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.

Sonic Poison: Harsh Demonstration: Caligari Records
July 5, 2016

Fast, grimy, grim, and dark, Finland’s Sonic Poison blow through the infinite spectrum with a grindcore that’s positioned for the dark streets and endless moons. Harsh Demonstration terrorizes its way through seven spine-twisters: pulverizing, hardcore, lean and mean. A perfect blend of attitude, feedback, and thrash, this cassette is the ideal excursion for timeless rage. A tinge of black metal fantasy makes this tape a darkening classic. The beatdown never ends.

Forever Grey: Autumn Calling: Prime Ruin
March 20, 2016

With brooding darkwave that plucks at your heart in a “Joy Division meets John Carpenter in some sinister techno club outpost on the planet Zorth” sort of way, Michigan’s Forever Grey grab you with their mystical minimalism and lonely passion. Autumn Calling mixes experimental overtones, ‘80s bass, crafty electronic architecture, and gloomy anthems in a nifty contemporary way. The beats leave you pumping, the sadness—surprisingly—is optimistic, and the overall extraction is one of success. Forever Grey forge a cool and swaying path. This is one sweet cassette.

Yidhra: Cult of Bathory: Harmacy Records
Jan. 14, 2016

The doom levels are high on Los Angeles-based behemoths Yidhra’s four-song cassette, Cult of Bathory. The sound is like a tin-canned psychedelic nebula, smoking a special acid imagined in the outer reaches of space. One of the coolest things about the more complex L.A. bands is their continued appreciation of the cosmic exactness of the magical West Coast. It’s like they drink from the sky and ocean all in one big slurp. Yidhra bring the doom and gloom for sure, heavy and punishing throughout, but when they stretch out—like on “Iron Mountain”—the band truly reach their apex. A mix of tasteful sludgy soundscapes and tripped out fusion, this is a cassette destined for those long road trips through the endless night sky: cacti, highways, and destiny reign supreme. Do yourself a favor and grab this otherworldly beast.

Goddaughter: Goddaughter: Clandestine Compositions

Goddaughter—Weston Czerkies of Sunken Cheeks’ new minimalist trance and noise project—warms you up, then frightens you on a dime. Oftentimes veering toward absolute horror, the overall theme here is transcendence, and it works marvelously and artfully. Brain Eno comes to mind, as do Biosphere, but Goddaughter is its own manifestation, and noise is often the leveler that separates Czerkies’ new project from total ambiance. Classic tonality and electronic form is definitely important throughout this compelling cassette, but experimentation and the cull of sounds from nowhere and above is its true essence. The four songs on this cassette take you on trip through the dimensions of a mind that seems to be sneaking right behind you every step of the way. Watch yourself: you could just dematerialize while pondering this thing.

Road Warrior: Ignition: Heavy Chains
June 16, 2016

Epic power metal from the land down under, Australia’s Road Warrior call to the eternal gods of the NWOBHM dimensional apex to forge a quickening and powerful stroke. Ignition is a two-song blaster, but it plays like a full EP with its eternal head-banging ferocity, classic operatic strut, and technical innuendo. This is a righteous cassette: silver and white in design, steel and blue at heart, and completely uplifting. Pop this thing in while cruising through the main strip, on your way to the big party, or when raging the dinner rush hard. Timeless music can be copied, but it can’t be faked. Road Warrior are the truth.

Vinyl Pick:

Jeffry Astin: Bhsaaveaegi: Elestial Sound
Sept. 23, 2016

A strange and intensely personal soundscape of field recordings, noise, and spatial gyration, Jeffry Astin’s Bhsaaveaegi is a project 13 years in the making. This special edition vinyl is a passage through time and space, both haunting and irregular, choosing to dwell on the angles that frighten, dislodge, and run odd. Astin runs the cassette imprint Housecraft, which has over 150 releases to its name. Though this release won’t make it onto a cassette, it has a cassette’s DNA and charm. An experimental odyssey into the inverse of regularity, the album leaves a distinct impression: a weedy kaleidoscope of human and machine cohesion.

Classic Pick:

Vicious Rumors: Vicious Rumors: Atlantic
Feb. 24, 1990

Vicious Rumor’s third album—the self-titled monstrosity with the classic blue-cloud, night-sky cover—is about as raging a cassette as you’ll ever imagine. Guitarist and founder Geoff Thorpe shows the galaxy the meaning of intergalactic shredding, wavering solos, and riffs that percolate, ebb, and dazzle. Their lead singer—the late Carl Albert—is a mesmerizing power metal vision, raising vocal tones and melodies in syncopation with the band’s deftly satisfying hues. Classics like “On the Edge” and “Electric Twilight” are legendary thrash anthems, the perfect solution for interstate ecstasy. You can’t go wrong with this old-school cassette. A lifer that ages like a wizard in the moon, Vicious Rumors’ third record is one for the ages: a timeless reminder of the birth of power metal and ‘80s Bay Area thrash magic.

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