11.17.20 by Ryan Masteller
And then there were two. And by two I mean two far-out tape labels in Cologne (Köln), Germany (Deutschland), the first, of course, being Tabs Out favorite Strategic Tape Reserve, although I feel that it’s disingenuous to simply call it a “Tabs Out favorite” because it’s more than that. It’s everybody’s favorite. It keeps you and your loved ones safe, warm and nourished. But upon STR’s recommendation, I’m here to chuck superpolar Taïps’s hat into the ring, the upstart label blasting through the murk and gloom of 2020 with some truly uplifting and uncynical stuff. I probably need that right now, like a whole lot. You probably do too.
Ball Geographie – Live at Budokan
Isn’t the whole “At Budokan” thing a code for unutterable bloat? You think of Cheap Trick, Dream Theater … consider the “Foghat principle” if their fourth album (the “double live” one) had been at Budokan. But Ball Geographie’s putting one over on us, I think. Imagine a midtempo electronic artist on stage at the famous Nippon Budokan, hunched over a synthesizer or two, a laptop, some effects pedals maybe. Not the same kind of vibe. And you know what? That works for me. I don’t want Ball Geographie to have to try to fill the joint up with chill vibes. (They can fill the “joint” up with some other “chill vibes,” if you get my meaning!) At once swaggeringly confident and nerdily proficient, Ball Geographie makes the perfect theme music for you, no matter what kind of situation you’re in. Gotta look tough in front of your minions? Ball Geographie has you covered. Got an insane deadline on art project? Ball Geographie’s on it. Gotta hit the mall, look fly, and rock out? Yessiree, let Ball Geographie do his thing. Well, you can’t go to a mall right now because of COVID, but you know what I mean. Point is, I have a million things to do, and Ball Geographie’s gonna soundtrack every one of em.
bleed Air – “bleed Air”
Purportedly a mixtape of sorts, but how can a mixtape such as this exist? Pretend like Umberto and qualchan. did something together for the latest Aaron Moorhead/Justin Benson sci-fi thriller, and you might be onto something, but instead of dying all the time (and over and over), there’s a way out of the confines of this screenplay for your central character. Because the central character here in this techno-noir is you! From weird city to weird country, machines and otherworldly entities speak through bleed Air’s Omnichord OM-27, neither imposing their will on the storyline nor imposing their will upon it – they’re just all happy to be there, watching you as you race time to the edge of civilization to find the one and only thing that can still save you from the self that you’re becoming. Love? No, you’re not finding love out here. You’re finding a duck pond. You’re finding peace. Peace in the face of oblivion or annihilation or apocalypse – something bad. But bleed Air is there to take the edge off, to allow you to inherit the stylized repose you’ve worked so hard to attain. And by golly, on “bleed Air,” attain it you have.
More (not too much more, these are part of a C5 cassette single series, each limited to a scant 10 copies) from Tiger Village, The Master Musicians of Dyffryn Moor, and Harald Sack Ziegler awaits you on superpolar’s Bandcamp.