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

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NEW: dj ShluchT – eine nervtötende Geräumigkeit

dj Shlucht’s release for staaltape is copied on a collection of sealed Türktapes. The dubbing was done at home. Shlucht prepared two master tapes for the 4track. Marantz CP430 copied the master.

I used the original covers. Every copy has a different aphorism by ShluchT.

The mix in this release was orginally made for Radio Cashmere. ShluchT had invited me for a short interview. I sat in the comfortable Cashmere lounge and listened. I liked what I heard. I also noted that ShluchT had developed an exceptional skill in mixing material, music that was given to him as a present or a reward for his help. I recognised the small fun fragments that give so much breathing space to a mix. I heard how he could avoid density, monotony and repetition.

This is ShluchT.

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Now some words that you can skip. I write these words, because, being responsible for this label, I can not justify a release with this simple statement: I like it. Here I go.

It is okay, of course, to produce your own sounds, sometimes as part of an introspective process. With this release I want to open a new series. I feel that some djs whose work I have encountered take the creative process to a next level. The work overcomes the balance between failure and liberation. It is good, because it animates a space through sound. The dj disappears. His work doesn’t have a signature. Traces of moral judgement are absent; there is no reflection of a self. The work of dj ShluchT is about being without the moment.

This tape is a mixtape: recycled sounds for recycled cassettes.

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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.

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