7.3.13: Persistence Of Vision As far as inaugural releases go, this one is pretty tight. A brand new label named Difficult Interactions is kicking things off with a VHS release called “Persistence Of Vision” from SECAM Kino. The video is 44 minutes of visuals meant to be played along with the audio of your choosing. So pop it in the VCR, grab some sounds off of your shelves, and mix it up until you find a particularly pleasing (or unpleasing) zone. Sounds like a good time.
“POV” is an edition of 50 copies on red VHS tapes. The first 25 come along with a companion SECAM Kino C90 called “Possible Soundtracks Volume One”. It will set ya back a cool eight bones here.
Check out a sample of the sights, and sounds from the “Possible Soundtracks”. Or you could mute it and test it out with something else.
Jack, the Tabs Out mailman who wears killer bandanas and always advices me to “have a groovy day”, has been on point lately. I know he doesn’t get to pick what he delivers, but he still drops it all off and for that deserves some credit. Since the May Tape Of The Month old Jackie-boy has come through with some tremendous magnetic tape rations, some of the highlights being a new Tranquility Tapes batch (The Rainbow Body, Xanthocephalus, Parashi, and Mr.Matthews), some recent Animal Disguise offerings (Ma Turner, Rake Rash, and a Mammal reissue), an effervescent joyride on Further Records from PLKZFX, and some ludicrously fascinating and off the wall zones from the ever-brilliant Orange Milk (Cream juice, Maharadja Sweets, Pajama, Christopher Merritt, and Phork). The noise that is keepin’ my eggs frying, and June’s Tape Of The Month, is “Guest Bed” by Tether.
Italian imprint Dokuro, owned and operated by Michele Scariot, have been active since 2007 when Mic dropped a 7″ for his project NoDolby. Since then 40 other releases have donned the Dokuro name with Tether being the most recent (DK041). But WHO is Tether, you ask? Well, Tether is the fresh moniker of Lauren Pakradooni who’s known throughout the land as PAK and “Guest Bed” is her debut under said moniker. Gnarly electronics and chapped tape loops mangle the surface of each track with vocals buried just beneath the crust, recorded in Qatar and various locales in the US of A. The opener “Well Lit Void” churns through dual spirals of sound that have been given the low-grit sandpaper treatment while Pakradooni (I’m saying that name with a hella-stereotypical Italian-American accent by the way. My hands are all over the place. I don’t know if “Pakradooni” is an Italian name. In fact, my research would indicate that it is not and I don’t have access to Lauren’s Ancestry.com account. So here I am left to my own devices. My wife said that in light of the whole Paula Deen thing I should just scrap this entire section, but then I put on a fake mustache and plumber suit and jumped on her head.) in a moody, glum diligence. The loops and vocals are ground down to dust as things progress into the second track “Exorcising”. A slow-moving cringer with 6-bit rhythmic patterns that dive deep into a tin can before the wet gallop of “Broken Mirage” slides in. One thing I really dig about “Guest Bed” is how all the tracks work together as if they are a complete idea, but obviously have their own identities. Shit, I may be totally failing at calling the start / finish of tracks, but I’m 99% sure I got it. Two final cuts, including the titular oozer keep the muck rough before the flip where the party is just as coarse. It’s a tough task to figure out if Tether is attempting to construct songs or “songs” on “Guest Bed”. There is a part at the end of “Decide” (first on the B-side) that I almost want to call a solo, but then other parts that are jagged messes bullying the ears. Either way, it’s all fucking dope as hell.
Now you wanna talk about colors? Cause I’m in the mood to talk about colors. I’m about 9 seconds from poppin’ this tape straight into my pie-hole. The shell is an incredible looking minty green (so yummy) with nothing but the Dokuro logo stamped on. It’s screwless as well, which is something I like now. I’m not trying to dissect my life to figure out which events led me to be a person who derives joy from something as incidental as screwless cassette tapes, I’m just gonna go with it. Feels good. The Jcard is also minty green with some bubblegum pink worked in (extra yummy, ya’ll). The title “Guest Bed” is writ large across on the bottom underneath a (topless?) gal on a four wheeler. The streak of pink above her looks like someone used the magic wand in Photoshop, clicked the image, it just gripped a small section, and changed it to pink. This thing looks like it should glow in the dark. You may have to crack it in half and shake it like those glow sticks from the roller rink. I’m not trying that with my copy, but feel free to do it with yours.
And you can pick up your copy from Dokuro for 5€ (or $6.61) plus shipping. I may have to do that after the genius idea of doing an in-the-pool photo shoot with my copy (duh). While you are there be sure to check the still available catalog, cause you’ll most definitely come across some other essentials (ie: CALDERA LAKES, HEX BREAKER QUARTET, PAX TITANIA, Tabs Out’s own VALES, and more!)
6.19.13: Gaytapes (Keep Scrolling)
You have tons of free time. I know this because you just read the sentence “You have tons of free time” on this website. If you didn’t have tons of free time you’d probably be doing something way less chill than clicking on a link with “GAYTAPES” in it. So now I know two things about you:
1) The free time thing from just a second ago AND
2) You are the type of person who sees “GAYTAPES” and is like “Gay Tapes? What’s up with Gay Tapes?”
Well, you’re in luck! Out there in the totally random universe that is the internet there is a site made just for you; GAYTAPES. A wonderful world where you can burn through all of your free time and not even scratch the surface. GAYTAPES (not sure why it’s called that?) is a seemingly endless stream of cassette related images. Adverts, shots of deck, illustrations. Just about everything with zero captions or information. A magnetic tape zone-out zone. Here are some fine examples, starting off with a Tabs Out favorite, the ZX Spectrum! Keep in mind this tiny grip is simply a taste of what they have to offer.
If you were too much of a dope to notice that every time GAYTAPES was mentioned here it was a link to the site (five times in all) here is the address: https://gaytapes.tumblr.com/. Good luck digging yourself out of that hole.
6.17.13: Watery Starve – Making Of A Butterfly Batch Video
You can count all of Watery Starve’s releases on two hands with digits to spare, but they’re already gripping some much deserved attention for their über unique and hands-on aesthetics. The first four releases (a super-heady comp “Shadow Colors And Maybe Insects”, Sparkling Wide Pressure, Stephen Molyneux, and label head Lynn Fister’s solo project Aloonaluna) featured photocopied Jcards decorated with hand-cut images pasted onto each cover. WATC-005, the “Taxidermy of Unicorns” 4-way 2xC60 split between the all-female cast of birds of passage, Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier, Motion Sickness of Time Travel, and Aloonaluna, kicked things up a fist full of notches. It’s packaging, including an oversized booklet, yarn, and leaves needs to be held to achieve maximum appreciation. Watery Starve’s latest offering of three cassettes, the Butterfly Batch, is just as special. Here’s a video of Lynn going over the process.
You can pick up each tape in the Butterfly Batch for $8.50, or all three for $20 here.
WAT C-006 ANT’LRD- Extra Domicile
WAT C-007 THANIEL ION LEE- Ambiguity Makes the Confusing Seem Normal
WAT C-008 JANE JANE- The Education of My Rubber Dolly ep
6.15.13: A Chitchat With Derek Rogers + Steam An Unreleased Track Derek Rogers is one of those dudes who’s musical offering quality level is consistently in the green. Green being at the top of the chart (it goes: red, orange, blue, violet, magenta, silver, green. green is best). It’s all really good is what I’m saying. I’d use up all of Tabs Out’s bandwidth listing the labels that have released cassettes for Derek, among them being Stunned, Cloud Valley, D’Artagnan, Goldtimers, Fabrica, Deep, Ghetto Naturalist, Anathema Sound, Hooker Vision, No Kings, Tape Drift, Bathetic, and my own 905 Tapes imprint, and he knocks it out of the park every time.
Now, normally I hold an unwarranted grudge against anyone with actual musical talent. Or money, or good looks, or anything positive going for them with their lives. But Derek seems like a swell guy. I noticed he was on Facebook, and so was I, so I just started chitchatting with him for what I knew would end up being this interview. He did not. It went like this…
Tabs Out: What is your day job?
Derek Rogers: I’m a production assistant on commercial shoots. Besides being creepy, what’s yours?
Tabs Out: N/A. Ever meet any notable people and give them a tape of yours?
Derek Rogers: Rollins. No one else
Tabs Out: What commercial was he doing? Something for MTV Sports?
Derek Rogers: No, it wasn’t at work. I met him at the LA Zine Fest a year ago or so.
Tabs Out: Ever hear back from him?
Derek Rogers: No never heard anything. I’ve worked with some celebrities but none that would have given a shit. I should’ve given a tape to Glenn Kotche though. He was super nice.
Tabs Out: You don’t think Jamie Lee Curtis would wanna jam something after an Dannon Activia® shoot?
Derek Rogers: Haha. She was so great.
Tabs Out: You could get her into drone and it could ripple through that world. Pfeiffer. Streep. Holly Hunter. That could be your thing.
Tabs Out: Which actress over 50 do you think could put out the sickest tape?
Derek Rogers: Tilda Swinton.
Tabs Out: Who’s that?
Derek Rogers: C’mon.
Tabs Out: I’m not good with names.
Derek Rogers: Google that shit.
Tabs Out: I’m an Ask Jeeves guy.
Derek Rogers: She was in the latest Bowie video.
Tabs Out: Oh, you mean Katherine Mathilda “Tilda” Swinton. Born 5 November 1960. Why her?
Derek Rogers: She’s a badass.
Tabs Out: Hey, did you even notice that I just started interviewing you for Tabs Out?
Derek Rogers: Ummmm.
Tabs Out: It was stealth.
Derek Rogers: Keep going.
Tabs Out: Don’t worry. If you said anything racist or fucked up I’ll edit it out.
Derek Rogers: Don’t think I did (this time).
Tabs Out: So did you move to LA for work?
Derek Rogers: I did. I have a buddy here who works as a VTR on commercial sets and he got me onto one of his crews a couple years ago. My wife finished her Master’s in Austin and basically said, “You helped me get this, now what do you want to do?” I spent 11 years in the restaurant industry and kinda hit a wall and was ready for a career/scenery change.
Tabs Out: Are you originally from Texas?
Derek Rogers: Yeah. Grew up north of Dallas and spent 9 years in Austin.
Tabs Out: Was it a huge change moving to LA or did you just kind of go with the flow?
Derek Rogers: Kinda both. Goes without saying, but LA and TX are vastly different. My wife had lived here before and it’s the biggest city I’ve called home so it was definitely an adjustment.
Tabs Out: I feel like you’ve been sorta quiet on the release front this year. Was there anything other than that cassette on Bridgetown to come out?
Derek Rogers: The Jehu & Chinaman tape. That might be it. My job has severely cut back my recording opportunities.
Tabs Out: The title of that Bridgetown tape (“Don’t Stop Bereaving”) might be the best casssette title I’ve seen a while.
Derek Rogers: Oh thanks man.
Tabs Out: Your titles are usually more “serious”. You don’t get a lot of puns based on 80’s pop songs from you.
Derek Rogers: I’m a silly motherfucker sometimes.
Tabs Out: And pretty fucking multi-instrumental, right? Your setup seems to vary a bunch.
Derek Rogers: I’m terrible at a lot of things. Synth, piano, guitar, but I’m a pretty good drummer.
Tabs Out: Did you play drums in bands growing up?
Derek Rogers: I did, and I was in the drumline in high school. Played the oboe for 6 or 7 years, then played drums.
Tabs Out: Did you wear one of those huge fuzzy hats?
Derek Rogers: Oh yeah, we had plumes.
Tabs Out: Is that what those are called?
Derek Rogers: The feather part, those are plumes.
Tabs Out: That would be a cool project name. You’re a dude who does a bunch of collabs. You should call one of them Plumes.
Derek Rogers: If I name it that you’re getting credit. Plumes – 905 4 Lyfe C30.
Tabs Out: I’ll take it! Let’s talk about some of your collabs. Cause there seem to be a bunch. We played a Great Slave Lake tape (on Episode #24) that just said “Derek from Texas” on the insert and I jokingly said it was probably you. And it was.
Derek Rogers: Yeah GSL. I wish I’d kept in contact with Al. He’s a great guy who just disappeared.
Tabs Out: He did the label Scotch Tapes?
Derek Rogers: He did. Batchawana Bay, Ontario.
Tabs Out: Was there traveling involved for that one, or did you guys handle it by mail?
Derek Rogers: No that was a mail collab. I’d send him tracks and he’d use them with his stuff. He was a commercial fisherman and ran the label on the side. Quite successful too, especially up there. Then one day he just stopped responding. We used to talk on the phone and all. That was like 3 years ago.
Tabs Out: Is he totally MIA? Any traces at all?
Derek Rogers: Yeah, no one knows what happened. I’ve asked a handful of people. It’s weird. Nothing. Even on message boards, people have asked, and nothing.
Tabs Out: Man, that’s a bummer.
Derek Rogers: I just hope he’s ok.
Tabs Out: Yeah, I hear ya. Maybe he’ll read this and get’s in touch. I’ll feel like Tabs Out has an actual purpose.
Derek Rogers: That would be great.
Tabs Out: Any other one-off collabs out there that might not have your full name on them? Little known odds and ends?
Derek Rogers: Thresholders with Eric Hardiman, Matamoros with R. Lee Dockery, a great poetry/music collab with Bill Shute. There’s an unreleased collab with Lee Noble we just finished that is pretty amazing. Synth and modulatr synth, sounds great. Steve Dewhurst (Jehu & Chinaman) wants that one. I also have an unreleased collab with Marcus Rubio that doesn’t have a home yet. I played mostly piano and he’s on guitar. We both processed in real time through Ableton. It’s a stunner too. I also did an early collab with Mike Khoury that is great, and one with Andrew Coltrane too that I’m really proud of.
Tabs Out: Whoa, I don’t think I ever seen the Khoury or Coltrane collabs. Have they been released?
Derek Rogers: The Khoury collab was part of a tape split with Fossils on Middle James Co. The Coltrane collab was released as a CD-R on Hermitage. We called it ‘Fuck The Dead C”. Haha.
Tabs Out: Ha. Nice.
Derek Rogers: Let’s see, I did a lot of collabs early on, back when I was wading through a lot of noisier sounds to get where I am now, musically. Interstates, Etc. (Brandon Greter) was another good one. Sparkling Wide Pressure too, we did a 3″ on Kimberly Dawn
Tabs Out: I always find collaborations to be satisfying in a unique way. I make choices that I wouldn’t normally make if I was jamming alone. What are your thoughts on collabs. Why do you find yourself doing so may?
Derek Rogers: Well back then, it was all mail collabs, which were cool, but now I prefer playing in the same room. And yeah, I agree, it pushes you to make hard decisions in the moment, which I think can make you a better player. I also have some incredibly talented friends here in LA, and I think I’m a bit more confident in my own playing moreso than before.
Tabs Out: If you were in a wrestling tag team with one person you’ve collabed with, who would it be and what would the team be called?
Derek Rogers: Hmmm… This is tough
Tabs Out: It’s called penetrative journalism, Derek.
Derek Rogers: Oh I’m feeling it. I’d say R. Lee Dockery, and we’d be the “…I’m More Of A Sound Artist Now” Warriors.
Tabs Out: Face paint, I assume?
Derek Rogers: Spiked Football Pads.
Tabs Out: Oh shit, Road Warriors style.
Derek Rogers: Hells yeah. But I’d totally rip off Ric Flair anytime a mic was put in front of my face. “To be the MAN, you got to BEAT the man! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
Tabs Out: I’ll settle for you saying that on a tape sometime. How about solo stuff? I know you said work has got you cut back on time, but are you working on anything for the near future?
Derek Rogers: Yeah, I’m cobbling together tracks right now for a few releases. I love doing tapes but I’d really love to put out more vinyl.
Tabs Out: Whatya got on deck?
Derek Rogers: A couple of splits, one with Sindre Bjerga that doesn’t have a home yet. I’m not being vague, I just can’t think of anything concrete right now. It’d be a dream to find a label home and really focus on two or three releases a year, but people aren’t beating down the door to put out the next 44 DR releases.
Tabs Out: Well let’s find ya a home! Tabs Out Match Maker session. We can do a missed connection. “I have glasses, facial hair, and a strong jaw line. I record magic sounds. I saw you on the internet releasing pro-dubbed cassettes in editions of 100 with really nice Jcards. I thought we shared a look. Did we?”
Derek Rogers: Haha, love it.
Tabs Out: And then we can put your cell phone number and see if any labels call. Seriously though, what cassettes labels have you been digging lately?
Derek Rogers: Bathetic does great work for sure. You know, the truth is I don’t listen to a whole lot of “cassette” music these days. I love everything No Kings puts out and Tape Drift too. Those are probably my favorites. I think if I had a tape deck in the car it’d be a different story. I mostly listen to podcasts.
Tabs Out: I think there is a cassette podcast.
Derek Rogers: Yeah I heard about that.
Tabs Out: Might be a rumor though… You know how the internet is.
Derek Rogers: I’ve listened to Tabs Out. I dig the conversational approach, and having 3 people there makes it interesting. It’s like you guys found a box of these artifacts and you’re trying to make sense of them, it’s great.
Tabs Out: Go on… Keep praising us. It will be the only part of the interview I use.
Derek Rogers: Fair enough. I really love the intros.
Tabs Out: You did one of the very first ones!
Derek Rogers: Why do you think I’m a fan? DUH.
Tabs Out: I’m going to bill this as “Tabs Out talks to Derek Rogers about Tabs Out and maybe some other shit… Who knows?”
Derek Rogers: “Tabs Out talks to Derek Rogers about Tabs Out and maybe some other shit… Who knows?” is the title.
Tabs Out: Did you ever notice that the image on your No Kings tape cover (“Informal Meditations”) was on a Black Dice 7″?
Derek Rogers: Really?
Tabs Out: Yeah, I think it was called “Semen Of The Sun” on Gravity maybe?
Derek Rogers: I think I have that one at home.
Tabs Out: Not Gravity. It’s was on Tapes Records. It’s on the back cover.
Derek Rogers: Fucking Lee Noble!
Tabs Out: Hah! Just something stupid I noticed. So what are you listening to these days?
Derek Rogers: Oh man, all kinds of stuff. Recently, Microstoria, the new QOTSA, Rambutan, Tom Waits, Marc Ribot, Oval, the new Coltrane “Sun Ship” Complete Sessions, Califone, Fennesz, Neil Young, Patty Griffin, Skullflower, Baptist Generals, the ‘Alien’ Soundtrack. My tastes are all over the place.
Tabs Out: I know it’s a total cliche to ask “what influences yet”, but with listening to so much stuff that sounds nothing like what you record, does anyone of it worm it’s way into your brain when you are recording? You think there are any Derek-Roger’d QOTSA riffs in your music?
Derek Rogers: Oh absolutely. I’d like to think certain chord structures or melodies that have an emotional resonance are filtered into what I play, but it’s almost too abstract to explain how it works. Bands like QOTSA that have huge guitars and huge drums appeal to the 12-year-old inside of me whose world was shattered when he heard Led Zeppelin for the first time. I’m still chasing that dragon.
Tabs Out: Do you write stuff or mostly do improv? (and have you ever literally chased a dragon before?)
Derek Rogers: A little of both. I’ll usually improvise until I get an idea or a theme I can woodshed and reduce to its core elements, then I record it. Almost everything I do is rehearsed and recorded without overdubs, so I guess that’s the writing part. It’s always been important to me to be able to recreate live what I record at home, so I’ll rerecord a piece numerous times until I nail it in one shot.
Tabs Out: And what about the dragon? Why are you ignoring that question? Do you have some sort of fantasy life people don’t know about where you go shirtless and wield a sword?
Derek Rogers: Ummmmmmmm.
Tabs Out: Don’t worry, I’ll handle the Photoshopping
Derek Rogers: I hate shopping!
Tabs Out: Is that how you want to leave us, or do you have any other closing words?
Derek Rogers: I’ll leave you with a joke: How many people does it take to make a Tabs Out podcast?
Tabs Out: Is this a joke or are you actually asking?
Derek Rogers: Three. One to bring in a tape, and two to argue about sand bars in Brooklyn.
Tabs Out: Okay, so it wasn’t a joke.
Derek Rogers: Ok that was terrible. Sorry I’m at work, my heads not in the game. Don’t print this.
Tabs Out: I won’t. It will be on web 2.0.
Derek Rogers: Ok I’ll leave you with a joke: ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■(REDACTED)■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ Better? Still pretty terrible.
Tabs Out: I’ll censor that out for you.
Derek Rogers: Haha. Please do.
Tabs Out: Perfect! Now just say “Thanks so much for letting me talk to you, Mike. It was an honor” and we can end the interview that way.
Derek Rogers: Listen Mike, most guys, they just don’t get it. I’m not sure you do either but at least you’re clever. Namaste. One love, big up.
Stream “Deferential Signalling”, an unreleased collaboration between Derek Rogers & R. Lee Dockery. High Bias & Chrome Donators to Tabs Out can download the track, plus an extra unreleased track, by clicking here.
6.9.13: HOOKER VISION LAUNCHES OFFSHOOT LABEL; VAALD Connoisseurs of bleakness, depression, that commercial with the injured dogs & cats but on a black and white tv with static over that Sarah McLachlan song, etc take note: Hooker Vision Records, who have been releasing drone and synth relaxers since 2008, have announced the conception of an offshoot label called VAALD. VAALD (which doesn’t need to be in ALL CAPS, but it is on their site and looks cool that way. soooooo) will be an outlet for darker offerings. Grant Evans, who runs Hooker Vision along with his wife Rachel, will be at the helm and is planning to serve up “Harsh noise, black metal, that kind of stuff. Stuff that doesn’t really fit into the HV aesthetic” with the first batch (three tapes, listed below) slated for June 17th.
6.8.13: SAMPLE TABS OUT #2 – JUMP ROPE “HEMP BREAKER” C38
The second Tabs Out release will be a C38 collaboration between Roped Off (Mike & Dave of Tabs Out) and Josh Millrod & Jesse DeRosa of Grasshopper under the moniker of JUMP ROPE. The material was recorded during a snowed-in weekend in NYC at the Temple Of Pei last February.
This tape, like all other Tabs Out releases, will be limited to the number of people who make Chrome Donations, will have some sort of special packaging, and will be personalized for the person it’s going to.
If you have already donated then just sit back and wait for the tape to show up in your mailbox. Donate now and it will be the first cassette you get from us out of four total. You can check all the info on the ADVERTISE/DONATE page. To see/hear Tabs Out#1 go to TABS OUT RELEASES.
You can get anything on the internet. Music that hasn’t even been recorded yet is probably on someone’s blog ready to be downloaded. Or, if you got that Twitter-hype, it’s currently streaming on Pitchfork. Couple that with recent US postage increases and you would think that no one would bother doing a cassette label anymore. That obviously isn’t the case. Through all of the hurdles and hiccups, most notably the Mayans coming after us with all they had, there are tons of cassette labels. True, some aren’t worth their weight in unspooled tape, unless you are the kind of person who digs something dubbed on a cassette found in the library dumpster and packaged in a used Whopper box. But stacks and stacks of tapes are being released by people putting mad amounts of time, thought, creativity, energy, and moo-la into them. Enough that we at Tabs Out thought we would take this half-way point of 2013 as an opportunity to go over a few that we think have been straight multi-level destroying it as of late. Out of all the cassette heads out there doing sick things, we narrowed it down to nine of our current favorites. Here’s a few thoughts on them and a sampler of their offerings. Enjoy.
Back in 2007 Charles Hoffman (or Chuck if you nasty) started using the name The Centipede Farm to put on CDr releases for his solo material and band’s he was involved in like Distant Trains, The Cactus Rats, and Radio Dramamine. It was just last March that he gripped a 1-to-3 Telex Copyette from Workerbee Records and started releasing cassettes for other artists. The first non-himself jam The Centipede Farm released was Mascara’s “Budapest/Chicago” and now the Des Moines, Iowa label has about 20 cassette releases under it’s belt. Centipede Farm cuts are limited (like 25 or 35 copies) and can be snatched up for $5 a pop. They’re a self-described “DIY homebrew cassette-loving music label & distro” and put out rad tunes but don’t take themselves super serious, which can be pretty refreshing. The Mahler Haze “Lupus Dei” cassette from late last year (now sold out) is a perfect example of The Centipede Farm’s dedication to awesome audio zones and, judging by the artwork (which I love), being a totally laid back operation. Full disclosure: theyrecently did a tape for Dave’s project Vales.
The quote “What’s she gonna be? A shoe salesman on a centipede farm” is on the top of TCF’s site. A quick Google turned up references to the movie Catch Me If You Can so I asked Hoffman if that is where the name came from.
“I sometimes claim it is, but even though I had seen that movie before picking the name, I didn’t remember that line of think of the movie when picking the name, and only came across that later. I think I did come across the phrase “shoe salesman on a centipede farm” in some other context though in the meantime, on some business blog. But the way I came up with the name was that my old house up in Waterloo had a lot of these house centipedes crawling around in it, those creepy brown ones, you find them in basements and stuff — we had them like crazy, and they would get really big and fat too. I’d been repulsed and fascinated by these things since I first saw them probably at high school age, and I started researching them online. Turns out they feed on things like spiders and termites, and termites were a known issue in our neighborhood so I got this funny idea that someone could raise these centipedes and sell them as termite control, which led to me joking that we were running a centipede farm. I was at one point going to call the label/blog/whatever Spider City, but Centipede Farm seemed like a cooler twist on that.”
“I’ve got another Moulttrigger album that needs to get out soon, and have been thinking of putting out some guitar duo improvisations that a couple of my friends recorded in 1995 as Cottonwood. Also being planned is an interesting and fun release for Captain 3 Leg and a split tape between a new project by the guy from mhz_ and someone called oqsk.”
Portland’s Dog Daze recently popped up on the Tabs Out radar when they released a s/t C41 by a project called Twins. Twins is the brainchild of Cole & Shane, the masterminds behind the CGI Friday label and the tape was packaged to mimic a VHS copy of the classic Schwarzenegger / DeVito film of the same name. side note: I had a similar idea for the duo I (Mike) do with Dave called Roped Off where we would recreate the cover of Twins dressed up and posing like Arnold and Dan, but this is way better (and they actually did it). After checking that tape I dug into Dog Daze and was sorta taken off guard as to how legit they were. Not that spoofing 80’s cinema isn’t legit, but that and the animated dog putting on sunglasses logo (a take on the “Deal With It” meme) sorta had me expecting to see similar goofballitude going on in the DD ranks. Not the case. The label’s inaugural release from 2010 was a C55 from the Brooklyn experimental unit Excepter called “Maze Of Death”. They have also released two cassettes by Marnie Stern including the tape version of her massive LP/CD on Kill Rock Stars “Chronicles Of Marnia”. Benjamin P Parrish, the man behind the controls at Dog Daze, interned at the Kill Rock Stars offshoot 5RC back in 2003 and started working at KRS in 2005 doing art/web shit for the label.
It should be noted that the Twins tape wasn’t just a glitch in the Matrix. Other shit gets mucho-weirdo around these parts, and if you need proof, jam the recent Cotton Candy “Off-The-Hook & Out-Of-Control” tape (“Salad Shooter!”),
Marnie Stern “Chronicles Of Marnia”
Occasional Detroit “Down South”
“nothing i can announce at the moment…”
There’s a ton of new shit happening right now that I’m excited about. There’s also a ton of new shit happening right now that I’m NOT very excited about. What else is going on? Don’t know… There’s a ton of shit happening right now that I don’t know about. Some of it I would probably like to know about. Some of it I would rather not know about. Some of it I would probably kind of want to know about but I would regret knowing about it later. Some of it I would probably tell you I don’t want to know about but I’ll go home and Google it later (shout out to looning). Now that you know that I know about some stuff, and like it, or dislike it, or don’t know if I like the things I don’t know about, here’s a little something about one of the things that I do know about and that I am glad I know about: Eiderdown Records out of Seattle WA.
Headed by Adam Svenson, this label started back in 2011 but was just made known to me this year thanks to a few super bangers that came our way through the Tabs Out mail bag. I took a couple of those bad boys home on looks alone (wouldn’t be the first time, gents) thanks to the stunning eye popping art by Max Clotfelter, who handles all of the art at Eiderdown. The covers are perfectly silk screened with Clotfelter’s artwork, which could be described as a mixture of Chris Pottinger (Tasty Soil) and Brian Chippendale of Lightning Bolt’s styles, saturated with color. The sounds didn’t disappoint either. In fact they blew my brains out all over the floor and chair. They currently sit at the tippy top of my list of top tapes this year and I really don’t see them being knocked off. They are like the short fat kid that shows up at the playground to play king of the mountain. Once he gets up there, just pack it up and go home cause he isn’t coming down till dinner. One of the tapes in particular is a husky, red-headed mother fucker with a spaghetti stain all over his Batman shirt. Which tape you ask? Well, there are certain things you know, and there are certain things you don’t know. Some things you want to know and can’t, other things you don’t and can find out, and there’s also things you can and can’t. I’ll probably tell you at the end of the year though on some sort of list or a series of names or other items written or printed together in a meaningful grouping or sequence so as to constitute a record. So a list. What I’m saying is that we’ll probably make a best of 2013 list and Eiderdown will rep for sure.
Ecstatic Cosmic Union “XCU”
Planets Around The Sun “Cosmic Job”
Coming Up: “Endless Caverns (solo guitar by Matt Lajoie from Herbcraft), Half High (ambient ghost voice creep from Australia…project of Matthew and Lucy from Naked On The Vague)”
I talked a bit about Field Hymns in the May Tape Of The Month feature so some of this may be a bit redundant, but totally worth it, because they are quite the exceptional operation. In the last four years Portland’s Field Hymns has deployed just under three dozen jammers of the cosmic variety, including a tape by Bastian Void that we humbly thought was the most exciting tape of 2012. Dylan McConnell has a penchant of tickling the eyes and ears with his releases. His artwork is a geometrical space race of shapes, colors, and extreme attention to detail. The recent Cremator tape (FH034 “Alpha Ralpha Boulevard) is a solid starting point to get what I’m saying (pictured here). Notice the tiny little astronaut floating about? Yeah, me too. And for whatever reason it makes me so happy.
In addition to the amazing synth stylings of Cremator, their 2013 output also includes The Cats’ Orchestra “No Keys”, Regular Music “Ruins”, Black Hat “Covalence” (the aforementioned tape of the month), and PLVS VLTRA “Yo-Yo Blue” with plenty more on deck. Oh yeah, digital download codes come with each tape if you wanna digitize the analogs. You know, for the person on the go.
Black Hat “Covalence”
Nodolby “Aftermath / Inception”
Bastian Void “Fluorescent Bells”
Field Studies is the baby of Chicagoite… Chicagoin… Chicagoinian…. this dude who lives in Chicago named Eric Hanss. The first releases on the label I gripped were a split between Eric’s project Floating Gardens and Ben Billington’s (drummer from Tiger Hatchery) solo endeavor Quicksails and a C20 named “Arrival” from Athens, Greece cosmonaut Lunar Miasma. Both the sounds and look of the tape snagged my attention big time. The super-clean appearance is totally remarkable in it’s simplicity. The covers for Field Studies tapes are basically unaltered (except for the occasional horizontal white line or small amount of text) pictures from 1970’s science textbooks. The spines are consistent with their minimalism as well with only project name(s) in the same font (Garamond Bold Oblique to be specific). If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because it was mentioned back in March when the Alan Gesso cassette “Obliscence” was named Tape Of The Month. Other than the Gesso jam, the only tapes that have been released in 2013 from FS were from Lee Tindall’s project Zerfallt and a Daniel Wyche C20 called “A Judicious Observation Of That Dreadful Portent”, but they are both beasts.
It’s not a numbers game over at Eco Purity HQ, the home base of the Field Studies. Or, you know what, let’s call it the Hanss base just to be funny… Unless that’s not funny… Okay, home base it is. Like I was saying, it’s not a numbers game. It’s quality over quantity. Even though Hanss has only dished out a baker’s dozen, he keeps the oven hot. Out of the three cassettes released on 2013 two of them were on our Top 25 of 2012 list (#3 Brett Naucke “Home By Now” and #21 Bil Vermette “Archives I”). That’s an intense average.
Alan Gesso “Obliscence”
Bil Vermette “Archives I”
Zerfallt “Ritual Systems”
“Releases from Lens, Journey of Mind, Kyle Landstra, Tholian Web, and a Golden Donna/Floating Gardens split (all on tape) are all slated for 2013, more in the works.”
La Cohu is a fresh one. Started just last year by Charles Barabé and based in Victoriaville, Quebec, this dude wasted no time at all dropping bomb sauce all over my ear burritos. We’ve played a few of their flying saucers on the show including Ala Vjiior and a cut from Charles Barabé himself called “Taches” that I’m still recovering from. La Cohu has my vote for most beautiful label aesthetic, maybe ever. (put some pictures here. and don’t type text that says “put some pictures here”, but place some actual pictures of La Cohu tapes in the article. you typed all of that out, didn’t you?) See that red strip on the left hand side of the cover where Charles Barabé is written? I fucking love that strip. Wanna know why? Cause it comes off! There are separate pieces of paper on top of the Jcards that wrap around like those Obi strips on Japanese import CDs. It includes the front, spine, and back flap. A removable spine of sorts. It’s an idea I’m jealous I didn’t come up with. Too late to steal it. Oh well.
Seven of La Cohu’s 14 releases have come out this year and include names like Jean-Sébastien Truchy, Mor†, and ALA VJIIOR. Editions are small. Somewhere in the one to two dozen range, and all soooo worth grabbing up.
So that’s all I got to tell you. Now you know those things. Now go do yourself a solid by visiting your local noise tape super center and grab some shit from these fine labels in the freezer section.
Charles Barabé “Taches”
Dr. AQ and the Nurses “Satanic Stones”
By Sid “Blutigen Berges”
Even if you only occasionally listen to Tabs Out then you most likely have heard us gushing over this label. Seth Graham and Keith Rankin started pouring the Orange Milk three years ago and their 2013 productivity has put our brains through a Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor (or similar product). A half-dozen batch started off the year with releases from Weather Exposed, Piper Spray, Dozens, Foodman, Henry Dawson (Seth’s project), and Lafadki (the tape that kicked off our Tape Of The Month series). Their aesthetics, executed by Keith Rankin (also known for this Giant Claw alias), is absurd. Keith’s visuals mold elements of 70’s and 80’s video game art with what people in the early 90’s thought the late 00’s were gonna look like. Think The Lawnmower Man and the cover for Berzerk for Atari and you’re half way into the visual cortex of dude’s dome.
The artist selection going down at this bi-city (Brooklyn, NY / Columbus,OH) operation will make your head spin. Some seriously intense synthesizer music, astral drone, and vapor wave cuts are all making the rounds. I remember when I first heard the Pajjama tape calling up Joe B to play it for him over the phone. It obviously didn’t translate, but I was so excited and couldn’t hold out. The latest two from Orange Milk are cassettes from CHASMS and Joe Bastardo’s (Bastian Void/Looks Realistic) solo project Homeowner, which should probably take home Jcard of the year if anyone decides to assemble such a list.
Oh yeah, They just made up shirts that none of us here at Tabs Out could pull off (maybe Dave, but not in public). They look super tight though, so you should probably grip one up. *note* in the few day
One of the most active and heady labels in this, the year of the snake, is Germany’s SicSic. Head honcho Daniel Voigt has been running the label since 2009 and has released just over 50 tapes. As of late it seems like at every turn they have a new batch available, and they aren’t just pumping them out for cassettes-sake. The dozen releases they have dropped thus far highlight some dazzling, talented artist without a whammy in the bunch. Some personal highlights include the brilliantly designed and executed double cassette from Pierrot Lunaire titled “This Love Of Mine” (packaged in those double high Norelco packages we love so much), the Cray “Digest 54” C62 that is getting constant plays over here at Tabs Out HQ, and a jaw-dropping glacial slider from Former Selves. It’s one of those labels where releases don’t hang around, so if you wanna grip, ya gotta grip quick.
SicSic doesn’t just present the adeptness of audio artists, but also utilize the talents of some of the awesome visual craftsters. Every release has it’s own look and feel. Whether it’s the Expressionist work of Christian Schoppik seen throughout the catalog or the M. C. Escher-through-gelatin-glasses cover for the Motion Sickness Of Time Travel’s “Oust” by Marko Martini, The Jcards are a good time. They are also hand numbered if that’s your thing.
In addition to the drones and groans on tape, SicSic is dubbing freebies called “SicSic Recipes – A Kitchen Tape Series” that are thrown in when people preorder full batches. You can find out more about them in a feature we did a few weeks ago called Meals On Reels.
Former Selves “Calico Sunset”
Cray “Digest 54”
Pierrot Lunaire “This Love Of Mine
Tranquility Tapes is no stranger to lovers of new-school synth chillers. Since 2010 the brother/sister duo of Franklin and Caroline Teagle have been involved in producing some beyond-spectacular sounding and looking cassettes from way to many to list, including their own Afterlife and Imperial Topaz ventures. The uniform artwork for the label is some of the best in the game. Hand drawn, abstract sketches glossed with bright colors and gradients make an impressive appearance on all of Tranquility’s output. Who does the artwork, however, is shrouded in mystery. That’s a joke, it’s Caroline (check out Episode #24 if you wanna “get” that) and she had this to say about her process of creating the designs.
“Sometimes I listen to the artist before I start drawing patterns or sometimes I just start drawing lots of different ones and decide later which feels most evocative of a particular artist in a batch of releases. I draw everything with pen which gets scanned in and manipulated in Illustrator and in Photoshop where I add the color. My stuff often looks sort of brutish but I spend a really long time on these little drawings. There are a lot of little lines and it becomes sort of an obsessive thing for me. They’re usually a little bigger than the actual Jcard size but not by a lot, I just scale them down.”
The first half of 2013 has proven to be a stellar one for the Teagsters (that’s what I call them, I call them the Teagsters) with nine tapes, and another batch around the corner, already seeing the light of day. Jean-Sébastien Truchy, Adderall Canyonly, Motion Sickness Of Time Travel, Dads Against Vietnam, and Emuul being part of that rad pack. The “Duets” C100 that came out last year was one of the best tapes of 2012 (#2 on our Top 25 of 2012 list) and follow up (“Duets II”) is on the way. All Tranquility Tapes are pro-dubbed and normally triple digit editions, but still tend to fly out the door. Everything is out of stock from them, but you can track down bits and pieces through distros.
On a non-cassette related note, late last year Tranquility Tapes hosted an 11-day event at John Zorn’s venue The Stone in NYC that Dave and I (Joe B bailed, duh) played and had a blast. Franklin spoke a bit about it in an interview we did last December on Episode #16.
“V/A – Duets II, Roped Off – Roped Off Lifts the Invisible Tile, Afterlife – Afterlive”
note: The tape game don’t sleep, y’all. In the time between these fine labels letting us know what the future held for them, and us getting this up, some of those releases have come out. Hot new batches from Orange Milk Records (Phork, Christopher Merritt, Cream Juice, Maharadja Sweets, and Pajjama) and Tranquility Tapes (The Rainbow Body, Mr. Matthews, Parashi, Xanthocephalus) available now.
5.25.13: AH DUDE, WE’VE GOT A LOT OF TAPES Jeff Fuccillo’s 90’s cassette label Union Pole has put their entire catalog of cassette tapes, 76 releases in total, online for digital download. You can grip everything for just a buck (or more if you are feeling generous). That’s right, 100 pennies. Twenty nickles. One quarter, two dimes, a postage stamp, and a kiss will get you hours and hours of classic cassette culture goodness from Action Pussy, Jackie-O Motherfucker, Neil Campbell, Coffee, Blowhole, Prick Decay, Emil Hagstron, Truman’s Water, Crank Sturgeon, and more than you can shake a dead keyboard cat at.