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.

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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).

Audiozine #3 – Valerie Kuehne

“Valerie I’d like to release a tape of your works on staaltape” – “Great.” somehow didn’t work out. So one day while going through her songs for a far away future conceptual release for staaltape, I got the idea to surprise her with a selection I made. She gave me carte blanche to go on as I thought was right.

The result is that this is not a tape by Valerie, but a tape by me, for which I used her songs and other appearances. I compiled and structured it and in doing so I created a portrait of Valerie Kuehne. Hence, an audiozine, says the editor.

I won’t make a teaser for this album. I even hesitate to publish the song titles. It would spoil too much of your pleasure. You can pre-order directly from Valerie, or from me. There are 13 copies available.

You can find the complete info on this page.

Audiozine #3 - Valerie Kuehne

Audiozine #3 – Valerie Kuehne

Coming soon – C50 release by Slow Slow Loris

Slow Slow Loris is the Berlin based duo formed by Angela Yeowell and Robert Heim. Their tape will be called ‘From Monster till Mourning.’

I have known Angie for a couple of years now, even did some performances with her, but I always had a feeling there was something lacking.

Now I know. It was Robert’s overwhelming at times primordial sonic presence that put Angie’s vocal strangeness in perspective.

Here’s 45 minutes of songs and soundtracks that by times are absolutely sensational.

Rollng Stone magazine would define it the rebirth of rock ‘n’ roll, if only they would know. 

I define it a glorious moment for staaltape.

Release date will be announced soon.

  

4th Edition of Midori Hirano – And I Am Here

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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.

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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.

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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