Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

SPCTV CS7: Emporium, Vision Tape (Home)

Finally mastered! A personal set from 'Spective proprietor Nicholas Zettel, featuring a culmination of summertime drone exercises and tape manipulation. Opening with ethereal atmosphere, this set of four songs meanders through two-channel follow-and-response folk, followed by reverb circuitry manipulation and backwards tape exercises. In order to amplify extreme echo patterns and manipulate decay time, these tracks were recorded in the red and mastered loud. Two-channel interactions showcase disparate stories and opposing sounds, invoking conversation/silence, soul/body, surreality/reality.

Spirit Death by Nicholas Zettel

Each tape will be home-dubbed onto commercial tape for now; between $3.50 US PPD and $5 US PPD donation recommended for American orders. International shipping negotiable. Please contact [spectiveaudio] at [gmail] dot [com] if interested.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Update

Happy up-coming Thanksgiving everyone! I am thrilled about how this year turned out for personal and musical reasons alike. I'll say it's a great sign for the number of quality records released that I continually trade back my old music and find ways to get as many new LPs as possible.

'Spective Audio News
(1) If you're interested, I am releasing a set of semi-improvised tape manipulation/reverb-circuitry manipulation recordings on limited, hand-dubbed (commercial grade) tape. These recordings were compiled on my nearly-dead Tascam and featured intensely textured experiments with infinite decay and infinite echo, along with lots of backwards droning. These will be $5 PPD US (international shipping negotiable), or other offer. As always, email spectiveaudio [at] gmail [dot] com.

I will be more than happy to negotiate shipping, prices, and trades.

(2) The N.E.C. have been busy with dates and their new LP, Pineapple, available from Pretty Ambitious and fine record stores. This one showcases the band's power pop sensibilities as much as their ability to dive into exceptional droning textures, and at their best, they combine both. The N.E.C. place yet another notch in their psych belts, but the driving backbone and soul sensibilities are never far from the group's strangest excursions.

Copies of the group's B-Sides cassette remain available, featuring oddities and rarities recorded over a several-year span from Million Minks and Is. The tape is full of extended wild, noisy breakdowns, short rockers, and surprising ambient segments -- it spans the full spectrum of N.E.C. sounds, and you'll hear a lot of the band's current elements in utereo. C45, translucent red tape, artwork by Cyrus Shahmir, $5 PPD US (international negotiable).

(3) The Vital-Sound groups have amazing music out this year (or on the way).

As mentioned, The N.E.C. just released Pineapple, and the Great Society Mind Destroyers' Spirit Smoke received its rightful vinyl incarnation. Soft Opening produced a mind-bending instrumental journey.

Killer Moon's Tunnel Vision is on the way, and Rabble Rabble followed up Bangover with their ripper, "Why Not" b/w "Long Hook." Implodes' much-anticipated Black Earth also saw the light this year, following the group's visionary cassette from a few years back.

All The Saints' next LP Intro to Fractions will be released in January 2012, following their life-changing Fire on Corridor X (that LP probably opened the door to more than half of my psych obsessions).

Brainworlds continue to release cassettes at a furious pace, and The Sunny Muffdivers introduced their tape All Half Evil, also on 'Spective

Copies of Vital-Sound are available for a suggested donation of $7 PPD US (international nego

(4) Cinchel has a handful of copies of drone.dump remaining, as do Milwaukee Ave. Reckless, Permanent, and Discogs.

Cinchel also has many other recordings available, including his Feedback Loop release Ritual Habitat.

(5) The Leavitt Ours are now officially in Cleveland and New Orleans, after many individual journeys across the United States this year. Travis Bird toured with Evan Lindorff-Ellery and Jaap Pieters, and also put together a solo tour earlier in the summer. Dense Reduction, the pastoral, textured noise duo of Travis and Evan, come highly recommended, for obvious personal and musical reasons, and so does their label, Notice Recordings.

Copies of Return by The Leavitt Ours are available for $7 US PPD suggested donation (which includes the tape, artwork by Evan, and individually sewn, handmade cases by Kelley Crawford).

Thank you for an amazing year, everyone -- bands, friends, and everyone who ordered tapes and sold them at stores. I never dreamed that these tapes would be across Europe, Canada, and the United States -- but it still feels like a close-knit group of people who like psych, outsider, experimental music.

Recent Obsessions
(1) Notice's Ben Own tape, Birds and Water, 1, totally kicked my ass. There are some serious depths of frequency captured on this cassette. One of my year-end favorites for sure.

(2) Bad Drugs produce some of the best heavy music I've heard this side of Cacaw. Rotted Tooth have had an amazing year of releases, b Raw Powder is blowing my mind continuously with shifting structures and brutal noise.

(3) Thee Oh Sees are going to make me go broke. Obviously everybody loves Carrion Crawler/The Dream, and so do I. Exceptional acid rock; I feel like Thee Oh Sees are rewriting chapter after chapter of the Sonics/Nuggets/freak folk tradition in American rock.

(4) Sloow Tapes blew my mind this year, from The Great Society Mind Destroyers tape, to their compilation of Belgian psych, to their recent batch of traditional folk/psych tapes. Those tapes really took a lot of time away from the "Phono" setting, but when my belt and needle work beyond their expected life, I'll have these tapes to thank.

(5) As for Foxy Digitalis material, I've been re-listening to a bulk of material I reviewed earlier this year, and there are a lot of standout releases this year. Jasper TX Black Sun Transmissions and Phaedra The Sea remain among my favorites. Recent material I've heard by Food Pyramid, Cut Hands, Moonwood, Muscle Drum, and Blue Sausage Infant is going to make end of year lists nearly impossible.

(6) Old music obsessions: Echo and The Bunnymen, Ocean Rain, The Beatles Yesterday and Today, The United States of America, The Byrds, Mr. Tambourine Man, Tegan and Sara Sainthood, U.S. Maple, etc., etc.

Thank you for reading! I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving...let everyone who needs peace have peace, and let's continue to share music for the rest of this year and all of the coming ones.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Analog masters for a few personal releases due soon. Email (spectiveaudio) at (gmail) dot (com). Each cassette personally dubbed onto commercial tape for now. Exercises in tape manipulation, infinite echo/infinite decay. Tape distortion, repetition.

Spirit Death by Nicholas Zettel

Friday, September 9, 2011

SPCTV CS5: Vital-Sound I *UPDATED*

Recent Press
The Chicagoist
The Chicago Reader

C64 on opaque red cassette with handmade artwork. Order Paypal: [spectiveaudio] at [gmail] dot [com]. Suggested $7 ppd donation for tape and artwork, $5 ppd otherwise. International shipping negotiable / please email.

October 5 Update:

Copies are available in Chicago at Permanent Records and
Reckless Records locations!

Permanent Records is at 1914 W. Chicago in Ukranian Village, off Damen bus and Chicago bus, as well as walking distance from the Damen Blue Line.

Reckless Records are at 3126 N. Broadway (Broadway bus, Belmont bus, Belmont Brown/Red L), 1532 N. Milwaukee (Milwaukee bus, Damen bus, Damen Blue Line), and 26 E. Madison (Madison/Wabash L, Dearborn (Blue) subway, State subway (Red), and tons of Loop buses!)

As always, please do support your local record stores!

Copies are also available online at Discogs.

All bands on the compilation should have copies soon, too.

This one is going to blow your mind -- 'Spective proudly announces an intracontinental psychedelic battle, with Atlanta bands on one side and Chicago bands on the other.

A1: Sovus Radio "I Am Temper"
A2: Soft Opening "Untitled"
A3: The N.E.C. "Death Training Video (Excerpt)"
A4: All The Saints "Closer/Owner"
A5: Brainworlds "Hypergnosis"
A6: The Sunny Muffdivers "TORN08ATL"

With the help of Cyrus Shahmir of The N.E.C. / Sunny Muffdivers, the Atlanta side features cuts from those two projects, as well as songs by All The Saints, Sovus Radio, Soft Opening, and Brainworlds. The side spans the entire spectrum of insane, unfettered rhythmic noise, refined psych pop, ambient soundscapes, and almost everything in between. It's everything you'd come to expect from Atlanta, represented well in recent years by the popular Deerhunter / Louts Plaza / Atlas Sound constellation, as well as The Black Lips, among others: loud, nuanced, refined, bratty, driving, spacious, it just doesn't stop.

Sovus Radio starts things off with a driving paisley psych tune, full of sunshine and modulated vocal lines that are matched by instrumental riffs and a rolling snare. Depending on who you ask in Atlanta, Sovus Radio are the inspiration or impetus for several contemporary Atlanta groups, and the group has numerous recordings of their soulful, dynamic psychedelia that will hopefully see the light of day.

Soft Opening follows with an raving sequence working around a blistering, tremolo guitar and a workhorse rhythm section. Nearly incomprehensible vocals fight through deep reverb as the song builds intensity through its meandering kick-ins. Also available from the group is their self-titled LP (Humdinger; After Science / Family Night / Sex Cow, 2011).

Taking a hard left turn, The N.E.C. offer their entry for the compilation, a blast of pure noise that showcases the most extreme aspect of their musical approach. Blown out recording/sound levels color this track, creating booming drums and instrumental sounds more extreme than feedback. A layered, effected collection of pop songs, drones, and jams is forthcoming from the group (Pineapple, Pretty Ambitious). Along with their B-sides cassette on 'Spective (CS1), the group also has a set of releases available on Double Phantom / [ove:evo] (most recently, Is, 2010).

You probably remember them from their debut LP, Fire On Corridor X (Touch and Go; Killer Pimp, 2008), full of hazy and nuanced dirges and anthems. All The Saints adequately frame the heavier side of Atlanta's psych spectrum, and they continue their thoughtful, metallic, shimmering riff-rock with their contribution to the A-side. I can safely say that they were one of the bands that kicked my love of dark, layered psychedelia into motion, and as far as I can see, their follow-up LP remains forthcoming. You can also find an All The Saints track on a split single with These Arms Are Snakes (Touch and Go, 2009).

After a succinct showcase of song-oriented psych, displaying a range of ambient, noisy, and bright structures, Brainworld and The Sunny Muffdivers close the side with extended repetitive instrumental segments.

Brainworlds are no strangers to the world of experimental cassette releases, and their entry here is an extended, swelling ambient composition that intensifies over minimal electronic rhythms. The group has a set of live releases, as well as a handful of tapes that are named in numerical order. Sonic Meditations released ... and ..... in 2010 and 2011 (also on CDR), and Hooker Vision released .... in 2010.

'Spective sludge instrumentalists The Sunny Muffdivers return to the world of insanely repetitive, captivating noise with their side-closing track. No lies in the title -- this one was actually recorded during a tornado! Feedback squalls and random noises appear at times, but this one is mainly driven by one distorted, pulsing passage. Also available from the group is their All Half Evil cassette ('Spective CS4), which is yet another blissful instrumental endurance test.

B1: Implodes "Reverser"
B2: The Great Society Mind Destroyers "Space Station On Fire"
B3: Rabble Rabble "You"
B4: The Leavitt Ours "Ripped"
B5: Killer Moon "The Dark Rift"

From repetitive kraut jams to expansive progressive themes to frantic burners, Chicago features an eclectic gang of bands that might not best be described as a scene, but a heavy immersion in the tradition of mind-manifestation, with the obvious repercussions following those spiritual notes. Like the Atlanta side, this one only scratches the surface of the city's psychedelic talents.

Chicago's side opens with a new entry from Implodes, which might surprise some fans of the group's Kranky LP, Black Earth. No stranger to ambient leanings, the group fully indulges their potential for working intense, unfolding passages. Hypnotic drumming, swelling, infinitely decayed guitars, and rich bass found this song, holding things over before a sweeping lead guitar line takes over. Just as heavy as the best moments on their LP, but with more space to breathe. Previous releases include their 2009 self-titled PlusTapes cassette.

Following the atmospheric opener, The Great Society Mind Destroyers rave up in cosmic proportions, leaning heavily on their penchant for winding guitars and a driving, relentless rhythm section. Reminiscent of a speedy ride through the future or a distant galaxy, the group works their steady rave up to its boiling point, only to reveal an unsettling, distant instrumental twist to close the song. Also available from the group is their 2011 cassette Spirit Smoke (Sloow Tapes; LP forthcoming), a split 7" with Dark Fog (Galactic Zoo, 2010), and a split release with Rabble Rabble (Commune, 2009).

Rabble Rabble keeps the pace with a killer acid blues take. Rowdy vocals mimic guitar lines throughout the first half and the drums take over the tempo to lead a fast-paced outro. Self-described flower-punk, Rabble Rabble's track is an uncompromising counterpart to the group's previous releases, including their most recent single, "Why Not" (2011) and their 2010 LP Bangover (Commune). Other releases include a 2009 PlusTapes entry (Jailbait and a set of releases on Commune Records.

The Leavitt Ours crawl through a layer of hiss to work through an experimental pop entry driven by low-range synth bass, eclectic drums, and instrumental trade-offs. Smoky vocals take over as the song intensifies, culminating in a loose, repetitive jam to close the track. Also available from 'Spective is the 2011 cassette Return (CS6), and the group previously released an improvised instrumental cassette on Notice (Movement, 2010).

If I can be honest, Killer Moon close this compilation because there simply was nothing to follow their brutal statement of acid doom. Heavily low-tuned bass and guitar riffs open the song alongside energetic drum parts that return the riffage. Intense, rapid lead lines eventually give way to a brief calming interlude, only to have the group return to form to send the compilation off in style. Truly a power trio, the instrumental group has a forthcoming LP, Tunnel Vision.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

SPCTV CS5 Update

The cassettes for Vital Sound I are being pressed, and the artwork is in the works!

The pressing will be approximately 120 copies, with special artwork by Chicago guitar artist / drone master Cinchel for one dozen copies. Artwork includes watercolor, acrylic, and ink. Cinchel's watercolors were featured in the Chicago Reader recently, as part of a fine Three Beats contribution by Leor Galil that also featured quotes from The N.E.C. / Sunny Muffdivers' own Cyrus Shahmir.

Feel free to email spectiveaudio [at] gmail [dot] com if you would like to reserve a copy. I expect to ship these cassettes at the end of August / early September.

Monday, August 8, 2011

SPCTV CS6: The Leavitt Ours, "Return"

A1. "Body Death"
A2. "Vitalist"
A3. "Ripped"

B1. "Touch Fetish"

Beneath the shadows of Chicago's fuzzier and heavier psychedelic sounds, The Leavitt Ours perform experimental pop in the private press tradition. In order to develop and produce their own reflective spaces and musical statements, the trio embrace aggressive ambient soundscapes, synthetic guitar tones, eclectic percussion rhythms, and driving keyed bass and synthesizer backbones.

This release celebrates a return from hiatus that scattered the band members across the globe for a few months, with some factions hiding in Chicago, others engaging in experimental music projects across the United States, and another writing in exotic corners of the universe. After working on opening gigs around town for the latter half of 2009 and early 2010, the group recorded for the remaining months of 2010. The recordings for this cassette are drawn from those sessions, marking a transition from that raucous, scattered group you saw at Ronny's, to a more expansive, experimental, ambient future yet to be realized.

Return is a C26 that celebrates the discovery of something presumed lost, finding once again what was buried beneath the surface. To complete this perfectly private, expansive, remote artifact or gift, the cassette features artwork by Evan Lindorff-Ellery (Notice Recordings, Dense Reduction) and handmade cases by Kelley Crawford.

Suggested $7 total for cassette/artwork; minimum $5. Postage included. PayPal: spectiveaudio [at] gmail [dot] com

Thursday, May 26, 2011


The Leavitt Ours tape is being pressed as we speak, and will be available approximately mid-June. Holding the cassette will be a handmade case and artwork by our good friend Evan Lindorff-Ellery of Notice Recordings.

Vital Sound 1 is one song away from being completed, it's going to be a full-on psychedelic enslaught with the Atlanta side featuring All the Saints, Sovus Radio, The N.E.C., Sunny Muffdivers, Soft Opening, and Brainworlds. That side is full of ambient, driving psych, and some serious drone. The Chicago side features Rabble Rabble, Great Society Mind Destroyers, Killer Moon, and The Leavitt Ours thus far, along with one further guest on the way. Mind bending hard psych and no nonsense acid blues is the flavor of this side, with some eccentric aspects to boot.

Please feel free to inquire about either release at spectiveaudio [at] gmail [dot] com.

While you're at it, check out one of the most recent installments of A.V. Club Chicago's Tapes'N'Tapes series. Leor was nice enough to stop by and interview yours truly, and here's the result....enjoy!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tapes Update!

A few updates on 'Spective Releases:

-Tomentosa Records will be selling the Cinchel tape. His site is an excellent resource for out of print and rare noise/experimental/psychedelic music. Check out the site here.

-Cinchel tapes are basically sold out at the source. As far as I know, copies are available at Reckless Records, Permanent Records, and with the artist himself, as well as Tomentosa (as mentioned above). You can see Cinchel live in Rogers Park in February, more details soon. Buy some tapes at your local stores or from your local guitar artist!

-As far as I know, the Sunny Muffdivers and The N.E.C. tapes are still available at Permanent Records. I have copies of both these tapes available through PayPal as well.