NNA Tapes

Tredici Bacci – ‘The Thirteen Kisses Cassetta’ C32
Tredici Bacci is 14-piece group of young musicians from Boston, Massachusetts under the impressive orchestral direction of Simon “Luxardo” Hanes, perhaps best known for his madman bass playing in Guerilla Toss. Their debut “cassetta” serves as a celebration of a musical era, fostered by a unique, exciting, and rapidly changing time in history. Tredici Bacci harnesses the essence of classic 1960’s and 1970’s Italian film score music, bathing in the luscious tunes contained within Commedia all’italiana, Giallo slasher, and Spaghetti Western soundtracks. Hanes makes excellent use of traditional orchestration techniques in these pieces, creating a vast sound by employing emotive strings, breezy winds, and an extremely in-the-pocket notated rhythm section. Hanes also beautifully employs the use of the soloist as a thematic melodic voice, with rich, beautiful trumpet playing from Jake Baldwin complimenting the sultry vocals of Sami Stevens. No instrument is ever overpowering and each one plays it’s role perfectly, fitting together seamlessly against the meditative rhythms and varying tempos. There’s a tremendous amount of range in these pieces, from the sensitive and melancholy to the playful and upbeat – at times the music conveys an air of classy sophistication, and at other times it’s drenched in cheap perfume and prurience. This balance of cosmopolitan elegance and steamy funk is what makes “The Thirteen Kisses Cassetta” shine, calling upon all the juiciest elements of orchestral jazz, lounge, pop psychedelia, softcore soundtracks, library music, and the romantic spirit of classic film scores in the vein of Armando Trovaioli, Ennio Morricone, and Bruno Nicolai. A refreshing collection of arrangements in the “pen and sheet music” tradition that defy personal expression and instead favor mood and timelessness. Comes with free MP3 download coupon.

Laplante/Dunn/Smith – ‘Ancestral Instrument’ C60
“Ancestral Instrument” documents the musical meeting of three friends: Travis Laplante (Little Women, Battle Trance), Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle, Fantômas, John Zorn), and Ches Smith (Marc Ribot, Secret Chiefs 3, Fred Frith). Existing in the cracks of avant-garde jazz, contemporary classical, indigenous world music, and soul, “Ancestral Instrument” captures an evening of improvisation that took place at IBEAM, a small loft space in Brooklyn, on December 14th, 2013. There was a fierce snowstorm that night, and only a handful of people trudged through the brutal weather to attend the concert. IBEAM served as an oasis, a respite from the cold, with people literally coming into the room to thaw out. This was the first time the three musicians gathered together in a classic saxophone trio formation (tenor saxophone, double bass, drums), and also marks Laplante’s recorded debut in a purely improvised setting. Before the concert began, the musicians established an unspoken agreement that the music would have no expectations, nothing to prove, and no style to fill – only that its sounds should be followed. “Ancestral Instrument” is a document of this sound, a talisman of the thawing that took place that evening. Comes with free MP3 download coupon.

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High School Romance

Nostalgic Home Highways – ‘Astral Plane/Behind The Light’ CS $5
AstralPlane_BehindTheLight_100pxA pair of 5 plus minute lofi IDM/downtempo tracks by Canadian artist Nostalgic Home Highways. Recorded winter 2013-2014 in Trent Hills, ON, Canada. Available as digital download and cassette.

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I Had An Accident

Loop Minded Individuals – ‘A Hitchhiker’s Guide To A Verse’ C38 $8
loopordieThe idea of taking the listener through a journey is one that gets tossed around frequently by artists. But with “Loop Minded Individuals: A Hitchhikers Guide to A Verse,” ESH the Monolith and Intrikit look to take that concept one step further. ESH and Intrikit – producer/MCs representing Boston and Norwich, CT., respectively – spearhead the 10-track project, a throwback to gritty late-’90s rap compilations that aims to bring together some of the finest up-and-coming vocalists in independent music. Loosely inspired by the Douglas Adams’ novel its name pays homage to, the album invites an array of MCs and singers to hop on soundscapes, sharing their story with ESH and Intrikit and, in turn, the listener. “We used this album as an opportunity to work with some of the talented people we’ve met around the country. We wanted to have a wide range of voices, each bringing their unique story and perspective,” says ESH, whose previous projects include 2009’s “The ADDventures of an E.ccentric S.uper H.ero,” 2011’s “Invisible” (with producer Dox Ellis) and, most recently, “Nightworks,” a collaboration with AR Classic producer The Arcitype. Aside from ESH and Intrikit (whose own work includes the 2013 DIM release “Bright Ideas”), “Loop Minded Individuals” features vocals from Elucid, Moe Pope, Roc Doogie, Romen Rok, Has-Lo, Teddy Faley, F. Virtue, DeeBee, the Kreators, Seez Mics (Educated Consumers), Grey Sky Appeal and others. Renowned turntablists Emoh Betta and DJ Merf also make contributions. “We tried to construct a cohesive picture which a bunch of loose puzzle pieces,” ESH says. “We hope the listener enjoys the ride.”

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Sacred Phrases

Guenter Schlienz – ‘Treehut Visions’ CS $7.5(US)/$11.5(CAN)/$14.5(WORLD)
May the complex rhythms, supported by its troughs and troches, mend what you’re missing. It gives another half of what you need. Gently, breezy, slightly elevated, languid, nonchalant, with you. For you. Recorded Spring 2013 in Stuttgart/Germany with a DIY modular synthesizer. Mastered by Niko. Inspired by childhood memories and Jack Kerouac’s “Visions” novels. “The world of raging action and folly and also of gentle sweetness seen through the keyhole of my eye.” Pro-dubbed, limited edition of 100. Digital copy included with tape purchase.

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Rotifer

RC86: SUMBU DUNIA – ‘UNMANKIND’ C35
edition of 50. Hesitation-free cross stitches from Rui Nogueiro (a.k.a. Lace Bows). Duplicated on type II, chrome cassettes. Spray painted shells, color inserts. Comes with a free download code.

RC87: I AM JUST A PUPIL – ‘WILD’ C37
edition of 50. Seek the creek ritual alley walks courtesy of Josh Clark. Duplicated on type II, chrome cassettes. Spray painted shells, color inserts. Comes with a download code.

RC88: F P H – ‘P L N T’ C30
edition of 50. Further furling out, Paul Hares and friend (F) stray to the remote. Duplicated on type II, chrome cassette. Spray painted shells, color inserts. Comes with a download code.

RC89: DEMONSTRATION SYNTHESIS – ‘DS2′ C37
edition of 50. Serene configurations designed by Daniel Leznoff. A proper follow up to DS1. Duplicated on type II, chrome cassettes. Spray painted shells, color inserts. Comes with a download code.

RC90: RAY PHAZE TROPIC – ‘MOTELLO FISH’ C32
edition of 100. Solar waiting room to a monorail instilled future varnished by Ben Jarvi (RPT). Duplicated on type II, chrome cassettes. Spray painted shells, color inserts. Comes with a download code

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Hare Akedod

ŌGON BATTO C46
007-OGONBATTO!Limited Edition of 80 smokey clear pro-dubbed cassettes with white print. in black cassette case with black screenprinted golden j-card and fullcolour insert. Music by Bent Von Bent. “Ōgon Batto is the alter ego of soundshamanist Bent Von Bent, co-runner of the Hare Akedod label and group. The sounds gathered on this magnetic shiner root deeply in the subconscious with it’s nightmarish fever blues and goldplated shimmering rays of electronic fuzzwash”

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Bunkland

Mark Dicker – ‘Talk of the University’
IMG_20140421_162417Mark Dicker played a vital part in London heroes Trencher’s sonic assault, providing the Casio for the three-piece’s unique take on grind. Now a member of Palehorse, he has been tinkering away with solo work, playing shows and recording as Twilit Grotto. Having dropped that moniker, Talk of the University sees mark reducing the scree of 2013’s Holiday Snaps (Beartown) and Full English Hernia (Vacant Fulfilment) to an absolute minimum, forcing one to think about space and sound. The three pieces on talk of the university explore sparseness in a fashion that creates a taut, surreal sound world, excitingly reminiscent of the work of Coil and Nurse With Wound. In an edition of 50 pro-dubbed prison tapes featuring Mark’s own art and layout by Half A Pigeon of Sly & the Family Drone fame.

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Hospital Productions

Ninos Du Brasil – ‘Novos mistérios’ CD/LP
HOS411_Dist_Preview-660x660Ninos Du Brasil is the Italian battery of Nicolò Fortuni and Nico Vascellari. ‘Novos Mistérios’ follows their debut LP for La Tempesta International/Tannen Records with an acutely stripped down blend of mostly “live” recorded percussion and explorative electronic sound design. The project, and album, is a radical inversion and consolidation of the duo’s respective backgrounds in performance art, punk bands Inspired by the febrile humidity and sensory overload of Brasilian carnival music, they temper layeres of roiling, propulsive percussion with electronic drones, effects and tribalist vocals to militant, hypnotic effect. Six tracks charge between technoid polymetrics, kinky minimalism and meditative ritual with particular focus on rhythmelodic cadence and carefully constructed atmospheres of festive evil.

Ivy Barkakati – ‘Star Report’ CS
HOS-414_Dist_Preview-660x660Ivy Barkakati is a Barcelona-based artist/DJ,who co-runs the Anòmia label with Arnau Sala. Rhythmic, propulsive electronics recalling the lush, synth based moments of Alberich fall between dream-like, sudsy, coastal shores at the foot of colossal medieval cathedrals. Winding stone streets scurry, new lovers meet, hearts full of red wine while ominous gossip fills the ears of old revolutionaries. Edition of 100.

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Fleeting Youth

FYR007: Champ s/t CS
FYR007Red-tinted cassette tape with full-color 3-panel j-card. In the same vein as Cali counterparts Wavves, San Diego-based foursome CHAMP play a punchy form of garage rock that’s rooted in punk and 90s alternative. On their debut self-titled album, the quartet build a distinct sound fusing moody punk with experimental effects, noisy guitars, and ear worm melodies. This stellar unveiling also proves CHAMP to be one of the most exciting bands on the rise unafraid to represent dejected youth and the darker side of sunny California.

FYR008: Dirty River s/t CS
FYR008Smoky tiny cassette with gold ink and full-color 3-panel j-card with lo-fi photography from the band. Hailing from Rhinebeck, New York, Dirty River is rock trio that deliver debauched experiences and fantasies deadpan over serpentine open D rhythms. Their alternative take on lo-fi/rock/blues develops thick and murky like jungle fog, giving weight to lead singer Forrest Hackenbrock’s stark, blasé breath. His tales of numbness, despair, and depravity are matched with wanton guitar fuzz and naked downbeats that feel uncomfortable yet alluring to the ears, like dirty secrets.

FYR009: Clouder – ‘Sister Raygun’ CS
FYR009Dark blue cassette cassette tape with full-color 3-panel j-card featuring a vivid painting-turned-cover by Chad Turner. 2014 sees Clouder reemerging with their sophomore album, Sister Raygun, after an 8 month hiatus full of personal trials and tribulations for some members that almost led to the band’s demise. The emotional turmoil and intensity weathered during this break can be felt throughout 10 explosive tracks, as themes of anxiety, paranoia, debauchery, loneliness, reverie, and psychedelic esotericism inflame equally overwrought rhythms. The frazzled sense of urgency on this album reflects not only the cathartic themes, but the excitement and chaos of coming back together as a band after a long period of uncertainty. The beginnings of the album were fleshed out by Clouder’s rhythm section (Max, Jim, Steve, and Matt) in their Brooklyn practice space and then sent off to lead singer Eric Gilstrap who was living in North Carolina. After months of immersing themselves in writing and recording rough demos back and forth, Clouder rekindled in producer Jeff Berner’s (Psychic TV, Heliotropes, Dead Stars) Brooklyn studio and left it ablaze with Sister Raygun in hand.

FYR011: Habits – ‘Unselves in Arrival’ CS
FYR011Pro-dubbed cassette tape with full-color 3-panel j-card full of Habits’ signature trippy digi art. Habits is the synthesizer/sample based musical vision of Los Angeles based songsmith and cat owner, Dustin Krapes. Driving rhythms and a psychedelic collage of otherworldly synths provide the sonic backdrop to Dustin’s lofty metaphysical themed lyrics, typically delivered in a nonchalant speak-sing style of crooning. Habits’ revolving cast of collaborators currently includes professional wrestling hall of famer Dithy Ramb on drums and vegan taxidermy expert Gabriel Armenta on bass.

FYR012: Rasputin’s Secret Police – ‘Comfortable’ CS
FYR012Green tinted cassette tape with full-color 3-panel j-card. Comfortable is considered RSP’s magnum opus. It’s the answer to the question of “What album do I start with if I’m going to listen to RSP.” Despite it being their most DIY release, it’s their most focused and accessible. Recorded on a Tascam 8-track digital recorder above a fishing and hunting retailer in Drexel Hill, PA, the album captures RSP’s raw intensity as Ayres’ fervid, semi-disturbed croons ride his equally ardent guitar scrapes while Phillips’ impassioned drumming forces sweat beads to roll off your own head. The lo-fi, DIY quality of the recordings were left untouched, but it adds something extra to the sound they found during these sessions.

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Sonic Meditations

SM055 KÖHN - ‘Moon Rabbit’ CS
SM055CS.inddThis tape consists of edits, four different live shows that I played in 2012. ‘Impoverization’ and ‘Too little people in a too little room’ were recorded in Ghent, the city I live in. ‘The Jorgmund Pipe’ was recorded in Brussels, Belgium, on an evening I shared the stage (or rather the floor of the house, since it was a house concert) with the wonderful ‘Embryo’. The title is taken from the novel ‘The Gone-Away World’ by Nick Harkaway, it’s the name of the pipe that encircles the post-apocalyptic world and that sprays FOX in order to create a ‘livable zone’. I recommend reading it. ‘Slaapstaat’ was recorded in Heerlen, Netherlands on an evening I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Pimmon. It was ten years ago we met for the first time, though it didn’t feel like that.” – Jürgen De Blonde Limited to 100 Cassettes + download.

SM056 AARON MARTIN – ‘Chapel Floor’ CS
SM056CS.inddA collection of 2 live radio performances. “Instruments are like money: when you use, something inside you is purchased. And like money, music resounds for a long time as aftermath. However unlike money, music is priceless, and that’s apothesis of Aaron Martin’s creations wholly. On “Chapel Floor”, “Piece 5″, Martin meanders in an opening reverie of satisfying loop, a hotspot for connectivity with the listener who just lets his or her mind wander. “Autism”, consequently, vies for attention with a special gift, the harmonica-esque ransom a bill poster for the positive aspects of cello.” – Fluid Radio Limited to 100 Cassettes + download.

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