Tabs Out | Top 200 Tapes Of 2017

Top 200 Tapes Of 2017
12.11.17 by Tabs Out Crew


Okie dokie, It’s time for everyone’s favorite Top 200 Tapes of 2017 list: The OFFICIAL Tabs Out Top 200 Tapes of 2017 list! For the 5th year in a row we’ve tallied up the thousand plus cassettes that have made it over to us and arranged our fav two hundo in perfect order, each assigned a big masonic number. Our methods are scientifically proven and obtainable through a FOIA request, but just trust us. Like previous years we only included tapes that we had physical copies of. Enjoy!


 #1: Rob Mazurek – Chimeric Stoned Horn (Astral Spirits)

Rob Mazurek apparently isn’t one to burst through the batwing doors of the saloon and announce to the clientele his arrival or his intentions. Nobody lifts their eyes from their poker hand or their whiskey, nobody stops playing the piano in shock, nobody moves a well-trained hand just slightly closer to their concealed six-shooter. No, Mazurek doesn’t need the element of surprise – he’s one of those confident types, content to precede himself with his own accompaniment, allowing the sound of his passing to serve as his only herald. The clip-clop of his horse’s hooves along the avenue simply adds to the scene he sets. (Just kidding, there’s no horse – I’m just beating this, ahem, dead metaphor further to death.) [read more]

 #2: Kill Alters – No Self Helps (Hausu Mountain)
 #3: Gateway – Integral Formation (Castle Bravo)

To start things off, “Integral Formation,” a C40 from Gateway, is a offering of Doberman member JF (on synth, strings and springs) with horn accompaniment by TG (also of Doberman). It’s a menacing listen, with waves of horn providing an undeserved comfort, crucially baying out through open stained-glass windows, the glass rattling from the low-end, sleazy-motion electronics. Gateway use their instruments like archaic tools, etching gritty patterns of distorted thuds and bone-weary tones into clay. The duo steps right up to a line of unstable chaos, but manages to keep the dog on the leash, making for tracks that are hella jagged but still under control. [read more]

 #4: Cabo Boing – Blob On A Grid (Haord)

If Mark Mothersbaugh had the gumption he would have made “Blob On A Grid” years ago, and it would have soundtracked many a Pee Wee’s Playhouse episodes. Not a single second of it’s eccentric no-wavery antics wouldn’t cozy right up on Chairry’s fluffy cushion. That is fact, not opinion, and in no way open for debate. [read more]

 #5: Giant Claw – Soft Channel (Orange Milk)
 #6: Fletcher Pratt – Selected Works (2015-2016) (Never Anything)
 #7: Jake Acosta – First Corridor (Pretty All Right)
 #8: Fire-Toolz – Drip Mental (Hausu Mountain)
 #9: Samantha Glass – Introducing The Confession (No Rent)
 #10: Shredded Nerve – Trojan Self Image (Chondritic Sound)
 #11: Fkm200 – Sounds Of Corrupted Waters (Æescape Sounds)
 #12: Joe Limbus – Memotos Mori (Orb)
 #13: Nature – Nootropicalia (Shadowtrash Tape Group)
 #14: Unguent – Simulation Of A Bat Engulfed In Acid (Refulgent Sepulchre)
 #15: J Hamilton Issacs – Dugoutcanoe #7 (Ancillary Apotheoses)
 #16: Střed Světa – Rozmístění opakováním (Baba Vanga)
 #17: Arvo Zylo – Sequencer Works Volume Three (Personal Archives)
 #18: Lee Noble – The Hell Of You Come In (No Kings)
 #19: Khaki Blazer – Didn’t Have To Cut (Hausu Mountain)
 #20: Hans Appelqvist – Swimming Pool (Orange Milk)
 #21: HAHA Mart – Family Denim (Noumenal Loom)
 #22: Charles Barabe / Ratkiller split (Crash Symbols)

Barabé snaps into his side, “Avant​-​Garde Avorton Romantique,” like a rat trap, ironically. Channeling the brooding proclivity of dense soundtrack narratives, Chuck reassigns hunks of classical music and it’s kin into beyond epic sagas. As the timpani crashes with anger, reverberating around fever inducing cleaves of sound, you can almost smell gladiators prepping to do something raw and regrettable. [read more]

 #23: Crazy Doberman – Hell Is Within Us (Castle Bravo)
 #24: THÉ DÉLUGE – Forest Structures (Umor Rex)
 #25: RM Francis – Hyperplastic Other (Nada)
 #26: Spykes – Parashi – s/t (Oxtail Recordings)
 #27: Al Lover – Interference Patterns (Crash Symbols)
 #28: Dirt & Space – Ten Million Ways To Die (Dinzu Artefacts)
 #29: Billingtons / Shippy / Wyche – s/t (Astral Spirits)

Somebody scrape me off the wall, because Billington/Shippy/Wyche’s tape blasted out of my speakers and shredded my face. I was unsure what was happening at first – I assumed this release came from renowned British crooner Lord Billington Shippy-Wyche, but I was incorrect in assuming his dulcet voice would emanate from my tape player. Instead we get a guitar-guitar- drums trio, consisting of Mark Shippy (yeah, the U.S. Maple guy), Daniel Wyche, and Ben Baker Billington (yeah, the Quicksails guy). We also get a no-hold’s- barred improvisational set that’s bound to knock your socks (or, ahem, your face) off. [read more]

 #30: Sun.Tv – Spells and Other (ShadowTrash Tape Group)
 #31: Imbue – Ghost Stories (Already Dead)
 #32: Moth Cock – 0-100 At The Speed Of The Present (Hausu Mountain)
 #33: Nikmis – 10 Movements For Large Synthesizer (Third Kind)
 #34: Joe Mygan – Hidden Features (Moon Villain)
 #35: Toiret Status – Nyoi Plunger (Noumenal Loom)
 #36: German Army – Pyura Chilensis (Luce Sia)
 #37: Musa Dwarf ‎– Jäätelöö (Lal Lal Lal)
 #38: Fischkopf Sinfoniker – Music For A Revolution (Orb)
 #39: Don Gero – Wizarding (Crash Symbols)
 #40: Sad Cambodia – First Metheoretical Bulletin (Sincope)
 #41: Andreas Brandal – The Work Of The Spider (Muzan Editions)
 #42: Odd Person – Star Maps From The Flower Temples (Analog Minimum)
 #43: Somnoroase Păsărele – ESSEN (Tymbal)
 #44: TüTH – Transgression (Umor Rex)
 #45: More Eaze – Articulate Ridge #16 (Personal Archives)
 #46: Maharadja Sweets – Slithering Kingdoms (Oxtail Recordings)
 #47: Liz Roberts & Henry Ross – Death Knell (Unifactor)

Liz Roberts and Henry Ross are living the dream. Well, my dream anyway – a dream of getting to dismantle a car, piece by piece, leng t’che via rotary saw and sledgehammer. Total destruction, for fun! And for art. Mostly for fun. Long have I desired to get my hands dirty and just shred whatever vehicle I could get my hands on – there’s just something about the slow carnage of ripping apart an automobile piece by piece that just gets me up in the morning. Is it the allegory to modern life and convenience that the deconstruction of such a symbol represents, the commentary on consumerism and capitalism that invites critical appraisal on such an act? Haha, not for me. For Roberts and Ross, sure. I just like the smashy smashy–ness of it. [read more]

 #48: Nonhorse “Nobody, Never Yeowe” (Five)
 #49: Michael Foster And Ben Bennett – In It (Astral Spirits)
 #50: Sam Gas Can – Plays the OP-1 (HEC)
 #51: Arian Robinson – An Eternal Sleep (Ephem Aural)
 #52: Brett Naucke – Multiple Hallucinations (Hausu Mountain)
 #53: LEOLYXXX – Plastic Inners: Nigerian Boogie Mixtape (Origin Peoples)
 #54: Q///Q – Serene Answer (Baked)
 #55: Mukqs – ダメ人間 (DAME NINGEN) (Umor Rex)
 #56: Matthew Revert – Illness Seminars (No Rent)
 #57: Duncan Malashock – Interiors Vol. 1 (Beer On The Rug)
 #58: Emerging Industries of Wuppertal – Systems for Simulating… (Strategic Tape Reserve)
 #59: MSHR – Emergent Knot Traces (self released)
 #60: Dominic Republic – Hello Island (auralgami SOUNDS)
 #61: Shingles – Guantanamo Patch Bay Vol 5: At Home With Machines (self released)
 #62: Macula Dog – Natural Dog (Haord)
 #63: buta nite – os charnecos (OTA)
 #64: Max Eilbacher – Music For Piano #7 (Unifactor)
#65: Jadapod – Fate 1 (Nextage) (Nextage)

Throw a rock out the window. Go ahead, I wont tell mom. Chances are you just bonked a cassette right in it’s spools. A beat-laced cassette, most likely, one that was minding it’s own business just trying to enjoy the weather. The next thing, KABLOOM! A rock cracks it’s shell. And all because some bozo-joker told you to throw a rock out the window… Shame. Maybe I WILL tell mom. [read more]

 #66: Olson & Billington “Compound Sessions Vol.1” (Robert & Leopold)
 #67: Nikmis – Widdendream (Third Kind)
 #68: Tick Gick – Soleil Noir (Castle Bravo)
 #69: Aviary s/t (self released)
 #70: J Butler – Real And Surreal (self released)
 #71: Pulse Emitter / Brett Naucke – Mugen Vol. 6 split (Hausu Mountain)
 #72: Raising Holy Sparks – Search For The Vanished Heaven (Eiderdown)
 #73: Piss Kills Mold – Sentient Fungus (Ultraviolet Light)
 #74: Matthew Greasley – Railwave (Uncle Bob’s)
 #75: Gerrit Hatcher – Good Weight (Amalgam)
 #76: American Cream Band – Embrace You Millions (Medium Sound)
 #77: Takahiro Mukai / Shoeb Ahmad – split (Tandem)
 #78: Dee Grinksi – Subspace (Tape Lamour)
 #79: Pulse Emitter – Chilling In The Eye Of The Storm (Expansive)
 #80: Okha – Power Cannot Conquer Heaven (No Rent)
 #81: Body Shame – Open Sores (SadoDaMascus)
 #82: German Army – Pacific Plastic (Seagrave)
 #83: Howard Stelzer – Sun Pass (Moss Archive)
 #84: Machine Listener “Nocturnal People” (Hidden Eyes)
 #85: Ivy Meadows – Zodiac (Moon Glyph)
 #86: C. Reider – Chew Cinders (Midnight Circles)

C. Reider’s “Chew Cinders” C26 plays like a dusty reel-to-reel found at an estate sale. Ideas of the original content remain intact, but just barely. As bits of strained words warp into swine-like snorts you can only imagine what was initially recorded on the magnetic tape before time and the elements ate away at them. Those antique distortions, with their airy, chalky bias, are met with the occasional synthy snaps, but this tape feels most at home trapped in mold. [read more]

 #87: System Scattering Period – Oblique Motion (Personal Affair)
 #88: Gunther Valentine – Music For The Anthropocene (No Rent)
 #89: Convivial Cannibal – Have Youth Will Play (Dysgeusia)
 #90: Oil Thief – Stratagem (Chondritic Sound)
 #91: Hainbach – On Endless Beach (Gohan)
 #92: Christian Mirande – Museum Piece (No Rent)
 #93: Venderstrooik “Smetvrees & Kruisbesmetting” (Raketenbasis Haberlandstrasse)
 #94: moduS ponY – Phonogetic Ouch (Strategic Tape Reserve)
 #95: DJ DJ Tanner / Ross Wallace Chait – split (5CM Recordings)
 #96: Michealcushion – Life Escaper Trial Edition (Melty)
 #97: Max Eilbacher – Dual Monologues In Parallel (Mondoj)
 #98: Nakatani​/​Nanna​/​Schoofs​/​Woods – s/t (Full Spectrum)
 #99: Monotrail – Selected Jams (Oggy)
 #100: Ropal Jagnu / Stephen’s Lorikeet / Rigel Magellan / DDM – 4way split (OJC)
 #101: V/A – Lives Through Magic, Volume 1 (Lives Through Magic)
 #102: KFM – \\\fail (self released)

I don’t know much about computers. I’ve never seen the 1995 crime-drama Hackers, and the only thing I remember from The Net is when Sandra Bullock’s character Angela orders a pizza from the site I do have strong memories of playing, very well I might add, a game called Jezzball on Windows 3.11. That, and being reminded by my dad to constantly defrag. We were ALWAYS defragging. Maybe all of that obsessive defragging paid off, because I never had a computer shit out on me. I did manage to spill an entire cup of coffee into the works of my current HP, but technical support somehow managed to de-coffee all of the motherboards and had me surfing sites like in no time. [read more]

 #103: Form A Log – At A Festival (Hausu Mountain)
 #104: Former Airline – The Discreet Charm Of The Ghostmodern World (Ephem Aural)
 #105: Floian Von Emeln – Interbellum (Muzan Editions)
 #106: Eaton Flowers – Epəkə (SadoDeMascus)
 #107: Peter J. Woods & Andrew Weathers – A Whole New Alphabet (Flag Day)
 #108: Juice Machine – Sparkling Water (Steady Hand)
 #109: Inner Travels – Sea Of Leaves (Inner Islands)
 #110: Tölva – Manudaga (Blight)
 #111: Ant’lrd – Cherubian (Moss Archive)
 #112: Axebreaker – Virtue Signaling (Jouissance Du Rien)
 #113: Brode/Luczak/Spellman/Spreaders – Blanket Statements (Orb Tapes)
 #114: Sug – Only Hidden Once (Baked)
 #115: MU*MIT – NE T​*​SSÄ (Lal Lal Lal)
#116: OMNIVM – Madmen Playground (Never Anything)
 #117: Birchall / Smal / Webster – Drop Out (Astral Spirits)
 #118: Cop Funeral – Part-Time Pay (1980 Records)
 #119: C. Reider – Listening After The End (Reno Park Press)
 #120: Caldwell/Tester – Two Reels (Medium Sound)
#121: Corsica Annex – Fluid Electric (Ingrown)
 #122: Spore Spawn – Ochitsuitara (Oxen)
 #123: WAZOO – NONZOO (Already Dead)
 #124: More Eaze / A.F. Jones & Steve Flato split (Astral Spirits)
 #125: Llarks – Reflections (Tape Lamour)
 #126: DJ Voilà – Dumbledogs (Noumenal Loom)
 #127: Patrick Shiroishi – Tulean Dispatch (Mondoj)
 #128: Mahjoop – Ravel (((Cave)) Recordings)
 #129: Colin Andrew Sheffield & James Eck Rippie – Essential Anatomies (Elevator Bath)
 #130: Moltar – Eclypse Inside (Unifactor)
 #131: Long Distance Poison – Rheomodes (Oxtail Recordings)
 #132: Korean Jade – Exotics (Plush Organics)

Cloaked in low-res black & white conceptual imagery, with perhaps a small visual nod to “Pulse Demon” by Merzbow, comes “Exotics.” This seven cut C30ish by Korean Jade acts like a medicated liniment. It’s flexible drones and swerving patterns rub on like a lotion, but with enough coarseness to cause friction and heat when applied. I don’t know who is behind the Korean Jade name, but whether they were going for beauty trapped in crud, or crud trapped in beauty, they got there. [read more]

 #133: Huron – The Red Tape (self released)
 #134: Cops – s/t (Field Hymns)
 #135: Aaron Diko – DDCT (Medium Sound)
 #136: Luminous “Diamond Ben” Kudler – Thymme Jones (Unifactor)
 #137: WUMISI – s/t (OJC)

Oh, brother. Looks like my old Hi-Fi is on the fritz again… Maybe the springs are on too tight? Or too loose?? Not being a mechanic I have no clue how stereo systems function, but I do know that something has definitely gone sour, because this WUMISI cassette from OJC is hurdling all over the dang place. Fast forwarding and rewinding on it’s own like a doggone spirit from the ever after has taken it over. Lordy, I hope it’s a spring issue and not a ghost outbreak. Springs are way less scary. While I get a repair tech on the horn, and a Catholic priest in case I need the power of Christ to compel this thing, I’ll listen to WUMISI on Bandcamp I suppose. [read more]

 #138: Andrew Weathers “Under The Tree” (Full Spectrum)
 #139: German Army – Kurgan Hearth (OTA)
 #140: Witches Of Malibu – The Grand Crucifier (Dead Media Recordings)
 #141: Clinical Trials – Empty Infinities (Second Skin)
 #142: List Of Moths – s/t (Turlin)
 #143: Ben Zimmerman “PSYMULCASTER” (Bedlam)
 #144: Staticnosis – s/t (Shadow Trash Tape Group)
 #145: Nmemosyne – Bucket Brigade (Love All Day)
 #146: Evan Zierk – Drifting / Bending (Atlantic Rhythms)
 #147: Finlii “Skyscrapers” (Bedlam)
 #148: Aylu – Groove 4 (Outlines)
 #149: Endurance – s/t (SR)
 #150: Ctrl-Z – s/t (Full Spectrum)
 #151: The Moon Rises In – Maevis (OTA)
 #152: Complainer – Floodplain (Already Dead)
 #153: Atariame – Fear Is The Wrold (Constellation Tatsu)
 #154: Gmackrr – La Dépendance Électrique (Spring Break Tapes)
 #155: Noise Altar – Memory Decornstruction (self released)
 #156: Alex Crispin – Idle Worship (Sounds of the Dawn)
 #157: Monas – Freedom (Astral Spirits)
 #158: Skin Graft – Peripheral (Unifactor)
 #159: Ugliest Man / Eazykill – split (Tandem)
 #160: Ant’lrd / Bastian Void – split (Muzan Editions)
 #161: Himukalt – Vulgar (No Rent)
 #162: Macho Blush – Moodshow (Heavy Mess)
 #163: Mt Accord – In Reverie (Colour8)
 #164: TMRPOE – Keep Sleeping (ACR)
 #165: Nagual – Scraps: Southern Tour (Pidgon)
 #166: Halfbird – Loomings (SadoDaMascus)
 #167: Levels – s/t (Umor Rex)
 #168: Jason E. Anderson – Truth (Draft)
 #169: Gidouille – Eedipal Wrecks (Cruel Nature)
 #170: Crushtrash – Reclamation Yard (Third Kind)
 #171: Charles Barabé – Cicatrices II (Never Anything)
 #172: Curved Light – Vast And Infinite (Field Hymns)
 #173: David Kanaga – Operaism (Orange Milk)
 #174: Haseful – Lord Of Carrion (self released)

Proving that blast beats and shredding guitars do not necessarily black metal make, Hasufel dons the dark robe of the mystic high priest and invites us all along for a gloom-and-doom-filled ride through the mist and the fog toward an unholy meeting place where the veil separating the spirit realm from this mortal coil becomes thin. As the groans from minor keys upon an organ (patch) and the rhythmic dragging of chains menace upon the wind, I have some great news for those who are even remotely interested – as I write, Halloween is almost upon us, and you could do way worse than Hasufel for a guide to navigate you through the “season of the witch.” [read more]

 #175: Hainbach – The Evening Hopefuls (Spring Break Tapes)
 #176: FIN – Ice Pix (Hausu Mountain)
 #177: Friesen/Waters Duo – No.3 (Shaking Box Music)
 #178: Heaven Copy – Final Country (Summer Isle)
 #179: Tinmixer – Wayfarer (House of the Leg)
 #180: Noah Anthony – Home Demos Vol.1 (Vogue Professional)
 #181: Marvisser – Xiakihu (Irrational Tennent)
 #182: Me, Claudius – Reasons For Balloons (Dinzu Artefacts)
 #183: Julia Bloop – Roland Throop (Crash Symbols)
 #184: Scant – Old Dominion (Chondritic Sound)
 #185: Qualchan. – Vera’s Dream (Æescape Sounds)
 #186: Valle de Galgos – El Domo Spitzerwelt (Tymbal)
 #187: SCC – MFAR (Refulgent Sepulchre)
 #188: Power Mystery – Nest Broom (Spring Break Tapes)
 #189: Preyocupado – Characters Of A Calander (Lighten Up Sounds)
 #190: C CC V L T S SS – T R A U M A T A (Castle Bravo)
 #191: Banal Anml – Misantropics (Lake Paradise)
 #192: Eric Pitra – Casette: Film Score (Landscape Tapes)
 #193: 2ndSun – Blue Twenty-Five (Blue)
 #194: Map Collection – Jao Dub (Midori)

Do you remember the episode of Star Trek: TNG when Fletcher Pratt and Curt Brown randomly beamed aboard Enterprise, interrupting the recording of a Captain’s Log? It’s an extremely rare episode titled “Jao Dub” that aired during season 8 or 9… Maybe 10? Known by a superfan (ie: me) as the one where Picard mumbles “oh shit” 11 times, it begins with Starfleet investigating what they foolishly confuse as distress signals from a small Class M planet nearby. After tracking down the curdling cry for help the crew scans the planet’s life signals, when *POOF* Pratt & Brown appear on the bridge, startling poor Picard who spills his tea, Earl Grey, hot all over his uniform. [read more]

 #195: Old Maybe – Piggity Pink (Ramp Local)
 #196: $3.33 – Drill (Noumenal Loom)
 #197: The Ether Staircase – Aether 6 (((Cave)) Recordings)
 #198: Amulets – PlannedObsolescence (Dinzu Artefacts)
 #199: Sarcastalites – Spaces For Strangers (Bullshit Night)
 #200: Splice Girls – Spliceworld (Suite 309)