The Analog Cave #6

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.

HIRS: YØU CAN’T KILL US: Get Better Records

There’s really nothing more powerful than Philly collective HIRS. The group go after it—physically, ideologically, and technically—like few others. The band’s newest slab of insane pressure, YØU CAN’T KILL US, has an apt title. For all of us out there feeling pretty fucking horrible about the current state of the world, HIRS stand as a symbol of righteousness. They give us a quick pause, reminding us of the infinite power of individuality. Get Better Records is an amazing label that provides bands and artists with a safe space to be themselves. The tech-grind-queer-punk-thrash of HIRS is infinitely at home there—a special band for a special label. Get this!

Desert Beats: Self-Titled: Baby Tooth Records

The mystical desert is a place of psychedelic oneness. From The Doors to Kyuss to Jesus Christ himself, the vast and eternal landscape is a place of rock refuge: the spot to dream yourself free. Tucson retro rockers, Desert Beats, are very much a desert-invested sort of band. The group’s awesome sound drips with cactus philosophy, old-timey rock ‘n’ roll, and a fearless SST Records-ish timeless circuitry. Lead singer and bandleader Randall Dempsey croons like some madcap ‘50s mystic: a visionary and a punk. The band’s self-titled debut is a tripped-out classic, all yellow, wild, spacey and wonderful. This is your summer trip, man!

Funeralium: Of Throes and Blight: Caligari Records

Paris-based funeral doom behemoths, Funeralium, send the galaxy into reshape with each colossal breath they forge. The band collapse the universe, stretch it out, and sprinkle evil stardust onto every poor star they encounter. Those scintillating spheres of hydrogen grow with mighty ascendance, though, for Funeralium are a powerful and unique force: as slow and doomy and they are quick and present. When the band’s 20-plus-minute tracks gear up after long and glacial interludes, it’s as if some epic time monster—think Francisco Goya’s “Saturn Devouring His Son”—is fighting with the hot and steamy thunderbolts Zeus is slinging from above. Heavy stuff indeed.

YlangYlang: Life Without Structure: Crash Symbols

Montreal-based experimental new wave outfit, YlangYlang, have a unique frame of mind. It’s like listening to your favorite Jean-Luc Godard film backwards, with The Orb handling the remote control. This is some lush and abstract pop, as beautiful as it is expressive. Catherine Debard is the artist behind the music, and she really gets after it in full-on high-art mode. Compositions swirl from dream-pop glee and ambient scatters to dark corners and metaphorical apexes. The dreams and visions of Debard are placed ever so abundantly throughout, like some star-map of the infinite inner-child, sparkling sharply across the diamond night sky. This cassette has the best ambient compositions I’ve heard all year—so wide, far, and abundant, it’s likely to put you out to Andromeda.

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