♫♪  Strategy - Noise Tape Self

So you wanna make music with cassette tape loops? Either take the easy way out and cop an endless tape from eBay, or do it your own damn self. “But Mukqs, man, wikihow do I do it my own damn self?”

1. Remove tape from spools.
2. Cut a rubber washer down to size and affix around one spool.
3. Cut a piece of tape to a length that corresponds to one circuit around the rubber washer and through the open channel at the bottom of the tape.
4. Carefully scotch tape or glue one end of the cut piece to the other (note: this spliced area will likely result in a skip in the final loop).
5. Seal tape tightly.
6. ???
7. Music.

Please refer to Noise Tape Self, the upcoming LP by Portland-based producer Strategy (born Phil Dickow), for a sterling example of the process. Subtle layers of ambient static and effect manipulation wash out his hissing compositions as they churn over the incessant airing of a central looped phrase. “Awesome Piano” blasts us with swathes of major-key static tuned to the decaying afterimages of what once was an awesome piano lick. “Lovely Loop” glistens with the warmth of a Dozzy session, with only the loping motion of the loop’s splice to provide a rhythmic grid. “Hobgoblin” introduces harmony-warping tempo modulations and muffled percussive bursts to complicate the lull. Like fellow cassette loop artists Greg Gorlen or Tanner Garza, Dickow exploits the limitations of the medium to achieve states of sublime stasis. He suspends traditional notions of narrative or structure in favor of absolute time dilation, reveling for seemingly infinite intervals in the intrinsic fine-grain texture and defined bass response of cassette tape.

Noise Self Tape is due May 24 via Further Records.

• Strategy: http://www.strategymusic.com
• Further Records: http://furtherrecords.org

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CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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