The Analog Cave #9: Halloween Special

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.

Acid Witch: Stoned: Hells Headbangers: 2010

Nothing says “running for my life from a fucked up, one-eyed, creamy-skinned murderer on a dark Halloween night” better than Acid Witch’s classic, Stoned. It’s a flashy fourth-dimensional All Hallows’ Eve treat with penetratingly dreary black ‘n’ roll, doom, creepy church organs, and NWOBHM waves shimmering throughout. Slasher Dave and Shagrat forge a swirling and direct assault on all things proper with this perpetual horror soundtrack bomb: thrashing, mashing, and torturing everything in its place. The cassette version is certainly one of the coolest analog nuggets out there and the perfect tape to pop in while building the night’s “Event Horizon”-themed haunted house—or ship.

Prince And The Revolution: Purple Rain: Warner Bros.: 1984

Halloween is all scary and gloomy with axe murderers, chainsaw freaks, and pinheaded Cenobites, but it’s also about new beginnings and unbridled joy. Enter the most joyous, colorful—and very much Halloween-ish—cassette tape of all time: Purple Rain. Prince And The Revolution’s masterpiece is one of the most dazzling, conceptual, and flat-out earth-shattering musical conceptions known to man. The dimensions boomerang from elastic funk to power love, lush hair metal, and deep soul, then back again, and then out toward the Ultraworld. While you’re heading to the thrift stores and liquor outlets preparing for this year’s big bash, there’s no better cassette to psych you up. “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Computer Blue,” “When Doves Cry,” “I Would Die 4 U”—is there a better album ever forged? I think not. Feel the purple this Halloween.

Anteinferno: VT-XIV || Hospitality Is Our Primary Concern: VRasubatlat: 2017

This is for a distant future Halloween, when the Earth is encased in metal robotics and the forests are barren. Mankind has destroyed everything. He and she and they are forever digital, trapped and wandering the pink horizons of waste and fumes—nothing but sickness and little rectangles of refuse where one can dream of escape and hope. Anteinferno are D.F. and P.L., and the duo’s new cassette is bleak and bound by eternal misery. The noise is scratchy and reverberating in tone, with few spaces for a breath. The tape is defined by art, and in art, we can feel the drive to shape environment, and through this, we can arrive at philosophy: a movement that includes every insurmountable human atrocity. VT-XIV || Hospitality Is Our Primary Concern says, “Look there, there’s a crack in the wall, let me escape this prison.”

Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein: “Stranger Things” Original Music Volume One: Lakeshore Records: 2017

This was destined for cassette tape. Inspired by the likes of John Carpenter, Jean-Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream, Goblin, and more, composers Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon of the arty electronic band, S U R V I V E, forged a true standalone classic: a work of art that moves and dances like a wisp in the air, alluring and tight, able to persuade and dissipate at full measure. “Photos in the Woods” is perhaps the coolest electronic song I’ve ever heard, and there are sections here that stretch out like plastic duplicates, inversed and twirled. While the classic influences are obvious, there are also subtler hints of Aphex Twin, Gas—aka Mat Jarvis—The Orb, Otto Luening, and John Cage. This is a massive work, a perfect piece for the in-between—and Upside Down—moments of a wild Halloween.

Death: Scream Bloody Gore: Combat Records: 1987

Death’s debut is the instant go-to Halloween thrasher. Infused with death metal tales of zombies and their unrelenting torture of all in their path, the cassette version is easily the best version and probably the first death metal record all you old-school heads ever had in your possession. Driving the demonic night roads to classics like “Infernal Death,” “Regurgitated Guts,” Baptized in Blood,” and “Evil Dead” doesn’t get much better. Here we find Chuck Schuldiner in all his pure essence. He writes every note, plays every instrument—except drums, which Chris Reifert slams—and shares with the masses a total vision that would be copied and rearranged by the millions in the years to come. This is pure Halloween: so fast, so thrashing, so tingling, and so damn good.

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