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.

Michael Potter: Garden Portal Almanac: Already Dead Tapes and Records

In a swirling universe, with a fixed medium and irrational logic, Michael Potter’s latest gem, Garden Portal Almanac, lends a quick guide to the sensuality of escapism. You can’t get there without taste. Something Potter yields in abundance. Progressive rock, electronic counter, psychedelic pop, and pure art coalesce into a bubble of wind, swimming through the air, layering the mind and blowing muscles into the movement of a post-indie universe. This is a tape to dream to, to travel to, and to keep by your side with your Sony Walkman—circa ‘96. It’s still kicking, and Potter has reached it so: a beautifully epic little cassette for a beautifully epic little Walkman.

Heaven Copy: Final Country: Summer Isle

Heaven Copy occupy a space between worlds. There is light, memory, and things seen and felt—and there is the infinite abyss, the vibrations that are never really grasped and never really believed. The whistle of noise that this experimental cassette tape offers is a thing like a dream in a rectangle box. It patters around like a David Lynch film, pulsing with horror, but offering beauty as well. Hidden beauty, the kind you fall in love to, the kind you feel in the sand under your toes on long midnight walks along the Oregon coast, filled with monsters and visions and things that will never actually reach you. This is a unique specimen, an arty statement indeed.

American: Violate and Control: Sentient Ruin Laboratories

The power is raw. American—sort of a mysterious freeform black metal noise band who use mysticism and madness as their cornerstone—offer some unholy organics on their behemoth of a cassette, Violate and Control. When I think of black metal, I think of Fenriz as a youngster in a basement in Norway, with the lights dim and the universe dark, raging punk rock on his drum set—all silver and science fiction-like. The sheer brutality is the real piece of quality there. Well, you can hear that in American, a scary band who utilize both technology and grime to their advantage. You’ll be playing this thing and scaring people, then smoking a joint and leaving the stratosphere, entering the multiverse like some Demon from the hill, running long and out of wind. Nature rules.

Saintes: Melancholia: Crash Symbols

Annie-Sophie Le Creurer’s haunting vision that is Saintes is a like twisted oak of a dream. There’s sweetness—albeit in flux—that sticks to the weathered roots waxing and waning in the giant pool of sound. Experimental in nature, with French pop excursions, psych rock jaunts, and eerie nightmarish extensions, Le Creurer’s newest work, Melancholia, feels like a Swiss mountain vibrating from a different universe. The beats are hard, the ambiance alluring, and when you really get to the heart of it, the avant-garde nature of the whole tape drifts across your brow like a drop of sweat: cool, tingling, and perpetual. You want to wipe it, but you let it drip, because it’s sweet and original like a snowflake on Mars or the Grand Canyon. Play this for your friends.

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