9TH GIFT: 2 Hands on Knobs, Copper Medallion MICRO

The 7th micro cassette release, limited edition 50. One other from the collection will be posted very soon, so keep posted. As indicated in our last post, these transfers to 320 kbps MP3s are from their original master tapes.

This questionably questionable moniker I used to employ for synth experiments, which often took the form of ‘hard-to-listen-to’ sketches. For this one I patched my Moogs into one another, ran them through a delay pedal and when I landed on something I liked I hit record. I think I used a Multimoog, Micromoog, Moog CP-251 and a Boss DM-2 delay pedal. I can hear how I was attempting to stretch my gear, in anticipation of finally having enough savings to purchase a modular system. But honestly there’s not much else to say about this one. Let the sounds be sounds… and maybe be entertained by my description ūüôā

Arrhythmic knob tweak fest; a drunkard tumbling down the stairs

2 Hands on Knobs, Copper Medallion
Download: GT031 72 MB ZIP file, includes 320 kbps MP3s

MICRO CASSETTES… The wave of the future.
Inexpensive.  Miniature.  Mono.  Limited Frequency Response.

GIFT: Home Office split

Recording 2HOK Home Office B side in The Box, 2010 Seattle WA

Little did I know what the future would hold in 2010 when my label Gift Tapes released Home Office, an audio cassette split release featuring 2 Hands On Knobs (yes, my questionable “intentionally-questionable” moniker for scrambly synth experiments) and Studio SS (Karlskrona, Sweden-based Jan Svennson experimental synth solo moniker – also head of Borft/UFO Mongo label, member of Frak and Alvars Orkester, and electronic dance solo project Villa Abo). Here we are, 10 years later, living in a world where a virus has forced many of us, fortunate enough to still be employed, to work from home. Even my stock one-line label description from back then seems as if it could describe the current situation:

on-edge claustrophobic terror state | an awkward birth of an android.

Paranoia, claustrophobia, and anxiety are obvious side effects to isolation, but the second part of that description is a bit more terrifyingly thought-provoking. Wikipedia defines android as a ‘humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human’. Synthetic, organism, imitation of a human‚Ķ I suggest you use your imagination to think about how these words apply to our current situation.

For me, its a bit of a warning and maybe a reminder. As you peer out into the virtual world to attempt to understand the current events in the world around you, remember that we are participating in this synthetic imitation, an organism whose consciousness is primarily created and driven by money and power. It is increasingly important to become and/or remain critical, to consider who is benefiting from all this, and who are its victims. This situation of virus and quarantine is new, but there has always been continuously evolving structures that allow some to benefit at the expense of others.

And with that, Home Office… Enjoy the tape:

Gift Tapes SUMMER 2010 batch

Gift Tapes

Gift Tapes is pleased to announce that our monster SUMMER double-batch has arrived!  Six new tapes out today.  Purchase them here while supplies last!

Oregon Painting Society
Radiant Dream Face, GT021, c30, edition of 150
Totally bizarre sound worlds from an island of misfit droids.  Offered up by up-and-coming Portland art collective Oregon Painting Society (core members include: Matt Carlson, Brenna Murphy, Barbara Kinzle, Birch Cooper, and Jason Traeger) this recording is a document of their Radiant Dream Face installation mounted at Portland State University, December 2009.  Improvisations with houseplants, a pair of corn cobs and a glass crystal, each controlling oscillators, recorded direct to 4 track.

Skyline, GT022, c40, edition of 150
Synth/guitar duo project consisting of Brad Rose (The North Sea) and Pete Fosco.  Their debut release unveils massive cathedrals of melodic sound that push/pull the listener through cavern-like underworlds into open, pale-blue, impressionistic skyscapes.  Two side-length meditative improvisations, perfect listening for shimmering summer afternoons.

Studio SS/2 Hands on Knobs
Home Office split, GT023, c60, edition of 150
The daily reality of machines in the home and the office as interpreted by 2 synth artists.  Studio SS merges home appliances with analog and digital synthesis.  A mixture of both quiet noise and on-edge insomnia that hint at the claustrophobic terror state of a forgotten inmate.  2 Hands on Knobs engages office machinery with synths, sampling keyboards, and drum machines, creating industrial spirituals for a drone army or narrating  the awkward birth of an android.

Coast to Coast, GT024, c40, edition of 200
In Marcia Bassett’s newest Zaimph recording, masked guitar roams from the East to the West, through rugged American landscapes.¬† Bassett’s guitar and effects are captured direct to cassette as a stereo room recording, summoning a gorgeous haze of tape noise and ambient sounds.

Untitled Nov 1989, GT025, c40, edition of 200
Electronics and field recordings collide in what many consider a peak moment of Merzbow’s extremely prolific career.¬† Recorded in 1989 and mixed this past February on a 4-track that Gift Tapes sent to Japan!¬† HEAVY factory sounds manipulated via amplification and signal processing to create a massive mechanized environment and an altered state.

Bee Mask
Canzoni dal Laboratorio del Silenzio Cosmico, GT026, c30, edition of 200
Bee Mask’s newest work gives a nod to experimental music of the 20th century; classic kosmiche zones are fused with musique concrete to form a surrealist sound collage of home studio and field recordings.¬† Synths, sampler, prepared piano, variable speed cassette players, voice and handmade instruments all come into play, explaining quantum mechanics via dream logic.

*All cassettes are pro-dubbed, imprinted, loaded with high bias tape, packaged in regular size Norelco cases, w/ 2-sided color cardstock j-card insert that includes artist name and album title.

Gift Tapes, fronts

Gift Tapes, spine 1 Gift Tapes, spine 2

Gift Tapes, backs

* * *

In related news, Brother Raven‘s first LP entitled VSS-30 is due out very soon on Digitalis — keep your eyes peeled.¬† You may have also noticed that Taped Sounds recently released BR’s 5th tape.¬† I am told that copies are sold out at the source, but that an additional pressing is in the works.¬† Additionally, the band will be touring the West Coast US in June, performing the following dates (most which will include Matt Carlson!):

June 15, 2010 – Villanova House (802 Villanova Dr.) – Davis, CA – w/ Matt Carlson, others TBA

June 16, 2010 – Hemlock Tavern – San Francisco, CA – w/ Matt Carlson, Moholy-Nagy

June 17, 2010 – Synchronicity Space – Los Angeles, CA – w/ Matt Carlson, Sun Araw, Metal Rouge

June 18, 2010 – 21 Grand – Oakland, CA – w/ Matt Carlson, En, Deep Magic

June 19, 2010 – Abyssal Behemoth – Portland, OR – Golden Retriever, Cloaks

June 23, 2010 – Gallery 1412 – Seattle, WA – Zaimph, Jaime Fennelly (of Peeesseye)

Also, Harpoon Pole Vault will be touring NE US in July w/ Zaimph & Bee Mask (both of whom have tapes out in this current GIFT batch)!  Tour dates are coming together now, but more info will be posted here soon as details begin to solidify.

More exciting stuff happening later this summer:

DRAFT, the new no rules sub-GIFT imprint will debut its first set of releases.¬† We’re expecting these to land sometime in August.

The next edition of the SYNTH NIGHT series will happen Friday, August 13th.  An Evening of Meditative Music with Stella Haze, Spare Death Icon & Pulse Emitter at the Chapel Performance Space here in Seattle.

THIRD GIFT: 2 Hands on Knobs, Cylon Garden micro

download: 2 Hands on Knobs, Cylon Garden, GT008 (micro)

As promised, here is the 3rd GIFT available for download.  This was our second micro cassette release that came out last June with the summer batch, limited edition 50.  If you dig this stuff, keep your eyes out for the new 2 Hands on Knobs release space bath transformation, coming out soon on DSQ (c85, edition of 22).

We’ll post 2 new reviews soon and the 4th GIFT before the end of the year.¬† Also, the new Gift batch is in the works and due out in January.¬† Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving.

2 Hands on Knobs, cylon garden
Download: GT008 62MB ZIP file, includes 320 kbps MP3s

MICRO CASSETTES… The wave of the future.
Inexpensive.  Miniature.  Mono.  Limited Frequency Response.