of odd popping and rubbing sounds with what sounds like low level voltage stabs under the slowly building layers… The layering in parts is what sustains the tension and fills negative space while not filling them up entirely as a whole.  Muffled voices in the background… Moaning organ sounds against tuned water droplets in a lake or a vast cavern…

The Box of Black shines in the dark, glows with dark messages from other chaotic realms. Different zones get mined throughout a single tape.

Available from Public Eyesore Records who says “Sounds used are guitar, no-input feedback, voice, sipsi, slidewhistle, amplified objects and claves fed into pedals for effects, live loops and textural layering. All were arranged in rural Baden-Württemberg in 2021.”

Tabs Out | Moon Bros – Le Jaz Mystique

Moon Bros – Le Jaz Mystique

9.9.22 by Matty McPherson

It’s LATE summer. The time where the cupeth overflows with crisp golden lagers and the sounds of garden splendor. Sounds quaint but it’s also my own personal hell. Have you ever had a day where you just got feck all happening so you commit the cardinal sin of a wake n’ bake instead of doing Real Tasks? Good times! Usually when this happens I at least try to make a day of it. Fancy movie from the silent era of the silver screen? That with any instrumental tape as a personal soundtrack untangles the weed haze into a personalized cinematic experience. A soundtracked bus ride is also equally as compelling an experience and I’m less likely to grow weary. 

Anyways, I was just thinking the other day about the Tim Stine Trio’s Fresh Demons–man what a jazz tape! I could use something like that, those tumbly guitars and all the bells and whistles. Well fortunately, in between nabbing headshots for his (unconfirmed) role in the U2 biopic, Ryley Walker’s Husky Pants Records is once again stumping for tapes. Moon Bros’ Le Jazz Mystique is the latest release for the label, bringing recent Colorado immigrant, Fred Schneider and his solo 12 string guitar project back to Chicago. The need for this was unknown.

Unlike previous releases that have utilized pedals as pathways to psychedelia, Schneider goes for no-frills guitar maverick majesty. The move to a staunchly realist aesthetic pushes the tape towards a new mode of psychedelia. One practically capturing the feeling of an Italian post-war nitrate classic. However, even with the opener Jitterbug I, you can sense that there’s a great sense of romanticism and a lackadaisical nature to the space. The ebbs and flows of these pieces have tightly wound rhythms in their structure. It renders brief pivots or sly chord shifts into a mental image like a title card! Meanwhile, the following long winding setpieces function as unmoving, grainy one-takes (track titles themselves suggest the take number more than anything) of the mental action. It’s not a dance in the rubble, but a celebration of gracious planes and ample outdoor vistas. 

The simple pleasure of the tape leads to a miraculous one-two closer. The rootin-tootin Honeysuckle Rose III strums with the finesse of oil on canvas, quickly changing from a deep shade of pained, bitter blue into a rustic countryside medley of orange and reds. Don’t Be That Way II meanwhile imagines a soundtrack for a square dance reuniting a familial celebration. It’s airy, evanescent playing keeping an eye-winking energy afoot. Worthy of a glass of the juiciest Syrah and finest silent sunday feature, Le Jaz Mystique tumbles and weaves with a one-track minded exuberance. A dream in heaven for a hound such as myself. 

Edition of 100 tapes dubbed in real time to hi bias cassettes. “it sounds perfect. in hand, ships immediately” from Husky Pants Records

Tabs Out | Irarrázabal / Baldwin – Grips

Irarrázabal / Baldwin – Grips

9.7.22 by Matty McPherson

At 1:34 on my dream day, I walk into the local world class wine & beer market. I make a mad dash for the 50% off table. It’s flush! Just with all my enemies, unfortunately: hazy ipas 4 months past their shelf life and coalescing into a flight risk; saisons that have less personality than the Michelin man; “grape ales” with brett added to turn any party into a “pour one out and cry session;” a cassette from Tripticks Tapes entitled Grips. Wait, how’d that tape get there? Why the feck is Amanda Irarrázabal’s and Nat Baldwin’s double bass improvisation, recorded in August of 2021 and released as a C27, doing on the beer table? This tape just HAS to be straight edge, it just doesn’t have that energy in it!

Naturally, I take it to the register with my “class A enemy” beers. I use my rewards membership, because I like earning points just in case I wanna splurge for an $8 triple IPA that will fail me (they never cease to!). The man sees me purchasing these all. “Buddy,” he graciously tells me with the power of 1000 bodybuliders, “this tape changed my life. It taught me how to drink these beers.” I’m incredulous. I don’t understand how this gentleman and scholar could learn to drink and contemplate the most brazen of beer from the most elliptical and sardonic of double-double bass recordings. I stare into his lone monocle-drenched eye. “Tell me gentleman scholar, how so?”

The gentleman scholar at the counter proceeds to express, in the most beautiful of diction and concise of syntax, his knowledge. Knowledge of how Baldwin and Irarrázabal, whomst had never met in the flesh before meeting on that cramped stage, would spend 27 minutes with unkempt, yet unwavering grins (under their masks) on their faces and a casual wardrobe. Knowledge of how their exploits, over the composition hereby known as Grips, was as spiffy and fleet as a pilsner, but with the droning, recondite pleasures of brett yeast. “You see, when Baldwin and Irarrázabal joust, the clash is akin to synesthesia; it’s a novel flavor you sorta taste and have to hoard for yourself. Their joust is unnerved in its quips and stretches, even as it steadies and stills itself, it can’t help but jolt or twitch. All the while, they still find ways to bring in percussive elements of the bass akin to a coinstar pump n’ dump or boozy triple; drone worthy of the low level listening experience tang of a sour; why even the acoustics are that of a rustic palette akin to the farmhouse ale!” It all sounded too good to be true as I was tapping my credit card and dropping an extra dollar for lotto.

“Gentleman Scholar, this sounds too good to be true!” I bemoaned. “Like, these two Irarrázabal and Baldwin chaps and all these darn noises they’r-” “Highly technical sounds!” the Gentleman Scholar corrected me. “Right, these highly technical sounds, how can they be in service to improving the flavor of a Brett ale?” I gandered. Perhaps I seemed to near-sighted as the clerk responded. “It’s in the vividness. The way these instruments, believed to be so blunt and ‘black and white’ in their approach, can achieve a thriller level funk and uncanny esoteric dividends for the bass! It’s about the process and the excitement of a new amalgamation; when it brightens up the synapses of your mind that’s just the cherry on top” I pondered the fluorescent yellow cassette, peering into its soul, imagining the sounds I’d soon come to hear.

The clerk was no scoundrel. As the dream day turned into a dream night with the beers, Baldwin and Irarrázabal sashayed and moseyed through a variety of acrobatic sleights. With only 27 minutes, their plucky style of jazz stays precocious. Their movements are steady leaps of faith, an implicit trust carrying the weightlessness of the effort along. It made me a better listener as much as a beer aesthetic ponderer. I suppose that happens sometimes to the best of us.

Tabs Out | Coral Club – Lost Cities

Coral Club – Lost Cities

9.1.22 by Matty McPherson

Let’s cut to the brass tax about Lost Cities. You see that title and image, you already think you’ve an idea of the tape in your mind. Take a step back though. Think of the past week. The clouds past the mountains, by the desert have been Nope-level ponderous. A weird sticky humidity that ain’t regionally average has been hanging over this month, one that should be tropical but trolls instead. It only reinforces a new kind of heat you’ve yet to really meet.

You start to recall that day you took the bus to a library branch hoping to hash out some work and instead were greeted with a lack of any available power outlets. You need a chiller tape, like Lost Cities on standby for a case like this. Because Alexander Sirenko’s Coral Club project is all chiller music actively out of this time. Is it evoking jungle canopies or ancient city plazas where a mist hangs over? That’s an easy image to prescribe to over the course of its seven, expanse oriented tracks.

For Sirenko’s sound for Coral Club is gaseous. For as much as it evokes early Conspiracy International Chris & Cosey, its also a damn-nice pairing with M. Geddes Gengras’ latest. The emphasis on synth drones and percussive clatters immediately denotes it with qualities as transportive as trance-oriented music. Especially as the clatter turns into simple, booming patterns that aren’t quite dance-centered, but indeed anthemic and attention grabbing. Combine that with Sirenko’s decision to layer the recordings with synthetic sounds that can range from almost-animal to alien, and the result is a series of tracks that just hover. It’s not library music or new age, but just a non-linear, reimagined sense of ancient tones. Tapes like this feel miraculous in how they can remind you that.

Perhaps though the vaporous and miraculous qualities of the tape have a premonition to them.Sirenko’s bandcamp page states the tracks are a response to “deserted urban cores” amongst “disappearing epochs and cultures.” When I reflect on the low lighting of that library with no outlets, itself the result of a (somewhat) thriving city center, Im at least comforted in that moment, but even I feel ancient as this tape’s affect brilliantly unearths. If anything, I’m left pondering one absolute knockout of a closer; the ambient dub of Eldorado that deconstructs itself until synthetic flutes and droning loops see the sun fade down.

Alexander Sirenko’s Coral Club project is going for 2 for 2 in 2022. I’m no scion I can’t tell you the significance of those numbers. Nor how the Russian producer landed one for Not Not Fun and Moon Glyph in such a short span–all Sirenko needs is a Blues Tape catalog number that’s what we call a tape hat trick. Top shelf stuff, never seen it in my life but a fella can dream amongst the lost cities.

Limited Pro-dubbed cassette, imprint, sticker, full color artwork available at the Moon Glyph Bandcamp Page

Tabs Out | Viiofix / Viimeinen – split

Viiofix / Viimeinen – split

8.30.22 by Jacob DeRaadt

Viimeinen side: Creaking loops of ominous discord surge through tunnels underground, granting no access to inner portals of clanging mists. Tape loops corroding in bogs of metal scrapyards that echo off time, these forlorn gusts respond to the clanking metallic objects at the edge of perception. Again, more corrosion into inner memory as another fiercer grinding loops takes the forefront. Strange beasts and insects begin making their howls and night chirps into the mix, fading into the night….

A sound resounds in the tomb, hauling off slowly down septic corridors into dark spaces of deadly resonance. This simple loop builds in power, intensity and volume. Working it’s way to climax. Rustic shards of Ferris oxide releasing slowly into buildups on tape heads, gray soup with what sounds like a very loud engine sound or metal trash cans with a lot of rocks being rolled around a cement room, someone racking the lawn while some mows the lawn. A power washer going off at different intervals with a gas powered generator, or all of these things, then dissolution back into the original loop.  

Viiofix side: More oppressive seething industrial churn through oxide strain. Parts of this wouldn’t be out of place on an early Broken Flag compilation. Filth is in the forefront of textural throb. Humming ambience towards the end of the track is frozen in time, gaining momentum back up and a delayed ghost layering effect that feels like too much sunlight all at once, a blinding light that paralyzes the vision, or in this case, the ear.  

Excellent split tape.

Tabs Out | C. Vadi – Woodland Synthesis

C. Vadi – Woodland Synthesis

8.24.22 by Jacob DeRaadt

Nebulous drones float around parts of the first side that remind me of Iannnis Xenakis’ tape works; modulation of tones, depth of acoustic layering, and mood control is at master level on this slab. Hovering ambient field recordings mixed with synthesis often holds down the lower end of the spectrum or vice versa depending on the forest sounds being absorbed into the mix. This is tone experimental music at its higher form. Undertones framing the harmonic meshing of the individual layers.

Side B starts out with the slightest of tones that slowly gestates into a cystic mass of frozen synthetic tones. Outside my apartment window mentally I’ll imagine people yelling at each other in a courtyard. It’s the perfect contrast of serenity and mental calamity. Their hissing pulses beckon the ear forward into a smoke screen of wire meshed tone that cyclically cancels itself out as the motif for a lot of “Point Beach.” At its emotional core there’s a twinged element of deep melancholic melody in long term forms that form themselves like cliffs into a foggy landscape. Not quite Eliane Radigue pacing within these solemn tones. The fog thickening throughout the forest as the recording goes on. Hypnotic gestures of repeated melodic structures in signal and noise ratio encapsulates our attention as viewer to the landscape. The owl makes it’s presence known as the autumn tones slither away into the darkness. There’s a subtle effect with the insect sounds that gradually invade our view of the situation; someone’s left out a corpse on the path to the mountain. We find ourselves befuddled and entranced by the workings of this artist and can’t wait to hear more from them. Totally new project to me that I will have to seek out other releases of.