Tapes, we use them all the time. To stick things together, to hang things on other things and occasionally we listen to them too! In this special (hopefully long living exchange program between Counterzine and YIKIS) we (I, the YIKIS team) will focus on the last part of the tape stardom. Expect a dive, very deep into the vaults of our tape collection and hopefully it will give you a nice overview of the rare and the beautifully bizarre tapes that we had been hiding for you.
I tried to make sure that the providers will still have a few copies left of these quality releases, so treat this as a guide in which excellent underground tapes with music on them are presented to you… But because we tend to usually fall into writing ginormous written booklets, the mini reviews / write ups over here will all be done in poetic rhymes, so hopefully expect some good times! A nice happy thing in these crazy viral days!
artist: Spectral Habitat
release year: 2020
keywords: asheville electronic experimental ambient drone electronica indie rock neo-classical. violin vocalist Washington
format: cassette tape
label: Verses Records
Without a doubt, I take off my hat,
for the wonderful mermaids named Spectral Habitat.
Their music is glorious and hypnotizing,
gorgeous enough to make me stop socializing.
Their tape named ATLAS has the world upon its shoulders,
beautiful and stronger than any of the boulders.
An amazing happening with voices out of this world,
everything perfect, graciously curled.
They gaze at us in near perfection,
music so stunning it almost needs protection.
With slow progression they lure us inside,
absolute a reason to put your ears open and wide.
Things are amazing, like listening to the holy grail,
these mermaids with golden hair, splashing out with their tail.
They might make many boats sink at sea,
but all I think; I need to hear this: me, me, me!
You can hear enlightenment in their wordless sounds,
hopefully reaching not only boats, but many towns.
It’s just out of this world so stunningly good,
listening to this makes life oh so smooth.
Pretty ambient with vocals is simply amazing,
clearly making this tape in into a well desired thing.
I can’t praise this wonder of music enough,
organic delights brought to us without fluff.
Something stunning and great,
if this is done by mermaids than I’ll be bait!
Come and check this gorgeous tape out,
it’s better and longer lasting than drinking a stout!
artist: Dani Lee Pearce
title: For As Briefly As I Live
Release year: 2020
Format: tape limited edition
keywords: diy experimental bedroom pop experimental pop folk lo-fi piano pop rock Richmond
label: Grimalkin Records
Highly recommend tape over here,
One that could end winter sleep for a bear.
With great intellect and melodic beauties,
Theatric antics and lovely duties.
Humorous and emotional full,
Grabbing music by the horns as if it’s a bull.
Will there be music in
The after life asks Dani,
Heavy subjects while still being funny…
Material that will be able to get you to tears,
Lovingly prancing through all your fears.
Add a wonderful strong voice:
You must own this, you got no choice!
Besides, all money from the tape goes to charity,
A thing that will give your soul great clarity.
Something to abolish the prison complex,
Making you feel extra good to the max.
But most of all this tape is simply wonderful,
Never a bore , forbidden to dull.
Like a theatre full of amazement,
Something beautiful & full wonders.
Dealing with a whole range of subjects, giving your head enough ponders.
All is so real and far away from fake,
You really should check this cassette tape!
Title: marginal imperialism / arrogant impoverishment
release year: 2020
Keywords: electronic omnichord persian rotterdam ambient chipcore circuit bending experimental jazz standards minimalism neopolka Wrocław
format: cassette tape x64
Label: Istotne Nagr
The underground hero of culture shock,
Neopolk and futuristic electro rock.
Brings first a hectic amount of Persian – Dutch,
And we should thank him very very much.
His music over here goes hyper and berserk,
Without sounding pretentious or like a jerk.
Every beat and every bleep in good humour,
Not for a single play but only more and more.
Music that will bring you on adventures,
Quirky enough to clap your dentures.
It’s captured on a pretty cassette,
Beautiful cover, lovely etiquette.
With side A bring speedy and upbeat,
The other side gives us chill to our feet.
Things here wobble and rubble,
Kindly like an organ player named Stubble.
With pretty melodies and a feel good vibe,
You gonna feel sane and in Dutch a bit ‘lijp’.
With melodic sounds beautiful and fine,
Better than listening to a wind chime!
From hectic adventurous to jolly good times,
To something amaze balls & a word that doesn’t even rhymes.
Music that will bring happiness,
And I wish it lots of success!
So please give this tape a chance,
You might in for a surprise as well as a delighted dance!
release year: 2016
keywords: experimental lob audio collage chaos theory garage jazz improvisational noise-art jam band new album noise outsider Sacramento
format: cassette tape (only 4 copies left!)
you might have looked the other way,
but please do not let your focus go in dismay
as If you aren’t keen on this lovely tape recorded and released in 2016,
you are either lean,
or simply hadn’t seen…
But this is truly a prima release,
one that will easily please.
It got the weirdness,
the psychedelic noises,
the relaxed kind without the party noses,
or the vogue poises.
You can sit back and let it do its thing,
creating satisfaction in bizarreness,
with water synths or a delicate bling.
With a synthesizer so squeaky,
it feels like a freakshow so freaky.
yet it makes you feel as if you are at home,
a place where you can be in the zone.
Even the kraftwerk keys come along,
crackling as if its a song.
Some noisiers bits here and there,
but they are few – you shouldn’t really care.
Everything here might be as strange as it can be,
yet it can’t be stranger than your poetic reviewer…
Which possible would be – me?
This might be an excursion in madness,
But I would say it’s more headless.
This one is for the fans of the adventurous,
noises that are sounding abstract and wonderous.
A lengthy ideal of improvisation,
twinkling away like true sedation.
This might be ‘Clutter’ to Instagon,
but to anyone with taste its access to the pentagon.
A very expressive experimental sensation,
that is too obscure to rock the nation!
You better get your hands on this tape,
it’s better than ending up in a bag at the bottom of a lake:
Artist: Seffi Starshine
Title: Aural Natatorium
Release year: 2019
Keywords: electronic ambient drone drone ambient vaporambient vapordrone vaporwave Portland
Label: Girly Girl Musik
Beautiful dreams in the lower depth of realms,
Think of drones full atmospheric appeals.
Amazing tones of pleasant warmth,
so amazing that you won’t be alarmed.
As everything sounds glorious and gentle,
If this was a video you had to get it from a rental.
As this music needs to be shared,
Material that loves you more than you ever cared.
Beautiful coziness so fine and soft,
Not the album you keep in your loft.
This needs to fly and will do you good,
A perfect heist with the perfect loot.
Made by a person why really cares,
Who knows how to make pretty Vaper wares.
If you are in search for something gorgeous and nice,
Come and get this tape and pay its price!
It will be worth your attention,
Spread it out like a body lotion!
Ten tracks of goodness for your ears,
Share it among friends, family and your peers.
Come and get down with these sounds,
Or be fed to the grey hounds!
artist: knives of spain
release year: 2016
keywords: electroacoustic experimental hypnogogic neofolk solo witchy art pop world Greensboro`
format: tape x 75
the name ‘knives of spain’ might be sounding like it might damage your ears,
but don’t let them fool you and ignore your worst fears.
Instead of bringing pain, this tape will be like a lion’s mane.
Or better, like a tigress, out in full success.
Charming with a soothingly strong and magnificent voice,
warm melodies, composing skills – anything but noise.
think of laid-back guitar, witchcrafted neo folk that kindly seduces,
a collection of soothing soothers and songs that will be your muses.
Knives of Spain will conquer your heart with integrity,
amazing lyrics, comfortable music, a trippiness that is like magic,
it will intoxicate you, hypnotizes you – not listening will make you sick.
things are beautiful, organic flowing like hippy trips high on love,
blessed by the instrumental blessings from nothing but above.
It is truly a recommendation to get one of these tapes,
it will help you through life on this planet of the apes.
hypno materials that goes in your ears like candy,
with soothing vocals that are friendly and dandy!
You wont regret to follow this link and get this release,
if you don’t, no way you will ever find peace.
As with this music in your ears,
you will have no pressure from your peers!
Everything is just pretty and smooth,
songs that will be doing well for the entire neighborhood.
enigmatic, charming and severely intoxicating in melodic form,
a tape in which good music is simply the norm.
So be smart and halt your howl & grab a copy now!
Artist: h i y o h i y o i p s e n i y o
Title: InDiferents per cortesia
Keywords: experimental anticopyright Burgos
Format: tape / digital
Label: Crystal Mine
This is a glitch in the matrix,
Better than munching on a mars or a twix.
Think of clicks and clacks,
Borrowed stuff – tastier than all snacks.
Plunderphonics at its best,
Music in a Experimental nest.
You can hear the excellent cutting skills,
Giving something that equals thrills.
It’s a guess what you will hear,
But it’s all for you my dear.
Done with love and delight,
Little snippets of audio pride.
A mysterious tape by an absurdist,
Might as well get loaded and pissed.
Electric things neatly arranged,
For moods potentially deranged.
In any case it will excite,
Certainly doesn’t smell of shite!
artist: Imelda Marcos
release year: 2017
keywords: rock sooper records instrumental loop pedal math rock no wave noise rock post rock prog Chicago
format: cassette tape x100 (sold out)
Oh my goodness, this one had been long gone,
a tape that didn’t include a single song.
But is so incredible that it still had to be included,
or we might not be taken serious – probably secluded.
As these 100 tapes must be somewhere around,
waiting for you to be hunted and ready to be found.
Excellent math rock with intoxicating energy,
incredible dope show with crucial uplifting tendencies.
It’s fuzzy and fun, material that will live up the numb.
Big drums, heavy guitar fanatics,
all over the place – like musical athletics.
It is a lot of blistering happenings,
mad rock powers that will entering things.
Not afraid to experiment with a smile,
rhythms and feel goodness,
crazy anthems – that will make you run the last mile!
A joyful tape that you are advised to hunt down,
using it as a soundtrack for joy without being a clown.
Luckily there are some CD’s left for if you cant hunt,
but for a tape lover it would probably be a reason to be bummed.
So go and find one of these 100 like it’s an easter egg,
take a listen to the digital version – go out and put it in your sack!
So yes I hope you understood,
this one is sold out – cause its very good!
artist: Void Hands
title: Split Shapes & Divisive Models
release year: 2019
keywords: experimental analogue drone electronic music improv no input no-input mixer sound art London
label: Fractal Meat
Originally I wanted to write about a tape named callosity,
but as everything on this tape label – it had been quickly sold out – causing a monstronity.
What could I write now, as there is no need for us anymore?
Ah, yes a more recent release by Void Hands – some nice bits of glitch core.
Think of broken connections, accidentally recorded with care,
gaining a new life as techno goodies, without any fear or despair.
Only the nicest crackling crackles, captured and neatly arranged,
to create a feast for the listener, whether they are normal or deranged.
Techno music that clicks and clacks,
squeaks and rattles, rhythmically brags,
like a grand duck on a wobbly chair,
smooth and experimental with love and care.
Lovely leaning on a repetitive ways,
for hours of entertainment – maybe even days!
noises are nicely placed in line,
for a brilliantly modest dancy time.
Nothing is too banging in your face,
minimalism is simply all that is the bass.
Anyone in need for small snippets of rhythmic dust,
this tape for them is clearly a must!
Artist: Ov Pain
Title: Ov Pain
Release year: 2017
Keywords: dunedin melbourne ov pain punk coldwave darkwave record label synth vacant valley zero style Melbourne
Format: tape x 50
Label: Vacant Valley
Ov Pain, is a journey of psychedelic drama,
More interesting than the life of the dalai lama.
A lecture of low and high voices,
Shattering sadness thanks to musical choices.
Keeping things real and sane,
Like the Doors, or Jefferson Airplane.
But competing their own thing,
Music that will drown you as they swing.
Things like a heavy drum and an endless organ,
Will make the entire thing go before it actually began.
Sometimes things go up while still sounding like a tranquilliser.
Stronger than a Heineken, Corona, or a Budweiser.
An odd mental mix from quirky happiness and total lowness,
A perfect disaster that sounds great nonetheless.
Like being on an excited cocktail of pills of booze,
One that you must hear or you will lose.
The music of happy unhappiness,
More real than the monster of Loch Ness.
Of tight fights, love and a power fist,
Like battling on dope through a squirm of mist.
As hot as a flame or as cold as Ice,
Ov Pain burns you up and doing it nice!
Sometimes upbeat punk deranged and loudly wild,
They simply mean every bit whether loud or mild.
A band that rocks out their anger and sadcore,
You can’t grab them – more entertaining than Roger Moore.
Unfortunately this tape had all been sold out, still It deserves a shout out loud!
Artist: Whettman Chelmets
Title: I Don’t Want to Let Go, but I Need to Let Go
Release year: 2020
Keywords: ambient drone modern classical noise post-rock shoegaze Joplin
For something so fragile and dope,
You might have prayed directly to the pope.
A ambient drone album oh so fine,
You might need to own it and spend that dime.
It’s for the best as you will see,
It’s good for you at home or at sea.
Listen to it free from helmets,
These legendary sounds from Chelmets.
Things that come across as a cloud,
Fragile, fine and still quite loud.
Sounds of forgotten memories,
Stories with untold deliveries.
You will lose time and space,
But never lose your face.
As these tracks are a popular winner,
Still underground so you can take them out for dinner.
Full subtle emptiness that you can’t hold,
Provide the perfect diet – I got once told.
So please do check and get this on tape,
And be a beloved total babe!
One that simply don’t want to let go,
As it’s like a long lasting terrifically satisfying blow.
Artist: James Wolf
Title: on se lève
Release year: 2017
Keywords: electronic experimental ambient drone indie rock neo-classical neo-classical. violin Washington
Format: tape x 100
Label: Verses Records
If this music by James Wolf doesn’t resonate with you,
You might be in need of a hearing aid, or simply don’t have a clue.
Things are so trembling over here,
violin sounding so tremendously sincere.
Vibrato up your alleyways,
coloring in these grey days.
Melodies so fragile and fine,
you want them to be yours as much as I like them to be mine.
Unique melodic knitting works,
leaving listeners with satisfied smirks.
James Wolf will not huff and puff,
but simply delight you with his stuff.
Music so generously kind and gentle,
It’s like a vegan’s love for a single lentil.
Strings waving beauty in our minds,
only for us, the kinder of all kinds.
I don’t think an edition of hundred is never enough,
I think they will be sold out soon, or I’ll eat a muff!
As this is so wondrous and fine,
absolutely something well worth your time.
It makes me cry at times from beauty,
slowly dancing my way with my booty.
On a music palette serenading the moon,
something you definitely needed to check out soon!
Like listening to glass tones of miracles,
sincere and more glorious than spiracles.
Everything is so stunningly stunning,
It will be finally something worth for cumming!
release year: 2018
keywords: experimental dirge drone feedback improvisation noise toronto London
format: cassette tape x30 (only 2 left!)
label: Dubbed Tapes
Microdebris is here to stay,
Bringing us mini tones that slay.
Terrible dances on ambient drone,
Incredible frequencies ready to get you in the zone.
Tonal tones that will keep you up all night,
Let’s be fair; that’s perfectly alright.
With smoothness on the edge of the noise spectrum,
No beat in sight not even a drum.
Tensions are rising so take a hit,
Better than the woolen scarf that grandma knit.
Alternative realms to relax while awake,
Something to get for goodness sake.
Tones and frequencies hand in hand,
Squeezing air out of balloons – that’s where it’s stand.
On the borders of sanity,
But never going for profanity.
Noise music that is relative to ambient,
Like a roll play: be an ant.
With tiny ears hearing things we never thought to do,
More mysterious than an episode of scoobido.
There are only two of these tapes still waiting for an owner,
Something – something that rhymes with boner.
As it’s so special – haunting the ears,
A good reason to conquer your noise fears.
Proven benefits of walking backwards,
More magical than studying at Hogwards.
As good as surreal these vibes can get,
Experimental drones that can get quiet mad.
Pushing your hearing aid to the limit,
Got to have one, innit?
So get a copy over from dubbed tapes,
It might become one of your faves!
So this is the end of my first post on counterzine,
I hope you had more fun reading this – than a eightballing Charlie Sheen!
You can find more of my doubling wordly adventures in music land,
over a Yeah I Know It Sucks – my kind of brand!
With love and until next time,