Top 200 Tapes Of 2014
12.8.14 by Tabs Out


Ahhhhh, so here we are again, the end of another year. No one knows exactly how long a “year” is or when one will end. We humans just feel it happening, it’s in our DNA. As the year lurches toward eradication our primal urges kick in and we do what nature has always intended us to do. We make lists. The only true way to know who did a good job over the past year. Exactly who should be proud of themselves and who should just crawl into a dark corner and perish in embarrassment. Your good pals at Tabs Out have you covered with a list of THE BEST cassettes of 2014. Numbered 1 through 200, letting you know to the number how good something was. It’s all extremely scientific: For example #54 is EXACTLY 3 better than #57.  We’ve crunched the numbers, so don’t try to disprove anything you see here.

Like last year’s definitive list of what was best, we only listed tapes that we (Mike, Dave, Joe B, Ian, and John Pyle) physically own. Stuff that was sent to us, or that we bought/traded for. Which, for 2014, is just shy of 1,000 tapes. And, like every other list out there, we did not include any tapes that we released on our own labels (905, 2:00AM, Beyond The Ruins) or by any of our projects.

We wrote about a lot of these gems on our site and our Who Has Tapes Anymore? feature on Adhoc. We also included label links for you to check out, and if possible, buy these tapes. Which you should!

Okay, let’s go!

1. Charles Barabé “Dates & Confessions” (Tranquility)
Dates & Confessions is probably the strongest effort from Charles Barabé, a dude who seems to up the ante of his sonic experimentation with each release. The ten tracks on this Tranquility tape (4 “dates” and 6 “confessions”) are sizable in scope and momentum, a contemplative sculpting of dazzling electronics, gyratory spasms of tones, and intriguing field recordings, found sounds, and/or synthesized voices. All of those elements spiral together, handily bringing the listener in and out of distinct moods. If you give Dates & Confessions a listen in a hyper-focused state– similar to the one Barabé was most definitely in while creating it– you’ll easily be able to envision the sounds as an anatomical cross section: complex and divergent material working together. Thick & Thin. Wet & Dry. Bone & Meat. Veins & Nerves. Dates & Confessions.
2. German Army “Tassili Plateau” (Field Hymns)
3. Social Junk “Give Up” (Ascetic House)
4. Ryan Emmett “Portrait Of A Dog” (Orange Milk)
5. Angel Olsen “Burn Your Fire For No Witness” (Bathetic)
6. Ant’lrd / Gardener split (Digitalis)
7. Grandma Lo-Fi “The Basement Tapes Of Sigríður Níelsdóttir” (Hornbuckle)
8. Tlaotlon / Střed Světa split (Baba Vanga)
9. Matthew Akers “A History Of Arson” (Out Of Body)
10. Diode s/t (Crash Symbols)
11. The Electric Amygdala “Lion On The Beach” (Happy Puppy)
12. V/A “Ohio Volume One” (A Soundesign Recording/SKSK)
13. G.S. Sultan “AG_GREATESTHIT” (Umor Rex)
14. A.P. Vague “Uhura” (Bluebird Recordings)
15. Ben Varian “Real Domestic Scene” (Patient Sounds)
16. Doberman “CB004” (Castle Bravo)
17. Jeremy Bible “Collisions” (False)
18. Sewer Election & Puce Mary “Masks Are Aids” (Total Black)
19. Jeremiah Fisher “Martyrboys” (Tonal Shit)
20. Black Thread “Contemplation/Incompleteness” (Turmeric Magnitudes)
21. Unguent / Mincemeat Or Tenspeed split (Refulgent Sepulchre)
22. Karl Fousek “Relative Position Of Figures” (Phinery)
23. Looks Realistic “VA/A” (Beer On The Rug)
24. Watchword “Rose And Cross” (Arable)spacer
25. Tredici Bacci “The Thirteen Kisses Cassetta” (NNA)
26. Q///Q “N Sa Bwa” (Skrot Up)
27. V/A “Haord’s Buncha” (Haord)
28. Motion Sickness of Time Travel “Ballades” (Hooker Vision)
29. Charlatan “Dead Drop” (Umor Rex)
30. Bromp Treb “Abuse Abandon Abort” (Yeay! Plastics)
31. Czern “Mind In Transit” (Castle Bravo)
32. Andreas Brandal “Hidden Rooms” (Tranquility)
33. Yom San “Playa Piano” (Crash Symbols)
34. Derek Rogers “Visual Echos” (Umor Rex)
35. Anthony Janas “Funny And Pretty” (Catholic)
36. Moltar “Oval Enounters” (Mistake By The Lake)
37. Ray Phaze Tropics “Motello Fish” (Rotifer)
38. Quicksails / Headboggle split (Hausu Mountain)
39. Wrong Signals “However, The Joke Became Serious” (Third Kind)
40. Knit Prism “Pace” (Scissor Tail Editions)
41. Yves Malone “Three Movies” (Field Hymns)
42. Long Distance Poison “Mirror Totality” (Moss Archives)
43. Severed + Said “Crying In Dreams” (Popnihil)
44. Good Willsmith “14 Years Of Desperate Research” (Umor Rex)
45. Karl Fousek “Codicil” (Adhesive Sounds)
46. Charles Barabé / Black Givre split (La Cohu)
47. Watchword / Stopped Clock split (A Soundesign Recording)
48. Radio Shock “Romanse Is The Death Of Intellect” (Suite 309)
49. Ryan Harris “Endless Shadows” (Wood Between Worlds)
50. Maurizio Bianchi / Roadside Picnic split (USSR)
51. Dane Patterson “Ghosting” (Fabrica)
52. Witchbeam / Mister Matthews split (Hausu Mountain)
53. Portopia ’81 “Stardust Memory” (Field Hymns)
54. Many Mansions “Night Sesh” (MJMJ)
55. Sleep Museum “The Vitrine Of Blindness” (Golden Cloud)
56. Astral Social Club “Meadow Mechanicals” (Fort Evil Fruit)
57. Sam Gas Can “I Sat Around” (Crash Symbols)
58. Japanese Treats “*E 468” (Adhesive Sounds)
59. V/A “The Two Benji’s Remix” (Refulgent Sepulchre)
60. HRRR “Adwa” (self released)
61. 夕方の犬 (Dog in the evening) “mb_s_4_ch” (Patient Sounds)
62. Micromelancolié “Surface Shift” (La Cohu)
63. Sound Sleep “Shape” (Exitab)
64. Jung An Tagen “Vielheiten” (Feathered Coyote)
65. G.S. Sultan “intermediate mv. (demonstration)” (Nada)
66. Giant Claw “22M Never Felt So Alone” (Suite 309)
67. Dominic Republics “Black Blizzard” (Auralgami Sounds)
68. Hunted Creatures “Mogollon Rim” (Dynamo Sound Collective)
69. Josh Millrod “Seeking the Millenary Kingdom” (Solid  Melts)
70. Hakobune / Oliwa / Former Selves / Panabrite “Oceanic Triangulation” (Inner Islands)
71. Mukqs “どうか Please Can You Keep My Secret” (Patient Sounds)
72. Jerry Paper / Andy Boay split (Hausu Mountain)
73. Seeami “Health & Safety” (Adhesive Sounds)
74. Homogenized Terrestrials / Nigel Samways / Arma & Refusenik / Gushing Cloud “Noosphertilizer II” (Aubjects)
75. En Nihil / Filth split (Out Of Body)
76. Andy Loebs “The Shell & Spectacle’d” (RTA Art Collective)
77. Marreck “Mechanism” (Telsa)
78. Solvent “C for Comfort” (Suction)
79. Xunholm “Asleep In The Shattered Mirror” (Skrot Up)
80. Maar “Ceto” (Umor Rex)
81. Moulttrigger “Gamme Majeur” (The Centipede Farm)
82. Terror’ish / Textbook Punk split (self released)
83. Friesen / Waters Duo s/t (Shaking Box Music)
84. Half High s/t (Eiderdown)
85. DJ DJ Tanner “Townie” (Warm Gospel)
86. Foodman “Drum Desu” (Noumenal Loom)
87. Wes Tirey / Andrew Weathers split (Scissor Tail Editions)
88. Dreamcrusher “Suicide Deluxe” (Hausu Mountain)
89. wzrdryAV “Medicinal Circuits” (Digitalis)
90. Lost Trail “Without Streetlights” (Rano)
91. Lake Mary “There Are Always Second Chances in the Mountains” (Planted)
92. Rick Weaver “The Perfect Man” (Bezoar Formations)
93. Matthew Akers “Bayern” (self released)
94. Jason Soliday “Phase Transitions” (Alien Passengers)
95. Juice Machine “Spiritual Nutrition” (Dumpsterscore)
96. White Resin “dektol” (VAALD)
97. (( Husband Material )) “Go Ahead and Start the Family Without Me” (Patient Sounds)
98. Drut PD / Larry Wish / Elegance / CH Rom “Orange Milk Split Series Vol. 1” (Orange Milk)
99. Arnvs “Peltre” (Vwyrd Wurd)
100. Zaïmph & Yek Koo “L’interieur De La Vue” (Obsolete Units)
101. Cane Swords “Temple Swords” (Field Hymns)
102. (D)(B)(H) “Beyond Antiobiotics” (Human Conduct)
103. Âmes Sanglantes “Defects Of A Crystal Lattice” (Los Discos Enfantasmes)
104. Spiricom s/t (Wood Between Worlds)
105. Henderson/Metler/Foisy/Lachance “Built Like A Brick Shithouse” (Small Scale Music)
106. Micromelancolié “Ensemble Faux Pas” (A Giant Fern)spacer
107. Seth Kasselman “Mmediate Rolls” (UR Sounds)
108. Sarah Davachi “August Harp” (Cassauna)
109. Bean Snack “II” (Personal Archives)
110. Mark Dicker “Livestock” (Econore)
111. KILT “She’s Got The Evil In Her Ear” (Fabrica)
112. Invertabit / August Traeger split (Bicephalic)
113. Nigro “Meeker” (Oxtail)
114. The Volume Settings Folder & Tanner Garza “Sprintgtime Return” (Bookend Recordings)
115. Roofer’s Nest “De-escalate” (Power Moves Label)
116. X.Y.R. “Arktika” (Constellation Tatsu)
117. Dark Half “Moon Through Dark Trees” (Third Kind)
118. Susan Balmar “Signum” (Beer On The Rug)
119. Ak’chamel “Fucking With Spirits” (The Centipede Farm)
120. Little Spoon “Girlfriend Forever” (MJMJ)
121. dugoutcanoe / Juxwl split (Warm Gospel)
122. Gay Shapes s/t (Moss Archives)
123. Hollowfonts “XLVIII” (Phinery)
124. Icepick “Hexane” (Astral Spirits)
125. V/A “Quality Time Vol.1” (Bonding)
126. Layne Garrett “Assemblages” (Individual Lines)
127. Feels / Death Club split (Limited Interest)
128. Big Waves Of Pretty “It Is A Sight He Never Forgets” (Bridgetown)
129. Sungod s/t (Holodeck)
130. SEEZUREFACE “Moon Moan Hymnal” (Warm Gospel)
131. Ruairi O’Baoighill “The Faceless One” (Feathered Coyote)
132. Control Unit “Burn” (Fort Evil Fruit)
133. Savage Cross “Nothingness” (Spirit Throne)
134. Rosemary Arp “Sakura” (Ascetic House)
135. Rachel Thomasin “Outlines” (Otherworldy Mystics)
136. The Last Sound “Outer Raidio” (Fort Evil Fruit)
137. Matt Boettke “Richmond Tape Club Volume Eight” (Richmond Tape Club)
138. Larry Wish “Free Willy Style” (Orange Milk)spacer
139. Gora Sou “Living XXL” (Noumenal Loom)
140. Pauwel De Buck “Tape Your Skin” (Smeltkop)
141. Cliffsides “Headspace” (Tranquility)
142. William Selman “Equatorial Night” (Hausu Mountain)
143. Conrad Wedde “Spaceworld” (Field Hymns)
144. Mads Emil Nielsen s/t (Plant Migration)
145. Carey “VI” (Crash Symbols)
146. LXV “Superimposed & Hunted” (self released)
147. Atop / Ryan Harris split (Wood Between Worlds)
148. Rake Kash “Old Masters” (Unread)
149. DJM “Foreground Music” (Patient Sounds)
150. Topdown Dialectic “/​\​\​02” (Aught)
151. Andrew Anderson “The Red Dream” (Misanthropic Smile)
152. German Army “Socotra Scripture” (Horror Fiction)
153. Nodolby “Pulse Paralysis” (Ghetto Naturalist Series)
154. Head Dress “Warren” (Phinery)
155. William Selman “Chaîne Opératoire” (Digitalis)
156. Sunroom / Deep Catalogue split (Cosmic Winnetou)
157. Disguised As Birds “We Buy Gold” (Geology)
158. Dismal Light “Mindswap” (Auasca)
159. ADSW “Fixtures” (The Centipede Farm)
160. this is esophagus “Mellotron Quartet: ends no ends” (Amok Recordings)
161. Los Condenados s/t (YDLMIER)
162. Softest “Music for Rain Volume 1” (Inner Islands)
163. Q///Q “Jardim” (Self-Help)
164. Yankee Yankee “Segments” (USSR)
165. Lindsay Dobbin “Arrival” (Phinery)
166. Hiro Kone “Fallen Angels” (Geographic North)
167. Glou Glou “Hymn Her Hum” (Full Spectrum)
168. Drophead vs. Silent Land Time Machine “From Ashes Comes the Day” (Holodeck)spacer
169. V/A “Eden In Reeds: Collected Misanthropic Sounds” (Bleak Environment)
170. Seth Graham “Goop” (Noumenal Loom)
171. Cask s/t (Tranquility)
172. Curative Measures “England Wears A Mask” (Strange Rules)
173. Andrew Weathers & Seth Chrisman “Louella” (Full Spectrum)
174. Bob Bellerue “Cure The Antidote” (Los Discos Enfantasmes)
175. 156 “A Life Lived As If In Hell” (Out of Body)
176. Body Morph “Ogre” (Moon Myst)
177. Allegory Chapel Ltd. “Resurrection” (Chondritic Sound)
178. Oven “III” (Mongoloid Production / Legion Blotan)
179. Smokey Emery “Soundtracks for Invisibility Vol. III: Qui Mal y Pense” (Holodeck)
180. Yantis / McLaughlin / Mason / Houpert “Alice Sketches” (Digitalis)
181. Form “Trips” (Adhesive Sounds)
182. Roan Linden “Residential Services” (Golden Cloud)
183. Ou Où “Ou Ng” (self released)
184. Banana Pill “Weave” (Cosmic Winnetou)
185. Ki Oni “Autumn, In Real Time” (Inner Islands)
186. Reactive Identity “Angelfolc (Strange Rules)
187. Benjamin Finger “Mood Chaser” (Digitalis)
188. Mutwawa “Richmond Tape Club Seven” (Richmond Tape Club)
189. Strategy “Cerebral Hut AKA Off The Grid” (Field Hymns)
190. Elizabethan Collar “/​\​\​01” (Aught)
191. Axnaar “Shite Inside Death” (Legion Blotan)
192. Height with Friends “10​,​000 Devastating Watts” (Illuminated Paths)
193. Ashtray Navigations “Aero Infinite” (Tape Drift)
194. Death’s Dynamic Shroud.wmv “世界大戦OLYMPICS” (Orange Milk)
195. Bus Gas “Snake Hymns” (Spring Break)
196. Tashi Dorji and Frank Meadows “Number Six Is Sacred” (Cabin Floor Esoterica)
197. Joshua Dumas “Rough Matinals” (Horror Fiction)
198. Poet Named Revolver “Meets Gruesome” (No Kings)
199. øjeRum “There Is A Flaw In My Iris” (A Giant Fern)
200. Kenny Basil Sound System “Dick Picks Vol.1” (self released)Kenny Basil Sound System @ about 2 hours in