Jeff Surak – All Gold, new copies

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I have made eight new copies of Jeff Surak’s release.

It is an edition limited to eight, because I just want to see if these copies will sell. Staaltape is not a million seller.

You can get them from me at a price of 6.50€ ex shipping.

You can get them also from staalplaat, where they will be available at the beginning of March 2016.

More info and pictures of this edition.

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Jeff Surak – All Gold

FdW writes about this release

“He’s been around for… I don’t know… more than thirty years and somehow never got the recognition he deserves: Jeff Surak. In the 80s a cornerstone in the world of cassettes, with his Watergate Tapes (he is from Washington, DC) and later on, still at it with a label, Zeromoon and his solo music as 1348 and the group New Carrollton, later on with Sovmestnoye Predpriyatiye when he lived in Russia, and, again later, as V. These days he also curates the excellent Sonic Circuits festival.”

“If I recall this well, it was at Zeromoon I first heard of Rinus van Alebeek, who is these days responsible for Staaltape, the original label name for what many people now know as Staalplaat. These days the tapes are very limited, and have a package in which a lot of labour goes before it is finished. Of this particular tape there were ten made, and new ones will only made once these are gone.”

“It’s not easy to say what Surak does here: it seems that he moves, partially at least, away from the world of drones, sound effects and computer treatments and works around with field recordings more than before, although in one case leaving them untreated/as is. There is also a bit more loops/rhythm in his current work (there was a lot of repetition in 1348). In the various pieces on this tape, Surak explores the minimalism of sounds and puts them together in some highly varied pieces.”

“The somewhat grainy lo-fi textures of his sounds seem present in almost all of these pieces, which is what ties these pieces together. I am not sure how he achieves this quality but it sounds great. Sometimes it reminded me of the very early Cabaret Voltaire, both in ambience and in execution of the music. Experimental, electronic, even a bit krautrock like, but all firmly on the lo-fi side. A great release! Certainly that deserves to be out there more than a handful beautiful copies; it would be even great if there was a possibility to download this!”

There won’t be a possibility to download this, except for these excerpts.





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This is the package for the tape that got sold.

*****

contact me at staaltape at staalplaat.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

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

 

 

NEW! Audiozine #1 – Glenn Branca

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The cassette comes in a custom made cardboard package with  X-Ray pictures on the front and back side. The inlay is a high quality color print, plus a written piece of paper with the basic liner notes. Every copy has a different X-ray.

Price 8.00 Euro, available through staaltape at staalplaat.com or directly from the shop.

In how far this is an Audiozine, is of course to be judged by the listener. It was my intention to combine elements of essay-writing, travelogues, documentary and, in this case, docu-fiction.

If to some of you it still sounds like music, well, then let it sound like music!

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D I K T A T in the New World of Love

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September 26th – October 3rd 2012, D I K T A T performed – inside/outside – in Allentown, Washington & New York, meanwhile recording material for a limited edition documentary pocket tape audiozine cassette-only release on STAALTAPE.

credits
released 10 August 2012
Jean Bordé (double bass), Emmanuel Rébus (dictaphones), Rinus van Alebeek (dictaphones), Harold Schellinx (dictaphones).