Xqui feat. Mat Smith – All The T​-​Shirts I Wore In Lockdown in cooperation with Mortality Tables

Categories: Releases

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.”

ABOUT XQUI 

“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  

xqui.bandcamp.com 

ABOUT MORTALITY TABLES 

“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. 

superpolar Taïps is not for profit. 

superpolar Taïps 
label for experimental pop music  
superpolar.org   

credits

released November 3, 2023 

Produced and mixed by Xqui, July 2023 
Narration: Mat Smith 
Design: Neil Coe 
Illustration used with kind permission of Jason Laurits & Paste 
pastetshirts.com 

All proceeds from this release will be paid to the CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) and Kölner Tafel charities. 
www.thecalmzone.net 
tafel.koeln 

The 35th (and final) superpolar Taïps cassette single release SPT49 (as part of the respective series started in 2020).

A Mortality Tables Product MTP8 

mortality-tables.com 
superpolar.org

Perkins & Federwisch …something known as music

Categories: Releases

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! 

Hotline / Weltempfanger [Cassingle #34] by Ball Geographie]

Categories: Releases

(Translated from the German original, see below)

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.

Soundtrack and Marine (Cassingle #31) by Goodparley x Shreddies

Categories: Releases

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. 

–> 

twitter.com/goodparley
goodparley.bandcamp.com

twitter.com/shreddies_exe
newhaventapes.bandcamp.com

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by superpolar Taïps (@superpolar_taips)

Hualun(花伦)- Dawn [Cassingle #27]

Categories: Releases

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.

-> https://hualun.bandcamp.com

Ffion – Lights That Burn Twice As Bright [Cassingle #26]

Categories: Releases

“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. 

Carlos Perea Milla – tactile / distante [Cassingle #22]

Categories: Releases

CARLOS PEREA MILLA has been creating improvised ambient experiments under the moniker MELQUÍADES since 2016, using tapes, electronics, guitars, harps, field recordings and other sounds. His first two solo albums, ‘Keep A Seed’ and ‘Imaginary Soundscapes / A Map’ were released on CANIGOU RECORDS, the cassette label he has been running from London, Buenos Aires and Málaga. He also co-runs the concert series Bedroom Gigs with Catrin Vincent. 

tactile / distante’ was recorded in October and November 2020 in Málaga, right after the change of seasons and right at the start of a new life chapter. This new work is heavily inspired by instrumental and folk music, and artists like Lake Mary, Karen Dalton, John Fahey, Nathan Salsburg, Wall Matthews and Mat Eric Hart. 

It’s less abstract and more tangible, but it stays experimental: each part was recorded separately into a tape recorder whilst listening to a metronome, then sent to another tape machine, then into Ableton where the two songs were pieced together, editing the speed and pitch variations caused by the tape. And it has drums for the first time – a lot of drums. ‘tactile /’ features a recording from a conversation I had with Calum Perrin about modes of listening.  

canigourecords.bandcamp.com

Recorded using classical/electric/12 string guitar, tapes, OM-1, pocket piano, zither harp and drums. 
Photography by Carlos Perea-Milla in Andalucía. 
Mastering by Adam Badí Donoval. 

Cruel Diagonals – Carapace [Cassingle #14]

Categories: Releases

“‘Carapace’ and ‘Oneiric Amplitude’ (Side B, bonus track) are tracks composed entirely from my voice. Here, I’m exploring themes of the subconscious, namely the dream state and its ability to communicate vital shifts within our healing before our conscious mind becomes aware of them”, says Megan Mitchell.

She composes unsettling, ethereal music under the alias Cruel Diagonals. A jazz and classically trained vocalist, Mitchell performs and creates in numerous capacities. 

Cruel Diagonals is an outlet for destructive sample processing, vocal exploration, and a palette for inter-media contemplations and applications. Influenced by early experimental filmmakers such as Maya Deren and Kenneth Anger, Cruel Diagonals has been described in cinematic terms, evoking moods and montages of an eerie, surrealist timbre. Warped field recordings and layered vocals incite a beckoning to a phantasmagorical, metallic-tinged state of existence. 

Visit  www.crueldiagonals.com for more.