None of these reviews have contact information BECAUSE they are all from the 1980s and the addresses are all unreliable at this time. You can try googling names to see what might pop up, otherwise, its just history now.
Op Magazine T issue November-December 1983 Castanets Page 12
Technical Records (Nashville TN) have a cassette titled MINIMALOGIC IRRITANT. Side A begins with a slow soup of crowd noises and then some electronics wandering. Suddenly we’re looped into the telephone. Synthesizers snake into the picture but mostly that long-distance sound “blt blt blt I’m sorry, the number you have dialed…” and a looped fragment of an inspirational message. Side B is more instrumental, and has a voice with a minimal love song. Spacey. With a nice rippling pulsating void, just beyond the speakers.
Hark! From Portable Productions (Toronto Ontario) come three cassettes, sampler and some extensions, all nicely packaged with folding paper inserts. The Portable Compilation Tape is 4 minutes long and covers a lot of turf, all on the high tech side with vocals (groups include BAre, Deadlines, Chris Thomas, Secret V’s, and more). Some poppy tunes, some dance tunes, one song with an angry beat Ito high tech to make me fall over, but you may like that). The BAre piece is funny: one man’s quest to find the perfect sound, with hilarious straight narration. An entertaining sampler. Cassette number two is titled Inside/Outside. It is well-produced, good rock, lots of the rhyming guitar stuff. Featured artists are Chris Thomas and Brian Ruryk. Cassette number three is called A Life In A Day. Nude Garage plays with an alert beat, lots of words; Max Broc has a prominent guitar sound; Deadlines are more challenging.
The packaging for Geeta Barbeau’s Over Pop cassette (Eureka CA) has little cut-outs from xeroxed photo artwork (the kind that fall out when you open the envelop). Two guys (sounded like more – another victory for multi-tracking) play drums, piano, whistle, percussion, helpful suggestions, vocals, bass and guitar. Politics are a major theme, angry punchy voices. Includes “Chains” a sort of CH/HC fusion, and “Graves” (my fave), a sung picture of a park.
Emergency Music-American Radio Broadcasts (rescue research) is from Owen O’Toole (Sommerville) of WMFO in Massachusetts. It includes CB noise, backwards sung vocals, narrative collages (the Pope’s a Penguin), odd extractions from “classical” musics, news voices, loops, some early recorder music in dub; lots of fun multiple source collage found almost exclusively in community radio broadcasts.
Fast Moving Shadows is the title of a cassette by Lawrence Crane (Rough and Ready CA). We begin in a synthetic thunderstorm, and then we’re near the surf. Casios have a recognizable sound, I like the synth storms and crackles; at worst we’re in the Twilight Zone. There is in general lots of control and interesting progressions on this cassette.
The Greensye (Summerfield NC) Sampler #000 is titled Electronic music of Seth Howard Dworkin. This guy is not an amateur; from his credentials he must have a great studio tan: Universities of Illinois and North Carolina A&T State. We hear (more than) a Serge Modular Music Synthesizer, lots of interesting tape effects (the laughing one is a funny routine – see, this one synthesizer says to the other…) more. A high-bias 90 minutes altogether.
“Bugs” knocked my socks off right away, an acapella stompin’ song/poem on a C90 by the Walls of Genius (Boulder CO) called “The Many faces of Dr. Morocco.” After “Bugs” some interesting music with bass, vocals, guitars, cello, gizmos, etc – not as good as “Bugs” though. The go on for a long tie doing covers of “I’m 18” (a freakout version), “Joe Hill,” “Johnny B. Goode,” and loads of originals, too.
Op Magazine U issue January-February 1984 Castanets Page 24
Action and Reaction (Critique of Leisure Consumption) (Cityzens for Non-Linear Futures, NYC). Attrition and Audio Leter collaborated by cassette correspondence to create an industrial-strength collage. Sound and words. Attrition is an all-electronic ensemble from Coventry, UK and Audio Leter is from Seattle. My favorite song is “For the Child” with vocal by Chryss of Attrition. There is also an Attrition mix available from (Coventry England).
Nothing is Something is another Cityzens tape. Accompanying Sue Ann Harkey (adding piano to her repertoire of musical instruments) are Elliott Sharp (see S44), Bob Jenkins, Jeff McGrath (both from Audio Leter), and Robert Hinrix. The sound is further developed and more effortless than some of her previous cassettes. The bass in the song “The Homeless” is the kind that will follow you around all day. “Hermione” is sung with strong rising piano, and is one of her best songs.
Deadlines is the first cassette single from Toronto according to Portable Productions. Punchy rock with treated vocals. A pleasant way to spend 3-4 minutes.
dk has a new address (Toronto Ontario) and a new cassette, Bad Taste in my Mouth. Lots of felt pen action on the clear plastic cover and tangled word snarl of liner notes. Synth snappin’ and poppin’, electro percussion, treated vocals, and some kind of brass, also treated.
Bryan Medwed has a cassette titled “Sorry No Help Wanted” which contains seven compositions spanning folk (dulcimer), electronic (Buchla), sound text/poetry, politics, agriculture, and good old rock and roll. Available for $5 from Stuart Hallerman (Olympia WA)
Impassioned Restraint is from Approximately Infinite Musique Int. (Tucson AZ). Most improvised music just doesn’t survive the documentation process. This does very well! Wind instruments, keyboards, vocals, percussion, synth, recorder and flageolet. Hats off to Richard Cooke, Ann Kingsolver, and Matt Finstrom.
Congo Eels are a modern noisy garage band. They have songs about juice, your sister, reasonable doubt, and other themes. Torture Symbols are less concerned with songs. They are both in one hand-painted label. Write to them c/o Nad Rednips (Lyndora PA)
Music Works Magazine (Toronto Ontario) has released number 26 “Maritimes and Newfoundland,” $2 for the magazine alone, $5 with complementary cassette. Truly a delight! Very informative and wholesome. We hear from Emile Benoit, old time fiddle player from Black Duck Brook, Newfoundland, his interesting perspectives and self-taught music; also bagpipes from St. Johns Newfoundland; foghorns, some electronic music, whales, and loads of color. The cassette was compiled by Gordon Monahan and the montage/editing is by John Oswald. The magazine discusses the music projects, musicians, trends of the region. Interviews, scores (including the score for a piece performed in St. Johns harbor where boat whistles are the instruments, heard during noon hours for a week), and several interesting ideas about music and the ocean with much more.
Eric and Rachel Mueller’s Pedestal (LA CA) includes clavinet, bass, guitar, rhythm, and vocals. Altogether punchy melodic-toying-with-dissonant sounds. Lots of rhythm. Vocals are all treated and sound pretty cool.
Tching (the end) (VEC Audio Exchange Maastricht, Netherlands) International compilations are generally very interesting, lots of variety. This is a treat. Unfortunately, it’s the last program in the VEC Audio Exchange. There are 16 programs available. Audio Exchange participants need only send a blank cassette; non-participants can buy a copy for $10, or full set of 16 programs for $150 from Rod Summers (who worked on the project for 5 years). There are 47 different goodies from the Netherlands, USA, Hungary, Sweden, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Canada, a Greek island, Scotland, Australia, Denmark and Ireland.
Eugene Chadbourne, Parachute cassettes: 10 reviews
Parachute Cassettes (Greensboro NC) This chamber of horrors is HQ for Eugene Chadbourne and his twisted Shockabilly band (though some band members live in NYC). What do you think can be recorded on cassette? How car can the limits be stretched before the tape itself bursts into spend petrochemical waste? With these questions in mind let us proceed.
He is insane C60 Yep. This is proof. Exhibit A. Some acoustic guitar numbers, some electric guitar, electric rake (the rake has feelings), insane vocals. Overall this is the best sampler of the lot.
It asked for you. Eugene and Kramer team up and reach out through the speakers to throttle you with their bare hands and noisy effects. Serious challengers only, please. Well recorded racket reproduced on hi-biases type II tape.
Solo history. Comes with a funny essay and spans selected peaks (1969-1982) in the career of avant-garde musician and demolitionist Eugene Chadbourne. His song “Love” is an acoustic composition, lots of subtle harmonics and fancy chords, done very slowly and thoughtfully, that’s shattered by some CBer yakking away. Also there is a breathtaking 22 minutes and 18 seconds of the Richmond Dobro Massacre, and Das Ist Eine Kleinegast CBGBs,” to name a few.
LSDCW. The Amazing story of the Chadbournes in America. This is the best of the pre-Shockabilly stuff. Covers of Duke Ellington, Johnny Paycheck, Johnny Cash, Johnny Lennon and Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, etc. with world famous avant garde musicians Kramer, Tom Cora, David Licht, John Zorn, Scott Manring, and Toshinori Kondo. They like to fill up every minute of stage time with sound. Between actual songs (sometimes during) there are tapes of TV voices and occasional guitar wildman sounds. Never a vacant moment.
The rake as a way of life. Imagine if you will an almost ordinary garden variety rake. Imagine an ordinary sensitive electronic pickup that is designed to transduce acoustic or mechanical vibrations into a powerful electronic amplification system. Shake well. Numerous variations of this audio hell include solo, with a disco background, with an inexperienced audience cheering, with an experienced audience screaming and pleading for a power failure.
The English Channel “New Version” An LP was released around 1978 on Parachute called “The English Channel” by a band of 18 improvisers called 2000 statues. Here they’re given more room to breathe and unwind and more stuff is added. Ringo Starr makes a surprised guest appearance, but I doubt if he knows it yet.
Ventures Warm-up Another pre-Shockabilly band. This is David Licht (percussion) and Eugene (guitar, rake, vocals, personal effects) recorded live. Lots of scorching twangy country style guitar licks and impossible percussion magic (more than boomchaka-boomchaka). Psychadelic. There are hayseeds in “Hard Days Night” the train that kept a-rollin’, and a version of “Third Stone From the Sun” with Popeye, Brutus, and Olive Oyl joining in the fun. Rocky and Bullwinkle and the Wizard of Oz folks might be heard in places too.
Solo Acoustic guitar volume 1 Tape release of an album recorded in 1957 in Calgary, Alberta. Eugene plays 6 and 12-string guitar and prepared fretless 12 string, with his hands. Great stuff – his first record and it shows a pre-crazed curiosity and sensitivity towards new sounds, non-ordinary acoustic guitar playing (with stuff stuck on the strings etc)
Volume 2 Another tape release of a disc. We’re getting a bit more daring. Most notable is the part with the guitar stuffed with seashells for an incredibly beautiful sound as they slowly shift. He actually plays the guitar strings at points too. With his hands.
New Solo Music 1983: The Secret of the Cooler and the Plunger. Meanwhile, back on the fringes of the closer present, children squeal, laugh and scream in some kind of adventure, apparently hand-recorded, with something so horrible that most people cry out when they see it. He keeps them in a sack in an old cooler, but Melody the dog understands and is afraid of the Secret of the Cooler. Lots of fun. Then… a plunger, wired up like the rake (not capable of moments of lyricism like the rake, but the plunger does have feelings), well, this little screamer shoots white noise into the air. Also does covers. Jenny Chadbourne sings “Tomorrow” her debut. Good luck Jenny!
Op Magazine W issue, May-June 1984 Castanets Page 9
Anagenic by John Wiggins is available for $5 or trade from ( Northport NY). 14 months of recording, using a Serge synthesizer and SD-Systems computer, also plenty of found sounds.
Whitewall of Sound Productions sent in a tape; unfortunately, it became misplaced, but it will turn up (he’s optimistic, but if you could send us another, Jim, we’d sure appreciate it – GI). I can tell you about the literature: crossword puzzle of Akron and Ohio rock and roll lore, thick xerox collage booklet. Find out more for yourself c/o Jim Clinefelter, Akron OH
Walter Whitney’s “Composer X” from Subterranean Sound, Overland MO. Multiphase Records artist (synth player for Delay Tactics) plays primarily synth w/some sax and guitars. Obnoxious photo on cover.
The everpresent Walls of Genius, Boulder CO sent 2 more 90 and one more 60 min. cassettes: the WoG Sampler, the Guilt vs Time Money Complex, and Architects Office Partitions. Oh my. The sampler contains 60 minutes of max indulgence vocals/backup drums and everything you need to know about WoG; the Complex features excerpts from radio KGNU’s freeform call-in yap show “Go For It,” more original songs with drums (oh yeah, fuzzy guitars too) inc. “Without Limbs,” “A Night in Tunisia” (don’t forget the synth screeches); Partitions has that characteristic mania sound, long noise jams (what could have made those noises? probably something broken) Watch out – they have catalogs.
“Chicken Dreams” by the Whistledicks (formerly the Chinese Electrical Band). Brutal vocal sound with the usual guitars and drums and stuff…but they were not clever enough to include their address on any sales material. (co-written with Graham Ingels)
Evan Presley and the Extreme Being: The Singing Sensation from the ID is by Evan Schoenfeld, Seattle WA. Five songs in fifteen minutes: a parade of pop-rock styles, quite energetic, big guitars, drums.
The Eat…Scattered Wahoo Action from Jeterboy Cassettes, Dania FL, Guitars, vocals, keyboards, drums, bass, sax, 6 rocking guys, insert with lyrics. No pauses in the fast rock action. Some titles: Ballbusters on Parade, She’s Pissed Off, Hey Jackass, Catholic Love.
Tellus #1 is a subscription only cassette mag, $30 for a year from an apartment in NYC. A compilation with a very strong NYC flavor (some work done at PASS, see P33) 17 different kinds of audio poetics and phenom.. including vocals, sound, text, elephants, screaming, a ZBS quickie, breaking glass, much more.
9 song tape from Filmusiq Studio, c/o A. Teti, LA CA. $4 ppd. Synth, guitar, treated sounds, some vocals. Some titles: The Film We Never Made, Developing, The Last Weapon Left. Consistent mellow pace on side 2.
Youth Hostel’s “the noise has only begun” is available for $6 from Master Bedroom Music, Long Beach CA. Free catalog too. Gritty live sound, delivers what it promises: Live at the Machine Club.
Confrontation, Rochester NY. Denise J. Dorb presents Confrontation: Duckie, Ricky, Skill, Yakebu, Eric & Yvonne. “Fire, Fire” wailing reggae sound “we a jam fiya, fiya.”
James Hilltcab of TCAB Sound, SF CA. This one came with a pipe cleaner and a pin that says “The Bible Only.” Free to anyone interested. Instrumental synth bed for horn. Wins by default the coveted “stuff falls on your lap when you open the cassette box” award. Sincere sponsors please inquire.
$10 for the “cassalbum” from O Central, W. Hollywood CA. From the same crew that brought us Red Dragon Punk Funk-Godzilla in an early Castanets. Guitar, bass, synth, and drums. Some mod pep synth, some bluesy guitar, vocals, funk bass, covers lots of turf.
Magisch Theater Productions, Antwerpen, Belgium. Synth bands from England, Norway, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Spain: Attrition, Stefaan Van Biezen, Entr’Acte, Vox Populi, Soft Joke; 13 bands altogether. Comes with literature: tapes exchange addresses and details for participating.
Virginia Smith Explosion, c/o Tom Fleming, Princeton NJ. Cool slick country rock sound. Five guys playing piano, bass, guitars, drums, and fishing poles (except for Tom).
ONEWE Communications has just released “Sexual Harassment,” the followup to Michael Boer’s “Delayed Stress” $5 from OC, Seattle WA. Synth and guitars, some vocals. Little booklet w/ lyrics and graphics “poetic extensions of manifest destiny”
Klystron, San Jose CA. Pounding rock cassette sampler of this trio’s work. Guitar, bass, drums, vocals (lead and all the guys in the background) Titles: One Kiss, To Our Hearts, Listen to the Beat!
Micrart Group, Sint-Niklaas, Belguim. Two cassettes: Autumn/Experiments with Environments and Twilight Rituals/The Ritual. Big synth and some vocals. Letter mentions performance of electronic soundtrack for Lang’s film Metropolis, and some work of theirs broadcast on National Television.
Center of Gravity by Chris Gross, $6.50 from (Oradell NJ) Free catalog also. Synth stuff bass guitar interesting tape effects. Mostly instrumentals. Strange characters on the label edge. Includes some concept oriented electro pop and some great strange sounds in rhythm.
Michael Morongiello Dancing with a Cool Head $3 From (Brooklyn NY) Concept oriented electropop. African influences, including guitar. Treated vocals. Good stuff.
Beat Happening has a cassette (K Olympia WA) It’s Bret Heather and Calvin (Calvin Johnson of J Op & Cool Rays fame) singin’ about going to the beach, some dreams of Calvin’s, more. JF’s favorite band. Fun and low budget stuff, yah. For $2.50 plus postage.
The Lobe Current Music Sampler is available from (Canyon County CA) it has a computer made label and sticker, lots of synth, guitar, vocals, computer voodoo. Features Toxic Pet, Piskoskorrn Poon, Lee Scott.
Analystic (sic) Investigations has put out an album length tape, First Deployment, $7 plus postage, (Montreal Quebec)
Shades of Throbbing Gristle, closer to rhythm box side, but plenty of roaring synth. In French and English.
Vision’s 4 song tape (Peter Asco, SF CA) Rocking drums, East Coast bassist, guitarist from Argentina. Clean commercial sound.
Hricko Recordings has released The History of Music III (SF CA) Its a sampler with some nice folk songs, some fun bouncy rock, some concept-oriented electropop, some out of tune on purpose songs, some gritty live performances w synth and vocals. Most of the songs have an uplifting theme.
Talking Picturs (sic) by Dreamhouse (NYC) Well recorded, homemade styles ranging from echoey, jungle beat hypnosis with a tape loop of people walking that we both liked, to pop-rock, to rhythm unit alienation, “the ghost inside heads”
Spacy Dronodelic guitar, not too much synths. (with Geoff Kirk)
NOTE: Geoff Kirk is an amazing volunteer contributor to Op magazine, he co-conspired on many cassette reviews which are marked (with Geoff Kirk)
Psychological Warfare Branch (Redway CA) Prisoners of a war not yet fought. Makes me think of Savage Republic sometimes, maybe a little more poppy. Guitars, vocals, drums, treatments.
Astronauts in Grave Peril album length tape is called “That’s Not Really a Problem” Synthesizers and vocals, also lots of space sounds. This C46 chrome is $6 from Edwin Blomquist (Burlington VT) (with Geoff Kirk)
Da Hamptons tape is from Cration Prod. Co. (NYC) Bird sounds, plus washes of atmospheric tape effects. “Sound texture.” Drones. Good tone drum, congas, ?, percussion with Rashid Ali on “Club Scene” a highlight. Concept oriented electro-pop. (with Geoff Kirk)
Prism for the Poison World by Robert Hinrix (Cityzens for Non-Linear Futures NYC) Primarily guitars, electric and acoustic, some extended improvisations (crick crack rattle rattle BONK) some wonderful vocals, distinct political flavor. Listens to Victor Jara. Refreshing open mic sound (rare in the synth-dominated cassette jungle) Includes Sue Ann Harkey, Paul Hoskin, Chris Cochrane.
Simpletonelectronics can be contacted by way of WMFO (Medford MA) The second release (I like the extended qualtities of “Emergency Music” better) Great banjo loop. Subliminally-concealed messages: “Give all your money to the radio station” Distinct free-form collage surprise-o-sound sound.
Gray: Mike Vargas (NYC) $6 or trade 90 min. cassette. This cassette was made in honor of Gray Alexandra Vargas, born Feb. 1 1984!! Poppa plays piano, very versatile, much synth, lots of improvisation, fast fingas. Includes Paul Hoskins, Chris Cochrane, and No Tourist Attraction. Great strange noises.
Quality Tape Laboratories (Portland OR) Lots of ex-Neo Boys involved in this project. “What is it?” contains 8 songs (repeats on side other) ranging from edited language tape w glockenspiel and percussion bed; to solo guitar bass vocals to more percussion bed stuff with fm radio tuning cough clarinet lots of fun.
Touch (London England) Stunning packaging as usual. C60 of 11 bands: Jah Wobble, General Strike, 1000 Mexicans, 3 Mustaphas 3, Quimantu, Piedro Insipiedo, Yanomamo, more. Variety of sounds: some synth bands, some world folk electronic sounds mix, great South American songs too. Top notch.
Steve Benjamin (Brooklyn NY) AKA Steve Dead, doing 4 rocking songs, “New York City Driller Killer” “Doctor Butcher” “Blood’n’guts, Drop Dead
New Music Review (St Petersburg FL) Free to members of the New Music Review, $10 to interested others. This is volume 3, with 24 selections, all rockin’ and rollin’ excellent production.
Crankcall Loveaffair (Lin Esser, Denver CO) Drums vocals bass guitar synth (most prominent). Strong male vocalist.
Ricky Starbuster sent in more marvelous singing and talking by 6 year old Anna set to his won syntho stuff: titled e.s.p.
Also another cassette titled “Protosynth” You guessed it, synth pop. (Madison WI)
Gray Matter (Kansas City MO) Solo work of Kevin Dooley, synth and vocals. Interesting effects. Some titles: “Nushu” “Cable TV” “Designer Genes” 9 songs altogether.
Casual Productions sent in a 2 band tape featuring Trent and Schlaflosigkeit; $3 ppd from Cash Productions (Ketchikan AK) Trent: a poem turned into a sword. Trent is a book. Narrated with a laugh-track and cheap synth (its not a fake laugh track); the other title (begins with S) has lots of night sounds. Unquestionably fun stuff. Ok, maybe a bit goofy.
Vibrant Fiasco/Disturbed Pyramid sent a tape of their upcoming EP “Helium” (Aurora IL) Guitars processed vocals synthdrums keyboards yow. Humerous.
Chapter 23 c/o Greg Schafer (Mpls MN) Seven songs that rock and burn from 4 guys playing guitars drums bass. Some titles: Ten Feet Small, Insomnia, Costume Party, Cold Sweat.
Lord John (Aberdeen NJ) Four men sing and play drums, guitars, bass; psychedelic, looking for independent label.
The Not’s tape “Break Free” is $3 from The Not (Cambridge MA) Lite pop, with busy drums. Usual lineup English style sound I guess, Hardcore without edge. (with Geoff Kirk)
The Farm, a music production co that’s “a growing concern” has put out its first tape, Spanky PicassoHead. Loud live I bet. Casual recording, guitars bass vocals drums sometimes. “A” with a circle around it. “You’re the one that put me away!” (Seattle WA)
Olympia’s own arty ensemble Heliotroupe have put out an eponymous cassette. Correspondence Ken Levy (Olympia WA) Blast from the past! Grateful Dead, CSN Stars on Mellow, polished and tight. (with Graham Ingels and Geoff Kirk)
Lauri Paisley, (Syracuse NY) whose “Reel to Real” was mentioned here recently, has forwarded two new works: Calcyon ($5) and “MemorExodus” ($6) Big synth works, many flowering layers. If you are near West Orange NJ check her out in concert, benefit for WFMU 5-19-84
The latest output from Northhampton Co-Operative Music (est. 1981) is “Sounds from the Margin” Its 2.5 English pounds from (Northhampton UK) Contains lots of little bells horns vocals quite a variety of sounds. Improvisations.
Bound to Sound Music has put forth the Objects (Hoboken NJ) Eleven peppy songs: guitars, vocals, organ, bass, drums. Grainy cover xerox.
Op Magazine X issue July-August 1984 The Beckett Gameshow Page 13
X Mystery Tapes by John Oswald (Toronto Ontario) John is a genius of this century. Riverrun: tapes feature voices/sounds he divides into 3 categories: 1) relative, people I know, things I’ve done; 2) deranged, stolen & mangled material; 3) obscure music I like that no one listens to. He also includes some material of his own. The graphic text collage fold-up liner notes are on stiff paper with funny photos or drawings. Ordering you have many choices: dance, no, rock, soft, slow, faster, foreign, talk, normal, hot, painful, dolby, outdoors, easy, instant, animal, radio, cool, difficult, short, far, again or X, X1, X2, X3, X4, LX, GX, MX & XXXX which have descriptions like girls instructional, scissors and waltzes, boyish songs. I have heard most of them, and even multiple copies (which are all different) and I can’t figure out what is going on. Its great if you like non-muzak or mega-muzak, got that? Nothing is eve repeated in the same way. Boats, birds, brass, old and young people, Beatle ghosts, Italian DJ “Reno” on CHIN-FM, much more, a very rich palette of sounds, textures, techniques. For $6 you get 60 minutes of this ambrosia, that is 2 X sides.
ASP-AMP (Santa Cruz CA) Crawling With Tarts. Tape is nice noise, not dense, understated; voice, percussion, minor electronics. The packaging is OUTSTANDING!! WOW!!! Lots of effort airbrushing and xeroxing and cutting paper. I can’t say enough about it, and for $3 too. Came with a xerox collage artzine called 4 which is 50 cents.
Thomas John Bellino (NYC) Star Gods of the Ancient Americas. Ritual music. Very pretty combinations of wooden, clay and ceramic flutes buried in synth. Tape was made to accompany an exhibit of astronomical imagery of the ancient Americas, with 144 artifacts. I forgot that synthesizers were native instruments.
Boy Dirt Car c/o Artweather Communications (Milwaukee WI) This tape is called Gravel on Urine. Improvised, instinctual, loud. Artnoise with processed stuff, sometimes guitars/drums, voices, some loops. Liner notes on brown paper folded in box describe a sculpture which sits in the living room which gives the tape title. I bet it smells bad as they say. Tape does not smell bad.
Oh look out… Eugene Chadbourne (guitar wildman) has fired 5 new cassettes at us. Don’t just sit there… These new ones come in bold and chic low budget packaging: a recycled envelope that a household utility bill came in, folded in half. So what do you want? He’s got Chicken on the way, He’s Insane, Now Blues, Fake Fight and Ghost legends. Everything sounds horrible. What are ya gonna do? Chicken and Insane feature Clint Eastwood and Bugs Bunny teamed up in different versions of Dirty Harry; Now is about Eugene’s smart father; Fake is from the Rova Saxophone Quartet’s tour of USSR (remember this is the 1980’s) altered by you-know-who in his basement in the USA (don’t forget to register to vote); Legends is with Charles Tyler on baritone and clarinet, recorded by John Zorn. Chicken includes “Potato Salad” “The Thing” “Shrimp Sauce” “Folsom Prison Blues” “She Said She Said” “Life Insurance” and “Mendocino” (which brings tears to my eyes). Not all in that order. But even better is “The Great Wall Around The Shopping Center” “Psycho Birdcage” and “They Warned Me Not To Go To Africa” on Insane. Most tapes are still only $7/$8/$12 US/Canada/elsewhere, except for Fake Fight for $10/$11/$12. Aren’t you glad you live in America? (Greensboro NC)
Domator-Reportaz, Live recording in students club “Nurt” in Poznan, (c/o Henryk Palczewski Pila Poland) Some raw rock noise with harsh vocals all in Polish, lots of changes, some very delicate beautiful piano. Drums keyboards vocals bass trumpet.
Gargoyle Mechanique sends (free for radio broadcast) House of Dogs, 26 minutes of a radio theater/humor/tragedy gripper which would have thrilled Antonin Artaud. Sort of a variation on the Cenci family horrors. Side B includes other short examples of their characteristic mysterious sounds. Very creative stuff. Write to them (NYC)
Golliwog: Lennart Eilersen (Sweden) Ogreish guttural sounds and hard electronics. A C60 Swedish compilation. Catalog with “I’m Jesus Masturbating” t-shirts etc. Invites contributions: “send for info: do yer own induztrial mjuziic or kommit zuizide but don’t forget to videotape yer brutal mortal action” Low budget package – xerox paper folded in half folded/glued on edges. 25 Skr (Swedish crowns)
Invisible Hand Productions sends us Notes from the Underground, The Arms of Someone New (Champaign IL) Electric guitar folk songs with a mix of room sounds (talking, telephone etc) rather pleasant moments, nice guitar, bit of synth, rhythm box.
Untitled is the name of the tape by Jarboe (Atlanta GA) ($3) a solo effort that comes wrapped in white gauze with some black paint minimally applied. Inside the cassette is wrapped in white sticky bandage tape which had to be removed to listen to it. An unhappy vocalist. Side 1 features a high pitched background tone which gives headaches. Side 2 has more percussion, and a vocalist accompanying the first.
Jerrock sends another tape (last time it was the Dead Milkmen) called “When someone says they’re a housewife, does that mean they are married to their house?” Its by Earthshoes for the Needy. Loud ‘n’ live casual recording, some loops, low budget heavy metal freaks with drums and vocals, some guitar. (Philadelphia PA) Send $2.50 to hear Johnny Earthshoe playing practically all instruments himself.
Media Space Audio Presentation (Inglewood, Western Australia) sends us some poetry/performance material by Allan Vizents, recorded live, with bass, violins, chorus, and processing on all voices (what did he say?), seems to be about modern problems. Liner notes on thin pale white plastic insert, looks very sharp. Title is Bureau-cast.
Ministry of Love (Toronto Ontario) sent a short 2-song tribute to Elvis which features “Suspicious Minds” and an original “Passionate Night” and another cassette with seven songs called Ministry of Love. In a brutal nutshell they sound like Joy Division, but vocalist isn’t as good.
Nisus Anal Furgler is a tape for $3 from Calypso Now! (Beil Switzerland) Attention: this music is distracting. Prefer side 2, hate side 1. Electric guitar, German vocal art narrative. Brass too.
O’Nancy in French is by Ysunbri Taniguchi and Katsu Nizumachi (Japan) I love this tape. Its the best oil barrel, rice storage bin, steel plate and effects tape I’ve ever heard. Consistent, slightly modulating (slowly) feedback. Beautiful cover illustration.
Peaceful Productions comes forth with Have Faith by Idle Warship, fast and furious rock and hardcore action. Watch out Ronald Reagan, this jerk is gonna rip off your arms and beat you with the bloody stumps. He’s gonna kick yr ass all the way down Pennsylvania Avenue, you bully. Send $3 to (Rick Lewis c/o Angelus Hotel, Olympia WA)
Psychodrama sends 2 cassettes (c/o Jon Betts Arlington VA) Now we’re talking very strange. Cardboard cover’s got a buncha fuzzy crunkus glued on, sort looks like eyes and teeth NOT HAPPY, all hand painted. Inside is a C60 nonstop bad trip introduced with a portion of a Charlie Manson interview. Rhythmic inexpensive recording production really sounds great, always changing. Included was a warrant for the arrest of Brett Kirby with icky sicko details of this pervert’s um performance (excuse me while I wipe the vomit off of my shoes). Oh yeah, the other cassette is great: No Tape. Silver spray painted cassette shell comes in a box. I really have put this one on and listened for hours, with the machine turned on and everything. “No synthesizers used on this recording” Traumarama is $6 and No Tape is for $3 (infinite length, no electricity or special equipment needed).
Pedestrian Tapes (Sydney Australia) 2 tapes by Rik Rue: A Raise of an Eyebrow and Dub for St Rita. The first is a C60 for $7, dedicated to the many pleasures of low tech and the mighty pause button. Great collage stuff. Sort of an Australian John Oswald, only different. Vocals and stuff, rough and ready collage, slice and dice national anthems, bush riot, an evangelical section, animal training tips, lots of dogs. The second is a C10 on chrome tape for $4 lots of loops, strange sounds, very hot levels, beautiful cover illustration in color. Side 2 has violins, drums and explosions, sorta aboriginal at the beginning, then it gets strange. Quite humorous.
Ronscriblio – 2 tapes from the new catalog. C30 and coloring book for $2.50 called Ta Ta Tee Tee Ta by Jim and Joel Paxton. They have a guitar, some percussion solos come in later, evolves into a polka-like sound, then changes. A lo-fi home documentation tape. Other tape is C30 for $2 called Martin J. “Strawberry Fields/Penny Lane” Barney Rebel and Ron Scriblio play guitar and bass with a brass/woodwind section (maybe its an organ), got rhythm, casual tone makes for mighty mellow hummin along. When they mess up or finish Strawberry they go and do Penny and vice versa. Casual approach.
Trumpet Tapes (Leiden, The Netherlands) Colonial Vipers – Euro electropop. Maxi synth sounds, liner info is in Dutch, but all the singing seems to be in English (heavily processed vocals) Great American-related political slogans in some songs. C90 for f 16,000
Stratis Kuckucksweg (Kiln West Germany) A C40 called Musica da Ballo. Smooth and snappy electropop, German vocals, detached, not particularly angst riddled.
Thomas Wacher: Mir Gehts Gut C30 for 10 dm, about $4 from Try Hard Productions (Recklinghst West Germany) He is the one man production crew, with 3 friends helping with vocals and more instruments. Almost everyone I played this for wrote down the address. Great rap electro pop. Listens apparently to Grandmaster Flash, Talking Heads, etc. All vocals sung in German, great stuff, love that accent. Cameo appearance of Hitler.
Windforce (Ashgrove QLD Australia) 2 tapes. The Department of Entertainment, by Public Servants (supposedly the staff there) $5 Australian buys you 8 songs about the working life. Kind of cute vocals, guitars, bass, percussion, some sax. John Hill, An Axis Acts as an Axes Access. Beautiful cover buff paper, beige with brown ink, printed 2 sides with lyrics and carefully folded little strips of paper little slogans, which tie the whole thing together. What we hear is a singer-songwriter playing guitar in a folk mode with percussion, water, violin, horn, little bells, songs about love, the wind, friends, promo calls it acoustic new wave.
Op Magazine Y issue, July-August 1984 Castanets Page 27
Viscera: A Whole Universe of Horror Movies. Jaffe & Mcgee, (Indianapolis IN) C60 $5 ppd. Art rock-noise. You guessed it. Somber. Processed vocals, bas, electric gizmos. Pretty good.
Children’s Crusade: A Duty Dance with Death, from Dead Joe/Satori Prod. (Elyria OH) A studio project by 2 musicians from several Cleveland-based bands: Fraser Sims and Doug Gillard (both 18) vocals, guitars, drums, bass. Kinda angry. Gritty voice. Art rock noise. Some titles: Lurker on the Threshold, Hunger, Decade of the Worm. Shades of HP Lovecraft.
Voidkampf (Crissieri, Switzerland) Two model boys play bass, computers, TVs, synth, voice, tapes, electronic percussion, films. They’re from Lausanne. Sounds sorta like the Central European hi-tech and vocal art noise that you love so much, and some great Swiss accents of audience members between numbers. Sample titles: Musique de Film, Rimbaud, Swiss Banks.
From Canada, the flat part, comes a C45 called Sonic Boom. The name of the trio is Saskatchewan, and the sound is of the contemporary electronic persuasion, all instrumental. Some titles: Steelsaw Guitar, Modern Work, A Nuclear Crutch, Big Like Elephants. Improbably Records Tapes, (St. Catherine’s, Ontario)
Eckart R. Buhler, (Pompano Beach FL) sends a magnum opus wowsville worldhopper big electric funbox called El Fuhrer Musikkraft, color photo cover of lizard in the sun. Lot of funny little wanderings and crossover progressions, with a bit if synth, mostly odd whistles and stuff. $5.55
Shut Up! Cassettes (Wausa NE) A new concept in low-budget mail-order tape art: “Piece O’Tape.” Its almost perfect – short, sweet, light, interesting, inexpensive to send and manufacture. Unfortunately rather difficult for me (with 6 thumbs) to handle the little bitty limp ribbon of cassette tape “one or two feet long,” elaborately wrapped in paper, plastic, tin foil, more paper, more tin foil, with little smart-assed messages on each layer. I got it to play once, it was at an odd speed. Just the thing for cryptologists. Conventional cassette releases upcoming: Dental Hygienics (C30), Aluminum Porkchop (C60)
Keeler (NYC) sends Planet of Lovers, C45, solo effort, variety of things done with our friend the synth keyboard, not particularly as erotic as the title would suggest – friendly though. Some titles: Cosmic Ferry, Apparitions, Airborne, Of Things Remembered, Soldiers At Play.
ASP (LA CA) Bombast from the Hut $3 with small booklet. The second release by Crawling With Tarts is vocals horn percussion synth sort of somber sometimes, with an overall artists-making-music sound, primitive rhythms. Packaging is beautiful as usual. Black and white photos, airbrush, diagrams, poetry in little booklet.
J. Grienke: Before the storm (Seattle WA) With this new release we are talking big potatoes: photocover (aqueous), nice typeset lettering for the titles and notes, even on the cassette stickers. Sometimes sounds frightening, sometimes somber. Not as disturbing as the first release, but I enjoyed it anyway. Electronics, voice, guitar, piano, organ, trumpet, trombone, percussion, tapes, turntables, processing. Coolest titles: Exciting Small Particles, Broken Nation, Hidden Chamber, Neighborhood Stroll.
Blair Petrie Obfuscate Parameter (Vancouver BC) Two cassettes: Noise (C50) echo voice stuff with synth, not what I call noise. This is music. Ho hum. Interference is synth, some vocals, mostly pretty stately, large and slow, some peppy funk moments.
Paul Thomas: Tourist Life. Media Space (Inglewood, Western Australia) Comes sealed in several layers of plastic, with an 8×10 photo + poetry book included. Sound poetry with electronic gear (including violin)
Tellus #3 of this cassette magazine is another great compilation of NYC material produced at PASS (Public Access Synthesizer Studio). Slicker production details than before, printing on the cassette itself as well as the usual ample and compact notes on the linter. Lots of variety, featuring 17 selections from Kirby Malone, Christopher Knowles, Bruce Tovsky, Isaac Jackson, Tim Schellenbaum, The Tinklers, and We Are They Who Ache With Amorous Love, Boom, and Wharton Tiers, to name only a few – lots of sound poetry and synths. Contact information and subscription details obtainable from Tellus (NYC)
R. Hinrix: An Inversion Diversion (Cityzens for a Non-Linear Future, NYC) A second release, this C90 is divided into 2 parts: Inversion is all improvised. Diversion is mostly composed. The voice I like, sorta pushed (as usual), and good new guitar ideas, electric and acoustic, harp, drummers in Tompkins Square Park, a collection of recordings made using various recorders, in a variety of locations: NYC, Maine and Arkansas. Hi to Victor Jara. I had hoped that this kind of political expression would be more common on the home cassette front.
Dega-Ray is a high-tech performance duo from San Francisco. Clasp/Click is the name of their C60, art-noise oriented stuff, electro-gizmos and vocals. Some titles: Touch, Video Dream, Tribal Confrontation. Music Studio A (SF CA)
The Electric Guitar Quartet (San Rafael CA) sends in Canon in D (yes Pachebel), Slavic Quartet (Glazounow), Alaric’s Premonition, and Eine Kleine Nachtmusic (Mozart of course) done on electric guitars. Nice clean recording.
Ragged Bags (like, wow!) live at JB’s (Kent OH) is a punchy C90, good quality sound, grating vocals and instrumentals. At first I thought “Oh no, do I have to listen to this?” but everything turned out just fine, so I did it again. Even some nice brass in parts.
Men of Ridiculous Patience, $9 Australian ppd. 2 cassettes in a cool printed, folded and taped box. 4 programs from the radio series CNTMPRR-YDTNS. Loop Orchestra, Kurt Volentine, Art Poetry, SWSW Thrght. Sorta busy, lots of loops throughout, slow changes, interesting evolutions of patterns. Collage radio, very controlled (rather than your basic wacko multiple input collage radio sound). Not many voices. Great background or mediation sounds for long continuous sound environments or special projects. The box is really beautiful.
Music Works (Toronto Ontario) The Canadian New Music Periodical. If you like sound textures and unusual folk music and musicians, accompanied by an impressive tabloid with related stories and details about what you are hearing, then Music Works is for you. This issue, #26, “A walk through the city” is another great edition. Featured are Maureen Green, Hildegard Westcamp, Norbert Ruebaat, Marjan Mozetich, an excerpt with accordion, violin, viola and cello, Patrick Ready, Tom Hajda, Michael Zagorski. Brilliant and entertaining tape collage edits. Highest salutes to Tina Pearson, Gordon Monahan, Kris Nakamura and John Oswald.
From 235 Distribution come two things in one envelope: Der Werkpilot (Werkpilot Industrial Releases Herten, West Germany) outstanding slick booklet with glossy pages and photos, English, German and French texts, great electro-pop from the continent. Some titles: The Happiness of Love, Dreams Never End. Also included in a plastic glove is Independent World, a compilation of material from 18 musical entities ranging from Tom and Marty Band (Richmond VA) to Space Negros (Cambridge MA) to Vo Ese (Frankfort West Germany). Mostly pretty peppy electro-pop, nicely produced, lots of contact information included, and a color photo collage print.
Op Magazine Z issue November-December 1984 Castanets Page 13
Zeitgeist & the seven year itch C60 (Au Roar Seattle WA) The box is the coolest, bandaged in cardboard and gauze, confined in steel mesh and strips of black innertube, barbed with decorative black wire. The label is typed on manila tags. Jeffrey Morgan plays saxophones, voice, Harlan Mark Vale plays traps and synth, with James Stonecipher, guitars. Rich thick tones, slow and huge, some funny stuff too: “Mohawks in a Pontiac, my Mom is one of them”
Zip III (Ashgrove Q Australia) Slick kit: brightly colored graphics, lots of booklets, posters, even a cassette. Nice electro-pop.
ABC Mutes C60 (Cheney WA) Two gutsy guys bashing away, singing presumably in English, with either the most amazing ability to change abruptly during a song since Shockabilly, or another pause button collage. You gotta hire these guys see, cuz they work so hard and they really mean it too. Got guitars and mics for vocals and drums.
Anzalone Alone: Brown Toad in a Yellow Paper Cup. C46 (Rich Anzalone, Anzic creative outlets, South Lynchfield MA) Funny. Maybe stupid. Peppy casio accompanied saga of a man, a toad and some changes we all must face.
Baby Astronauts: A is for Anarchy (Rob Weum, Columbia Heights MN) Words about technology and being angry. Rockin.
Bam Bam: Down Wind People (Linda Sullivan, Boston MA) Very short – 1 rockin song. The management services are expanding to become “Part O’ U” management, promo, booking etc.
Maja Bannerman: Future Perfect C46 (Blewointmentpress Toronto Ontario) With the Bill Smith ensemble, poetry and jazz (viol music, reeds etc) “The New Wilderness” “Close-Up On Cancer and Camera” more.
Bebop Revisited (FMO Productions Olympia WA) Blowing crazy it’s Mr. Bigstuff, Bert Wilson, accompanied by Rainbow (local restaurant/jazz nightspot) favorites Chuck Stentz, Jack Perciful, Bob Meyer, Steve Bentley, Stephen Luceno and Chuck Metcalf
Big City Orchestra: Beatles Hell C90 (Ubuibi Santa Cruz CA) Best deal in thick confusing collages. Muzak arrangements of the hits, with loops of fan club memorabilia, with some other stuff. Ubuibi sponsors a cassette-only weekly radio show, appreciates submissions.
BOCA IY EAR (Kansas City MO) Peppy electronic throb. Elaborate photocollage cover theme. Humorous destruction of “Yr Cheating Heart”
Brainfood: Great Society C46 (Peter Lovi Ithaca NY) Big synth drums and guitars, big rock sound, pop kinda Motown maybe. They have a computer to do graphics for the cassette label and cover letter.
Ray Buttigieg: The essential transition C30 (cykxincorp NYC) Some episodes of crowds, chants, political slogans. Healthy, listenable. Electronic filler.
Carsickness (The Iron Works Pittsburg PA) Great package – sleek green plastic pouch with crayon decorated notes, little cutout photos of world leaders. Synth rock with vocals drums etc.
Chopped Liver C60 (John J. Hlis, Gainsville FL) The first thing you notice about this is the color photo of a person in a plastic woofy dog mask, plastic yellow and red outfit holding a casio guitar etc. The actual music is another victory for home multi-track broohaha. Covers a variety of styles in the electro-rock sometimes vocals genre.
City Streets: Special Friends (Larry Saunders Buffalo NY) Lots of people combine to create a tight professional sound.
Clandestine: Anatomy of Coincidence C90 (Bloomington IL) Slow progression of synth sounds. Better than most.
Cleaners from Venus (Essex UK) English pop/art/rock. Ex-dishwashers singing about life with machines, guitars, glockenspiel, keyboards, voices, drums, saxes.
Cool and the Clones: High Blood Pressure C90 (Cabin John MD) Jazz with vocals, live concert recordings and basement sessions.
The Couch People C60 (Bloomington IN) Cover photo of shadows of hands. Pop-rock. My favorite “White Hotel” – great vocals except for intro.
Cow-op industries (Denver CO) package their tapes in butcher paper. Wandafied! by the Varve C50 an all-female band is punchy rock, and Babaa & Scheibel C40 by Corpses as Bedmate also all-female, is a primal noise/percussion unit from London, my favorite. I like screams.
Lawrence Crane: Fragment (Pink Noise Tapes, Rough and Ready CA) Tape tricks, synth, amusing ditties. 17 some odd devices were used to make the sounds on this, Crane’s 4th cassette.
Domino Theory: Weather Report C30 (David Tholfsen, Phoenix AZ) Rock trio with Jefferson Airplane sound, amongst other influences.
Dumb Artists Collective: Just a bunch of headaches (Springfield MA) C90 includes special gift. Nice homebody music “I’m making sausages with my mother” cold dispassionate male voices, aided with electronics. Some horn later. (continues)
(Dumb Artists Collective continued from page 13) Total Cheap Tapes Vols. 4 & 5 C60 includes a libretto and artwork original. Also included with the three cassettes was Ambient Storm Trooper Revue zine – photo-collage, felt pens, “The story of sex and a jar of peanut butter, with a side order of watermellon”
Kevyn Dymond: The policy covers everything C60 (Arcata CA) Guy with a guitar, a little keyboard setup, probably a 4-track recorder. Clever songs.
Exiles (Gregory Mills, St Louis MO) Sonata for Piano and Percussion, and Sonaire I and II. Thoughtful, serious music, recorded live.
Free Fall C60 (Eugene Electronic Music Collective, Eugene OR) 6 different artists and their approaches to making electronic music.
Give me that dog penis popsicle C46 (Gleet Studio, Van Nuys CA) A collection of 20 experimental groups from the San Fernando valley. Low-fi recordings of synths and stuff.
Bruce Haack C90 (or so) Praxiteles Pandel, West Chester PA Humorous obnoxious voices. Entertaining electronic drivel. Looking for a record label.
Mark Hastings: No Ing C30 (Yo Yo Studio, Olympia WA) Vocals guitars, makes me think of early Ian Anderson, more Hare Krishna influenced. Hand percussion (tabla). Good sounding, comes with little booklet.
Hans Hendrickx: 24 Lives a Second C60 (Sex on Sunday, Brussels Belgium) Wonderful thick percussion layers (lots of musicians too) processed with a self-made stell plate reverb tank. Cover is a bright color photo of neorealist painting.
HJ Freezen: The garden of Broadway (Au Roar, Seattle WA) Art jazz, one blues wailer song, 4 songs altogether. A peaceful flight over troubled seas of mystery. Brass vocal bass guitar percussion synth. Includes little known Jackson saga.
Home at Last C46 (Living Room Music, St Louis MO) Compilation. Great cover photo. “Mutated Gerbil Stomp” by Happy Chemicals, “Wild Thing” by Mailman and the Lizard, more.
Home Recordings (Bloomington IL) Big fun low-budget operation. Big Hair, big deal sounds non-multitracked to me. Guitars vocals effects primitive influences. Funny but useful. The wonderful world of the Dits also titled “Oh Shit its the Dits” Two crazy guys. The moments I like sound like hillbilly science-fiction synth. Oh God its great. The Sediments. Real humor. Real music too. And more. Answering machine for examples, but more important is the variety of instruments used.
Deborah Liv Johnson: Mahogany Music (San Diego CA) Singer-songwriter with an impressive portfolio. 10 guitar and vocal songs which reveal more than the ease and confidence of Joni Mitchell, plus one sassy blues number.
Jungle Dinner C20 (SF CA) “Afro punk plus Three Penny Opera modern mambo experimental dance.” Dig.
Kabazz: Ethno Rock (Jamaica Plain MA) African and American instruments, voices, electric and acoustic (kalimba, electric guitars, drums, synth etc.) My fave is “Niga: Story of My Life”
Susan Kennedy: The lantern in the Window (Teddy Bear Records, Eugene OR) Piano improvisations blending country jazz rock and fusion. A very nicely produced presentation of personal expressions.
Franz Leibl: Ankles (Munich West Germany) Good electronic pop tunes mit vocals, short cassette.
Lions and Dogs (Jade Gurss, Topeka KS) Hard workin hard rockin hard punchin. Has some raspy vocals.
Lunar Bear C30 (John Richey, New Brunswick NJ) A poet/novelist and improvising percussionist who utilizes Third World instruments, found objects, children’s toys. My favorite instrument here is the berimbau.
Minoy: A place of shades, Insomnia (both C60) (Torrance CA) Electronic textural material, a wash of sounds, no melodic or rhythmic intrusions. Beautiful.
Jeffrey Morgan Piano 1984 C30 (Au Roar, Seattle WA) Lots of very fast, complicated notes, clusters, layers of rhythms. Can be really frenetic. Very original and inspired.
Neanderthal String Quartet C20 (Intrepid, Seattle WA) Most recent release from this mill of odd sounds. Both sides have primitive rhythms and breathing, doesn’t sound at all like strings.
96 Eyes: Raging Beauty C40 (Creative Tapes, Koln, West Germany) Catchy. Synth bodies wash over color changes.
Kerry Norman: Prototype C90 (West Melbourne Australia) Electronic. A suggestion is that it’s ethnic music from an unknown culture. Sounds ok.
John Oswald/Henry Kaiser (Toronto Ontario) The music is similar t the Frith/Kaiser release Who Needs Enemies, pleasant (non-abrasive) happy/strange bounces with techno toys.
Painful Contractions: Go Jolly (Tcab Studios, SF CA) Funny voices, electro-entertainment. Comes with cool rubber stamps stamped on envelope and a fork (plastic), small cut-out photos of female body parts and macaroni, mounted on a plastic strip.
Pedestal C60 (LA CA) twelve songs, some previously released, some new. Peppy electronics with vocals.
Plonsky: Op. 17 Fairy Precincts C90 (Peter Brody Plonsky, SF CA) Bizarre distorted recordings of sound sculptures. Something seems seriously damaged in the duplicating device. Except some songs sound sorta normal. Let’s call it special effects. Way out, Cap’n
Schlafegarten: Memorandum C90 (Eureka CA) Electronic voices, synth, guitar, rhythm. Kinda dark.
Mark Sloan: Third tape of the second year C60 (NYC) Lots of instruments, lots of friends, peaceful sounding music, electronics mixed with guitars, table top, etc. Enjoyable to listen to.
The stickers (Ouch! Records Berkeley CA) Dedicated to Michael Stewart, NYC graffiti artist killed by transit cops. The lead singer is a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe who participated in the 1973 Wounded Knee occupation.
Suburban Bohemia C90 (Rockin Rollo, Rahway NJ) Collection of jams recorded with many musicians; a softer side and a weirder side. Sounds good.
John Thors: Thors whores chores C60 (Eugene OR) Side 1 is bizarre poetry and sounds. I completely lost my grip. Side 2 is authentic psychedelic garage bands the Vandals (1965) and Glass Eye and the Killing Floor (1970). An interesting form of autobiographical expression, sorta like blues snapshots.
Tone Poets C90 (Brooklyn NY, checks to David Mandl) Cool sophisticated bass, percussion, keyboard. Comes with wheat in envelope.
Toxic Pets Live C60 (Newhall CA) Green cover, “seminal band in the new psychedelic movement in LA” singing “(I’d rather be killing) Communist babies” “Blue Collision” more.
Vacant Lots Zone Rock C30 (Wally Gunn, Cleveland OH) Tough glamour rock men deliver slick meaty entertainment.
Harlan Mark Vale: Cool Views C90 (Walla Walla WA) Great vocals. Synth drums guitar prominent percussion. My favorite song is about Whalebone, his car.
Phyllyp Vernacular: Suggestive Reasoning C90 (Eugene Electronic Music Collective, Eugene OR) Lots of synth. Nice guitar stuff. Lots of synth.
The Wild Seeds Soul City (Michael Hall, Austin TX) Rockin and poppin music
Aaron Winsor: Foreign Insight C60 (SF CA) Beautiful cover-graphic printed on stiff paper tinted with colored pencils, box comes wrapped in absorptive towel labeled “The Offending Article” Supposed to be musique concrete, small harmless found sounds from narrative media, not too confusing, lightly humorous.
Ear Magazine Volume 12, Number 2 April 1987 Citizens of the Cassette Conspiracy Page 13
Human Flesh: Ambient Music Volume 1 (Insane Music Contact, Trazegnies Belgium) Haunting duo and trio musics that stay with us. A very civilized sound here. Serious efforts that reward our ears, very gentle and enjoyable. It is arranged as a series of mirages, 15 of them altogether. The instruments heard here are violins, flute, voice, zither, bass and electric guitars, synthesizers, harp, vocoders, violin in reverse, saxophone and various other instruments. The mood is relaxed and at times ecstatic.
David Prescott: The Last Battle (Boston MA) Electronic collage with episodes of melody on the keyboard well articulated. Some feeding aliens, some growling oscillators, some new glory. There are no voices, no goofy rhythm boxes, one or two prepared guitar parts, no drums. This is a huge operatic epic that flows from one end to the other almost without stopping. There is a feeling of mystery. Some extended battle action with huge explosions, and sections of electronic beauty.
Amy Denio: No Bones (Seattle WA) Always a new idea, lots of music. She likes bass, horns and singing. The general mood is highly amusing. Tricky technical musicianship and funny voices saying funny words. Side one is called “Boneless Pork Butts” side two is “Half Bone in Hams” The songs (20) have titles like “Couch of Sound” “I wear guns while I’m dancing” (Democracy lies in El Salvador, it lives in the hands of the people..) “Spastic Entropy Waltz” “Libya” “No Cry” “The Air Drone” “4/4 Tries Not To Be” Amy is talented and very original, the instruments she uses here include Stratocaster, saxophone, trap kit, violin, keyboard, electric bass, trumpet, pouch of tobacco, marching drum, and kitchen sink.
Tellus #15: Festival of Improvisers (Harvestworks, NYC) A collection of performances from a festival. Variations on the theme, the cast includes Chris Cochrane, Anthony Coleman, Carol Emanuel, Tom Cora, Bill Frisell, Bobby Previte, Lindsay Cooper, Fred Frith, Irene Schweitzer, Christian Marklay, David Weinstein, Denan Maroney, Jim Staley, Bill Horvitz, Ikue Mori, John Zorn, Samm Bennett. This from a series of cassette magazines from NYC with themes like Guitars, Radio, Just Intonation, Power Electronics. Each edition is well supplied with phenomenal talents A very important audio arts showcase, by subscription $35 for 6 issues, individually for $7.
Chuck: Fur Brot und Freiheit (Greensboro NC) Harsh industrial event-makers. The sonic phenomenon of Chuck leaves no open gaps unfilled; the activity level is constant. Although this is on tape, I get the idea that in performance these guys have a multilayered air-born presence. The vital concept here is exploring the conventional and unconventional, and the non-synthesized (but electronic) structured improvisation. Percussion and more. Here is a sample of their inventory of instruments; rocks, boxes, cardboard, flashlights, turntables, sticks, kazoo, mylar, forks, books, scissors, cans, beer, rattles, tea canisters, coat hangers, cellophone, wind chimes, washing machine parts, conduit piping, door springs, ceramic pottery, clothesline, drum heads, jar of nails, dulcimer, sea shells, harmonica, electric guitars, brake drums, bird calls, serving trays, wood blocks, clarinet, metal coca-cola sign, castanets, siren, wind, alarm clocks, wooden chair, plastic milk jugs, Slinky, wire brush, tom tom, cymbals, kitchen utensils, coconuts, acoustic guitar, bamboo. The list is longer yet.
Rat: Swimming towards the bank (Genova Central, Italy) Electronic pulses and rhythms, like a light show for the ears. There is a beat set up, then the fireworks begin. Hypnotic and hallucinatory, with a jungle pulse leading us to the place for dancing or swaying wildly. Strobe lights would work with this music; different colors would be best. Each side consists of one giant jam. Side two is slower, no driving pulse, tons of electronic mystery, madness and suspense. The texture changes to include an organ solo, which is thoughtful and extended. This tape is all electronic instrumentation with lots of color.
Pierre Perret: Gaia la Terre (Marnay, France) Music from the earth, with a bit of synthesizer and some interesting live sounds. The range includes primitive drumming and chanting as well as nonhuman life. There was a lot of collecting and sifting required to bring this to life. It was composed for a ritual celebrating the earth, the natural elements. Besides Perret, the others include Sylvanie Breton, Anne Marie Breton, and Serge Meyer. Together they have caused this cassette of the whole earth to come in to being and to be available for you to hear. Birds, wild animals, not-so-wild animals, water, wind. A beautiful Mass for the Earth.
Arnold Mathes: Infinite Room (Brooklyn NY) Synthesizers (approx. 20 synths including an electronic guitar and gizmos) create 90 minutes (13 songs) of electronic music. The mood is neon gray rather than either dark or light, and moderate (not dominantly fast or slow) in tempo. Metal pacing with hovering color-craft leading the way. Flip it over to find conflicting little alien bands heard in a tube that play with some of the beat in reverb. Rare interruptions to the electronics include a discussion on drilling. Some titles: Megazoid” “I Remember Earth” “Slow Missiles” “Dig the Dig” “Alinoid” “Deadly Men” “Steam” “Stumble into the Light” It’s a lot of interesting tones happening at once, often with an almost concealed rhythm.
Donald Campau: Paralyzed by the very thought (San Jose CA) Entertaining modern rock. Guitar vocals synth harmonica trumpet alto sax good hooks, familiar dance beats, scorching guitar solos, wiggly and fuzzy monster effects. It has lots of songs: “Another Stupid Video” “The New Me” “Invisible Shield” “Blissando” “Rows” “One Breath” “Ali Was A Bomber” “Crowning Jewel” “Traintrance” much more. You can hear that lonely whistle blow.
Suzy Sparkles; Pat n’ Mike & James (Boulder CO) Musicians playing guitars synthesizers, electric piano, pennywhistles, recorders, kalimba, harmonica, xaphoon, bloogle, and percussion. The style is wordy and carefully arranged. The feeling is of acoustic guitars and poet songwriters that tell stories. The whistles and recorders add a lot; the synth is very much reserved for background work, if at all. I’ve never heard a xaphoon or a bloogle before.
Tunnel: Ubuibi (Santa Cruz, CA) A hand-held percussion jam in a tunnel. Bing bing click click bing crash (repeat). It goes on for quite a while. Part way into the second side there is a universal beat thing going on with cool cries in rhythm. Sorta like Middle Eastern, sorta like a slave camp, but they are not slaves. Metal and friends, a good time. Sounds like an industry without machines, must working arms.
God is Love: Solomonoff and Von Hoffmonstahl (Hoboken NJ) Sound collages with fantastic graphics. Both mix colors and forms borrowed from photos and squiggles, like funny little smiling faces and textured fabrics. Haunting whistling and all the electronic gadgets that fit. Some titles: “Digga-do” “Big Breast” “Mule Train” “The Grim Creaker” “Watch it Skipper” “The High and Mighty” “Blue Heaven” “Lift-off” “You can always find a Haunted House Said Tom” more. Funny, strange and charged electronic wild-ear work.
Paul Healy: Release (Pedestrian Tapes, Sydney Australia) Synthetic music, cool rocking guitars with some synth percussion and vocals. Beautiful and swaying, this collection lasts 30 minutes. Some titles: “End of the World” “Lonely Sway” “Moon-Tan” “19 Only” “Allelulia” “Howl” “My New Arm” “Ascent” “Minor Key” “Happy Opportunist” “See Me” “Opus-Pocus” The feeling of motion never stops; the action is full of strange guitar sounds, rhythmic guitar patterns, some occasional, very controlled television sounds, but mostly sweet music. Not a noise collage.
Ear Magazine Volume 12, Number 3, May 1987 Citizens of the Cassette Conspiracy Page 12
Jeffrey Morgan Zeitgeist and the Seven Year Itch (Sound of Pig Music Brooklyn NY) It’s dark. The lights might be out, maybe there is a candle. The horn makes me think of ghosts, the other sounds do too. Zeitgeist means “time-ghost” in German. It’s a 90 minute recording containing music from seven years of playing, improvising and making these awesome sounds come out and depict the horror of the universe sometimes; documentations and some studio work of avant beyond avant avant jazz or 11 bits of fine magic, saxs, cornet, voice by Jeffrey Morgan, percussion, synthesizer and vibes by Harlan Mark Vale, and some guitar pyrotechnics by James Stonecipher.
Gregor Jamroski Shadows as Memories, Echos as Pasts (Sound of Pig Music Brooklyn NY) A collection of music by Gregor J. with violin, bass clarinet, electric guitar, saxophone and some deep voiced vocals. Weird squacks and echos. Some titles: “Watchin” “More Tongues than One” “The Ego and His Own” “Victoria’s Song” “One or Many Voices” “Basement of Babel” “Disinterested Brain” “Persian Phonetics” “Poison Oasis” “Something to be Snide About” Clouds of dry syllables and mournful tones from horns, sustained electronic echo-reverb sounds, voices of the edge, of the wisps of hair and trinkets exchanged. The moonlight defines the geography under the lake. Exotic instrumentals.
Missing Children (Compilation) (Sound of Pig Music Brooklyn NY) This is a great compilation, as usual the mood is truly strange, dark and crazy sometimes. Heard here are Data-Bank-A (intense collage), The Psychological Warfare Branch (mangled radio news, poprocksound), Randy Greif (synth fry), Gregor Jamroski (echoey synth + horn), Stress (horror disco), Victor Nubla (syntho nocturno), Jeffrey Morgan (amazing piano), Face Cancer (horn-vocals-synth beat), A Naked Kiss (synthpop), The Haters (howls with synth), Black Iron Prison (yes it hurts), The Water Chutes (synth beat theme), John Hudak (sneaky drones)
Gargoyle 29 (Paycock Press, Washington DC) A collection of poetry by around 10 poets (including Sharon Morganthler, Nigel Hinshelwood, Ann Downer, That Ziolkowski, Beth Joselow, Michael S. Weaver) reading several of their pieces; or a single long piece in the case of Wayne Kline, Dyane Fancey and Robert Gray. Excellent recording quality, as interesting and detailed as a poetry reading, except its all recorded in a studio and there are only pauses between the words. All the stylistic similarities and variety a group of poets should have.
Roberta Eklund: Poems From Dead Mummies (Eklund Cassettes, Indianapolis IN) This is poetry to listen to in a very dark room, with headphones. The words, distorted and fleshy, will nestle in your brain and lay eggs there. Listening to this, your thoughts will take on the rhythm of Eklund’s words and grow like vines in a graveyard. Take your phone of the hook. Put on the tape. Do it. Poetry with effects – a little too drenched with effects – animated and distorted. It comes with a little booklet. A graveyard of short grim poems appearing through misted, unnatural tubes and shattered inhuman voicing on every poem. An audio chap book with hard to read calligraphy, which is supplemented with a real booklet that reveals the wording perfectly and has some nice photos too.
Snapshot #7 (Steve Peters NYC) A collection of audio snapshots. The sounds begin with a barbershop quartet singing “Summertime” This melts into traffic sounds and marathoners jogging by. The mix is very smooth and there is plenty of overlap which creates new sounds My favorite sounds are the washing machine, being on an airplane, kids telling stories, the whippoorwill, and “I am the man from UNCLE” a composition with metal chairs and concrete floors. The last sounds are going down Frog Road in frogland at night with Rich and Heather. This extended version comes with a 7-inch reel box, with pages that fit just nice.
Tellus #12 Dance Tellus (NYC) Energetic and interesting pieces by a wide range of artists, edited by Gretchen Langheld and Bruce Tovsky. There are compositions with brass ensembles, and with infinite variations on vocals and treatments, like all those digital effects. Heard here are compositions by Bill Obrecht (written for the Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers), A. Leroy (for a video in collaboration with Carole Ann Klonarides, Lyn Blumenthal and Ed Paschke, a painter), Carol Parkinson (for choreographer Isabelle Marteau), Anita Feldman and Michael Kowalski (work for synthesizer and tap dance), Hearn Gadbois (a Muddy Waters cover: GAHT MAYH MOH8JOH3 WOYKIHN) David Linton (excerpt from the Simpleton’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Music). These are only a few of the sixteen amazing works here. Overall the feeling is never still, the sounds are almost never familiar, and the cover is a couple of dog’s feet, a photo with sepia.
Minoy: Be Cool (SPAZM) (Torrance CA) Bizarre sound textures using voices and some kind of interference treatment. Sounds like a telephone conversation with bad connections, hard to understand. Lots of weird chanting and distortions. Look out for flying objects, the jaws that bite, the feet that crush. There is never any beat (thankyou thankyou) and in the dark you could be in all sorts of caves or chambers, tunnels, etc. The first side has four songs “Be Cool” “Fratzam” “Maintaining the MoMo” “Voice of the Haint” and on the second side there is just one: “Get up and sit down”. Excellent wild-ear listening.
The Best O’ Noiz Art 1982-1986 (WFMU, East Orange NJ) Unbelievable compilation of people being obnoxious on the radio by way of the telephone. This tape is crammed, squeezed, sardined, pressed and squooshed full of stuff from the archives of a radio show that specializes in the damaged and the bizarre. It has more than everything you can imagine. Poetry read, screams screamed, noise from the kitchen, and sometimes some real music that is always poorly recorded. Sam McGee is cremated, with tons and tons of off-key acapella singing and guitar destruction. Go for ride when the telephone is battered about in a dryer (hang on- I mean it!). Cheesy little synth pop songs are played (hard to understand the words), video game battles resound with poetry. It’s all terrible! This cassette is terribly full of ideas and horrible sounds, lots of bizarre jewels. Highly recommended.
Dog as Master: Sheets of Cruelty (Dog as Master, Indianapolis IN) Shroud of venomous sound. “This cruelty is a matter of neither sadism nor bloodshed.” Terror transformed into electronics that wail beneath the surface of incomprehension, a nightmare for your listening pleasure. The event is a drama of bubbling synthetic horns or something with Casio over-burns. There seems to be a distorted voice in there too, and the phrasing is odd. He seems to be asking a question. The other side has a guitar; don’t worry the sound is quite consistent with the first side. It is titled “Systematically Cultivating Horror” and features “Vagrant Routines” “Desperate Love of Blood” “Blind Appetite” “Crushing and Grinding” “Death is Cruelty” “Massacre” and the first title again. All this activity takes place in the space of about 20 thundering minutes or so.
The Joke Project (Seiei Jack Nakahara, Japan) Japanese collector exhibits world artists. Great idea and big packaging to go with it. There are a large number of joke tapes, and the participation of world artists is a wonder to behold or hear (or whatever). Jokes are my life. Just skimming the official Joke Project booklet there is something from Flushing NY, Bayside Vancouver BC, Brazil, San Francisco, Italy, Wisconsin, Glassboro, Japan, Colorado, Thailand, Belgium, France, Memphis, Texas, Poland, all over! The tape I have has one side of the compilation project and one side of this strange ongoing processional music, a melody that repeats itself through a jungle of monstrosities in sound (Vincent Price laughing, electronic broohaha). All up and down, a 90 minute cassette. Its great.
Ear Magazine Volume 12, Number 9, December-January 1988 Citizens of the Cassette Conspiracy Page 9
Tellus #16 Tango (Harvestworks NYC) A collection of music in a dance mood, specifically the South American style of the title, with music by the Argentinean master Carlos Gardel. Such motion, such passion and tragedy. David Garland, Cinnie Cole and Zeena Perkins perform a “Play within a play” along with work by Keith Keeler, Jo Basilke and Orchestra, Molly Elder, and more. The tape has 16 selections altogether, featuring lots of accordions, guitars, cello, vocals, percussion and a few electronic interpretations – the usual 60 minutes of unusual audio innovation and excellent production values. #16 Tango is available by subscription and by single cassette.
Experimental Musical Instruments (Nicasio CA) From the first six issues, all of volume one, this is a collection of sounds made by the instruments described in the magazine. Glass instruments, Ellen Fullman’s long string instrument, odd and original flutes played by Susan Rawcliffe, Tom Nunn improvising on the Varion, a rousing tune played on a car-horn organ, “Harps in the Wind” from Ron Konzak, Pierre-Jean Croset performing “Danse Des Magiciens” on the lyra, Robert Ruttman playing steel cello, Bart Hopkin doing “Disorderly Tumbling Forth” a crustacean solo and exotic ocarina melodies. Altogether a very rare and valuable collection for the right ears. There are so many ways to approach making sound; this has lots of ideas and unique things to hear.
Silent, But Deadly (Ann Arbor MI) Dangling Ganglion: Bump-tiddy-bump-tiddy. Late at night in Ann Arbor, you’re tired and you reach for your radio. You scan the dial when suddenly this weird sound starts: Curly of the Three Stooges and some cattle that laugh are repeating some murmuring sounds, a voice shouts “Listen! Listen!” and that’s when you saw the UFO. This stuff is completely great madness and hilarious beyond words audio soup. Better than the surprise of the radio is the packaging. Each one is hand-painted using a series of stencils and airbrushes on cardboard with the liner notes printed thereon. Beyond words – this is really weird. What a tape!
F/I: Threshold Contact (Milwaukee WI) Recorded in 1986-7 this new work explores the moods and context for the upcoming vinyl disc. The main idea explored here, in several sessions, is a wall of pulsing sound made by picking a tempo that is nice and powerful and simple too and then going great guns, screaming guitars and synth, ongoing pounding beat, extended situations. Good energetic stuff, but not exactly virtuoso solo material from any of the musicians, which is good. The combined sound and power drives your sound system like a herd of electronic horses – just get out of the way. Musicians heard here are Richard Franecki, Jan Schober, Tom Schnier, Brian Wensing, Greg Kurczewski and Steve Zimmerman.
Your Mom Too (England’s Newest Hit Makers) Leslie Singer and Frank Kogan (SF CA) A raw approach to songcraft. If you’ve ever heard Leslie before, you know she has no problem with recording quality or tuning the guitar. The idea is to deliver these songs with a ferocious driving bent-wheel rhythm. Your Mom Too was recorded in a room with a cheap tape recorder – no fancy pants technology concealing the naturally funky sound of the instruments and caterwauling voices. The songs are about underwear with no holes, the couch (which includes most of the contents of the room: phone cat etc) the fire hydrant, a hot dog, Roger Williams, and more. Rather blues and beat, low budget, homegrown American sound (“got no dog, got no man…”) The other side of the cassette is Leslie and Frank singing their own songs separately, including such hits as “Brian Eno is such a commercial bitch” “The fire in the Brain of Jesus” “Cerebral Car Crash” “The alcohol of Fame” “Real Psychedelic Song” “Waterfall” “The Scene of the Crime” more.
3Rio Magisch Theatre (Antwerp, Belgium) Conconadindina. A collection of songs from various bands in the European techno-angst rock tradition: synths and vocals, severe pulsing percussion beat. Lots of different sounds, really. Some liberating psychedelic promenades too. Die Rote Fabrik, Quesquesexa, Mark Lane, France Douce and the Abortions, Bondage Boys and the Beast, Incest, Phillippe Laurant, Rici Nici Simon Vinkenoog, and more. Very entertaining listening, often danceable rock with synthesizers. Mostly in English.
Intrepid (Seattle WA) Decompilation (Compilation tape). Personnel: Angus, Barreca, Calcagno, Fergus, Grienke, Haire. Action: strange modern sounds, mostly from high-tech little home studios. All are Northwest artists gathered up in a box with an interesting photo cover: some structures reduced to just textural patterns. Soft grainy resolution, very sophisitcated and separate from any notions of genres like New Age or Rock. An environment is presented, along with some pulsing rhythms in some place. Guitars, keyboards, voices from media, fragmented comets passing by, one electronic reminiscence of the 1968 Chicago convention. Several pieces by everyone. Mostly electronic, one with acoustic piano only.
Zusaan Fasteau: Meditative bliss (NYC). All solo instruments: shakuhatchi and nai flutes, soprano sax, voice, sansa, cello and berimbau, using multitrack recording techniques for multiple voices. Zusaan Kali Fasteau has a talent for making soothing music, like birds, oriental shadows, foreign breezes. The songs are all very sustained, one is around two minutes long., the rest between six and ten minutes. Some titles: “Resonance” “Night Sky” “Moon’s Procession” “High Wind”
Ear Magazine Volume 11, Number 1 August/September 1986, Citizens of the Cassette Conspiracy, Page 25
Andrea Navarro: Risin’ to the love I need C46 (Multimedia Productions, Genova Centro Italy) Bright yellow cover, five electro-pop songs: “We are the Position by the Sea” (which has a funky pop beat), “Vision in Dis-quote-K” (more complicated agreement), “Emotional Shadows” (sorta like Roxy Music), “Portable Summer” “I got the (version) break” (much more somber and chaotic than the other songs). The vocalist has an Italian accent and sings in English. All keyboards including percussion and vocals.
John Hudak: No basis for reason (Philadelphia PA) Long extended machine sounding noise backgrounds, mostly looped and processed, dipped and re-grouped. It doesn’t really stop. There is little variation and the effect can be really torturous, especially in generous applications. One is left to speculate about the sources of this audio fidget: breathing, the neighborhood barking dog, spontaneous and erratic movements in the room while recording. Machines without proper oiling. Broken things.
Minoy: Future Perfect C60 (Torrance CA) Non-stop lark through white noise. A pitched crescendo of silvery layers. The sound at times is like a waterfall. There are voices lost in the mist and steam of the hiss. Sometimes things burst through for a moment, a swatch of oriental music, little openings that reveal the sources for really fragile moments.
Deaf Lions: Adapted for television C60 (T. S. Vickers, SF CA) Parts I-IV. Soundtrack material for some kind of video madness. Heavy on the weird noises (haunted house of thunder and rumbling) and backwards voices. Bits of loops, all chaos. I wonder what the visuals are supposed to be like. The cover is brightly colored shapes. The identifiable instruments (guitar and organ at some points) are disfigured with synth washes and looping. The noisy quality is consistent.
Gregory Whitehead: Disorder speech, cast out texts C40 (NYC) Audio poetry, embellished and formed using many interesting approaches. Breaths, breaking glass, embarrassed exclamations and looped/cut up handling of the text. The surprising moment of revealing the looped puzzle of syllables and sounds. Abrupt illustrations inserted in the midst of the words. There is a dead language lesson (Ostenatio Vulnerum) and the subject of severe impairment of the speech apparatus. The one I like the best is the loop puzzle “Eva, can I stab bats in a cave?”
Scary World: Sound of Pig Music C60 (Brooklyn NY) A compilation tape, 10 different groups with some 2 or 3 songs. Gripping torture, throbbing force of music. The dark side of audio. A portrait of European and American and Canadian industrial noise. Harsh pulsing rhythms and intense demanding crunches and buzzes and splatters, some voices can be heard in the background. Some ensembles that can be heard: Room 291, No Unauthorized, Monochrome bleu, Le Syndicat, Psyclones, Ocoptzies, Blackhouse, Voidkampf, Josef K. Noyce, Minoy. All uncompromising and relentless. Heck of a ride.
Snapshot Radio Cassette Magazine #6 (NYC) This has a nice little booklet with hand-colored parts, some come with real snapshot family photos taped in on page one and seven, I think. What you get are bits from so many different audio snapshots. Let me explain. It started with an idea for a radio show, 2 hours a month with things recorded on cassettes that are just people talking or clowning around or just the wind blowing and birds singing, or a tape from a visit to China many years ago, or Nicaragua, or conversations with people downtown. Anyway, you get a 90 minute tape and a booklet with amazing things like what Ray the Hermit said, and parts of a letter written at the turn of the century (1899), human things like that. It’s a great idea, lots of future possibilities, you are invited to get involved.
Tom Furgas and Ken Clinger: Sanguine Implants (Youngstown OH) Trade. Mellow keyboards and soothing a-plenty for the savaged beasts. The go on for hours like this, wafting in and out through the window. The most outstanding qualities of this tape are the relaxed and sleepy tonal smoothness, the ambient lush chordal washes, simple sustained melodies. ARP synthesizers, musique concrete manipulations, RMI keyboard. In three movements.
Tom Furgas and Richard Franecki: Both ends against the middle C60 (Youngstown OH) Trade. Working only in the synth mode, no other resources. Two bigwigs in the independent tape networking world flame on, up synthesizers, destination: outer space and beyond, to the big horizon less sonic mystery, a sound program with wiggly oscillators, Doppler shifts, no thick complicated layering. Lots of attention to tonality and timing, thorough use of the ARP Solus and ARP 2600. Not exactly innovative or mind-busting, but that’s not the goal.
Mystery Hearsay (Memphis TN) Nifty graphics. Collaboration with Bob X from Xex graphics. The sound has lots of little processing tricks with unusual acoustic sources, like dinging a glass or a whole room full of dinging glasses. And speed manipulation. If you are a wild-ear yourself, well, you know that clarinets and violins slowed down with reverb and a little synth drone enhancement can sound very alien and suspenseful. The sound-dimension is spectacular, lots of incredible acoustic effects, a percussion performance in an echoey room, natural acoustic industrial noise and strange jittery percussion mantras. This is the kind of stuff you save for when you do not want to know what is going on.
Tellus #11 The sound of radio (NYC) Another of the series, an outstanding compilation of well produced sound art from a large collection of very talented producers. Prepared for radio dramatic audio experiences with the themes of speech disorder (Gregory Whitehead), science-fiction adventure (Stella Nova by Helen Thorington), poetics (Langue Etude by Susan Stone, Dead of Summer by Marjorie Van Halteren), a frightening crime (Janice Bell and Portia Franklin, the Sexual Abuse of Children), a postcard (Karen Michel McPherson), the New York IPS with bits and pieces of voices recorded in public places in NYC. It’s all excellent. This collection has three upsetting top-heavy creations I treasure highly: The Neighborhood Freaks (a great cartoon of social fear by Jay Allison), Fundamentals (a collage of fundamentalist preachers by Adam Cornford and Daniel Crafts) and La Llorona (a Mexican ghost story by Ginna Allison). All on one cassette!
Ear Magazine Volume 13, Number 6 September 1988, Cassettes, Page 30
A lure of salvage compilation (Toronto Ontario) It comes in a slim 5 ½ by 8 ½ clear plastic wallet with notes and a cassette of 16 audio incidents from Toronto, Ontario, approximately. Right now there is a tango, just before that a skipping record with lots of scratches. Anything can happen: bits of horse sounds, electronic rapture, grinding wheezing with percussion, voices talking about skin, religious nuts and bits of commercial rock music from the radio – mostly collages all the way through. Now there is a speaker talking about CIA-funded torture in Central America plus Led Zepplin occasionally doing the words “gonna give you my love” looped. Some of the titles are “Arthur Lipsett” “2187” “Mystery Tape Laboratory” “Dicktool Co.” “Coma Vigil” Why Pay More?” and “Rachael Hesse” Some artists are repeated, but ever second of audio emission is completely unique. It’s unexpected entertainment or torture. Highly recommended.
Posters in the Underground, Mark Sloan and Reed Ghazala, Sound Theater (Cincinnati OH) Recorded in London, New York and Cincinnati, this cassette offers a combination of real music (Massacre style, with crazy-free yet minimal bass + percussion and wild guitar noises) intermixed with London subway sounds: waiting in the tunnel, the subway cars approaching, the voice telling you to mind your step, walking, strange electronic bees coming in, a new jam starting. There’s lots of the hard-rock damaged funk sound in the music. Some variations of instruments song-by-song are violin, saxophone and keyboards. Side one is the complete experience, side two is side one backwards. Backwards you can remember how it sounds going forward, or you can experience a whole new thing, or a little of both as it goes along.
Rich Jensen, Two million years (K Olympia WA) This tape is one of the best combinations of cover art and the possibilities for recorded sounds. Side one reflects the time when Rich hates “songs” consisting of sounds like a train passing by really close and people talking about their lives and other important stuff. Side two has several “songs” more like sound poems Rich performs in the only way he can do it, combining grunts and distortions, words and emotions. This is a daring art form – its bound to please the fellow chance-takers or to annoy the heck out of everyone else. It has taken us Two Million Years to push this planet to the brink, but if we keep our wits, Two Million Years is how much longer we could live decently.
Kwashiorkor, We are everywhere (Gregor Knauer, NYC) This is a compilation furthering the Kwashiorkor legend (just what or who is Kwashiorkor seems to be the theme question tape to tape). Kwashiorkor is variously Michael Christ, Rev Mar, Steve Jewett, Charlie Steadman, Tree Say, Mark Meleason, Bill Quinn, Add Agency, Sister Mary, Morton De Escandalosos, Dr Brainhead, Hypnosis Neurotique, Rocky and Gregor. The similarities from piece to piece are hard to find – lots of harsh recordings of machines, original rock music, sound effects, wind sound with drums, just percussion, synthesizers, samples of strange foreign music, keyboards with washing machines – more than mere words could represent. I find it entertaining, even inspirational, all low-fi. It comes in a regular little box with j-sheet and printed labels, an Alpha side and an Omega side and an elaborate hand made booklet packet. Each page has photos comics poems funny collages – all kinds of stuff.
Hum4kathi (Gene Avery, Sacramento CA) This is from a limited edition box set that include a thick booklet with handwritten words and lots of drawings, and other treats for the eyes. It’s poems in a box with a cassette of related material, much more than the words put to music, and not just a cassette alone. There is a whole band playing Gene’s compositions that bemoan the absence of his girlfriend. It has a passionate modern day “beat” (Jack and Neal jazz/love stories) hipster groove. Dig the way his voice delivers the stuff and the way the musicians set up a place to do the poetry, with guitars, horns drums and bass. He was so in love, she’s so perfect and now she’s gone. Bummer. This is a major work of art, no kidding.
Deaf Lions: Dedicated (Stolen Art Productions, TS Vickers, SF CA) This is a collection of strange sounds by electronic gizmos, distorted voices, and guitars making all kinds of found sounds. If a general mood pigeonhole could ever be found for this cassette, it would be insufficient. OF course, its sound we are talking about, using words is inadequate, no mater how many words get used. Perhaps that word would be “dark” but not all the time. There are two sides, “The Beginning of the End” and “The End of the Beginning,” with 17 compositions, counting things like Prelude, Conclusion, Reprise, Largo and Allegro. Some of the titles are “Heart of the Sunrise” “Konnichi Wa” “Hypno Dog Tricks” “Softly into the Night” “2MT4BW” “Stoned Ein Nacht” “Platonic Cave” (one of my favorites) “Lou’s Hymn” “Metal Blanket” and “Stolen Memories” Two of the compositions can be heard on other tape compilations: Level 11’s “Dead Things” and Mike Tetrault’s “Beauty of the Warning”
Inter Avec k-7 (St Jean, Quebec) This is a 90-minute cassette that comes with this particular edition of a well-known glossy art magazine published in French Canada. Most of the compositions are daring wild-ear audio collage art: loop rhythms and wacky voices. Heard here are David Barteau, John Fekner, Sasha Summer, Jerry Berg, Boris Wanovitch, Eric Longsworth, Erich Kory, R. E. Boguschewski, G. X. Jupiter-Larsen, Jocelyn Robert Gisele Ricard, Art Attack, Event Horizon, Emilio Morandi, C4Y3X, Enzio Minarelli. Although there are 43 works, each lasting between 50 seconds and 2 minutes and 50 seconds, from all over Canada, Italy Mexico Switzerland Paris Sweden, New York, all over the Western world. A magnificent selection of audio art, rich with diversity, experimentation, and wild fun. The cover art is color photos of meat, both on the j-sheet and the shiny magazine.
Ghazala: Requiem for a radio (Sound Theater, Cincinnati OH) The entire tape consists of the sounds of a radio being destroyed, which has been looped and played back at various speeds in four segments each less than 15 minutes in length. There are thrills chills and crunches like I have never heard before. The first few times I played this were sort of tense.
Generations Unlimited: The Dramatic Electronic Music Series ST1 (Brighton MA) Synthesizers unlimited, a promising new source for contemporary electronic music. The idea seems very open to explorers of hard to find music of this one kind of approach. This tape consists of music by Stefan Tischler and Blair Petrie, eight collaborative compositions: “The Expected One” “Gorgons and Gargoyles” “Women in the Dunes” “The Nightrider” “Dawn on the Spice Route” “Shaitan” “Souls in Waiting” and “Minotaur in Crete” (parts 1-5). The feeling is slightly Arabic, slightly futuristic. It proceeds like a long visual story, with pathways, landscapes, and peaceful colors. It was digitally recorded in 1986 at Blair’s studio in Vancouver, using a Sony PCM F1, and Gerald Toon helped mix the music at North Lake Studio.
Dog as Master, Live in Memphis at the Antenna Club (Cause and Effect, Indianapolis IN) Right away the speakers swell with a rich overdriven pressure of sound, like a jet engine. There are other events happening with the jets, like maybe a large angry monster and a ringing high pitched blast here and there. Six live compositions are on this tape: “Alarm” “Head Device” “The Beast” “The Cage” “Pain in the Ass” “Brash Pussy” The general sound is loud; the speakers hold a constant pressure for most of the first side. Some voices start to be introduced, hard to understand for the most part. The emotion they carry is fearsome, lots of animal-like expressions made with the human mouth very close to the mike for “The Beast” and “The Cage”. Horror music in the nuclear age. It gets more intense on side two, with extended narratives and rumbling electronic ambience, like being on a huge ship maybe, or inside the jet.
Ear Magazine Volume 13, Number 8 November 1988 Cassette Reviews Page 28
Daniel Johnston: Songs of Pain (Austin TX) Twenty songs with vocals and piano, except one where he plays the electric organ. The recording quality is cruddy, but adequate. The songs are all very compelling; Daniel tells the truth and it hurts. He is a great piano player and has a piercing whiny voice. “Grievances” – a fast happy song. “A Little Story” – a religious song about Jesus and his Dad (the one in heaven). “Joy Without Pleasure” – guilt wont let you enjoy the stolen apples. “I Save Cigarette Butts” – lost love and weird dreams, my favorite song on the tape – it’s about going to a wrestling match. And so forth.
Bwana Dog: Sacrifice of Reason (Sound of Pig Music, Great Neck NY) A collaboration between two bizarre electronic cassette artist heroes. Weird electronics with poetry – all dark and scary. Bwana (Al Margolis) tends to use prepared guitars (out of tune and deliberately altered, often with pieces of metal) electronic effects, and manipulated tape sounds.
Dog as Master (Hal McGee) tends to use synthesizer and his voice with effects. The sensation I kept feeling every time I listen to this tape is of being in turbulent outer space. The air is agitated by ray guns. The human-like vocal presences are heavily processed but the lyrics remain fairly audible. The words are emoted – not always raw angst, but certainly harsh.
Agog: Putting legs on a snake (Spyragric, Northridge CA) In the mailbox there is a new cassette today. Its in a recycled envelope, with blacked out writing beneath the label. Inside is some paper and a cassette. It has a color xeroxed cover with some swatches of yellow and red, which turn out to be a transparent stiff plastic sheet with a color image of bright tropical seashells. The j-sheet is a color xerox primarily of brown, an image of marbled paper with some swirls, mostly umber tones. It’s a circus of odd things to hear, arranged in a mystery stream; a series of dark rooms populated by electronic illusions and odd collected radio voices. The confusion is like a cold shower; it wakes you up. It contains a tremendous amount of personality. The bad aspect is that the tape is lumpy and bumpy and distracting. It portrays confusion too well; it gets rather annoying because it has no consistency, no soothing melodies, engaging lyrics, or any beat at all. I like this tape, and might play it in a dark, quiet room once a year. Twice on some years. It goes on and on – nothing lasts more than 40 seconds or so. Some things linger; some are only heard for a moment and then vanish.
Eugene Chadbourne: The porthole/My new life III (Greensboro NC) The appeal of the Porthole is totally visual – Chadbourne smooshes himself into the amplified glass for country-blues improv – but you will buy this recording to hear numerous Florida performances in Tampa, Gainsville, Panama City, and Orlando. The sound is of the avant garde genre: crackling and ringing metal sounds with occasional harmonica honking and simian vocals (no lyrics). Side one is a collection of incidents and side two is one big long annoying noise fest. Sun Myung Moon’s essay “Why Man Needs the Porthole” is reprinted in the program notes. My New Life contains classic live performances from late 1987. “Pickin’ and Grinnin’” “Ollies Playhouse” “Evil Filthy Preacher” “America Stands Tall” “Johnny Cash in the Philippines” and the like – some new stuff, some old – always making trouble for the CIA and other evil corrupt institutions. The idea with this new series is to present things as quickly as they happen, with very little editing, and these are the best picks from a tour’s worth of tapes. With madmen like him running around blending County music with avant garde noise improv and tripped-out rock, recording live with cheap potable cassette reorders and used tapes, who are you going to trust for quality? Who are you going to give money to, a guy with a shiny sales appeal, or a guy who plays the electric toilet plunger?
Ear Magazine, Volume 13, Number 9, December/January 1989 Citizens of the Cassette Conspiracy Page 28
Jonathan Kline and Jeffrey Bartone, Conceptual Cowboy Yodeling, Olympia WA. Stories about traveling in Mexico in 1986 that Kline tells with strange background treatments of sounds collected there. Not a note of music: all storytelling – the strange people that he met, like young police with automatic weapons, the old crazy lady in the market, the whore-monger expatriate, communications problems, a dream of traveling with Zapata, and the final Dysentery Study. Our hero left home with no idea of what to expect, knew no Spanish, he had very little money and looked muy gringo. The big idea was a “situational performance,” 90 days into a night of ghosts and shadows, documented in a series of 50 letters to Ronald Reagan. Somehow he was able to buy a small tape recorder that made it back.
From the Pages of Experimental Instruments, Vol. III, Experimental Musical Instruments, Nicasio CA. The instruments here have been featured in the newsletter Experimental Musical Instruments, which features warmly detailed information about the design, construction, and enjoyment of new sound sources. Each segment is well recorded and quite interesting to listen to. This issue contains the sounds of, among others, Kimball’s refretted guitars, Rammel’s triolin, homebuilt instruments, Grawi’s Gravichord, and Croset’s water drums. Primary acoustical sounds with very little electronic treatment, all beautiful and mysterious. Obscure ethnic music from our exotic modern world. Incredible!
Tellus #19, New Music China, NYC. An essential visit with a collection of music from China – a range of music from beautiful television theme music to pop rock (with lots of flowery horns and synthesizers) to happy schmooze, a sung spoken comedy routine, a documentation of funeral music in Taipei traffic, and contemporary instrumentals. Some artists and titles: Ji Gong – hit TV theme of itinerant Buddhist monk with refrain chant “Nan Wu A Mi Tou Fo” and lead-in lyrics. “My hat, clothes, and fan are tattered. You laugh at me and I laugh at you”; Zhang Xing – Chinese rock from a now-banned Shanghai pop singer; Liu Behai – pipa solo; Gong Yi – “Antique Air” featuring the gugin, an ancient 7-string zither. And more. 19 different works, very well recorded and edited (guest editor: R.I.P. Hayman), not limited to any particular styles, with brief, amusing cultural anecdotes provided on the insert. An above average Tellus product.
Foist Compilation #2, Rochester NY. Available for trade, review, or airplay, Foist #2 is a world tour right in your headphones – Sismoid (France), Onion (MD), Sink Manhatten (sic) (Philadelphia), Psiocofonie 3 and Forte Dei Marmi (Italy), Von Non & Kenn Tech (Rochester NY), Oslo (Norway), Haters (Vancouver BC), Wembly (England), and lots more. Each artist has a unique, yet harsh and wild approach to making sounds. Things whip around, then settle into form for a while; all kinds of maelstrom and out-of-the-bounds-of-reality non-instrumental music.
B-Side Magazine Feb.-Mar. 1987 page 23, Feast of Cassettes by Robin James
Elliott Sharp Ir/Rational Music #2 Live in Tokyo (C60) Six songs with doubleneck guitar, bass, bass clarinet into fuzz box, soprano sax and throat/voice. Loud clanging and using the full range of sonic possibilities that these instruments offer, often in a chaotic fashion. Suddenly from the storm there is hope, and more. Primitive or violent themes, the sounds are magnificent and forceful. (Zoar, NYC)
Severed Head in a Bag (C90) Noise ambrosia. It crawls around growling while the tape player convulses helplessly on the other side of the room. And you thought it was a bowling ball. Rock with Hard/Heavy/Acid/Noise influences. Just get sweaty, close your eyes, and primal out, screaming and flopping around. Music to kill to. Music to eat twinkies to. 24 songs with songs like “The man with the exploding head” “The white ladies are dancing” “Swim/nulifacation system” “Chunk of bleeding mass” “The hungry waiter” These guys are professionals. It’s sure swell. The bass parts give me chills and prickly heat. (Goodall tapes, Hollywood CA)
Barry Louis Polisar: Stanley stole my shoelace and rubbed it in his armpit and other songs my parents wont let me sing (Rainbow Morning Music, Silver Spring MD) This guy has a piercing nasal voice and plays his guitar pretty well and his songs are original. This is pretty wild stuff. He whines about having to go to school, his teacher and problems he has relating to his siblings while he is standing on the kitchen table, naked. Imagine 18 songs by Big Bird and Bob Dylan, singing about being wet again.
Muscworks 34: There is no reason to believe that music exists (Toronto Ontario) A sampler of some great sound arts by John Oswald, Davey Williams, Bill Smith, James Tenney, Jerry Simpson, plus bits from many more. “Porky’s garden” is a collage of old cartoon music, “WX” is an incredible world folk music sound collage and there is a fine electric prepared noise guitar episode with lots of outstanding editing.
Over Ruins by Jeff Greinke (Intrepid Seattle WA). This is a selection of material that was recorded with the making of the album Cities in Fog, and it contains, in a way that cassettes can, some pieces that are more extended. Your environment is suspended over gigantic towering cities fogbound in a foreign imagination. The drones echo through the streets, large pieces of metal are driven through a wavy haze of chattering robots. At one point, a huge bell can be heard in the distance. The sounds are slowed down and have exaggerated proportions. They (Jeff) like to process sounds from tapes, electronics, unrecognizable vocals and guitar sounds, with Rob Angus, tape on “Lead and Steam,” Doug Haire metal on “Inhabited tunnel” which is spooky and wonderful.
Return to Hamelin: Absurd Menaces of Kidnappings (Amok: Genova Centro Italy) Cold fingers of synthesizers reaching through haze towards and through warm human sounding voices, usually in Italian, hard to understand with the gear they use. Its an electronic journey, sort of one big tone interrupted by the turning over of the cassette in the middle. Rising bagpipes with swarms of birds, processed voices added together, then machine-like rhythms. Chains and metal bars, long hallways of stone and dirt, some glass. The ocean is beyond. Mots and aliens approach from time to time. There is a list of places that this band has performed, mostly in Europe and Santa Rosa CA.
Missing Children (Sound of Pig Music, Great Neck NY) This is a great compilation. As usual with Sound of Pig compilations the mood is truly strange, dark and crazy sometimes. Heard here are Data-Bank-A (intense collages) The Psychological Warfare Branch (mangled radio news poprocksound) Randy Grief (synth fry) Gregor Jamroski (echoey synth and horn) Stress (horror disco) Victor Nubla (syntho nocturno) Jeffrey Morgan (amazing cat loose on the piano) Face Cancer (throbbing screaming synth), Attrition (horn vocals synth beat) A Naked Kiss (synthpop) The Haters (howls and synth) Black Iron Prison (yes it hurts) The Water Chutes (synth beat theme) John Hudak (sneaky drones)
Blair Petrie Requested Music CLAS/In Tape Vancouver BC (C30) Rock with mumbling vocals, slow and powerful, darkish and creepy. Synth is where its at here, includes percussion and a lot of layers. Rather jagged hissing synths sounds good. Two songs on side 1/2: La Femme (Michele) compilation with fraction studio in France, and Dead Babies, which is part of the “censorship and propaganda” Fast Forward Radio Program in Canada, side Whole has Security I, II, III from the same series. Harsh.
Will Peoples: Good Things Comin’ (Fresh Breez Productions, Seattle) Mighty fine R&B action, sounds about working it out with my baby, one song has some outstanding accordion accompaniment by Doug Bright, there is even an appearance by the guitar legend Isaac Scott!! Sweet Talkin’ Jones on sax and flutes; Twist Turner on drums.
The Rocket June 1987 Massive Cassette Reviews Pages 30-31
I was one of many reviewers who contributed stuff for the annual cassette review compendiums they made. This was just before CDs took over, back when vinyl was the only legitimate art form (sez them).
The Hell Cows (Portland OR) from Portland. They have the coolest packaging, red letters on the plastic case and a black and white photo inside. The sound is gruff, barking vocals, rolling bass, sax power and screeching guitar, bass, drums, killer system of dance attack songs.
Green Monkey studios has quite a lot of activity. Our batch included a tape by Rick Sanford called “Girlfriends and other near Mrs.” with lots of catchy vocals and dance style rock, pure rock with an emphasis on guitars.
Anthony Wildbrook has a couple of songs, a melodramatic number “She’s winning the war for daddy” and a sorta bouncy C&W style rock ballad. True rock, forever.
Let’s Sea comes from garages and home studios, a compilation of rock work from a tiny world-wide empire called K (Olympia WA). K has lots of cassette only releases of outstanding home-made rock music, impassioned youth culture rebelling against the corporate ogre, some a capella vocals, all kinds of stuff.
In the metal department Paragon, from Tumwater, loud electric guitars and properly reverbed vocals, adequately weighing armor..
Danny Hart has a friendly folk-rooted rockin’ guitar sound, vocals with drums, much different than metal. (Seattle)
Squirt has a cassette called “First Squirt”, an electro-beat Cream cover (Strange Brew), a song with well-done Lou Reed sounding vocals, a song about (why is this so rare?) peace (Seattle)
Someone Said “Make Toast Not War” in Olympia and lo, there was a poetry reading. 13 poets from friendly personal humor to high-powered emotional chunks, lots of, you know, poetry (Olympia)
Dangermouse is a lively quartet, the fast style of dance-punk rock with some good songs about eating and peace and mystery, some wild stabs at chestnuts like “Purple Haze” (That smell has put a girl on me..”) and “In a Gada Da Vida”
Intrepid (Seattle) has two new tapes, deCompilation is a collection of works by six electronic musicians; odd voices and landscapes, electronic dance pulses, sampler based pieces, collages. Jeff Greinke has a new cassette called Moving Climates, the cover art sets up the mood even before you hear it, blueish-greyish vague textures, no distinct image, kinetic and rhythmic or mysterious textures and slowed down sounds
Jeffrey Morgan is a very prolific composer/performer, mostly horn (from saxophone to conch shell) and piano work. Desert Inn of Trinidad (Sound of Pig Music, Great Neck NY) is a big departure into the realm of the autoharp, working with tunings and rhythms that transcend conventions. Exotic sound titles: Bim Sasa and the South China Sea Sand, The Nile at Midnight
Amy Denio has a new cassette as well called No Bones. Its a collection of Boneless Pork Butts and Halfbone hams, prepared with a Stratocaster, 12-string guitar, saxophone, extremely miscellaneous percussions, voices you can even hear the kitchen sink (Seattle)
Harlan Mark Vale in Olympia has released Electronic Music Cassette I, all synthesizer stuff, some solo and some ensemble works, the overall mood is on the disorganized edge of tonal and rhythmic, melodies click in here and there
Johnny Calcagno has a cassette called Apostacy, solo work with tapes, digital gizmos, guitars, turntables and the radio, also collaborative work (duos and trios mostly), an interesting collection of improvisational and composed musics, very versatile experiments (Seattle)