TAPE :: Transmissions 11

Delving deep into the world of Bandcamp tape releases for our eleventh update—so much good music, so little time…maybe just scroll past all the writing and head straight for the sounds!

The Nag’s Head :: Live From Concrete Island (Kit)

A re-issue of this psychedelic collage of sounds culled from four years of street recordings, YouTube rips, pirate radio samples and who knows what else. This twists and turns through a hallucinogen of city alleyways, surprises around every corner. At one moment we find a spooked shopping centre, the next a billowing piece of ambience, before we turn another corner and walk into steel drums and a pop song oddity. Tucked in amongst all this are some huge tracks—”Massive Bummer” gives Moderat a decent run for their money whilst the title track jams distorted James Holden style work outs with pirate radio DJ shout outs before dropping into a monster dance floor destroyer. Incredibly inventive stuff.

Rer Repeter :: In Fine Style (Bokeh Versions)

Austrian Martin Werner aka Rer Repeter continues a never ending run of fine releases for the Bokeh Versions label. There’s lots of minimalism strung through clanking King Tubby style delay and spring reverb. Much of the percussion is played by hand and close mic’d resulting in a sharply defined yet organic and spacious flow throughout. There are excellent moments throughout—especially the gentle somnambulant melodies that permeate “Shanghai Dreaming,” the melodica / bass dance of “Reservations” and “Learning the Ropes” to the ever so slightly techy vibes of “Control Dub.” Another excellent outer-national dub excursion!

Unwed Sailor :: Take A Minute (Self-Released)

A slight curveball for these pages as this mixes epic post-rock with ambient, electronics and big synths. There’s a slight Ulrich Schnauss shoegaze vibe in here too with bass led melodies driving the opening track “Take a Minute.” “Internal Reality” is the highlight for these ears though, all squally guitars before melting into a heart rending breakdown, then transitioning into a sublime uplifting synth and guitar encapsulated finale. Life affirming stuff.

Bucket Brigade :: Frozen Flags (No Index)

There have been arguments that we reached peak modular halfway through a Keith Fullerton Whitman gig in 2015. But will we ever tire of the gorgeous randomness of sound produced by an ever more baffling array of modules? The short answer to that is NO—GIVE US MORE. Here we find Jacob Kart coaxing an array of sound from his Eurorack kit. Given how tough it is for the uninitiated to get those things to make just one decent noise, this release is testament to Kart’s excellent modular chops. Check out “Terms” and “Cataphracts” for some very tasty melodic IDM / Braindance style goodness.

Mars89 :: East end Chaos (Self-Released)

Experimental ambient-techy dub electronics from Tokyo. Mars89 keeps things pretty minimal, sketching out attractive repetitions across largely uncategorizable beats. Look out for Mars89’s excellent new release in June which is described as lurching, darkside gqom/ballrooom/dancehall/grime not-sure-what-to-call-it-hybrids.

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