“I'll be in my room, making no noise and pretending that I don't exist.”
September 9, 2012 1:55 PM   Subscribe

this website is a collection of underground / independantly released cassette tapes from the days when the audio cassette was the standard method of music sharing, generally the mid eighties through early nineties. material represented includes tape experimentation, industrial, avant-garde, indy, rock, diy, subvertainment and auto-hypnotic materials... most of what you are about to hear is rather difficult to file under any one category, and thus has not been.

Wikipedia on Noise Music...
posted by artof.mulata (12 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
Awesome shit. Found some nice Donald Miller for starters.
posted by idiopath at 2:01 PM on September 9, 2012

This is a fantastic collection. Thanks for posting this!
posted by hanoixan at 2:13 PM on September 9, 2012

I'll have you know the teenage me is fatally overdosing on pure pleasure and reward right now. I so often dreamed of having a resource like this in the early '90s.
posted by idiopath at 2:14 PM on September 9, 2012

posted by GallonOfAlan at 2:25 PM on September 9, 2012

I'ts like the tape section in the old Ozone Records that used to be across the street from Powells where I bought a Merzbow tape (Nil Vagina Tape Loops pt. 2) and put it in my walkman and blissed out while browsing the zine section and I ripped a page out that had some porn (I wasn't old enough to buy porn) while hiding in the bathroom and while I was doing that my walkman got stolen and so I immediately bought another copy of the merzbow tape and went home and just went into a trance....
posted by idiopath at 2:28 PM on September 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

Thanks for this! Seems an appropriate place to post a link to the International Sound Communication (ISC) series of cassettes. Some cool stuff there.
posted by carter at 2:32 PM on September 9, 2012

Very neat. Brings back memories of the days when better independent record stores'd have a shelf of weird, esoteric cassettes by unrecognizable artists. I got into that world fairly heavily for a pretty good slice of my youth, producing lots and lots (and lots) of tapes both by myself and with others for what I suppose were most of the 1990's. We'd sell them cheap or sometimes just give 'em to stores to sell at whatever price they wanted to; I recall Last Beat Records in Deep Ellum, Dallas pricing one of my tapes at $66.60 and there it remained for gods only know how long, probably until the place finally shut down.

A lot of copies we made on thrift store cassettes that originally contained music by more successful artists. I developed a template and system to print out labels with the current project's name at Kinko's on sticker paper, to be placed over the "Chicago's Greatest Hits" and "Yaz- Upstairs at Erics" and "The Golden Hits of Tanya Tucker" printed on the cassettes. I'd carefully place scotch tape over the little punched-out tab on them and dub away, again and again (and again and again).

The music was found sound collages, shrieking noise experiments, stoned pop songs recorded on warbly old improvised multitracking devices, and apartment/garage/attic jam sessions with whoever was hanging out that day with names such as "Haunted Housewives", "Commander Chewtoy", "Worm Temper Tantrum Terrors", "Witheredd Blastt", "Ma Spudder", "Blues Traveler Explosion", and "Horse Machine", to name a fraction. A few of these projects played shows. Most did not.

Over time, I began playing in more 'serious' bands, with real focus, and those cassette days just kind of slipped away into my youth. I don't even own copies of most of those tapes anymore, after moving around a bunch and living a little too close to the edge for a lot too long. I do have a couple of boxes of tapes out in the shed, though, I think a lot of which are unmixed 4-track masters. Maybe someday when I'm feeling nostalgic I'll hunt down a Tascam Portastudio and mix down and digitize them. I do have a friend from back in those days who's still at it, chugging away through recording after recording - he even uses one of my unused band names, though he's finally broken down and makes CDs instead of tapes.
posted by item at 2:47 PM on September 9, 2012 [4 favorites]

Wow - I'm there. I recorded as Patience Worth way back when. My stuff is here. Check out "Junk" for some supreme audio weirdness.
posted by davebush at 2:49 PM on September 9, 2012 [6 favorites]

item: you can digitize a 4 track with a standard tape deck: tracks 1+3 will be on one side and 2+4 on the other iirc - 2+4 need to be reversed and then lined up, but thanks to track bleed through you should be able to line them up pretty easily
posted by idiopath at 2:58 PM on September 9, 2012


Now I've just realized I don't even own a *regular* tape deck anymore and am about to slide into a Sunday evening funk.
posted by item at 3:13 PM on September 9, 2012

The more I listen to this, the more I realize that I miss that 2 seconds of NOTHING which comprised the non-magnetized leader, and then the first bits of magnetic tape before the first track starts, which is the promise of SOMETHING.

Makes me salivate each time.
posted by hanoixan at 3:23 PM on September 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

Great find. Thanks, artof.mulata.
posted by homunculus at 11:55 AM on September 10, 2012

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