7.15.13: Hausu Mountain’s “Mugen Series” Preview

I’m a big fan of a good series. I grew up getting Sub Pop Singles Club records in the mail, and even though there was A LOT of clunkers in the bunch, something about the idea of a complete collection intrigued me and I kept signing up for another year. By the time Not Not Fun issued their “Bored Fortress” series a handful of years back, I didn’t even really like 7″s anymore, but I still signed up for that, too (with much better results I should add). It’s especially appealing to my senses when a series goes that extra mile and places certain rules, regulations, and/or themes on the artists involved. It can range from the extremely simple, like region (ie: the “New England”, “Michigan”, “California” etc… box sets from RRR and friends), to something a bit more involved. In the early 2000’s a label called Chrome Peeler issued a set of compilations called “You’ve Got Your Orders” where song titles were assigned to musicians who then had to write and record a song with said title (only two were released, so I’m not sure if that constitutes a series, but…). And of course you got your classics like Star Wars, and who isn’t a Jar Jar fanatic, am i right??? Moving on…

On July 22nd Chicago-based label Hausu Mountain will begin releasing the “Mugen Series”. Split cassettes featuring solo performances, recorded in single takes with absolutely no overdubs or edits, of loop-based improv on the noise/drone spectrum. Each artists tackles the task in their own way, with the instruments and non-instruments of their choosing.


The first gripful of Mugens will play out like this:

Volume 1 will feature Hausu Mountain label-heads Max Allison and Doug Kaplan under their monikers Mukqs and MrDougDoug. Both sampled and manipulated audio formats, cassettes and vinyl respectively, to start the series off.

Volume 2 will highlight the ambient looping of TALsounds (Natalie Chami) and Greyghost (Brian Griffith) who debuted his project on Constellation Tatsu earlier this year.

Volume 3 has the caustic laptop processing of Mike Sugarman on the A side and Aeron Small (aka: Ron Tubman) working the guitar and modular synths on the B.

Volume 4 sees the Grasshopper duo splitting up, with Jesse DeRosa performing as Shingles and Josh Millrod, who does solo work under the name Dads Against Vietnam, appearing here under the name his moms gave him. Both doing ungodly things with a trumpet.

Hausu Mountain plans to keep the series open indefinitely adding a tape to it every couple of months. Splits with Plankton Wat, Steven Hess from Locrian, and others are already planned after the initial roll out of the first four.

The artwork for the Jcards is eye shattering. They sort of look like covers for 90’s RPGs, and that’s not by coincidence. Most of the images are screenshots of the game EarthBound knit together in Photoshop. My favorite part is definitely the characters on each cover that represent the jammers on the tape. Lanky, boxy depictions made by Dannielle Del Rosario who was given Chrono Trigger and Sword & Sworcery screenshots as touchstones. She did some excellent work. Tight side note: Coincidentally, there was a MS-DOS/Linux based 2D fighting game called M.U.G.E.N.

These Mugen mugs are $7ppd (US) / $8ppd (CAN) / $10ppd (WORLD) or you can grab the first four together for $21/$26/$33. This can be done right now, preorder style, by clicking here.

Check out a sample of some of the material:

posted by Mike Haley

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