The Analog Cave #17

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.

UllNevaNo x illien Rosewell | Confidence Is Everything 3 | Already Dead Tapes


Growing up in the sticks of Vermont, the outdoor basketball court at the local school was pretty much my home away from home. The perfect blacktop, it served as the epicenter of all my dreams. I’d grab my boombox, hip hop tapes, and ball, lace up my Reebok Pumps and head out into the future. Confidence Is Everything, the new collaboration between Baltimore rapper UllNevaNo and Virginia producer illien Rosewell, cook up those memories in me once again. Eight tracks dedicated to basketball heroes like M.J. and Olajuwon, social media paradoxes, and illuminating beats. I listen, drift, and take the walk from my house down to the court—boombox raging The Chronic, dreams of living in cities, playing basketball, a life far, far away. Now, I live in that city, play on those courts, and could never, in a million years, capture those old feelings. This tape can get me close, though. Old-school and perfect, 21 minutes of living the dream—err, old dream.

Crying Skies | You Can’t Be Wrong | Detriti Records

Detriti Records is a label out of Berlin dedicated to the underground. Translucent art and experimental vision are commonplace, and Crying Skies’ newest release, You Can’t Be Wrong, keeps it rolling. Techno and industrial get a makeover in six tracks—the duality of acid house and post-punk wrangle together like dark flowers in an ocean of rain. The music is physically oriented, with “Body” as the centerpiece; avant-garde and hard, it’s like a block in the heart of a labyrinth, with each end section growing slowly inward, a chain, a circle forming. Crying Skies are a nice peek into the Berlin underground, their music arty and still very much club-oriented, having the usage factor of both party and chill-out, able to discern the difference between overload and over-taste. Don’t be surprised if this tape becomes your go-to this winter and spring. It’s really good.

Collin McKelvey | The Golden Ass | No Rent Records

Collin McKelvey, a Los Angeles-based multimedia artist, takes aim toward the infinite with The Golden Ass, an ambient demonstration proving that found-sound can conjure the realms of the picturesque and philosophical. The artist utilizes a swath of techniques to take field recordings to their appropriate distance. The four tracks are reminiscent of Brian Eno’s Ambient 1: Music for Airports with their ability to stretch the mind vis-à-vis detachment and abstraction. “The Knave” is particularly introspective, gliding and aligning its sparse rhythms with a constant that hooks around your mind like a meditation—you fall in line, become drugged and calm, only to be drawn toward a great death laugh, and a joke, but not completely a joke, a final thought of sorts. The music is dream-centered and aquatic, with spatial consideration and layers built oh-so-carefully atop one another. A great tape to help you consider the apocalypse that is coming for all of us—and to remember what existence was like.

Forget The Times | Winter Haven | \\NULL|ZØNE//

Sean Hartman and Josh Miller’s free jazz, heavy psych workout, Forget The Times, have employed many players over the years. On Winter Haven, they’re a quartet, testing the limits of free improvisation and awesomeness. Two tracks embody the celestial journey from the desert to the forest to the highlands to the moon. Sounds can be sharp one minute and utterly lush the next, diving headfirst into dimensions of freeform and wild abandon. I had a major hankering for some Bitches Brew this weekend; I was thinking about how much the record inspired me so many years ago—I think I’m having a mid-life crisis. Well, I’ve found a suitable replacement for 2019. Though completely different in its assault and splinter-like assessment of chords and structures, Winter Haven is like Bitches Brew in that it explores the pattern of individuality as it pertains to the whole community, when everyone can lose sense of everything and still know exactly where they are.

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