NNA Tapes announces new cassettes from Olivia Block and Patrick Higgins

NNA Tapes announces new cassettes from Olivia Block and Patrick Higgins

Can we not act like there isn’t a sizable demographic across the globe that just owns tape players, doesn’t have reliable computer access, and has otherwise been regularly dehydrating at the relative lack of experimental music being released via this medium? To be sure, cassettes aren’t experiencing the same enthusiastic, if somewhat overblown, revival that vinyl is, but luckily the Burlington, VT-based NNA Tapes (run by Matt Mayer and Toby Aronson) have been doing their part to oblige the demand, all the while satisfying our not-unimportant desire for visually distinct album art. They’re sponsoring the release of two cassettes of note next week, on July 28, and we at TMT can hardly contain our human supply reels.

The first — as in the order in which I’ve decided to describe them — is Aberration of Light by electroacoustic musician Olivia Block. Her ventures certainly aren’t limited to formal releases (despite the almost literal vacuum in which 2013’s Karren left a person), and so the cassette is a “reworking” of a 2011 four-speaker collaboration with two film artists. The 31-minute lone track is said to be a sonic roller coaster riding along white noise rails, with masochist kids possibly screaming along the way. That’s my own interpretation, anyway.

Then there’s Social Death Mixtape from composer and multi-instrumentalist Patrick Higgins (of ZS fame). The use of the word “mixtape” isn’t a misnomer; as it turns out, because the release is essentially a “sampling” of personal compositions dating back to 2009. Higgins uses piano, harpsichord, synthesizer, guitar, sampler, and violin at various points over the tape’s duration, and the whole thing really does sound like a dinner with multiple courses: sparse, separated, and unique.

Higgins is doing a tape release show on August 14 at Elvis Guesthouse in Manhattan, alongside Miho Hatori and Greg Fox, with Gang Gang Dance’s Brian DeGraw as a special guest DJ. Check below for our premiere of “Pattern Select,” a track off Social Death Mixtape.

Both releases will also be available digitally, for you “modern” people.

• Olivia Block: http://www.oliviablock.net
• Patrick Higgins: http://www.patrickhigginsmusic.com
• NNA Tapes: http://nnatapes.com

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