Strategic Tape Reserve

HAWN – ‘For A Ride’ C33
HAWN’s third release, For A Ride, takes us into new territory, perhaps somewhere between no-wave and synth noise. Lee’s soulful, agitated vocals chronicle hyper-realistic, darkly-funny narratives which unfold over Craun’s heavy, glitched-out synth landscapes – sputtering digital slabs, unexpected zaps and an ever-shifting stereo field – which heighten the sense of disorientation embedded in the lyrics. The conjured atmospheres are somehow both familiar and unsettling, a feeling like trying to return to normalcy in the aftermath of some tragic, inexplicable, and possibly absurd event. While described in the past as a folk band, HAWN pull traditional songwriting ideas to deformed extremes, and in the process, create a crumbling, frightening, beautiful world. HAWN is two people: John Craun, who plays synth and produces, and Michael Jeffrey Lee, who dances and sings. “For A Ride” was recorded at Thank Tank in New Orleans, LA. All songs Craun/Lee concoctions. The album is dedicated to Alex Chilton, who, in the last decade of his life, would occasionally appear at the Thai restaurant where Craun and Lee worked to order a Pad Thai, with beef.

moduS ponY & VLK split C30
Senior figures at the Strategic Tape Reserve are thought to be very pleased upon the public dissemination of the organization’s 24th music release: a shared cassette between long-time STR contributors, the California-based moduS ponY, and Cologne’s VLK. Early on the the composition process the co-creators of the music on this cassette exchanged digital folders containing audio files – guitar melodies, baselines, synth drones, field samples and other miscellaneous sound items. These sound-seeds instigated the tracks which you can now hear – providing, if nothing else, a common framework linking the two halves of the release. When the white side of the cassette is facing outward from a standard tape player, listeners will experience moduS ponY’s playful, multi-instrumentalist, genre-defying compositions. Turn over the cassette to the red side and now the stereo will play VLK’s post-vaporous synth noise and mutated-sample sounds. In the spirit of Adriatic ports, gymnastic displays of groinal flexibility and low-temperature banana confections, we hope you enjoy this evenly-divided, two-person cassette.

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