New label: Jasień

It seems like there are so many cool labels, projects and bands popping up in my country every month (every week, even!), I could easily change the name of the blog to Awesome Tapes from Poland and still keep the same rate of posting, if not higher. This time, following the footsteps of Sangoplasmo, DUNNO Recordings, BDTA and Wounded Knife (to name a very few) is the fresh Warsaw based label Jasień. The label debuts with two cassettes.

The first release is Hang by the Warsaw shoegaze band Evvolves. With a strangely psychedelic, messy cover comes a surprisingly strong and gentle distorted dream pop, with some beautifully reverbed vocals, leaving ghostly vapors all over the place (maybe that’s why the artwork seems informed by vaporwave in some twisted, prophetic way?). The songs come off as well-rounded and greatly executed, as if culled from the golden era of shoegaze.

The next release will be probably already known to the readers of Weed Temple, because the second cassette by the Jasień label is 30 Minut tape by Jakub Lemiszewski, one of my favorite Polish experimental artists. This album was already featured on WT, and it’s doubly great to see this collection released in a material format. Barbaric, crazy plunderphonics combining spoken word passages with faux-luxury sleazewave stuck somewhere between 1991, Negativland and some ultra lo-fi slowcore stuck deep in the woods (or in the bedroom, at least).

You can visit Jasień on Facebook.

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Virtual- 420 - 240p

It seems that while the musical stylings of vaporwave are now largely exhausted (because, let’s face it, how long can you make patchworks of spliced and slowed down 80’s pop?), the visual weirdness connected to that micro-genre are still very much alive and kicking. In fact, it seems that other genres are catching up with the vaporwave game, and the fractured hip hop of Virtual- 420 are a fine example of the initially satirical and plunderphonic stylical signifiers to create a laid back, almost psychedelic atmosphere. “these hands” combine Madlib-like beat with screams and something that in general sounds like domestic abuse. The title of the album, 240p refers to one of the lowest available resolutions on YouTube and it resonates the slight nostalgia of the time when it was the default resolution, as well as a twisting of the cannabis enthustiast cult number 420, used in the project’s name. Of course, there would be no cool rap without some slowed down samples and smeared r’n’b ooze, so there are some mutual tropes between the worlds of luxury rap and faux-luxury vaporwave. Interesting curio, check it out.

Virtual- 420 - 240p

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Jetman Jet Team - Music For the Metabolists

Referring to and inspiring their tape work on the 1960’s group of experimental Japanese architects named Metabolists, the Seattle group Jetman Jet Team delves deep into the realms of tape music and hauntology, composing a new album from the patchwork of found sounds and melodies collected from countless cassettes. Re-imagining the vintage future of 1960’s Japan connected by superblocks and living machines, Jetman Jet Team take a radical approach and change the surface of the musical landscape, just like the metabolists wanted to change Japan, creating new versions of Tokyo or building cities like living bodies. This music is pulsing, as if living its own life, with lots of alien-like activity going on below the surface.

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Beat Detectives - ASSCOP

At first I thought that the name “Beat Detectives" couldn’t be any further from the kind of zonked out, bastardized plunderphonics that this Minneapolis based trio were putting forthe on their previous cassettes. But with ASSCOP, a hiliarously sleazy cassette on 1080p they finally get to the source of their name, shovelling through weird half-beats, burned out club vibes and samples from commercials splattered all over the place. Somewhere betweeen the sneer of vaporwave and the legitimate weirdness of Madlib’s psilocybin rap masterpiece The Unseen, the new release by Beat Detectives walks the line of psychedelic misunderstandings and comic-like aesthetics, crowned with a title straight outta Gunshow.

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D/P/I - Fresh Roses

The way that Los Angeles based Alex Gray went from his beginnings in Dreamcolour and then his early Deep Tapes days with his glassy drones under his Deep Magic moniker to his newest sound collagist project D/P/I (also known as DJ/PURPLE/IMAGE) are like a story of a man who comes from the Amazonian rainforest straight to the Silicon Valley to get employed in Google, Facebook or some other Internet/IT giant with their futuristic, clean offices and imagined spaces for play, rest and work. On Fresh Roses, Gray takes sampled pieces or original collection of beats oscillating somewhere around IDM and twists them around, turning them into glitched-out pluderphonic collages filled with mismatched sounds and stained with digital distortion. Motivational speeches are rained upon with a storm of metallic clicks and cuts with lost transmission of lazy vaporwave and some more clicks and cuts again and so on… Gray definitely gets bonus points for defining a clear and interesting visual side to the project, too - mixing carefully positioned typography with minimalistic layouts featuring screencaps and Google Image Search suggestions.

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E+E - The Light That You Gave Me to See You

Los Angeles based Bolivian American Elijah Paul Crampton travels through musical traditions and times with his E+E project, fusing ambient aesthetics with pop singers and machismo-packed booming dance rhythms (check out this review for more detail behind E+E musical inspirations). On his newest self-release The Light That You Gave Me to See You he mixes penchant for skillful sample work and evocative sound collages (try not to think about crucifictions on some of these tracks, I dare you) into an emotional, dense and ragged beauty that is playfully hidden behind the cheap-as-fuck, kitschy cover.

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Gobby - Wakng Thrst For Seeping Banhee

There seems to be some weird weirdo psychic network over there in New York City. Like CHUDs or something, these individuals connect their skewed, horrorific plunderphonic vision and throw it back at us amplified tenfold. First James Ferraro with his post-everything mutant collages and now the mysterious Gobby, debuting with his first full-length on UNO NYC!, titled Wakng Thrst For Seeping Banhee (sic!). Recalling the deeply psychedelic spoken word passages and cut-up samplescapes of Negativland, Gobby collects the resin from the collective mind of the Internet and translates it into digital madness with titles such as “Season 1 Episode 5”, “Kill Dog Because Hungry” or “Like If You Pee On The Side of the Bowl”, recalling Facebook status messages or Google search results. If Far Side Virtual was the glossy mall, then Wakng Thrst For Seeping Banhee is the scrapyard.

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Digital Natives - It’s All Point Blank

Among the high output of releases by Floridian native Jeffrey Astin’s Digital Natives project, the demand for suspended and looping funky, sweaty beats never stops, as if this was the height of the disco era and Astin was the top selling, ultimate DJ selling out entire convention halls and stadiums with his concerts, crafting out one infectious, looped antem after another like it’s always 1977. Somewhere between vaporwave and Amon Tobin, it relies heavily on electronic repetitious revelation as well as slow, narcotic mystery unfolding endlessly before the listener in some sort of a haze emerging late at nigth and fitting late night listening. It’s all about mixing bossa nova with funk this time, trying something slightly new, because there’s a plethora of genres to be explored. Sometimes I think Digital Natives is there in order to check the looping and sampling qualities of all the genres that are there. So we might expect some Digital Natives built on emo punk or black metal in the future. That might be great. Loop all music. Recommended!

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Luxury Elite - TV Party

If you’re still falling for the sleazy artifice of vaporwave in mid-2014, there’s still this narcotic looping sex-pop gem from Luxury Elite, a cassette from Orange Milk Records entited TV Party. This is some perfect slow evening/small house party set-up for the relaxed home environment. A bottle of wine, a relaxing screensaver is set up your Windows 95 personal computer. And a woman of your dreams on your side… Except her name ends with a .jpg. Or .avi. Or .mov. Or .gif. But hey, you’ve still got this amazing cassette by Luxury Elite in your cassette player, or at least the .mp3 or .flac version in your tabletop 2.0 speakers! So don’t worry, get carried anyway with your favorite wine and your favorite Evening Relaxation Sound Setup[tm] from Luxury Elite Sound Systems Inc. Download it to your HDD today!

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Genetics and Windsurfing - Audio Stream Continuum

Yet another oddity from the newest batch of tapes from the Brooklyn trippertronics label Orange Milk Records. “Genetics and Windsurfing” sound strange put right beside each other. Like a mis-match in the thick yellow pages book or a department in the shopping centers of the future. Anyway, as heard on the tape, fusing a watersport with one of the most advanced fields of science can prove in some sound mutations gone amok. The solo work by Poland’s Daniel Jaśniewski keeps on delivering explosion after explosion of glitched out confusion littered with harsh notes and disjointed rhythms, sandwiched between the coldest Autechre moments and the fucked up dada beat collages of NHK’Koyxeи. Certainly challenging, undeniably adventurous.

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Ryan Emmett - Portrait of a Dog

Orange Milk label already got me used to their weird brand of weird music and their new batches make me always jumpy and eager to bite into their meticulously illustrated soundworlds container inside. With the four stages of transition featured on the cover, the cassette by Ryan Emmett indeed proves to deny itself of any other all-encompasing description than the laconic “experimental” at the bottom of the Bandcamp page. With the perception shifting toward the more primal, animistic nature (hence the tape’s name), the synth patchwork becomes more sinister and wailing, chaotic and droning, but still detached from reality with tape warps and garbled hiss. There are no maps for this territory. Be careful, have your knife always ready. This is no man’s land - maybe you’ll salvage something.

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Lutto Lento - Unlucky

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Lutto Lento (sometimes also written as DJ Lutto Lento) is the musical endeavor of Sangoplasmo Records manager Lubomir Grzelak. The sound of Unlucky sees Grzelak plunge into the plunderphonics/sound collage field, previously explored by artists such as Sultan HagavikJakub Lemiszewski or Jakub AdamecIt’s a mighty strange cross between 90’s/early 2000’s dance music aesthetics, mangled vocal samples (some of them taken from English lesson CD’s!) and endless warping and distortion of the magnetic tape, sounding like a horrific mutation of an English learning TV program where the characters accidentally ingest some bad acid and go on a bad trip to hell and back.

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Jakub Lemiszewski - 30 Minut

Polish sound deconstructor Jakub Lemiszewski makes music that slips away from any easy definitions, which can be ranged from plunderphonics or vaporwave to weird lo-fi, synth driven slowcore and it still would be too narrow to describe a weird, dadaistic gallery of sounds and symbols on “30 Minut”. Taking samples from the strangest of places (the opening piece “91” sets snippets from old Polish advertisements and news commentary to the pimpin, funky beat in the vein of Jeffry Astin’s Digital Natives project). In the latter half the album becomes a collection of strange, forgotten video game soundtracks played with the most basic, skeletal computer equipment available. Kinda like a more cheesy and parodistic answer to Sweden’s 1991.

Download “30 Minut” here

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Gobby - Lantern EP & Above Ground

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Who the heck is Gobby? The most whacked out new kid on the block, that’s who. And straight outta the UNO NYC camp, no less: here comes some Dada electronics! Imagine James Ferraro doing doing seedy garage beats together with post-everything wizard Zac Nelson and a bit of Negativland-style plunderphonics to boot, and you might come just this little bit closer to describing Gobby’s glowing, hyperkinetic sound. Fucked up waporwave/warped synth pop aesthetics meet even more fucked up techno and house deconstructions in this pile-up of accidental sounds. Recommended!

Just click the covers in order to download respective albums. Or click below:

Lantern EP

Above Ground

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Kordian Trudny - Odrzuty

Now here’s a weirdo gem from my home country. And I don’t give a damn if you know Polish or not, because this right here is some of the smartest, most psychotic and intentionally cheesy and hilarious plunderphonics since Negativland with wonderful use of samples. If you listen to this high, you might have a better trip than with some overblown space rock jam band. Seriously! And if you understand Polish, you might just be reaching the next level of existence.

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