… or buy directly for 10€ + shipping 2.35€ (Germany), 4.50€ (Europe) or 5:00 (worldwide).
“The music is both atmospheric and aggressive, although the bleeping strikes me as more ambient than kosmische. Either way, a cool tape.” Byron Coley in The Wire 475, September 2023
“If a tape loops infinitely, where does it start and end?
A new split cassette from anonymous electronic artist and bassist bleed Air and Shenzhen legends Hualun ruminates quietly on that enquiry. The beginnings and conclusions are not clear. There is an A-side and a B-side, one by bleed Air and one by Hualun, but the labels glued to each side of the cassette shell might as well be interchangeable. (…)
These two sides are, then, inextricably and umbilically linked. They both occupy a contemporary vantage point overlooking some of 1970s German electronic music’s finest moments, completely in tune with the sonic adventuring that the likes of Conrad Schnitzler and a select pioneering few bravely undertook.” (…) Mat Smith, Further. <- read the full review)
A unique cooperation with Mat Smith’s Mortality Tables imprint and outsider electronic artist Xqui in context of the now ending cassingle series.
Concept Notes by Mat Smith:
“On March 19th 2020, the company I worked for asked me to work from home with immediate effect. The initial expectation was that this would last no more than two weeks.
Initially, it was novel and liberating: I’d been used to commuting fifty miles to London for nearly twenty years, usually in a suit and tie. In the first days of what became known as ‘lockdown’, we were still very much operating in a world of audio conference calls, and rarely ever used video. That meant I could wear whatever I wanted, and didn’t need to conform to any sort of corporate uniform. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to work my way through my entire t-shirt collection, in the order that they were stacked on the shelf in my wardrobe.
At first, I thought it would be fun to maintain a list of all these t-shirts, in the order that I wore them, and that ongoing list became one of the earliest Mortality Tables Products. It was also a way of measuring an uncertain time – to see how many I could wear before lockdown ended. I figured I’d make it to fourteen, maybe twenty. Instead I worked my way through all 55 t-shirts that I owned at that time, at least twice, and possibly three times. What started out as something fun became a necessary ritual – something methodical and predictable in a world where all certainties had been upended; something I could control. I also recognise that it was a portent of a mental breakdown that I would experience several months later.
As the Mortality Tables project moved from a purely conceptual idea to a more visible state, the idea of collaborating with the superpolar Taïps cassette label emerged. Various potential Products from the Mortality Tables Catalogue were discussed, progressed and discounted, before we finally agreed upon ‘All The T-Shirts I Wore In Lockdown’ as part of their much-loved cassette single release programme. The intentionally serious whimsicality of this Mortality Tables Product was felt to be a logical complement to the overall aesthetic of the series.
The superpolar Taïps cassette single series has included releases from. Hualun, Whettman Chelmets, Chorchill and Adderall Canyonly since it began in 2020. superpolar Taïps have chosen ‘All The T-Shirts I Wore In Lockdown’ to become the 35th and final release in the series.
The narrated list was recorded in June 2023 in the bathroom of the Premier Inn Hub in Shoreditch, London. The list was then re-recorded at my home in Woburn Sands, in the room that I worked from in the initial stages of lockdown, in July 2023. The narration was then handed to anonymous outsider electronic artist Xqui, a regular Mortality Tables collaborator, to develop a sonic response to accompany the narration. His response was completed in July 2023. An instrumental version (‘No Shirts’) was created for the B-side of the cassette.
The concept for the cassette sleeve was developed by Mortality Tables design collaborator Neil Coe (Carta Design). His design uses the illustration of a ubiquitous I Heart NY t-shirt by Jason Laurits (Paste, New York), which Laurits then printed onto an otherwise plain white t-shirt. I bought one of these t-shirts from the Paste store in Chelsea Market, NY in 2018. My t-shirt appears as number eight in the narrated list.”
“The ‘Hymns’ album is very cool. The atmospheric effects are perfect.” – Vince Clarke.
“A carefully constructed, intelligent and mature work from a musician very much in control of his art… This is full blown hauntology.” – We Are Cult
“Pausing any of these tracks to attend to other things was like breaking a spell.” – Fortitude Magazine “As good as Basinski, and neck and neck with the degenerative sounds of Eno’s best.” – TQ
“In an effort to circumvent our unalterable mortality, we create. We make SOUNDS, ART, WORDS. These things are our INSURANCE against death.”
– Mortality Tables, On Mortality, Immortality & Charles Ives (2022)
E Peritia Ratio: reason from experience.
Nothing happens without context. Every event has a catalyst. There is no such thing as a blank page.
So it goes that each Mortality Tables Product must begin with an outline of an initial creative concept – a thought; a notion; a moment of serious whimsy; a considered reflection on life, memory, love, loss, trauma, death.
We document those ideas, then invite collaborators to respond freely to them.
They may ignore us. They may say no. They may say yes. Whoever we invite to participate shall be unencumbered by restriction, constraint, expectation, convention, limit or judgement.
There are never any right or wrong answers, because there are no questions. There is nothing more than the idea and the response.
ABOUT SUPERPOLAR TAÏPS superpolar Taïps is a small cassette and net label focusing on experimental pop music released on limited edition albums, EPs and singles. It is run by independent artist bleed Air and based in Cologne.
Its roster comprises artists from all over the world, spawning from continental Europe to the UK, US and further towards Asia.
In addition to the cassette single series, releases such as the albums by Guido Möbius, five Bubble criteria and Modelbau received decent attention from acclaimed music media.
“Cologne/LA cassette label superpolar Taïps released the wonderful ‘Fleeced of their Wares’ by moduS ponY who sounds like a wibbly, very minimal Lambchop… with no singing.”
— Neil Mason, Moonbuilding Mag, Issue Four, 2023
“There’s this shed out in the desert. They keep breaking in and taking stuff. Every time I try to secure the door, they find some way in. None of it is mine anyway, which is probably why I gave up after the third robbery. It’s funny though, the things I think are worth something they tend to leave: some old records, 16 track reel to reel tape, some flood lights, a wheelbarrow, a glass head, a book about how George Bush lied a lot. Every time I peruse its contents, I find some quirky thing in there. Maybe that’s what the thieves like about it too. To tell the truth, I don’t really know what they’ve stolen because I’ve never taken a thorough inventory. It’s better that way. Maybe it’s something I would have wanted, but I’m not going to miss it.“
Tuesday, 23 May 2023, 16:00-18:00 CEST, Dirk Specht (Therapeutische Hörgruppe, Miniklon) and Georg Dietzler (artist, curator, gerngesehen.de) welcomed bleed Air, i.e., well … me, the guy who runs the superpolar Taïps label and also produces music as bleed Air, to FUNKT Sessions on Cologne, Germany’s 674.fm for a two hour live broadcast.
As part of the programme announcement, Georg wrote:
“Experimental pop music on cassettes” – superpolar Taïps is a micro-label, non-commercial, not-for-profit, with a preference for unusual, rarely heard music on cassettes which don’t have much relevance in the mainstream but are becoming increasingly popular in independent and experimental music scenes.
Limited edition cassettes, albums, EPs and – a special format – so-called ‘cassingles’, indeed cassette singles, within the framework of a series that will culminate in a compilation in 2024, have been and are still being released.
Perkins and Federwisch are an electronic pop duo inspired by other electronic pop duos, such as Modern Talking and Captain & Tennille. After a brief foray into educational audio systems, on their third studio album the pair return to entertainment music, specifically sentimental ballads and pop standards. While working within the formalized structures of the Euskirchen Avant-Schlager Scene, the seven songs cover a range of themes including aggrievement, remembering things that happened in the past, and remaining sensible in a world that doesn’t make sense. So dim the lights, pour yourself a chilled glass of dessert wine, double check that you turned off the oven, and let Chip and Uli entertain you with something known as music!
For the Cassingle Series, Ball Geographie contributes two tracks from an abandoned 90ies project which were rearranged and recorded especially for the superpolar Taïps label.
Originally, they were part of a two-hour prog-rock musical dealing with the cultural history of communication technology. At the time, the project (working title: »Okay Danke Tschüss«) fell through due to the cost of two symphony orchestras, a mixed choir, and the Remake of various historical instruments. All demo versions and scores for the revue – including songs for Talking Drum, “Rohrpost” (pneumatic tube postal service) and Telex – are considered lost.
However, on the occasion of the Cassingle Series, Ball Geographie has now reconstructed two pieces with the help of old diary notes and conversations with sound engineers at the time.
“Hotline” is dedicated to telephony, “Weltempfanger” to radio. In both tracks Ball Geographie was able to draw on his private audio archive, acoustic finds as well as musical support from guest musicians. For example, “Hotline” features spoken word avant-gardist Frelini Caroka and “Weltempfanger” features Sarah Kardamon on prepared mbira, glockenspiel and xylophone.
Für die Cassingle-Serie steuert Ball Geographie zwei Stücke eines aufgegebenen Projekts aus den 90er Jahren bei, die eigens für das superpolar-Label neu arrangiert und aufgenommen wurden.
Ursprünglich waren sie Teil eines zweistündigen Progrock-Musicals, das sich mit der Kulturgeschichte der Kommunikationstechnik befasst. Das Projekt mit dem Arbeitstitel »Okay Danke Tschüss« scheiterte damals an den Kosten für zwei Symphonieorchester, einen gemischten Chor und die Anfertigung verschiedener historischer Instrumente. Alle Demoversionen und Partituren für die Revue – darunter Songs zu Buschtrommeln, Rohrpost und Telex – gelten als verschollen.
Anlässlich der Cassingles-Serie hat Ball Geographie nun jedoch zwei Stücke nach alten Tagbuchnotizen und nach Gesprächen mit den damaligen Toningenieuren zunächst weitgehend rekonstruiert und dann neu arrangiert.
»Hotline« widmet sich der Telefonie, »Weltempfanger« dem Radio. In beiden Tracks konnte Ball Geographie auf sein privates Audioarchiv, akustische Fundstücke sowie musikalische Unterstützung von Gastmusikerin zurückgreifen. So ist auf »Hotline« etwa die Spoken-Word-Avantgardistin Frelini Caroka und auf »Weltempfanger« Sarah Kardamon an präparierter Mbira, Glockenspiel und Xylophon zu hören.
Multidisciplinary artist Andreas Gogol first caught our attention with his stunning vocal performances on Guido Möbius‘s album ‘Gebirge’ (Karaoke Kalk, 2009), even if he had been present in the experimental music scene way longer, for example with his album ‘Gorymaaz’, released on A-Musik in 2005.
On this cassette single, Gogol appears under the YOCKO O.NE feat. prinz-ip moniker, offering two quite diverse tracks:
On O.H.E. [action], Gogol takes his funky, dadaesque vocals one step further by bending time and space and chopping things up while it seems as if at the same time a weird entertainer looses control over his organ and its rhythm machine. A feast for the ears.
R.I.FF. [minox], on the other hand, points more to the other facet of agogol: That of the experimental filmmaker, who here perhaps contributes part of a soundtrack to a neo-noir style film he has not yet released. Supposedly you never heard an accordion that dark.
Goodparley (Oli Richards) is a formerly Cardiff now London (UK) based musician. His sounds are largely based around improvised ambient guitar loops and textures, manipulated in real-time using various modulating effects to create inherently experimental soundscapes.
Shreddies is the alias and solo project of Welsh musician, Josh Dickins. He also runs the cassette label New Haven Tapes.
Label maker and SPT COO bleed Air said,”This is Experimental Pop at its best.”
“While ‘Soundtrack for a Hummingbird’ with its gentle melodies indeed feels like pop, ‘Marine Blue’ shows the more experimental side of the two musicians and producers, from whom we will certainly hear more in the future,” SPT Marketing Assistant Robin Barnick added.
five Bubble criteria (fBc) is a bleed Air side project. A mix of experimental rock, spoken word, sparse electronics, tape effects. Lo-Fi.
“Five Bubble criteria deal in a kind of dissolving fantasy Americana built on twanging guitar lines that melt into broken AM radio white noise chatter. On “Reservoir”, the addition of a spoken narrative by Chip Perkins moves the sound away from abstract, doomy ambience towards denatured horror commentary, like a video game that has swapped the living dead for the citizens of Twin Peaks. As the record closes, its style changes again, “Vays-Rays” concocting a wobbly jangle that sounds a bit like if Nouvelle Vague had covered the Smashing Pumpkins. If it’s completely odd, it’s also completely brilliant.”
(Spenser Tomson in The Wire, November 2022)
“The bleed Air side project takes on a Labradfordian-mindset of tape splicing and spoken word cacophonies; transient noise bursts & out of body hilarity ensues.”
Very happy to welcome Petridisch to the superpolar Taïps artist roster. Besides his musical output, Thor is known for running the fish prints label and his involvement in Ilya S’s I Heart Noise ihrtn.net (until 2020). Both are an intrinsic part of the Boston underground. I sincerely hope that you will be as captivated by Petridisch’s (anti-)etudes as much as I am. Contemporary classical? Minimal music? Maybe, but certainly the Petridisch way:
Etudes Vol. 1 (C-20), a red transparent C-20 EP featuring six tracks, is yours for 6.50 €. Please also do read Petridisch’s extensive liner notes.
This compilation released in conjunction with 773773773.
bleed Air says:
Moreover, Llwch and I had this – admittedly absurd – thought:
How about – in theory – if people bought four blank C60 cassettes, dubbed them and printed the J-Cards themselves? So just in case someone should have this in mind, print-ready J-Card files + simple instructions are part of the download.
superpolar Taïps is very happy to welcome Hualun to the cassingle series. While they modestly call themselves ‘a rock band from China since 2004’, their oeuvre offers so much more.
Multiple influences from Krautrock, Minimal and Experimental form the mesmerising soundscapes you can listen to on this cassette single, but also on their other releases.
Hualun was a vital part of the early years of the “Wuhan punk” scene and the explosive Chinese “post rock” wave.
Since then, Hualun have been exploring new ways of developing their music, focusing on creating mesmerising and immersive soundscapes, and diversifying their music, as it can be experienced in the soundtrack for the independent film ‘An Elephant Sitting Still‘ nd the impromptu project “wʌndərlænd” in 2018 and 2019.
Last year, Hualun created an original score to the Yung Chang documentary Wuhan Wuhan and launched a new episode of their “Scene” series.
Known as a group of musicians who rely on their intuition, they are at the forefront of experimenting with sound and exploring the source of natural growth with their music.
“Two pieces of music inspired by the many cloud formations and skylines I’ve seen from my home in West Yorkshire. Everything I see here is almost in slow motion and the birds seem to be carrying a great weight as they fly.”
Yorkshire, UK based composer Thomas Ragsdale produces under his own name, but also as Ffion and Sulk Rooms.
His music is formed by extensive experience as a music producer for TV, advertising and film – including groundbreaking BBC documentaries such as Adam Curtis’ acclaimed ‘HyperNormalisation’, where his track ‘Warning Mass’ was featured extensively alongside the likes of Brian Eno, Burial and Aphex Twin.
Not to forget: Thomas also runs the tape label Soundtracking The Void together with Ashleigh Ragsdale, releasing such fine acts as The Incidental Crack, Pola, Andy Fosberry and many more.
With ‘Lights …’ and the (cassingle and download exclusive) B side ‘Flightless’ he treats the SPT community with two timeless, cinematic instrumental pieces.
“On the 4th volume of Learning by Listening, Köln-based bleed Air guides us on a strange, sinister survey of primary source audio documents detailing abstruse scientific postulations emerging from contemporary occult branches of Christianity. Suitable for everyone from seminary students to secular amateur scientists, this cassette sees the unorthodox theories set against rich, eerie tape loop drones, sly, laconic guitars and proggy Giallo jaunts conjuring hazy, unsettling surroundings beyond the fuzzy fringes of reality. Topics range from vertebrate anatomy to phonemical history and, while factually inaccurate and indeed frightening, this impressionistic overview provides a mesmerizing and informative introduction to an inscrutable world of anti-information.
bleed Air holds a senior leadership position at the Köln tape label superpolar Taïps and is accompanied on drums by Rose T.”
Learning by Listening is an educational, instructive cassette series designed to bring the information of the world into your home, and your brain. Read more and & listen
Time as physical quantity, the nature of time as defined by general relativity, the resulting model of spacetime (German: Raumzeit) and ripples therein caused by gravitational waves. Time dilation, time offset, time measurement. Present, future, past.
An attempt to approach the complex subject of time and spacetime sonically, using devices that allow time manipulation (somewhat): Analogue tape recorders, effect pedals with ‘time’ knobs.
All instruments were recorded to and with (mostly half broken) tape machines on looped reel to reel or endless cassette tapes. On some tracks, these machines were also used as tape echos, mostly by exploiting their saturation, warm overdrive and noise capabilities.
Instruments and sound sources and tools used: Field recordings (Star City Tserkov’ Spasa Preobrazheniya church bells; Mbira, Kalimba, Acoustic Guitar, electric bass guitar, cello bows, human voice, found reel to reel audio that came with used tape recorders I bought), synthesizers.
In a way, this album concludes, albeit in a somewhat noisier, abstract and sometimes deafening way, what I started with the ‘Ogehiko/Yahiko’ cassingle.