Jeff Surak – All Gold


This is the White Striped Side



This is the Black Striped Side



These are the wraps of the tape.



This is the second collage for the inner pages of the booklet.

I don’t have a picture of the first one because it sold immediately.



This is the third collage.



This is the fourth collage



This is the package for the tape that got sold.


I know Jeff for a long time. If someone would achieve to write the Great American Novel it would produce invisible sounds, sounds Jeff is able to produce, don’t ask me how. It evokes the dream behind the horizon, the eternal song that hangs over a city, the silence at the other side of the window, the scratching of a pen. His music holds the quality of defining an era. Yes I am a fan.

On this cassette are nine tracks to convince you that you are a fan as well. It has a total running time of 40 minutes. The magnetic tape is of chrome quality. The dubbing was done by me with a Marantz PMD 430.

You can get them for 8.50€ + shipping costs.

You can also think that these tapes are worth far more than I ask for; in that case name your price and be sure to get one.

contact me at staaltape at staalplaat dot com

Review of Midori Hirano – And I Am Here

Ed Pinsent stepped out of the elevator, after a ride up to the roof to look at the aeroplanes descent or climb up to the nearest cloud. It was twenty minutes to go up  and twenty minutes to return to street level again. The loudspeakers in the elevator transmitted Midori’s tape.

Here’s what he wrote in The Sound Projector when he came back home.

“And I Am Here (STAALTAPE) by Midori Hirano is the latest cassette tape to arrive from Rinus van Alebeek’s Staaltape label. We have heard instances of classical pianist Hirano’s work before, namely LushRush and Klo:Yuri, both on the Japanese Noble label, records which I’m sorry to say did not endear themselves wholly to me; her work seemed too cloying, sentimental, verging on the twee. To be blunt, her first album was so wispy it struck me as “an avant-garde attempt to make an Enya album” at the time. However, she’s worthy to be included in the Staaltape inner circle, and was one of the many contributors featured on theBerlin Tape Run 2 cassette, so I will attempt to restrain my acerbity.

And I Am Here works well as a good assembly of sounds, namely unadorned field recordings mixed with short passages of music, either Hirano playing an out-of-tune piano, or singing, or both. The notes here indicate that she regards the piano itself as a “found object”, much like the field recordings are “found sounds” on one level. She embraces the fact that the instrument is “strongly detuned”, and there are no efforts to overcome this obstacle. Right there I must admit it’s an improvement on the studio-based process-heavy albums from 2006 and 2008, which just seemed to have one too many interfering layers of additional elements, particularly from her computers. More to the point, And I Am Here works because it integrates the musical passages into the imaginary landscape created by the field recordings, so the tunes are not set aside as “art”, but are rather to be heard as part of the overall continuum of life. Conversely, the field recordings start to sound more like music in this context; and in support of this she has certainly selected some highly positive and user-friendly sounds, evoking sunny days, good weather, children at play. None of the urban squalor or menace which might be conveyed using recordings of factories or over-crowded streets.

At the end, I personally find her tentative voice an irritant, and her minimal piano tunes still appear maudlin to me, but as noted I do appreciate the more rugged and raw abstract tendencies on this assemblage, which I find preferable to her slightly over-produced studio works. As a statement, this cassette is concise and direct with its moments of distilled beauty. At best, moments of the tape are as strong as Eno’s Music For Airports, a comparison I do not make lightly; it’s got the same centre of stillness and calm. 18 copies only in this first edition; I received this copy 10 February 2015. I note from the most current page of the Staaltape website that it’s already up to a fourth edition.”

From this fourth edition there is only one copy left at the staalplaat store in Berlin (mailorder too).

Keep an eye on this blog for the announcement with pictures and all of the upcoming release:

Jeff Surak – All Gold

2015-09-02 17.23.11

On this picture the first packing of Jeff’s tape. Pictures of booklet and ultimate packet still to come.



4th Edition of Midori Hirano – And I Am Here


The fourth edition of Midori Hirano’s tape comes again in a limited edition. There are ten copies made. When you look at the pictures you might understand why I cannot make bigger numbers.


Not in the picture are the central pages of the booklet where you will find a short story. Once these copoes are gone, I -or maybe Midori- will start working on a fifth edition.


This is how it looks like in the shop.

Find more staaltape releases in the staalplaat catalogue.

Complete information on Midori Hirano – And I Am Here

3rd Edition of Midori Hirano – And I Am Here


These are the ten copies of Midori Hirano’s cassette release for staaltape, And I Am Here. It is the third edition. And this one is entirely made by Midori, the artist edition. I have no idea what you have to pay for it. As I can judge from the picture alone, this tape goes beyond any standard cassette release. Write to Midori and find out for yourself. The tapes shown in the picture will not become available at the staalplaat shop in Berlin.

I am very glad Midori proposed to produce one edition by herself. It adds a new quality and character to staaltape. The deeply rooted connection with Berlin is ensured as well. If the possibility arises I will surely encourage other artists who appear on staaltape to make an artist edition.

Said this, I can announce that work on my own fourth edition of Midori’s tape has started. The tape will arrive at the shop in Berlin by the end of July.

More releases will arrive in the coming months: New Gold by Jeff Surak, Conrad Clipper – Cycle of Liminal Rites and Slow Slow Loris – From Monster to Mourning.

Some titles from staaltape are still available.

Review of :such: -Truth Series and Diktat in America by Ed Pinsent in The Sound Projector


Ed Pinsent writes:

“The first one I played is The Truth About Cassius Clay, recorded and realised by a Parisian musician called :such:. The cassette has a hand-made collage cover, layers from glossy magazines pasted together almost like papier-mache. I suppose the first observation would be that it’s simply gorgeous, beautiful music. It’s so approachable and accessible that I can recommend this without hesitation..”


and he writes:

“This fascinating document may not persuade you to follow the music of Diktat, but it will pass on a vivid picture of travel, city life, meetings, people, and the richness of all these things rubbing shoulders in the same melting pot. Without explicitly setting out to capture the “truth” about Washington DC or NYC, this fragmentary-collaged approach (sourced from the tape recorders of all three dictaphone performers) in fact reveals more about direct experiences of places than would be possible with a more considered or formal field-recording / phonography approach.”

You can find the complete review here.

Why the review/half essay is called Eat the Document, you can find out here.

The tapes by :such: and Diktat are available here.

Thanks Ed for Cabinessence, and thus for the great documentary Beautiful Dreamer, Brian Wilson and the story of ‘Smile,’ and now for the BobDoc.


2nd Edition of Midori Hirano – And I Am Here

The second edition of Midori Hirano will be out on 4. May. It is an edition of ten copies. Midori will get four, staalplaat the shop will have five. One will be send to a customer.

The first edition of eighteen copies is sold out. The four copies that went to the staalplaat shop in Berlin were sold within ten hours.

You might like to pre-order from Midori.

Here’s an overview of the other staaltape releases at the Staalplaat (on-line) shop.

Midori Hirano – And I Am Here reviewed: “Wonderfully Poetic”

On 30. January Midori’s tape became available. The staalplaat shop received four orders within ten hours. Of the twelve copies Midori received only a few are left.

I will start working on a new edition, probably with slightly different artwork. Pictures of that ongoing process will be published on staaltape’s twitter account, appear also in the sidebar at your right.

FdW wrote a review in Vital Weekly:
“Midori uses here field recordings from Europe and Japan, which she uses as a backdrop to her piano playing, and that piano is a found object itself, so it detuned a lot over the years. It makes it all wonderfully poetic and intimate music. You hear some birds twitter outside and down the hall someone is playing this detuned piano.”

“It’s a bit like one of those releases on the Japanese Flau label, but with an even more lo-fi approach when it comes to recording. Nothing about this is perfect but that’s the beauty of it. Like someone recorded this on a cassette over some time, sticking random events together. Excellent release, so let’s hope there will be a second, bigger edition.”