purple tape

cassette_purple_sml

 

Lot of tapes on here just lately. Why is that? I’m perplexed and conflicted by the whole tape thing to be honest. I mean, they look nice don’t they? A cassette is a far more interesting and engaging object than a disc (vinyl or compact) but who actually plays the buggers anymore? A few years ago I got rid of a car that had a tape deck and that was the end for me, I do have the occasional pang of regret at junking boxes and boxes of tapes, especially when I find I don’t have a copy of something on any other format. Still, it wasn’t a great format, prone to being chewed up by the machine and difficult to find tracks on by spooling through. The best thing about tapes was you could create your own, from records, TV, the radio, your own voice and so on. All easier and quicker to do with those darn computers these days. That’s not why they’re back though is it? It’s just a pleasing lump of plastic to hold and smell and rub against you, so you don’t feel the money you paid out for the digital files you’re listening to was foolish, is that it? That sort of implies the music is worthless unless it has physical form, what the hell? Voodoo magical thinking. Would a label sell more bandcamp downloads if you got a twin pack of plastic water pistols from poundland through your letterbox on the release date? Anyway, in an odd move Low Point have just put out Kogumaza’s ‘Kолокол’ album from a couple of years back in a limited run of 100 purple C43 cassettes. Hurry if that’s a thing you would want, you can even get a bundle with the first album both on cassette if you’re quick.  To be fair, this is the sort of thing that works well as a tape, two side long suites of music edited down from a day in the studio. That seems to be a fine and sensible use for the format and this is head and shoulders above a lot of psych drone rock “we’ll just dick about and like, jam, maan. Then split it into two sides” nonsense that you come across as tape releases. This is dynamic and inventive music, the drumming a particular highlight. If you’ve never heard them Loop are still the reference point I’m drawn to for Kogumaza, the drumming and some of the guitar tones especially. When Loop were back together touring a few years back I stood watching them and one of the things I was struck by was how much the landscape has changed for that kind of band in the years they were away. It seemed that if they were starting now Hampson would feel no need to tack vocals onto it and far less attachment to song format and the constraints of trying to keep the running times of the songs down, in short that they’d probably be a lot more like an epic drone/sludge metal band, or probably something less generic like Kogumaza. This album is good enough that a tape release two years after the vinyl seems perfectly understandable and a great reason to share it on here. Maybe it’s the only way it’s available right now, I’ve not checked to be honest, hang on…

No, still on vinyl from Lancashire and Somerset or downloads from the band, take your pick. Like I said at the start – conflicted, perplexed.

skulldeath-s-head-skeleton copy

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