AS39: Edition of 33
This release collects collaborative recordings by Husere Grav and Meditations made over the past several years. Recorded both in person and at a distance in different personnel formations, each piece pushes inward toward a dark and chaotic center. A running theme of malevolence carries through moments of tense reflection and unrestrained bedlam. Dim the lights and listen. Artwork by M.Y.
Yzlithrean Visions - Manifestations 2 c20
AS38: Edition of 33
Part two in a series of bonus cassettes from our visual mastermind, Matt Yacoub. Home built electronics and loops take the listener on a hazy trip that ultimately descends on an explosive psych guitar workout. The flip side features cameos by collaborators from years past, including Ryan McGill and West Coast comrades Tyler Dacey (bass) and Travis Burke (drums). Artwork by the man himself.
Derek Rogers - Requiem for Mark Linkous c27
AS37: Edition of 60
Los Angeles' Derek Rogers performed this live tribute to late Sparklehorse troubadour Mark Linkous on c60 Radio in his former hometown of Austin last year. Moving deftly through passages of bluesy guitar loops, mournful drone, invigorating rhythm, and even harsh noise, Rogers avoids the comfort of genre pigeonholes and instead takes the listener on a journey fueled by raw emotion. Sounds of celebration, confusion, and sadness are all delivered boldly and ultimately add up to a moving and challenging homage to the life of a complex man. Artwork by M.Y.
Lunar Miasma/Red Electric Rainbow - Split c30
AS36: Edition of 75
It’s analog versus digital as these two respected synth wizards from across the globe pair up. Lunar Miasma kicks off the affair as Greece’s Panos Alexiadis loops his synths into an interstellar symphony. Spacey tones and disorienting arpeggios swirl around one another, harmonize gracefully, and pulse with aural electricity. As Red Electric Rainbow, Chicago’s Dan Smith opts for a more earthbound approach and wisely takes a cue from Eno’s ambient catalog. Harnessing digital pianos and string synths, Smith sends glorious melodies soaring heaven-ward, pristinely reflecting the beauty that lies beneath. Artwork by M.Y.
Granitkorridor - IV c60
AS35: Edition of 60
Over a pair of Roman-numerated releases each on Ruido Horrible and Stunned, Germany’s Sven Dyllus has shown remarkable dedication to minimalism. IV is the missing chapter from the series. With nothing more than a bass guitar and a few effects pedals, Dyllus creates incredibly deep, long form ambient works. Reverberating tones seem to stretch toward infinity as passages move carefully between moments of cold darkness and melodic warmth. Set aside an hour to let this one wash over you and you’ll soon find yourself lost in Dyllus’ distinct world of sound. Artwork by M.Y.
Diamond Lemonade/Gitche-Anahmi-Bezheu - Split c20
AS34: Edition of 75
The tropical explorations on both sides of this split were made almost entirely from cassette loops. Germany’s Ulf Schütte leads off in celebratory fashion as Diamond Lemonade, looping the sounds of hand-percussion and slide whistles rapturously and ultimately coming down with a slow trek through the brush, replete with the calls of wild creatures and steady tribal rhythms. As Gitche-Anahmi-Bezheu, New York’s Ian Najdzionek takes the murky underwater cave route. Low-end drones gurgle and reverberate, gradually revealing exotic and mysterious beauty underneath. Artwork by M.Y.
Meditations - 33 Eyes c23
AS33: Edition of 60
Another chapter in the book of mdz emerges in the form of this basement artifact. On the wrecked trio’s most unhinged release yet, 33 Eyes contains four pieces of pure noise, aggressive synth blasting, and general malevolence. Strange, uneasy vibes dominate as minor key melodies are consumed by swells of feedback and mangled electronics. The final piece of the puzzle until we meet again… Artwork by M.Y.
Yzlithrean Visions - Manifestations 1 c10
AS32: Edition of 33
This is your first audio journey into the mathematical mind of Anathema Sound's visual engineer, Matt Yacoub. Combining his interest in home-built synths with his lifelong dedication to the guitar, Manifestations 1 slithers between isolated, unnerving realms of bleak electronics to masterful, unabashed six string shredding. Ryan McGill stops by on side B to add his cosmic noise to the onslaught. Expect more in the near future. Artwork by M.Y.
Emuul - Crawling Across the Rafters c46
AS31: Edition of 100
You'd be hard-pressed to find a better, more fully realized debut from 2009 than Emuul's The Ghostwood Estates. Since its release, Seattle's Kyle Iman has consistently proven himself to be a master of subtle, moody atmosphere. His newest release shows an artist continuing to craft and mature an already singular and accomplished aesthetic. With a sound perfectly befitting of its haunting title, Crawling Across the Rafters utilizes the sparest traces of guitar, synth, and whispered vocals to weave passages of deep sadness and beauty. There's a remarkable amount of variety between these tracks, from long form instrumentals to breathy, morose pop. Yet Iman manages to navigate all spaces with a sense of care and delicacy that's immediately evident and undeniably moving to behold. Highly recommended listening for the deepest hours of night. Features an artwork collaboration by M.Y. and Ryan McGill.
Grasshopper - A Peaceful Warrior's Guide to Daily Living c30
AS30: Edition of 75
Easily one of NYC's best live acts, Jesse DeRosa and Josh Millrod have blown minds and made believers at just about any small venue, basement, loft, gallery, and noise pit that's existed throughout the city over the past few years. Utilizing an arsenal of trumpets (including an electronic one, which is possibly one of the strangest instruments I've ever seen) and effects, these two classically trained musicians work up a veritable hurricane of tones, drones, and brass screeches that scuffle and harmonize with one another beautifully throughout the tape. Elements of harsh noise, drone, and free jazz are thrown into the pipe and ignited to create something entirely new and wonderfully damaged. Mysterious Long Island percussion duo Abusement Park show up to lend their clang and clatter on the b-side. All artwork by M.Y.
Rambutan - Silver Pharmacy c38
AS29: Edition of 75
A pillar of the experimental music scene in upstate New York, Eric Hardiman lends his talent to the scorching psych bands Century Plants and Burnt Hills. But under his solo guise, Rambutan, he's built up an absolutely brilliant and diverse discography with essential releases on his own Tape Drift label and many others. Remarkably, Silver Pharmacy is another leap forward and another offering that sounds like no other, yet still fits perfectly within the project's unique aesthetic. Density is the name of the game here, with Hardiman leaving the guitar on the shelf to put forth three heavy pieces that revolve around the synthesizer. Monumental waves of sound build and ultimately refract into beautiful, prismatic sequences. Delicate, warped melodies are buried and protected beneath sheets of distortion and white noise. It's an empowering soundtrack fit for all members of the food chain. All artwork by M.Y.
AS28: Edition of 60
This is another win under the belt of Italy's Michele Scariot, who's spent the past year infiltrating cassette labels across the USA with his distinct brand of untitled aural freak-out. Pulling sound from a vast array of sources, the tracks on this cassette run the gamut from chiming electro-acoustic exercises to full-on synth burners. Moments of pristine melody occasionally shine through, but Scariot always has noise in his heart. Tense minimal passages give way to interstellar beams and unhinged feedback. It all adds up to a disorienting, unpredictable trip controlled by a master of truly twisted audio. These are strange, confusing sounds for strange, confusing times. Features an artwork collaboration by M.Y. and Ryan McGill.
Black Eagle Child/Thoughts on Air - Split c30
AS27: Edition of 100
This split brings together two guys from the North American continent who work wonders with six strings. Black Eagle Child, Wisconsin’s Michael Jantz, typically opts for the acoustic as his weapon and has played it nimbly and gracefully across a slew of killer releases over the past few years. He kicks up some serious dust on the outset of this split with a barnburner of a jam that unfolds with soulful guitar plucking, hand drum rattling, and recorder whistling over the gritty snarl of oscillators. The two tracks that follow let you down gently with delicately finger picked melodies and sentimental harmonium. Raucous, pensive, and celebratory passages intertwine to keep your spirits in the sky. Thoughts on Air, Ontario’s Scott Johnson (Cloud/Maggot Valley Recordings, Hunting Rituals, etc.), fills the flipside with his unmistakable brand of high altitude, lo-fi psychedelia. Soaring guitar tones and vocal harmonies drift euphoric and care-free through the clouds with no plans to come down anytime soon. It’s the perfect early morning soundtrack, as dew drops refract brilliant rays of sun. He ends the split with an absolutely stunning, ethereal folk tune that will haunt you in the best possible way for a long time to come. With full color artwork, inserts, and labels by M.Y.
Sean McCann & Greg Manata - Ornaments c32
AS26: Edition of 100
After last year’s wonderful Fair Beginnings, Sean McCann & Greg Manata make a joyous return to the label. Inspired by the chill of winter and the warmth of holiday nostalgia, Ornaments is made up of eight short pieces that amount to one completely gorgeous whole. While this is only their second release as a duo thus far, McCann & Manata have been making music together for many years...and it shows. Manata chimes forth with beautifully hazy, reverberating guitar passages while McCann pulls all sorts of tricks out of his bag: synth, crooning alto sax, distant vocal patterns, and even sleigh bells. Like the holidays that inspired them, each piece invokes positive associations and an atmosphere you won't want to leave. Let this tape be your hearth while winter becomes a distant memory and well beyond. With full color artwork, inserts, and labels by M.Y.
Circuit Wound/Al Qaeda - Split c5
AS25: Edition of 60
These two golden state crushers prove that you don’t need a lot of time to get it done. L.A. noise mainstay Jay Howard is Circuit Wound and his A-side is the aural equivalent of a sudden grab to the throat. Perfectly recorded sheets of distortion blast forth unrelentingly as destroyed electronics and mangled guitar take your skull for a wild, captivating ride. San Francisco's absurdly-named collective Al Qaeda (here in the core trio formation of Scott Miller, Eric Sanchez, and Erin Love) take a more cerebral approach. Set to the words of Stephen Hawking, the trio unleashes a steady stream of oceanic bass swells, walls of feedback, and melodic undercurrent. While it’s probably the shortest we’ll ever release, you’ll have to take my word when I say this tape is still remarkably satisfying. A perfect harsh noise quick fix. Just get ready to flip and repeat. With full color artwork, inserts, and labels by M.Y.
Sovetskaya Gone - Sashweights & Bags of Birdshot c25
AS24: Edition of 75
L.A.’s Kevin Danchisko certainly had an excellent 2009, carving out his own unique space in the world of synth music with several outstanding tapes on Digitalis Ltd. and Dial Square Tapes. On Sashweights & Bags of Birdshot, he proves that there’s plenty more in store for 2010 and beyond. Inspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s classic dystopian short story Harrison Bergeron, Danchisko presents three tracks that take the form of unhinged bliss, subtle melodic beauty, and textural creepiness. Blazing arpeggios lift off toward the sun as steam pipe filters hiss below the surface. It’s all swaddled in distinctly warm Sovetskaya production and should remind you to kiss the ceiling while there’s still time. With full color artwork, inserts, and labels by M.Y.
Blood on Tape/Pet Coffins - Split c38
AS23: Edition of 75
This split presents a meeting of two stellar, young ambient projects that deserve your ears. Texas’ Blood on Tape is a duo comprised of Kevin O’Sullivan and David Gonzalez. Inspired by distant and peaceful lands in Bolivia, their composition combines melancholy synths, reverb-drenched guitars, and pastoral field recordings for an experience that coasts gently and soothes unequivocally. Indiana’s Pet Coffins is the solo work of Philip Egierski. His piece begins with jarring, dissonant chimes that eventually give way to a dense and melodic sound world full of whispering acoustic guitar strums and ethereal vocal drones. Both acts iterate that there is mystery in beauty and vice versa. With full color artwork, inserts, and labels by Matt Yacoub.
Split Review at Tabs Out
Flea Apparitions - Transparent Black c50
AS22: Edition of 60
Lorne Zeman is back with his lengthiest and most complex work to date. Transparent Black features eight separate pieces that showcase different approaches to what Zeman does best: warp your mind and distort your senses with sound. Voices whisper unintelligible phrases in your ear, creeping synths and guitars tell the tales of specters and lost in the night, tapes spew forth the sounds of the damned, and unholy feedback rears its ugly head to destroy any and all nuances in the mix. It all amounts to a twisted, post-apocalyptic fever dream that could only come out of a Rust Belt city like Pittsburgh. Features a full color artwork collaboration by Zeman and Matt Yacoub.
Andreas Brandal - Liber Null c29
AS21: Edition of 60
Norway’s twilight traveler Andreas Brandal is a sound craftsman of the highest order, using anything and everything as his source material. Liber Null is his harrowing descent into total aural blackness inspired by occult rituals and chaos magic. Creaks of old furniture, hum of the wilderness, static from old cassettes—all of it is buried deep within a bubbling sonic stew that boils over with the slow burn of synth, guitar, and some of the most menacing trumpet drones you’ll ever hear. Listen close and repeatedly, if you dare, as bleak, new flourishes continue reveal themselves and the ancient spirits threaten to take you down even further. With full color artwork, inserts, and labels by Matt Yacoub.
Pummeler - Jungle Olympics c32
AS20: Edition of 60
After a string of releases on Small Doses, Digitalis Ltd., and Stunned, Denmark’s Mikkel Valentin Dunkerley adds another dead soldier to his arsenal of scorchers. Dunkerley considers Jungle Olympics to be his harshest work to date and he’s not kidding. Layer upon layer of heavily distorted guitar, electronics, field recordings, and effected vocals collide, compete, and ultimately envelop one another in a wild, frenzied fashion perfectly befitting the release title. Yet, through all the racket and clamor, a subtle, droning melody permeates and anchors each piece—leaving you hypnotized and begging for more. With full color artwork, inserts, and labels by Matt Yacoub.
Jungle Olympics review at Impose
Age of Wire and String - Música de ir ao o cu c23
AS19: Edition of 60
Headquartered in Newcastle, England, this worldly trio is the meeting of three tremendously-accomplished musical minds. Featuring Peter Nicholson on cello, Neil Davidson on guitar, and Jamie Allen (whose circuitMusic we released in 2008) on electronics, Música de ir ao o cu puts forth two masterful slabs of improvisation. Subtlety is the name of the game, with each piece constantly teetering on edge. Still, each player finds perfect moments to go shine through as hacksawed strings, motorik rhythms, and cyborg voices erupt into expertly calculated chaos. The end result is a work that’s utterly freeing, soulful, and downright exhilarating to behold. With full color artwork, inserts, and labels by Matt Yacoub.
Cliffsides - Singularity c31
AS18: Edition of 60
Now firmly rooted in Brooklyn, Ryan McGill’s (Bones of Seabirds) melodic synth project continues to take full flight. Performed entirely on the Roland Juno 60 analog polysynth, this is one of McGill’s most lush and expansive releases thus far. Both pieces that make up Singularity stretch toward the furthest depths of the galaxy and bathe the listener in a wash of gorgeous melody that’s fit to make hearts flutter and spines chill. It’s immaculately composed, perfectly executed, and sure to deliver you straight to the light at the end of the tunnel. With full color artwork, inserts, and labels by Matt Yacoub.
Singularity review at Gift Tapes Blog
The North Sea/Bones of Seabirds - Split c64
AS17: Edition of 80
Prolific, heavy Midwest and Southeast minds join up for an unprecedented analog synth tag team. Brad Rose leads the way with two distinct burners. One swirls between beauty and menace while threatening to suck you into its hypnotic vortex—a place you’ll surely want to go. The other burrows straight into your skull and blows rainbow bubbles in your grey matter. Ryan McGill goes the distance on the flip with a sidelong piece that sculpts a gentle, soothing pulse into a towering monolith and finishes with a truly hellacious descent—the likes of which haven’t been heard on a BoS recording in quite awhile. With full color art, inserts, and labels by Matt Yacoub.
ANALOG CONCEPT MUSIC c32
AS16: Edition of 50
From Russia with lots of love, antique electronic guru Alexey continues his all-caps American infiltration (previous tapes on Digitalis Ltd. and Holy Cheever Church) with two servings of synthetic mastery. The appropriately titled “Science” mixes cold and spacey tones with bizarre sequences with clinical precision. “Nature” is a much more sentimental and downright gorgeous affair, with warm drones, melodies, and even a little guitar work that’s nearly overwhelming in its sublime expression of the pastoral. Step outside and study the earth, bask in its glory, or—even better—do both. With full color art, inserts (featuring a manifesto by Alexey in both English and Russian), and labels by Matt Yacoub.
ANALOG CONCEPT MUSIC review at Foxy Digitalis
Husere Grav/Meditations - Split c33
AS15: Edition of 75
Two dark passengers run parallel through the night. Husere Grav kicks things off in short, episodic fashion with five entirely unique reflections on dread and anguish. Crumbling walls of distortion, heartbreaking funeral dirges, and voyeuristic acoustic passages all tell a twisted but remarkably consistent story. Meditations follows with one side-long track that relies heavily upon synth, homemade electronics, tape, and vocals. A storm of tones, drones, and screeches build into a frenzy and eventually coast into a mournful, tense, and unexpectedly melodic finale. With full color heart-and-lung art, inserts, and labels by Matt Yacoub.
Sean McCann & Greg Manata - Fair Beginnings c42
AS14: Edition of 75
This is, without a doubt, the most outright beautiful tape we’ve ever released. San Francisco’s McCann (who’s on a roll of sorts with recent solo killers on Stunned, DNT, and his own Roll Over Rover) teams up with longtime friend Manata for a full-length collaboration. In the grand tradition of synth/guitar duos like Fripp & Eno and Budd & Guthrie, McCann & Manata lay down perfectly soothing waves of ethereal ambience. Like standing in a tide pool and pondering the vast ocean—infinitely pleasant, yet a strange, otherworldly presence lies beneath. Your summer will be a little better with McCann’s synth and viola and Manata’s guitar as the soundtrack. With full color art, inserts, and labels by Matt Yacoub.
Chapels - In Aspic c25
AS13: Edition of 50
This new project sees Buffalo’s Adam Richards (of The Circle and the Point and the House of Alchemy label) playing the role of lo-fi exorcist. In Aspic is a fascinating, addictive listen that extols both warm melodies and eerie vibes in heavy doses at once. Richards juggles guitars, synths, and hand percussion to lift spirits from the tape hiss and cause all the floorboards in the house to creak at once. It’s densely-layered and swirling at one moment, sparsely whispering the next, yet always beautiful and engrossing in its own haunting way. With full color art, inserts, and labels by Matt Yacoub.
Fossils - Die Job c30
AS12: Edition of 50
The stoned saga of Ontario’s relentless destroyers continues. With tapes, electronics, guitars, reeds, and perhaps even the kitchen sink as their tools, you can always count on Fossils to deliver heavy batches of cathartic clatter and downright WTF. Die Job is certainly no exception. Side A teams regulars Steve Smith, Daniel Farr, and David Payne with Detroit bruiser Andrew Coltrane for a session that gradually builds and claws itself to pieces. Side B finds the core duo of Smith and Payne administering the dosage much slower, but still burning all the way down. Bleached scalps and rattled bones may result from listening to these recordings. With full color art, inserts, and labels by Matt Yacoub.
HeadBoggleD - rchive #3 c30
AS11: Edition of 50
In a universe of incredible synth jammers that grows more crowded by the second, Bay Area’s Derek Gedalecia is truly a standout. Eschewing pleasant melodies and anything even remotely new age, Gedalecia uses his analog gear to disorient, discombobulate, and deteriorate. The third part in Head Boggle’s ongoing rchive series buzzes through your cranium in so many different ways: sharp beams of sound, rumbling oscillations, and plenty of bizarro, brain-bending field recordings from who-knows-where. Side B is an entire live set that throws a hand-cranked music box in the middle of the synth storm. To say “it works” would be an understatement. Draw the wildcard and unleash the madness. With full color art, inserts, and labels by Matt Yacoub.
Flea Apparitions - Severed Hands c21
AS10: Edition of 50
Pittsburgh's Lorne Zeman contorts and electrifies his noise like no other. Utilizing a wide array of gear and tapes that sound mangled to perfection, Severed Hands is a bizarre and enthralling foray into an alternate dimension. Percussive walls of feedback, obscured vocals, and lo-fi synth blasts are your guide through a land of mass-dismemberment, primitive rituals, and more creepy crawlies than you can handle. With full color art, inserts, and labels by Matt Yacoub.
Severed Hands review at Ruido Horrible Blog
Robe. - Desolate Mosaic c74
AS09: Edition of 50
Indiana's frighteningly prolific collective Robe. is here to soundtrack your worst nightmares. Desolate Mosaic could have easily been the score to a long lost sea creature horror film from the 70's. It's a hazy and doom-laden affair above all else, but beneath the bleakness a certain benevolence bleeds through. An epic, grey abyss awaits. Take the plunge. With black-and-white art, inserts, and labels by Matt Yacoub.
Bones of Seabirds - Sink Thy Hands Deep Into Earth 2xc20
AS08: Edition of 50
After a breakout year in '08, Atlanta's Ryan McGill starts '09 off right with one of his most cohesive works to date. Sink Thy Hands Deep Into Earth combines four distinct pieces that explore the warmest recesses of the Earth and the coldest depths of space. Utilizing synths, guitar and feedback, it showcases a delicate sense of subtlety, focusing on single riffs and loops and allowing them to gently decay into oblivion. This is a true synthesis of the beautiful and heavy that will bury you in the soil and launch you into the stratosphere. With full color art, inserts, and labels by Matt Yacoub.
Ajilvsga - Buffalo Altar c27
AS07: Edition of 75
By now, underground lurkers and cassette junkies should be well familiar with the dark path Oklahoma's Ajilvsga has trod throughout the past year. On Buffalo Altar, Brad Rose (The North Sea, Digitalis, etc.) and Nathan Young show no sign of letting up as they unleash two intense barrages of overdriven analog synth. Resting comfortably in the red, this is an unsentimental expression of the natural world in all of its primitive, ravaging glory. Full color art, inserts, and labels by Matt Yacoub.
Buffalo Altar review in Arthur Magazine
Wereju - The Light of Life Undone c63
AS06: Edition of 75
The Light of Life Undone review at Ruido Horrible Blog
The Light of Life Undone review in Arthur Magazine
Husere Grav - All of Them Witches c28
AS05: Edition of 50
After a split cassette with Robedoor on Not Not Fun and several self-released CDRs, the elusive Husere Grav emerges once again from the southwestern shadows. All of Them Witches is an uneasy stroll through the cemetery with M.B. and Count Grishnakh—shifting from gloomy industrial soundscapes to lugubrious black metal and revealing that the two aesthetics blend together better than you’d ever imagined. For dark nights in solitude. Full color art, inserts, and labels by Matt Yacoub.
All of Them Witches review in Arthur Magazine
Jamie Allen - circuitMusic c20
AS04: Edition of 50
Jamie Allen is a Canadian artist currently residing in the UK. With circuitMusic, he uses raw op amp components with minimal effects to experiment and revel in the sound of pure, electric signals. Allen’s compositions are streamlined, yet remarkably varied with harsh walls of static, dense drones, and playful rhythms all vying for the listener’s headspace. This piece has been performed at venues throughout North America including Tonic (NYC), Galapagos (NYC), Eyebeam (NYC), SAT (MTL), and the S.S. Marie Antoinette (WA). Be prepared to turn this one up extra loud and get lost in it. Full color artwork, inserts, and labels by Matt Yacoub.
Meditations - II c20
AS03: Edition of 33
The brooding calm after the ugly descent into entropy that was I, II offers a different glimpse into the world of Meditations with a release of utterly bleak, lo-fi ambience. Created using very little, both sides use heavy doses of restraint and cold melody to create a tense, yet staid atmosphere. This is late night music for watching the world smolder. Full color artwork, inserts, and labels by Matt Yacoub.
Bones of Seabirds – Nihanisyati c20
AS02: Edition of 50
Nihanisyati review at Ruido Horrible Blog
Meditations – I c15
AS01: Edition of 33
Ultra-crude, single-mic recordings from a new unit informed by harsh noise, raw black metal, and the id. With zero regard for fidelity and blasphemous intent, this is a document of unbridled frustration and anguish. No good vibes in here. With full color artwork, inserts, and labels by Matt Yacoub.