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.
apologist: Houston: No Rent Records
apologist’s Rose Rae wrote about her new cassette, houston: “This tape is about me refusing to be angry. Last Passover, I was drugged and raped in Houston, Texas. This compelled me to finish recordings I had been working on for over two years.” The emotional heaviness can be felt. The six compositions on the tape are sparse noise and ambient extractions that evolve into distinct mind clouds. “absorbent” is soft and dreadful, wishing for a sky that will eventually shine. “coal to carbon” is circular blocks of avant-garde waves and hopes, while “houston” is beautiful and serene. It’s inspiring to listen to music that is about the power to heal and pursue life—not the kind of power that deafens and destroys it. “Ethically and ideologically, I believe it is better to use the full weight of your experiences to create, rather than to exact meaningless vengeance,” Rae added. Listening to houston, you start to dream of a better place.
Fuck Lungs: Honeysuckle: Already Dead Tapes And Records
Fuck Lungs are a free jazz duo from Chicago who wear their city’s weather-beaten soul on their sleeves. Flutes, saxophones, drums, and electronics collide in a cornucopia of vision, ranging from fierce to down-right sublime. There’s a cross-pollination of speed and patience that works to the album’s strengths: mainly, the ability to be completely technical and futuristic while maintaining jazz’s organic beauty. “Fresher Breath” is a walk through Kurosawa’s “Dreams,” a meditation on peace in the presence of terror. “Lunar Tunes” takes orbit, meshing tape manipulation with Ornette Coleman abandon. The cassette is pink and also very punk—there’s a silence in the background that hints at another planet, another force. The two musicians, Curt Oren and Joe Hess, have an innate connection, compressing their emotions into a singular expression. Listen: Chicago free jazz lives hard!
Drip: Hell Drags On…: Runstate Tapes
Montréal’s Drip are sandpaper punk: scratchy with absolute terror. The band’s newest ripper, the quick and punishing Hell Drags On…, is six crusty songs in the vein of “fuck you,” a welcomed 11 minutes of shadowy rock ‘n’ roll. Put this little nugget on in the middle of the day at the office and, then, start knocking things over: files, people’s lunches, your boss’s new fucked up jacket—just kidding, don’t do shit like that. But seriously, this tape is pure energy, and it’s played well too. The bass is circular and commanding, while the lead singer is serious and loose in a Johnny Rotten via Karl Willetts fashion. The whole thing is fast, reminding you of the power of doing things you love. Like, there’s no time to sit around and mope while the world burns down. Nope, get up and protest for Animal Rights, march to the beat of Art Blakey’s drums, paint your fridge—no, wait, don’t do that—and feel the power that is Drip, a singular vision birthed in the alleyways of the great North: perpetually relevant, perpetually stimulating. Punk rock—is there anything better?!
ki/nu: Amigo: See See Tapes
See the sun. See the shape of the infinite zone. Ride the concrete into the sands of eternity, drifting out, out beyond the surf. Words come naturally when listening to Brazilian producer ki/nu’s newest offering, Amigo, tape with enough dreams in it to last two lifetimes. Hip hop and ambience play a lengthy role, as does physical environment: a very West Coast vibe resides hard in the album’s instrumental language. A component of existentialism mixes with the lo-fi feel, delivering exactness: fluid yet solid, like walking the streets when the sun is shining, the glare reflecting off car windows sharply. The mood is memory: you can feel yourself and the arrangement of thoughts from particular sections of your life. It’s a trip right to the front door of your childhood, when hip hop ruled your entire world. Thanks, ki/nu!
Holy Monitor: Golden Light/Aeolus: Ongakubaka Records
Our universe basks in the burning sun from above. An eternal furnace spouts the sound of doubles and love—or something like that. Holy Monitor, a psych rock band from Greece, leave no stone unturned with their kaleidoscopic soup of ‘60s vibes, Space Age nuance, and krautrock. It’s an artful blend of the sound of pureness, holy in the hearts of the free. Golden Light/Aeolus has a serious case of turning the wheels, going on. Acid-soaked spirals round every layered bridge and chorus, a conjunction of folk ease and psychedelic heft. This is the tape to rollerblade the boardwalk to, like in Virginia Beach circa 1996, when the air was abundant with possibilities, tie-dye melted your mind, and joints flowed like the pearls of the queen of the Ultraverse. Step in and lose yourself, friends. There’s no such thing as time.