Midori Hirano/Kris Limbach – The Last Day on Earth, reviewed by Ryan Masteller

Ryan Masteller listens to the tape while the weather reports announce the arrival of a terrifying tornado. He eventually has to evacuate his house on the Florida coast, but he first writes, I’m just a ghoul willing these keys to type themselves with my mind (or my ectoplasm!) in the hope that someone will read this and seek out this tape before it’s too late, this tape that will then assist them in their passing into the great beyond, whatever comes after Earth.

Read the complete review.

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Midori Hirano/Kris Limbach – The Last Day on Earth, reviewed by Ed Pinsent

Ed Pinsent finds content, meaning, and expression in the C30 by Midori and Kris. He enters a world of sounds and describes what he picks up or hears in the distance, beyond the horizon of what might be his last day on earth.

This one arrives in a melted plastic bottle, and the tape is wrapped up in smoked cellophane. The packaging is already warning us that the last day on earth has already happened, leaving a charred globe behind. Evidently this is one of the artefacts that survived. It might have been a nuclear blast, or a meteorite. If the former, this package reminds us of the sad remnants of the survivors of the Hiroshima atom bomb (melted milk bottles, for instance; these can be seen in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum). -Ed Pinsent

Read full review.

Ben Roberts – Unit Audio, reviewed by Ed Pinsent

It takes time. It takes so much time that the tape has sold out. But that is the beauty of it. Understanding arrives always later. First there was intuition. You missed the tape, or you have it, or you don’t care. All is good with me.

You might want to care for these words:

The tape is presented to us as “combinations that produce meanings above and beyond anything the individual parts may have had.” I think this is highly significant; it might indicate something about how we shape our culture, assigning meanings to individual fragments of experience. Maybe nothing really happens to us at all, unless we can turn it into stories or fictions of some kind. After all, every sociologist and his wife are always telling us we need narratives to “make sense of the world”, as they so patronisingly put it. What interests me about this tape by Ben Roberts is how we stand a chance of seeing that very same process in action. If he has done this, it’s a remarkable achievement.

Read the complete review here.

Review of Ben Roberts’ Unit Audio

Ryan Masteller reviewed Ben Roberts’ Unit Audio in Cassette Gods

“Plunderphonics never sounded so cared for, so labored over, as it does on British expat Ben Roberts’s UNIT AUDIO. The now-Madrid-dwelling Roberts has amassed a collection of cassette tapes that he discovered over the years, and the archive serves as the inspiration and the source material for his cassette on Staaltape, the Berlin label run by Rinus van Alebeek and focusing on sound art. Let’s just say that UNIT AUDIO is freaking cornucopia of found sound, pieced together for maximum weirdness and instant likability. It starts strong and stays strong, continuing on its path toward greatness minute by warped-audio minute. Ever thought you’d hear somebody talk about musique concrète that way?”

“Hyperbole aside, what Roberts crafts is surprisingly musical, and although tones tend toward the ambient spectrum, there are some rhythmic elements that appear at points. The pieces are stitched together so that the sounds both flow with each other and collide against themselves, sometimes at the same point, depending on the mood Roberts is trying to create. The result is never less than thrilling, as each new passage reveals surprising new directions and interesting new sources, all of which are fairly mysterious, especially if you’re able to turn off your mind as it tries to process each new sample. (Although, Spice Girls? I knew THAT one at least.) (I don’t know what that says about me.) ”

“What does UNIT AUDIO say about Ben Roberts? It affords a peek into his imagination, surely, where the source material swirls until it coalesces into a sensible whole. Roberts invokes the idea of sehnsucht, meaning there’s a “yearning” or a “longing,” a sense that something is missing or imperfect and that something’s presence will restore the whole. UNIT AUDIO is restless, a time capsule, multiple snapshots of human life superimposed on one another in a confusing mass, the disorder, perhaps oxymoronically, satisfying in its turmoil. The whole is here. What’s missing is within us.”

At the moment Unit Audio is only available as a custom made special edition, made on demand.

Sent out for Review, The Last Day on Earth and Unit Audio

Sent out today to reviewers these two packages. The (Polish) post office across the road still uses stamps, which makes for a beautiful finishing touch. Today’s choice was two big stamps showing a (Polish?) pope blessing the masses and a smaller stamp with a picture of orange flowers.

Any advice on who/where to send copies for review is most welcome.

Also, If you order your tape directly from me, you can expect this kind of packaging.

Of course the tapes are also available directly from Kris Limbach, Ben Roberts aka Eclectiktronik Live and from Guillaume Siffert at the Staalplaat shop in Berlin. Midøri Hiranø‘s personal copies have sold out.

address side of packet for The Sound Projector

Address side of Packet for Cassette Gods

Back side of packet for the Sound Projector

Back side of packet for Cassette Gods

The great success of the project is that it actually sounds like a dream-in-sound

Review of Patrizia Oliva – Numen on Continuo’s Documents.

Copies of the second edition are still available at the staalplaat shop in Berlin, also for mailorders. Once those sell out, I will need to produce a third edition.

liner notes - main image

liner notes – main image

Other Voices

“Oliva takes you on quite a fascinating ride……Great tape in the usual handmade Staaltape fashion.” says FdW in Vital Weekly

“In questi casi il prezzo per copia dovrebbe lievitare al di sopra degli 80 €.” says cassettophobian in sands-zine

“Ganz grosses Kino,” Thomas Neumann in Hörerlebnis 097 (physical copy).

you don’t get this exceptionally high degree of uncut humanity and honesty captured on tape every day

Audiozine #3 – Valerie Kuehne is reviewed by Ed Pinsent in The Sound Projector. He hears “evidence of a wild, peculiar talent.” Read the complete review here.

The second edition is now available at Staalplaat in Berlin (postal orders too), directly from the artist, or from yours sincerely (contact form at bottom of this post).

valeriezine-group-picture

Earlier reviewers-

“I never had heard any other music of Valerie Kuehne, but she has a new follower!” says Johan Nederpel in Yeah, I know it sucks.

“She performs with great style,” says Frans De Waard in Vital Weekly #1032

“Sehr hoher Unterhaltungswert,” says DJ TDK aka Thomas Neumann in Hörerlebnis, Ausgabe 97 (physical copy)