Pacific Support, Japan Benefit Comp on DRAFT

Pacific Support :: Japan benefit compilation tape on DRAFT


Gift Tapes sub-label DRAFT is pleased to announce the release of Pacific Support, a benefit compilation created in support of the ongoing disaster relief efforts in Japan.  All proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross to help fund those efforts. The compilation consists of 13 unreleased tracks by experimental electronic musicians featuring: Rene Hell, Pulse Emitter, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Greg Davis, Matt Carlson, The North Sea, solo tracks by both members of the Caboladies: Carl Calm & Flowerman, Panabrite, Temporal Marauder, Golden Retriever, Brother Raven, and a duo project by Geoff Mullen & Sakiko Mori called Make a New Memory. Support Japan and purchase some amazing music.  Available at the DRAFT website and coming soon to Mimaroglu Music Sales and Discriminate Music. Special thanks to the artists involved for donating their work, our distributors for donating their services, and National Audio Company for generously donating the entire 300-edition run.

300 edition, 75 minute tape w/ color insert.
Artwork by Jamie Potter.


Check out the East Village Radio post.

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

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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.

NEW Gift Tapes – FALL 2009

Gift Tapes - Fall 2009


Freshly returning from the mountain forests of Eastern Oregon…I wanted to put the word out there that the new Gift Tapes releases are out now.  I couldn’t be more happy about this new batch of cassettes from Pulse Emitter, Matt Carlson and The North Sea.  This time around the tapes have been pro-dubbed in editions of 100.  These tapes will go super fast, so be sure to order soon.

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Pulse Emitter - Grass
Pulse Emitter - grass - C30

Fellow NW-based Pulse Emitter, the solo project of modular synth mastermind Daryl Groetsch, has created a beautiful work, half of which is reminiscent of his self-released Meditative Music series, while the other half delves into the weirdo world of sub-earth root structures crawling with insects.  Grass is one of my favorites from his recent discography and Gift Tapes is extremely honored to present one of his works.

Matt Carlson - stereo face
Matt Carlson - stereo face - C40

Matt Carlson‘s recent solo efforts venture into the sounds of early electronics pioneers.  As a member of the minimal noise drone trio Bonus & former member of the Parenthetical Girls, Carlson’s efforts have included pop music, noise, free improv and performance art.  His new work, Stereo Face, is modular synth wizardry all over the stereo field and steeped in science fiction themes that nod at the 1960’s while simultaneously hyper-driving towards the future.

The North Sea - daytona
The North Sea - daytona - C30

Daytona is an epic drone work formed of textured synthesizer and layered electronics.  The North Sea‘s (Brad Rose) high-density sound projects degraded memories that lead to abandoned tunnels and empty into sunset skies.  Both noisy and meditative, this gorgeous piece is the perfect compliment to lone autumn walks.  Definitely another exciting addition to the North Sea catalog.

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Tapes available here: Gift Tapes.

Meditative Music 3 – Synth Tones that Heal

Pulse Emitter - Meditative Music 3

A few weeks back I was completely surprised by a little package I received in the mail.  Upon opening the gift, I cracked a smile- followed by a few cuss words (this dude is kicking my ass).  It was another Pulse Emitter new age disc: Meditative Music 3.  If releasing current new age music was a competition, then Daryl is the champion.  Take the packaging for instance: the pastel-tinted nature photos, the CD case itself, the one-line description on each disc… it all lends itself so perfectly to being something you’d find at a yoga studio’s gift shop.  On top of that, these discs are totally self-released and the music is comprised of minimal synth tones that truly have healing qualities.  These CDs are totally legit.

Meditative Music 3 couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.  I’m totally excited about this series, but since I had reviewed the other installments (see this post) a few months back, I felt like I needed a new approach to writing about this one.  The stars must have been aligned because I injured my back and decided to make an appointment with a massage therapist.  This provided me with the perfect opportunity to give this music the kind of listening it deserves.  The masseuse was super cool and allowed me to play the disc in her boom box after reading the one-line description on the back of the case: placid waves for reflective times.

A slow fade from silence gives way to the rising tones that transform your consciousness into a dense underwater cloud of plankton.  Families of micro-organisms lie static and hovering just beneath the surface.  They harness the power of the sun, soaking up the solar energy, contributing to the natural cycle of life.  Dense analog vibrations are contrasted by crisp, digital metallics.  These bell-like FM synthesis tones encapsulate the piece in crystals.  “Does this feel tender?”  Those were the words that brought me back from my oceanic dreamworld, and they really couldn’t have been better put.

Clocking in at exactly 60 minutes, this is the perfect music for massage.  It was so perfect in fact, that the masseuse inquired about how she might purchase a copy of it.  You can buy them from him directly here: or from Tomentosa.  If you are a fan of synth music, of new age or of anything P.E.-related… all three of these CDs are highly recommended.

In Portland on Thursday, April 30th, I highly recommend checking out Pulse Emitter perform at Dunes.  Brother Raven will be one of the opening acts, alongside Weird Fiction (live video), Sean Ongley & Regosphere.

Meditating Eternity: The New Age CDs of Pulse Emitter

Meditative Music 1 & 2

Up until a couple weeks ago, I had only heard a few tracks by fellow NW-based experimental musician Pulse Emitter, but that was reason enough for us to send him our first gift (GT000).   Daryl Groetsch of Pulse Emitter generously mailed us both of his Meditative Music releases.  I haven’t reviewed anything on a digital format yet, but these leave me no choice.  This is my attempt to explain how insanely great these discs are…

Meditative Music 1 is a minimalist piece where flowing breezes of analog modular synth  are contrasted by slow moving waves of FM synthesis, rising and falling over glorious peaks of quiet mountainsides.  The patches are meticulously programmed and detailed in complexity, yet the music sounds as though a new form of plant life has emerged from the earth.  Natural and easing mellow vibrations paint an environment that serves as an escape from the chaos of our man made surroundings.  Its gentle and contemplative tones are steeped in sleepiness, rich with a resting thickness; this is hypnotic levitation at its best.

Daryl sent me a copy of something he posted on a forum about the first disc:

“while helping my girlfriend select ambient music to use while giving massages, i became interested in all the factors that ruled out certain releases. too ominous, too rhythmic, too schmaltzy… so i decided to record one myself. it’s one track, 60 minutes long. two oscillators on the analog modular tuned in fifths, slowly sweeping back and forth with the filter and across the stereo field in a repetitive yet unpredictable way, continuous warm shifting drone. then a slow four note motive is played in four permutations on a custom patched yamaha TX81Z FM synth, crystal pools of sound. yeah, it’s peaceful ambient music but it’s not overly positive or negative, very balanced in emotion and structure. good for sleeping, thinking, bathing, whatever. it’s not noise music but i’m posting it here anyway… it would probably be good to listen to after a noise show actually.”

Meditative Music 2 opens in windstorm, the listener tucked away in a shallow cave at the base of a ravine.  Heavy raindrops fall from the evergreens onto the  crumbling stone above.  The swift breeze rises and falls, giving way to brief glimpses of the sound of a passing stream.  On occasion a carefully woven synthesized melody will remind the listener that they are in fact listening to music.  These sounds have the affect of transforming humans into creatures of the woods, like an elk’s lone stray from the rest of the herd.

The sounds of the second disc are so natural sounding that I had to ask him if there were field recordings involved…  this was his answer:

“there are no field recordings, all synth. the second disc was inspired by a hike in the woods, listening to a stream.”

It makes me happy that Pulse Emitter is Portland-based.  You can find out more on his website:  Another thing I should mention that might interest any DIY Synthers… Daryl Groetsch has a degree in Electrical Engineering and he’s got a few schematics of things he’s designed on his website.  I also recommend taking a look at the picture of his crazy synth. And, if you’re in NYC in mid-May, be sure to check out his set at NO FUN.