Sacred Phrases

Nils Quak – ‘Fragmente Des Verschwindens’ CS
Having issued stunning and staggering sets of modular drone music with dozens of labels around the globe (Umor Rex, SicSic Tapes, Cosmic Winnetou, among many others), Nils Quak now returns with Fragmente des Verschwindens, a seven-track drift that perfectly balances the Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany-based producer’s pristine patches and meditative stillness. “Inwards,” “Gestalt,” and “Please Give Me Sleep” highlight Quak’s penchant for curious sonic exploration and unencumbered patch studies, creating a welcoming stage for generative, self-playing cycles of sound. “Longitude,” “No Way I Can Tell,” and “I Don’t Think This Would Ever Change Anything,” and closer “Wonderland” wade in a blipping murk of shifting, tectonic tones that peer deep into a post-industrial unconscious while maintaining an air of elegance. The end result is a captivating mix of Keith Fullerton Whitman’s serrated modular work, C. Spencer Yeh’s sublimely serrated drones, and Terry Riley’s celestial minimalism.

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NNA Tapes

NNA082: Olivia Block – ‘Aberration Of Light’ C62 s/s
We’re proud to present brand new work from Chicago-based sound artist Olivia Block in the form of “Aberration of Light.” An accomplished composer of electro-acoustic music, Block has premiered her work all over the globe in the form of both solo and collaborative live performances, sound installations at highly-regarded art institutions, and lectures at academic establishments. This conceptually inspired work was originally conceived in 2011 as a four-speaker soundtrack for a collaboration with two expanded cinema artists using manipulated light from film-less 35mm projectors. For NNA’s 82nd release, the artist offers us a 31-minute reworked version of this material for the cassette format. In essence, this piece is as much about the absence of sound as much as the presence of it. Slowly materializing from total silence, Block utilizes acoustic sounds blended with a palette of electronics to create intricately assembled fields of sonic depth. The result is richly ominous without being overtly aggressive, as the compositional arc of the piece follows a swelling, almost respiratory motion of expanding and contracting. The dynamic nature of Aberration of Light is enhanced by Block’s delicate use of white noise as a textural guide, calling attention to the acoustic sounds at its valleys, and overwhelming the listener with ferocity and harshness at its peaks. As the piece progresses, harmonic tonalities begin to emerge, reinforced by the use of clarinet and bass clarinet from fellow Chicagoan musicians James Falzone and Jason Stein, respectively, seamlessly integrating themselves into the mass of electronics. The quieter moments of the piece command deeper listening, to the point where the sounds of one’s own listening environment become indistinguishable from the recording, calling to mind Cage’s ideas on the impossibility of true silence. Block claims to bring an emotional element to her work which can be both heard and felt through the delicate and dynamic nature of the recording, further deepened by a brilliant use of control, precision, power, and patience. Material repeats on both sides of the cassette. Comes with digital download coupon.

NNA083: Patrick Higgins – ‘Social Death Mixtape’ C63
The use of the word “mixtape” in the title of this release is no coincidence. New York City based composer and performer Patrick Higgins has appointed NNA with a highly original concept in the presentation of New Music – a “mix” or sampling of personal experimentations spanning from 2009 to the present day, intended specifically for the cassette format. Higgins, perhaps best known for his guitar work in avant-garde music group Zs and production work with Future-Past Studios, is able to accurately demonstrate his versatility as both a composer and performer through this diverse collection of recording studies. Very little territory is left uncharted as Higgins makes use of piano, harpsichord, synthesizer, guitar, violin, sampler, computer processing, and even group ensemble to communicate his unique musical vision. Bringing a genuinely modern voice to composition, the artist draws on contemporary pop culture influence (underground art rock, independent pop, noise) along with nods to 60’s minimalism (Riley, Glass, Meredith Monk) and classical Western electro-acoustic composition. The studies on this release range from the highly dissonant to the more consonant as Higgins blends found sound and electro-acoustic texture with harmonic notes, creating further originality by combining elements of improvisation with written score. Pieces like “Pattern Select” blast apart with pointillistic, colorful synth programming that builds its power through the precise use of dissonance, recalling the work of Babbitt, Boulez, and the French pioneers of early musique concrete. The “Curves, Points, Lines” series of tracks demonstrates the inventive studio layering of unorthodox acoustic instrument sounds, as Higgins dissects the intricacies of the various sounds made by the violin and rearranges them into something completely new. “Live At Oberlin” brings the music outside of the studio into the arena of performance, as Higgins lends his abilities to a group improvisation setting, using guitar and laptop to build new sonic worlds together with the Mivos Quartet on string instruments. “Social Death Mixtape” succeeds at showcasing Higgins’ prowess not only as a musician, but as a generally well-rounded artist, whether its as a composer and arranger, instrumentalist, live performer, electronic producer, or studio engineer. The experience of this release is further enhanced by the originality of creating an “audio sketchbook” for the modern composer by tapping into one of the earliest and most classical essences of the cassette tape medium – the “mix.”

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Shaking Box Music

Pigeon Breeders – ‘Concrescence’ C34 $7
3Concrescence is the fourth album by Edmonton-based experimental trio Pigeon Breeders. While previous releases have been formed through the editing of one or two nights’ worth of improvisations, Concrescence is the first to compile various material over a two year period, capturing the band playing in a variety of spaces. The resulting sonic gallery is the trio’s most challenging to date, and the most accurate in its presentation of the group’s scope: introspective ambient, tense and spastic electroacoustic interplay, scrappy free jazz, apocalyptic free-form drone rock, and beyond: complete and blissful abandon into sound. Pick yr poison, light some incense, turn off the lights. Edition of 80.

Ashley Soft – ‘Leave’ C22 $6
2For all intents & purposes, Leave is Ashley Soft’s debut. Not long after recording last year’s Take Heart Give Heart EP at hotel2tango in Montreal, Clarke Macleod returned to Calgary and started jamming with drummer/noisenik Andrew Hume (of free-rock titans Burro, Pale Lobo, and others). The duo wrote a bunch of new songs, and introduced avant-guitarist Devin Friesen (Bitter Fictions) in the fall. This trio recorded six volatile new songs direct to tape over the winter, with the production assistance of Chris Dadge (of Lab Coast & Bug Incision records). Feedback destruction you could hum to: Hume’s machine-gun drumming matches Macleod’s splintering guitar patterns, and Friesen contains it all with sounds meltingly dissonant (“Groceries”) and densely atmospheric (“Red Sea”). Edition of 80.

D.F. w K.B.D. & J.G. – ‘A Chance Happening’ C42 $6
1New tape compositions by D.F. (Bitter Fictions), made using cassette recordings of an unplanned trio performance of Kyle Bobby Dunn (piano), James Goddard (aka Skin Tone; saxophone), and Devin Friesen (guitar). In D.F.’s words: “It was my last night in town after a summer’s sojourn in Montreal. James helped me set up a Bitter Fictions show at Brasserie Beaubien, but everybody missed it. Kyle was the only person not working or scheduled to perform who showed up that night. There was a piano in the bar. I’d asked Kyle if he’d like to play it during my set, and he sat down for the last couple of pieces. Afterwards, the three of us decided to play together. I had the sense to put my TCM150 portable tape recorder on the bar’s pool table, forming a triangle between the piano and the speakers. The recordings turned out grainy and distant, yet appealingly rich with room sounds and instruments smeared.” Edition of 70.

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Invisible City Records

Xtematic/:dARM – ‘Deus Generator’ C60 £4.5
Split release of two Industrial artists; Xtemetaic of Osijek, Croatia and :dARM of Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzgovina. Two sides of industrial drone. Electronic abrasions forming the soundtrack to a decaying industrial landscape. Available as a hand dubbed C60 cassette with black and white single sided artwork. Limited to 50 copies worldwide.

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ISSUE Project Room

Yarn/Wire and Pete Swanson – ‘Eliminated Artist’ LP
Known for his uncompromising tape and synthesizer work, Pete Swanson has pushed the limits of electronic music since the early 2000s. Since stepping down as half of formative underground duo Yellow Swans, he has subverted the genres of noise and electronic dance music as a solo artist. For Eliminated Artist, the third LP release from ISSUE Project Room’s Distributed Objects imprint, Swanson ventures into new territories with two works at the intersection of electronic and acoustic sound, created in collaboration with New York instrumental quartet Yarn/Wire. Combining electronics, tape loops, and modular synthesizer with Yarn/Wire’s unique ensemble of two pianists and two percussionists, both works were recorded live at ISSUE Project Room, initiated as part of the ensemble’s 2011 residency at the Brooklyn venue and presenting organization. For the title track, Eliminated Artist (2012), Swanson recorded improvised rehearsals by Yarn/Wire, from which he crafted an exacting, repeatable framework for live performance. A combination of live signal and rehearsal recordings were then constructed by Swanson into a live electronic mix, ranging from tranquil chromatic textures to unhinged distortion. Corrections (2014) emerged from a series of recorded fragments Swanson made using “the Putney”, an early EMS VCS3 modular synthesizer, at Rotterdam’s WORM studios in 2013. Over two days of rehearsal, Yarn/Wire and Swanson developed acoustic arrangements to integrate with the earlier recordings. Clattering, intricate rhythms combine with soaring synthesizer pitches and heavy percussive beats; the result is atmospheric, physical and precise. Yarn/Wire: Ning Yu, Laura Barger: piano; Russell Greenberg, Ian Antonio: percussion. Pete Swanson: EMS VCS3, Electronics and Tape. Corrections recorded live at ISSUE Project Room 5/1/2014, EMS VCS3 for Corrections recorded at WORM Studios, Rotterdam 12/2013. Eliminated Artist recorded Live at ISSUE Project Room 3/22/2012. Mastered by Rashad Becker. Limited edition of 500 on 150g LP.

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Spring Break Tapes

Peter Kris — ‘Rim Of The World’
There is a massive region in Southern California, just east of Los Angeles, that’s known as the Inland Empire. Comprised of two of the biggest counties in the nation, Riverside and San Bernardino, the 27,000 mile spread is a dramatic mix of wealth-driven development and hopeless decline. Prospering communities, such as Redlands and Rancho Cucamonga, border economic failures like the City of San Bernardino. And beyond these suburban dwellings exists an entire landscape of dying cities that are fast becoming ghost towns. As the cost of living in Los Angeles continues to rise, a number of former Angelinos are seeking refuge in the lower income areas within the Inland Empire, specifically San Bernardino County. The population in this area has surpassed 2 million. As that number continues to grow, job opportunities dwindle. City budgets have been cut, public services have been limited and most residents struggle to make a living. The only things not in decline are crime rates and the population of homeless and the discarded mentally ill. Peter Kris has lived in this region most of his life. He’s dedicated himself to exploring the vast landscape in an effort to photograph and document what’s left of the forgotten and crumbling infrastructure before it vanishes. Rim Of the World is a sonic and visual documentation of this decline and disintegration. The release includes an 8 song cassette and a zine that documents modern ruins as photographed by Peter Kris. Each cassette will feature an original, one-of-a-kind instant film photograph cover. These photos were selected from a batch of one hundred shot over the course of a day in and around San Bernardino. Peter Kris is the founding member of German Army. THIS TAPE IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW TO HELP COVER PRODUCTION COSTS. ORDERS WILL SHIP IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS. This cassette is a limited edition release. Only 100 copies will be available.

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Arachnidiscs

M. Mucci – ‘Secret Midnights’ C70 $7
M-MucciGuelph, Ontario-based master guitarist M. Mucci has graciously agreed to let us reissue two of his out-of-print cassette albums on one C70 volume. Both The Secret is Knowing When to Close Your Eyes and Midnights are featured here in their entirely, the former with previously unreleased bonus material included. Mucci is one of the most exciting instrumental guitarists working today and we’re deeply honoured to be able to make these titles available in a physical format once again. In the vein of Loren Mazzacane Connors, Sir Richard Bishop, Jack Rose and the like.

Lost Trail/Door – ‘Split Tapes Series Vol. 12‘ C60 $7
LostTrailLOST TRAIL is the ambient/dronegaze/experimental noise project of husband-and-wife duo Zachary Corsa and Denny Wilkerson Corsa. Based in the mysterious small city of Burlington, NC, The Corsas utilize lo-fi and obsolete recording technology in their music, aiming to capture a sense of atmosphere and landscape in both man-made and wild environments. Working primarily with second-hand analog equipment, their work is a vivid patchwork collage of damaged cassette loops, field recordings, primitive percussion, layers of ethereal guitar drones, wailing feedback and static, and skeletal traces of antique piano and organ. The themes of Lost Trail’s work often include a sense of the otherworldly or supernatural, strong ties to nature, human calamity, and a fascination with the concept of passionate belief systems. The songs themselves are raw, broken, minimalist, imperfect, emotionally resounding and chaotically unpredictable, all composed in the spirit of reckless, heedless improvisation. DOR is a more mysterious affair. Zachary of Lost Trail, who brought them to our attention, had this insight: They’re two dudes (John Rutherford, Jacob Worden) from Charlotte, NC, our biggest city, about 90 minutes south of where Denny and I live and that’s about all I know about ’em! They’re mysterious. And, really, does anyone need to know more about them than that?

Partli Cloudi – ‘Watermelon Cauliflower‘ C30 $7
PartliCloudiMild-mannered librarian by day, by late-afternoon Vancouver Island’s Stephen Wolf turns into the mild-mannered bedroom recordist named Partli Cloudi. “”Watermelon Cauliflower is a delightfully rotten treat. An odd pleasure come to haunt your weirdest nightmares.” Delving deep into his library branch’s audio-book collection, Wolf weaves detailed audio tapestries, adding his own acoustic flourishes and electronic embellishments to a secret world of woozy found-sound.

Hazy Montagne Mystique/Ylangylang – ‘Studies In Trance (Split Tapes Series Vol. 11)’ C30 $7
Hazy-YlangylangHazy Montagne Mystique and Ylangylang two Montreal artists who excel in druggy, electronic trance music — but not that type of trance. The pair are long-time students of trance-inducing tones as evidenced by their collaborative project A Sacred Cloud (whose album ENSOLEILLÉ, 1972, we had the pleasure of releasing in 2013). Those familiar with A Sacred Cloud (and their label Jeunesse Cosmique) will already know that when they say “Trance” they’re talking “Transcendental” and not the late-90’s house music craze associated with the island of Ibiza. Trance as in drone. Trance as in cosmic youth and cosmic spaces.

Semen Priest – ‘ Third Testament‘ C50 $7
jp0 template rectoverso with 0625 bleed-stripped“A grinning, skeletonized and sunglass-eyed Right Said Fred strutting through strobe lit hell-waste, lava sloshing to the groovy thrust.” THIRD TESTAMENT is, fittingly, the third album by Canadian post-punk/electronic art project SEMEN PRIEST. Evolving from the “industrial vapor wave” of their debut, the duo’s previous tape, Disco Horribilis, dallied with EBM tones. On their latest outing Epididymis Rex and Zsa Zsa La Borg dilly with a harder-edged sound inspired by classic ’80s and ’90s Wax Trax! records bands. An excellent foray into a dark underbelly of Canadian electronic music

TRANZMIT – ‘Neue Übertragungen von einer Totenwelt’ C60 $7
Totenwelt_Jcard-FrontToronto-based TRANZMIT creates audio bricolage from live transistor radio sampling / looping and various electronics. Other sound sources include internet videos and thrift store cassette tapes. Neue Übertragungen von einer Totenwelt features soundbites from Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, John Lennon and feminist spoken word artist Anna Binkovitz along with a myriad of anonymous radio waves.

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Hacktivism Records

Ando Laj – ‘Diagonal Rotation’ CD
Ando Laj CD APSIAndo Laj has been a staple in the Hacktivism sound since the beginning; in our continuation of firsts with Ando, we are proud to release our first CD “Diagonal Rotation”. This release is a culmination of everything that Ando has worked with on his prior releases. From the early almost chillwave works to the super accessible “Miriam Transmission” that we released earlier this year. You can really hear how Ando has grown as an artist. On the first single, “Pyra Fora”, Ando shifts through several different styles of electronica with an almost Krautrock-like structure. As a whole Diagonal Rotation is more of a dense and flowing beast than its predecessors, akin to electronic ambient greats like Global Communication’s “76:14″. Let yourself glide through 80+ minutes of beautiful electronica.

ƸC†OPL∆SM – ‘Worthless Plastic’ cassingle
VHS Single #2 APSIThe second VHS single in our series features IDM/Glitch Producer ƸC†OPL∆SM’s “Worthless Plastic”. Comes as a C10 cassette stylized as a re-recordable VHS cassette from the 80s and 90s. Nostalgic of your childhood fantasies. Previously self-released digitally and sold out on Mini-CD, this collection of future beats and glossy synthesis soundtracks the volatile dance scene of our post-apocalyptic future days. Undoubtedly this release will be the hit single of 2083 so it’s best you get your hands on one today! All singles come with gloss print-out of liner notes and Hacktivism business card.

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Teflon Beast

ALIZTER JAMES – ‘BERNing Down the House Vol.1′
coverTB’s latest is a new collection of music from electronic musician/composer Alizter James titled BERNing Down the House Vol.1. The set is inspired by the current presidential campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. James’ music doubles as a method of fundraising, as we will be donating 100% of the proceeds to the Sanders campaign. James would like to help spread the word about the candidate he believes in as of now. The 12-track album is a pay what you want download.

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Fuck Mtn.

STRAIGHT PANIC – ‘Life During Wartime’ $5
LDWFive new tracks of filthy power electronics from the front line / behind the wall / within the occupation, and complete audio documentation of LIVE AKTION at MADAME OV THEE ARTS, MPLS. Pro-dubbed, pad-printed crimson ink on black cassettes with pro-printed, 2-sided insert in norelco jewel case, shrinkwrapped. FMLR-020, edition of 50.

FAMILY PLANNING s/t $5
FPSlowly growing fetal tracks, mainly composed from tape-loops and field recordings. Cut-up, destroyed, aborted. Pro-dubbed, pad-printed silver ink on aquamarine cassettes with pro-printed, 2-sided insert in norelco jewel case, shrinkwrapped. FMLR-017, edition of 50.

METH PREDATOR – ‘Bootleg’ $5
MPThe only studio recording ever finished in Meth Predator’s brief existence, plus three live recordings. Crushing, no-holds-barred, total noise fury from this on-again/off-again Minneapolis noise quartet. Black cassette with b/w paper labels, b/w insert in norelco jewel case. FMLR-BL0, edition 0f 50.

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