Tabs Out | New Batch – Muzan Editions

New Batch – Muzan Editions
10.3.17 by Mike Haley


If ya blinked any time during the month of September then chances are you missed out on the grand opening of Muzan Editions. The label started it’s life with three tapes, each in bite-sized editions of 25 copies, all of which were quickly claimed (AKA: SOLD OUT!). Of course binary streams are still available by way of Bandcamp, but you’re gonna wanna go the extra mile and track these down in physical form, if at all possible. A first hand witnessing of the care that went into presentation is a must. Heady artwork is darkly bruised onto uncoated kraft stock, the sort of paper that 100 year old invoices for haircuts were hand written on. The Jcard panels and shell stickers are atypical, adding to the fine start from this Japanese-based imprint. And the sounds. Oh, brother… The sounds!

MEDS001 is Florian von Ameln‘s “Interbellum.” The time between wars is referred to as an interbellum, a period of contemplation that humanity seems less and less eager to grant itself. America has been at war literally every day since I was born in 1980, so an interbellum seems more like an abstract concept to me than an actual allotment of time. Being a total stranger, I can only guess how Florian von Ameln processes the idea of interbellum. I know they live in Germany, which has it’s… past… and I have “Interbellum” as a compass, with it’s needle pointing strongly to peaceful grounds. The C20 consists of five tracks titled 1919 – 1923, the five years following the first World War, which arranges the listeners thoughts, giving a broader meaning to the guitar ripples snatching themselves back in a surrounding of field recordings and eerie number station samplings.

Back in the 40’s Peter N. Witt, a Swiss pharmacologist, researched the effect of drugs on spiders. He dosed the arachnids with Benzedrine, marijuana, mescaline, and such (or fed them flies that had been partying) then basically checked out how cool their webs were. For “The Work Of The Spider” Andreas Brandal laid off the animal testing and garnered inspiration from Hungarian film director Béla Tarr with equally provocative results. Maybe he tossed back some bennies too? I don’t know, I’m not a cop. Brandal’s synth webs glisten in the sun with snap and precision. Each track is silky as can be while churning along with force and focus. Maybe he is a spider? Someone get Norway on the phone!

Hegira Moya‘s “閑静な住宅街” (translated to Quiet Residential Area) plays quieter than most residential areas. Even the REALLY quiet ones. The state these sounds are in are more akin to abandoned areas, left vacant after some sort of chemical spill. Synthesized whispers crack like thawing ooze as animals move in to see what that new smell is. Squirrels and various rodents nibble at the bubbles, riffle through remnants, totally unaware that they’ll have a second tail in the morning. The tones are pinks and greens and yellows, vibrant yet tiny, like a Lite-Brite jacked into a practice amp.

Jeez, I really managed to drudge up some of the most bummer tones from these tapes. They are amazing, I swear, and will somehow still make you feel good inside. As I said earlier, they are sold out from the source, but happy hunting! In the meantime, consume the digital goodies and stay focused on Muzan for more super depressing/uplifting releases.