Sunday, May 30, 2010

I'm in the middle of a big reorganization of the distro -- taking stock, figuring out the next step. Here are some Night-People tapes:

Dead Luke - Cosmic Meltdown - Night-People
Dead Luke - Cosmic Meltdown - Night-People
I was expecting something goth-y and synth-y, so this tape was a real surprise and treat. Very realized work of space-y, lo-fi psychedelia that seems informed by almost every psychedelic movement of the last fifty years. Strong doses of Spacemen 3/'80s/'90s British psych and mellow/weird krautrocking. And IT IS pretty goth-y and synth-y actually, though the drum machines are of the klunky, Cluster variety and the synths are usually accompanied by some gritty, fuzzed-out organ. Very nice tape, I'm a little surprised this wasn't pressed up on vinyl. Maybe when it goes out-of-print it will float up to LP heaven. $5

The Pheromoans - s/t - Night-People
The Pheromoans - s/t - Night-People
Magnetically indolent, inscrutably British, the bracing charms of this tape are abundant. Would it be have been possible for them to try less hard? Probably not; any less and they wouldn't have pressed record. Kind of like a sneering, punk-rock Shadow Ring. $5

Pink Priest - Gulls Diving Into the Ocean - Night-People
Pink Priest - Gulls Diving Into the Ocean - Night-People
I don't know a whole lot about this guy other than that he's a very prolific member of the cassette tape underground. The last tape I got, from the Australian label Albert's Basement, was synthesizer based, but actually kind of harsh, and, uniquely, made up of one or two minute "songs." (I still have one or two copies of that tape, by the way). "Gulls Diving Into the Ocean," although synthesizer based, is definitely in a different vein, and is very placid drone music that makes me think of slow-motion footage of volcanoes erupting or of flying over a glacier. The faintest wisps of dissonant tones drift through the sonic landscape, and I'm really digging that. Definitely some weight and substance here, though in a very underhanded way. B-side is a little more assertive, features some lightly fuzzed organ and more overt tonal movement. $5

Sewn Leather - Self-Titled - NP083
Sewn Leather - s/t - Night-People
If you're thinking Warm Leatherette by the Normal, you're on the right track, but the appeal of Sewn Leather has a lot to do with thick layer of electric grime coating what are ultimately slinky synth pop tracks. Very raw and sparse, with just enough abrasive sonics to keep it interesting. $5

Ryan Garbes - Born Under the Sun - NP089
Ryan Garbes - Born Under the Sun - Night-People
I've had this tape forever but it never got a proper write-up, not totally sure why, but Ryan seems to be picking up steam right now, with a new 7" on Arbor, a tape on the way from Nu New Age and an LP in the works. Four gritty, psychedelic droners from half of Iowa City stalwarts Wet Hair. Two feature Ryan's rolling, hypnotic drumming, which is always a treat. Krautrock keyboards and trippy stereo effects abound, but all-in-all the feel is more terrestrial than kosmisch. Seems like a good tape for summer driving. $5

Hochman & Hopkins - Live NYE - NP077
Hochman and Hopkins - Live NYE - Night-People
I've had this tape for a long time, I've never really pushed it cause I wasn't crazy about it but it definitely has some things going for it. First off, it's one of my favorite looking tapes in the NP catalog, which is saying something cause they're all pretty beautiful. Blue on blue, nice Edward Gorey looking pitcher, swans on the tape decal, lots of circles. Second, I'm a big fan of Hopkins (first name Matthew), who does Naked On the Vague, Vincent Over the Sink and the Near Tapes label. Third, although things get pretty goofy by the end of the tape, the synth sludge that starts things off is nice -- rhythmic and weird. $5

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