'Legends of the Cassette Underground'
December 22, 2011 1:16 PM   Subscribe

When not terrorizing Mr Bond, from the late 1970s until 1994, Mike Mangino and Chris Shepard were in a basement full of musical toys, novelty space microphones, a TR-606, and a SH-09 in Piscataway, NJ recording cassettes as the band Smersh. In 1981 Smersh released their first cassette under their own label of Atlas King. They never rehearsed, they couldn't read music, and they never played live, and they contributed to far too many compilations throughout the known world. In the early eighties they established a unique sound that is known and loved, combining cheap electronics and wild guitar sounds with distorted vocals. By trading cassettes they garnered international acclaim leading to releases on dozens of other labels.

Some write-ups about their career include: Selected Songs:
posted by wcfields (5 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
The songs I've listened to sound like late 1970s Residents, Fingerprince / Duck Stab era. I wonder if it's similar instruments?
posted by Nelson at 1:30 PM on December 22, 2011

I really like Rhythm Crash.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:37 PM on December 22, 2011

Oooh, I had'na heard of this! Pretty groovy, somewhere between Cabaret Voltaire and Suicide, with some '20 Jazz Funk Greats' era Throbbing Gristle in there too.
posted by FatherDagon at 2:29 PM on December 22, 2011

I remember these guys from a local comp picked up in Phila, sometime in the early '80's. Don't remember the name of the comp but I think they did a track called "Right Wing BBQ".
good times, great oldies.
posted by evilDoug at 7:25 PM on December 22, 2011

Atlas King was also the foreign buddy with the odd accent in "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies."

I'm not sure I've contributed in any meaningful way to this thread, but I thought I'd point that out.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:16 AM on December 23, 2011

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