mealsonreelsThere is one universal truth for everyone who heads out on the road for an extensive tour. You gotta grub. Those Denny’s, Cracker Barrels, and various rest stop grease spots get real old, real quick. If you get lucky, a kind soul will take you in for the night and order up a few pizzas. While that should be EXTREMELY APPRECIATED (don’t be a jerk! you could be sleeping in the backseat of your ride eating a bag of Cheetos) it’s still basically junk food. That’s cool for the extra-admirable dude or lady who’s chilling in the comfort of their own home, but you’ve probably been eating junk for every… Fucking… Meal. And to quote the always brilliant Cookie Monster, that stuff “is a sometime food”. A mantra that is equally as ingenious as this one taken from SicSic‘s description for their new series of Recipe Tapes – “Traveling musicians need to eat, promoters need to COOK”. With that in mind SicSic Tapes and the Phantom Limbo booking crew are working on some cassettes aimed to get good eats into the bellies of traveling jammers. “Recipes – A Kitchen Tape Series”.

The inaugural meal (sicsic054) is for a red pasta sauce by Phantom Limbo’s Holger Adam. Besides some short intro/outro music, the recording on the C15 is Holger transcribing the recipe in English with a thick German accent.  “You need an onion. You need a small spoon of honey. You need 2 or 3 cloves of garlic”. It’s like something from the 80’s, when recipes on cassettes would be a futuristic vehicle for this sort of thing. The concept is straight up weird and useful at the same time. It’s like an experimental cassette that isn’t experimental at all, if that makes any sense. To get a bit of insight I spoke with Daniel Voigt of SicSic and Holger Adam over the electronic mail about the series.

: Tell me a little bit of a back story. How did you come up with the idea and who is involved?

HOLGER: Under the moniker of Phantom Limbo we are setting up shows around where we live since early 2009. Johannes (who’s also doing a lot of artwork for SicSic) is doing most of the posters to promote the shows, Ronnie (also a member of Datashock and various other projects), Daniel and me are taking care of the booking and when it comes to cook for the bands we host it’s (mostly) me being the chef . When we hosted Former Selves, Tidal and two projects of close friends (Agnes Beil and Neu Getre) in November 2012 I got a message from Paul (Former Selves) soon after the gig asking about the recipe for the pasta sauce we had for dinner that evening. It was a nice gesture that Paul asked and I immediately translated the recipe and sent it over to Paul. Of course I told Daniel about Paul’s message. We had a laugh and I was joking around about recording bilingual versions of the recipe and releasing these on tape. It was just a joke, because I’ve never had any ambitions to record or whatever. But Daniel was hooked, immediately. He was totally into the idea of doing this and I was trapped, no way out. I should have kept my big mouth shut, but a few weeks after I found myself alone at home in front of a single microphone trying to record the recipes. (For 2 and a half years Daniel and me also did a monthly Phantom Limbo radio show which was fun to do – sitting in a studio having a few beers and talking bullshit in between songs, but that “recording session” was weird.) But, well, there it is: the first edition in the Sic Sic Recipes Kitchen Tape Series.kitchen

DANIEL: We are also happy that Moritz Finkbeiner, who is running the Waggon in Stuttgart, one of our favorite venues in Germany by the way, composed the perfect musical aperitif & digestif for the Kitchen Tape Series. Last but not least, Johannes Schebler created the artwork.

HOLGER: And since it’s a series of recipes the artwork for each new tape is supposed to be similar – only the title (cook/recipe/venue) and the picture (ingredients) in the frame will change, of course.

TABS OUT: Who else have you asked to participate?

DANIEL: I already asked some friends that are also promoting show in other parts of Germany. Since we like to visit shows and also traveling to play in other cities, these ties are are important – and meeting friendly people is always about hanging and eating good food, right.

TABS OUT: These are going to be free, Right? Just giveaways with orders?

HOLGER: I think it’s a good idea that the tapes are giveaways. SicSic is focused on music and the more informal character of the giveaway tapes suits the recipes, they’re sort of “backstage”, like meals on tour.

DANIEL: Meals on Reels! The plan is to give thise tapes away as a preorder item – so if people preorder the whole batch of tapes, they will get a cooking tape delivered with their order…first come first serve. I am not really sure how this will work out in the end, but I want to keep those tapes limited, we started doing 35 recipe tapes. Seems to be a good  number.

TABS OUT: Are the recipes going to be on the Jcard, spoken on the cassette, or both?

HOLGER: Yeah both, since my spoken English is somewhat unique, to say the least it’s good to have the recipe on the jcard, too!

DANIEL: It’s also good to have the j-card as an alternative shopping list when strolling through the supermarket.

TABS OUT: Do you do a lot of cooking?

HOLGER: When it comes to Phantom Limbo I do most of the cooking. But I’m not really into cooking as a hobby or anything. I’m aware that good food for musicians helps to provide good vibes and a good show.

DANIEL: Next question please…

TABS OUT: Any tour-meal horror stories?

HOLGER: No horror stories from touring, but as the Phantom Limbo chef I can be a pain in the ass for Johannes and Daniel when I get the feeling that I don’t have enough time to prepare everything correctly. I tend to be a control freak in the kitchen sometimes, but mostly a beer or two helps to ease my nerves.

DANIEL: Speaking of beers, as long as there are enough cold ones in the fridge, everything is fine.

TABS OUT: Any great meals you gripped on the road?

HOLGER: When I drove Ronnie & Ruth (Flamingo Creatures) around for shows with Limpe Fuchs I had some delicious homegrown food at Limpe Fuchs’ place where we stayed for three days. Tasty stuff from her garden, delicious!

DANIEL: Selfmade Organic Kvass and Vegan Borscht made out of freshly harvested ingredients from the field was definitely a highlight, while being a guest to a festival in Moldova. Not to forget the Swabian Käsespätzle (traditional cheese noodles) made by Moritz from the Waggon in Stuttgart.


The next batch of SicSic tapes is scheduled to be released sometime in June. Here is what the lineup is looking like:

sicsic055 – Asio Otus / Innercity – Split
sicsic056 – Headboggle – Hillboggle
sicsic057 – Space Habitat – Rising Interiors
sicsic058 – Suspicion Breeds Confidence – Grafamen
sicsic059 – Afterlife – Sensory Overdose
sicsic060 – Buchikamashi – Superbrain

Now, allow me to leave you with a recipe for Tabs Out Red & Brown Gnocchi.

16 oz package of Gnocchi
2 tbsp of Butter
1 cup of Walnuts
4 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 bunch of Fresh Spinach, torn
1/4 tsp of Salt
1/4 tsp of Pepper
1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese, shredded
1 pint of Grape Tomatoes, sliced

1. Cook the Gnocchi according to package directions and drain.
2. Heat Butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add Walnuts to the pan and cook until the Butter and Walnuts are lightly browned (about 3 minutes), stirring constantly.
3. Add Garlic and cook for about 1 minute, lowering heat to not let the garlic burn.
4. Add the Gnocchi and Spinach, cooking until the Spinach wilts (about 1 minute).
5. Stir in Salt, Pepper, and Parmesan Cheese.
6. Scoop into bowl and top with Grape Tomatoes.