Because cassettes rule hard and never really age, The Analog Cave is here to bring you some of the best in underground tapes and collected vision. A cassette is like your best friend, your most trusted travel partner, and a specimen of imaginative fantasy and otherworldly dimension. Pop one in and transform. Ride the highway eternal.

Remnants: Dark Passage: Imminent Frequencies
2016

Somewhere in a distant galaxy, alien vessels line up for cargo and transmission repairs before voyaging beyond. The scene is fuzzy, strange, and can’t quite be interpreted by human eyes. We can hear it, though. Remnants’ Dark Passage—a sinister and ambient portal of a cassette—seems to have recorded the above-mentioned alien convention on tape. Full of layers of pure translucence, demanding your attention, your calm, and eventually, your disorder, the album is split into two parts, “Pt. I” and “Pt. II.” Released through the experimental New York City cassette label, Imminent Frequencies, the album works wonders as a sort of dark galactic field recording. If you listen close, you can hear the shattered screams of those distant aliens at work.

Secret Cutter: Secret Cutter: Bethlehem Rust
Feb. 10, 2014

This behemoth of a cassette may be over two years old, but it’s as shiny and new as anything released in the years since. Secret Cutter play a sort of progressive grind-sludge, marked by extensions of technicality and excursions of pure righteousness. They have a particularly fierce pedigree and an avant-garde way of looking at modern hardcore and metal. I saw this trio a few months ago with Pig Destroyer, and they absolutely crushed everything in sight, playing with an aggression and buoyancy that moved crowds and minds. I saw their tape sitting on the merch table looking like a little neon bible, and I knew I had to have it.

Serpent Crown: Incantations of Vengeance: Self-Released
Sept. 14, 2016

The Oakland-based darkened thrash bruisers, Serpent Crown, cut into the earth with a conviction and power that is real and classic. Their newest slab of organic destruction, Incantations of Vengeance, has a natural and underground frequency to it that bends fluidly with a steep progression. Vocalist and guitarist Dara Santhai rages through tasteful anthems with a deft and unique fury. Her layers of magical, psychedelic guitar solos abound around each varying and punishing edge. This cassette is a vision, released in a pure and bold red color, with an unmistakably gloomy and cultish album cover. Once you have it in your hands, you feel the power: a lighting rod from the underground.

Autumn Pool: “Balm in the Night Air”: Aught \ Void
April 30, 2016

The meeting place of underground compositional ambiance and drifting skies of trance is where the one-man noise and soundscape project, Autumn Pool, rests its interior essence. You can imagine drifting through the cornfields of Iowa onto the empty “Field of Dreams” baseball diamond, your memory an echelon of lush vertebrae, drifting so peacefully and still. “Balm in the Night Air” takes you places known and unknown: across Jupiter’s moons, through the Earth’s interior zones, and into the fourth dimension. Released through the Halifax, Nova Scotia, label Aught \ Void, this is a cassette for the dreamers and the extraterrestrial alike.

Classic Pick:

Various Artists: Skullcrushers Compilation: Relativity Records
1993

Nothing in the universe that can compare to the grand musical awakening that unlocks your soul to the infinite abyss: the moment where you exist eternally, repeatedly, and purely. When I, by chance, came across the bewildering, exotic, and altogether astonishing cassette, Skullcrushers, sometime in the mid ‘90s, my world was never the same. A compilation tape featuring Exodus, Nuclear Assault, Prong, Death, Voivod, Celtic Frost, Obituary, Corrosion Of Conformity, Suicidal Tendencies, and Megadeth, this specific analog masterpiece was like a gift from some ancient and wise interplanetary being. I hadn’t heard of most of these bands, and the sheer amount of thrash, death, grind, and hardcore that flowed from it and pummeled me endlessly was nothing short of a miracle. There’s my life before Skullcrushers, and there’s my life after Skullcrushers. It opened so many portals, so many new dimensions. I broke my friend’s couch slamming to Exodus’ “The Toxic Waltz” and never felt so alive. I pop this thing in and still lose my mind to it to this day. Eternal.

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