Monday, April 23, 2012

Trapdoor Tapes Strikes Again

Oh snaps! Sorry for the delayed posts, but we're back! A few weeks ago we got a wonderful package in the mail from what is rapidly becoming our favorite Australian DIY label. Enclosed in this package were a pair of tapes: Vomir's Fucking Exit, and Amen--the debut release from Word of Life Church SS. 
Fucking Exit is full-on assault of kerosine rumbling and cthonic rage. Most of this short tape is a concentrated blast of harsh noise strong enough to burn phosphanes in the backs of your eyes. Put your face to the fire hydrant and take a sip of this one!

Amen is a staticy haunted-house romp with gauzy layers of guitars and the faintest vocals, apparently filtered through a stethoscope. I love the blustery eye-of-the storm aesthetic of this one, and the punctuating jagged blasts of power electronics and overdriven guitars hit all the right spots. This slowburning deep-sea lunker of a tape was another collaboration between Trapdoor Tapes and their friends at Magik Crowbar--caught off the Queensland coast and sundried for your listening pleasure. 
Both tapes are highly limited, and feature the coolest xerox cut 'n paste art imaginable... per Trapdoor Tapes usual. Check them out on their killer website and sneak a peek at their new jams on Soundcloud.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Filardo - Enter the Edit Suite

Picks up right where Brian Wilson’s Smile left off: sunny harmonizing vocals, painstakingly layered walls of sound and explosive creativity. Imaginative lyrics, big-time vocals and a varied palette of sounds—all of them top-notch and wholeheartedly unique. Some tracks are reminiscent of late 1960's Britpop, others are saturated with heavy Bossa Nova--but all of them work.

Check it out at Holy Page Records here
.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Holy Page Halloween Compilation

The incomparable Holy Page Records just blasted this Halloween mixtape our way: 25 tracks, none of them take themselves too seriously, and that’s why this works. Halloween themed too! The original cassette glows in the dark and has candy corn and pumpkin stickers (see Fig. 1). All songs are just as good as their titles (just head over here and take a look why don’t you…), and although they align themselves mostly towards the electronic end of the spectrum, there is something for everyone in this goodie bag: lo-fi rap, ambient narc-washes, thrasher rock, etc. There is probably nothing better than this album for those valiant 3-6 AM radio slots—trust me, it’s even better than playing Prince and Joe Meek at the same time. I cannot say enough good things about this tape. Play it during Spring Break, play it during Christmas, play it at your wedding.

Trick-or-treat bro!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Good Amount - Opening Eye

Sci-fi Casio keyboard explorations from everybody's favorite "neo-neon" artist Christian Filardo, the man behind the brainmelting tape label Holy Page. These four tracks very well could have been A-sides for the soundtrack to a cartoon version of The Terminator or a Tracey Trance/Alex Barnett collaboration in disguise.

Clocking in at about 32 minutes, this is another great bite-sized album which moves quick, from the rumbly lo-fi of the creepy-crawly minor-chord intro to the conclusion: a
moody Vangelis, sci-fi romp through the Alpha Quadrant.

Mostly consisting of slow pulses of synth and drone, it also gets more peppy and psychedelic when it needs to. Undoubtedly inspired by fistfuls of those yellowing garage sale sci-fi books with those inexplicably kickass covers.

It was recently released on tape (and digital version) by his buddies Dwight and Liz. Check it out on the website of their label Crash Symbols.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Kenichi Sakamoto - Bio Feedback

We got this tape a little while back from Ginjoha, and although we liked it enough to immediately slap it on our year-end list, we never got around to reviewing it until recently. It packs a nice one-two punch with both sides clocking in at about 15 minutes, which makes it convenient for small commutes, or those short interludes where you can catch a quick break.

Per usual, the artwork is stunning--with a nice detached filmy quality. Kind of reminds me of those sick Nova videos we would watch in school, or going dumpster diving for yellowing chemistry textbooks after finals week at the local college.

Side A: Starts off with high-pitched hissy electronic beats that would drive your dog crazy. Later transitions (with the help of some heavy industrial equipment humming) into a clicky percussive loop. It’s all catchy in the strangest way possible. At the 10:30 mark, the piece breaks down into squeaky feedback/intergalactic transmissions.

Side B: Gentle, whispering intro. Slowly shifts into harsher vibes—deep resonating pulses and tangled knots of synthesizer. The last 5 minutes is probably the best of the entire tape—a pastiche kaleidoscope of bewitched string elements, broken clockwork, spooky vocals, and that scene from Toy Story where all the toys came back to life and crawled out of that gunk, and it scared you so badly that you peed your pants.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Crash Symbols SPOTLIGHT Tomorrow

Tomorrow the guys from the Oakland-based Crash Symbols Records will make the trip across the Bay to talk about their cassette label, and share some of their current and upcoming releases. The interview will be broadcasted from 8-10 PST on 90.1 FM in the Bay Area, or here online.

They sent us a sick batch of tapes a while back, along with some pretty groovy artwork. This show should be a great one!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

KZSU DAY OF NOISE - LIVE!

We started broadcasting at midnight! Tune in anytime in the next 24 hours to catch some great experimental music, all broadcasted live from our studios in Stanford, California! 29 artists in 24 hours. You can sleep when you're dead! Here's the official schedule:
  • 12:00 - 2:00 am Brian B James
  • 2:00 - 3:00 am Kurt James Werner
  • 3:00 - 3:40 am Bryan Von Reuter
  • 3:40 - 4:10 am Eoin Callery
  • 4:10 - 5:00 am The Voice of Doom
  • 5:00 - 6:00 am Feast and Friends
  • 6:00 - 7:00 am Bad News
  • 7:00 - 8:00 am Peter Nyboer
  • 8:00 - 9:00 am David Leikam and Joe Straub
  • 9:00 - 10:00 am David Slusser
  • 10:00 - 10:30 am Bill Orcutt
  • 10:30 - 11:00 am Jessica Rylan
  • 11:00 - 12:00 pm zBug
  • 12:00 - 1:00 pm Frank Rothkamm
  • 1:00 - 2:00 pm Ernesto Diaz-Infante
  • 2:00 - 3:00 pm Negativwobblyland (Jon Leidecker & Peter Conheim)
  • 3:00 - 3:30 pm Danny Paul Grody
  • 3:30 - 4:00 pm En
  • 4:00 - 4:30 pm Matt Davignon
  • 4:30 - 5:00 pm Aloonaluna
  • 5:00 - 5:30 pm Matt Ingalls / John Ingle
  • 5:30 - 6:00 pm Matt Ingalls / John Ingle / Matt Davignon / Abode
  • 6:00 - 7:00 pm Thomas Dimuzio
  • 7:00 - 7:45 pm Megabats
  • 7:45 - 8:30 pm Abode
  • 8:30 - 9:00 pm Thea Farhadian
  • 9:00 - 10:00 pm White Pee
  • 10:00 - 11:00 pm The Lickets
  • 11:00pm - 12:00am Vulcanus 68
Click here to listen in.
Click here to watch the streaming video on UStream.




Saturday, February 11, 2012

Shroud of Winter - Solstice Eclipse


Andrew Plante (known for his main drone project under his surname) delves into black metal in this project, juxtaposing some harsh lo-fi riffs along with the spacious ambience. Xasthur, Mutiilation, and even Nadja come to mind when the guitars and drums come in; otherwise, morbid droning tones prevail. Bleak, bedroom black metal with an abundance of swirling guitar feedback and cassette tape hiss—perfect for late nights spent worshipping Satan. Thrashin’, headbanging black metal riffage; occult guitar noodling. Sounds like a teenager writing riffs in his garage, and I mean that in a good way.

-Diego

Drunjus - Celestial Realms

From the beloved Sonic Meditations label, this is one of those tapes that makes you wonder if cassettes were invented by aliens or underwater sea creatures in order to infiltrate the human world and hypnotize all seven billion of us into submission. I, for one, welcome our Atlantean liberators as our natural overlords, and am grateful that they have created such gorgeous, soothing ambient to lull our useless cortical circuits into a state of blissful tranquility. Shimmering, sparkling resonances of the ethereal void... for fans of Comoros, No Mind Meditation, Enfer Boreal; featuring members of: Grass Magic, Endless, Davenport, Journey to Ixtlan, Second Family Band, and even doom/psych band Jex Thoth (it really is a small world).

-Diego

Monday, January 30, 2012

Paramita Recordings Update

Chicago, one of the great cassette tape hotspots of America, has recently given the world yet another killer label! Paramita Recordings, started their catalog off with three split tapes, and they were kind enough to send us a copy of each (which are all still available). Thanks guys!

P.S. Check out that crazy die-cut cover artwork! No 3-D glasses are optional.

Sparkling Wide Pressure/No Mind Meditation - Split

Longtime KZSU favorites No Mind Meditation remain as enigmatic as ever, keeping their cards close to their chests and leaving us all in the dark while they compose gooey alien sounds--brewing up another psychedelic trip strong enough to make you want to call in to work sick for at least the next few days. On the flip, Sparkling Wide Pressure also delivers with a buzzing set scruffy noise rock and kooky percussive instrumentation. I love the controlled anarchy of their jams, and the looped sounds of scattershot doorknocks are oddly lulling (plus they'll keep all the neighbors confused for hours...)

Black Eagle Child /Excavations - Split

Black Eagle Child doing what he does best on a core-of-the-sun red tape. What more could you ask for? Lonesome strummy guitar/banjo musings that are relaxing yet fully engaging. A nice return to nature, thumbing through a well worn copy of Leaves of Grass, breezy open chords, (and especially for us Californians) the romance of seasons.

Excavations holds things down on the flip, and while they're a band I'm not familiar with, they certainly don't disappoint--I seriously dig their looped grooves and frothy distorted vocals. If you're into Hobo Cubes, Food Pyramid, or the sunnier side of Debacle records, you'll cherish this one as well.

Soundings/Shapers/Verma - Split

A three-way split? Where do splits leave off and compilations begin? This cassette features 60 minutes of sludgy garage, splattered experimental, and gunky organic noise from three of the gnarliest psych rockers in Chicago. It's all good stuff--maybe not the most accessible, but I loved it--it would probably sound even better in a dingy club with terrible acoustics, slimy brick walls and utilities pipes snaking overhead and threatening to crush you at any moment. Recommended for those who have a few Hive Mind or Wolf Eyes recordings under their belts.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Christopher Merritt - Crown Heights

Brooklyn-based experimental Christopher Merritt sent us a package of tapes a little while back—this one from Digitalis is perhaps the finest example of his intricate collagework.

While both sides are juicy gumbos of jaunting electronics and vibrant effects, Side A is more of a classic "ascension" piece, where a powerful photon torpedo barrage of synthesizer slowly rises from it's hibernation and pummels he very medium--blasting the EQ into the red, shooting for the stars.

Side B starts with crunchy blown-out beats in the extraterrestrial style of Clams Casino, (but orchestrated a few months earlier might I add...) and later transitions into blurry patchwork of gently plucked acoustic guitar, rainsticks, atypical percussion, the rush of water—all sorts of creatively blended recordings.

All in all, a fantastic release--surly an aural delight for anyone lucky enough to have snatched one of these up (although you might still be able to track a few copies down...)

For other great tapes by Christopher Merritt, I also highly recommend his excellent split with Reedbeds on Tranquility Tapes.

Gary Busdriver - Sports!

The brand-new label Teflon Beast puts their best foot forward with their first cassette release Sports! This c40 is split into two halves: "Fanfare" on the A and "Victory" on the flip, and explores the various facets of the human athletic experience. Composed of noisy electronics and field recordings, it was recorded both to showcase the intricacies of sports (on an amateur and multi-million-dollar-contract level) and to showcase the more "joyous" side of noise.

I really liked this tape, although honestly, it took a couple of listens. Its an interesting blend of the blood, sweat and tears blend of sports jockism, and the more "nerdy" side of intricate experimental landscapes. Reminds me of that fuzzy yellow letter I got playing varsity sports in high school...but also the long-overdue letters I was promised for state Quiz Bowl and orchestra.

You can try it/buy it on the Teflon Beast bandcamp.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

KZSU DAY OF NOISE

Mark your calendars! On Feburary 12, KZSU will be broadcasting 24 straight hours of live experimentation and improvisation from experimental/noise/drone bands and artists from the Bay Area and beyond. You can tune in here, and find out more information and read all the juicy details here. Should be a great time, so listen in, or visit the station to see the performances in-action if you're in the area.




***UPDATED*** LINEUP


Megabats
Thomas Dimuzio
Ernesto Diaz-Infante
Matt Davignon
z_Bug
Thea Farhadian
Aloonaluna
Jessica Rylan
The Voice of Doom
Abode: Caroline Pugh & Paul Stapleton
Aloonaluna
Bad News
En
Feast and Friends
Danny Paul Grody
Matt Ingalls
John Ingle
Brian B James with Trevor Morris
The Lickets
Peter Nyboer
Bill Orcutt
Frank Rothkamm
David Slusser
Speculator
Vulcanus 68
Kurt James Werner
White Pee
Wobbly Black Hair People

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

KZSU's Top Tapes of 2011


2011 was a truly sensational year for our favorite medium: the cassette. Thanks everyone for all your fantastic submissions to the station. Best wishes for the new year!


-KZSU Cassettes Department



1. No Mind Meditation – Face Skull Spirit

2. Plankton Wat/Super Minerals – Split
3. Red Electric Rainbow – Come and Melt Your Face Off
4. No Mind Meditation – Molecular Clock
5. High Wolf - Etoile 3030
6. Peaking Lights – 936
7. Lunar Miasma – Arrival
8. EarthMasters – Dwellings
9. Super Minerals – Contacteer
10. Folja - Pompa Funebris
11. Voder Deth Squad – I
12. Brainworlds – *****
13. Run DMT – Dreams
14. Mold Omen – Blacktop
15. Andreas Brandal – Autumn Drama
16. Cane Swords / Griefhound - Split
17. Grey Ghost – Songs to Wake Up To
18. Dry Valleys – Aqua Aura
19. Derek Rogers – Populist Context
20. Cruise Family – Up to Us
21. Christopher Merritt / Sound Out Light - Split
22. Sky Stadium – Carpet Ride
23. This Could Be the Last Time – M. Geddes Gengras
24. Cambodian Field Recordings - Stephen Molyneux
25. Billiam Wutler Yea - Calico Desman
26. Archers – Archers
27. Eagle Chalice – Hot Glue
28. Giant Claw – Midnight Murder
29. Spires – Puzzlebox
30. Cruise Family/Innercity – A.H.E.A.D.
31. Christopher Merritt/ Reedbeds – Split
32. Sea Oleena - Sleeplessness + Sea Oleena
33. Tracey Trance – Learning to Your Stuff
34. Brain Syndrome – Disconnect
35. Motion Sickness of Time Travel / Tidal - Split
36. HMS – Cascades
37. Lab Coast – Pictures on the Wall
38. The Paperboxes- Sometimes It Does, Sometimes It Doesn't
39. Gkfoes Vjgoaf – Nature Eternal Striving
40. Mshing / Sick Llama - Split
41. ThrouRoof – Feathers and Blood
42. A Full Cosmic Sound – S/T
43. Dust Bunnies – We Are Not Alone
44. Kenichi Sakamoto – Bio Feedback
45. Rainbow Valley/ Black Sky Chant – Split
46. Tidal / Holographic Arts – Split
47. Wether – Walking Through Black Prisms
48. Lunar Miasma – Gone
49. Patrick McBratney - Lovebrrd
50. Innercity – Time Bender