“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)
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.”
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.