The Month In Tapes: The 5 Best Cassette Releases Of May 2016

Pictorial Candi, fOREVER TILL YOU DIE (Mansions & Millions)

While dream-pop is usually built around bland, lush melodies layered like thick strikes of oil paint, Pictorial Candi manages to swiftly circumvent these hackneyed cliches for a richer sound. Argentinian-born Candelaria Saenz Valiente draws a refreshing range of soundscapes on this vividly cinematic release, which makes it a perfect fit for Mansions & Millions, a Berlin-based label that already championed the likes of Magical Island, Better Person and Antoine93.

ვარგ [Varg], ჟინვალი (Northern Electronics)

If one was to create a meme to sum up cutting-edge techno in 2016, it would surely include a Varg tape or some Northern Electronics merch. The reduced, hardware-heavy tunes evoke a sense of early synth experiments, but still fit in contemporary contexts. Not much is known about this particular tape except that it was recorded in Georgia in 2016. It’s a great appendix to Varg’s epic and transgressive six-part Star Alliance box set for Posh Isolation, which came out late last year.

RSS Boys - b0dy fl0w (Speaker Footage)

RSS B0YS seem to operate on a entirely different wave of techno than their contemporaries. They’ve found an odd space between late vaporwave and some more far-out club sounds, and on this release chromatic textures and a warped understanding of noise and basslines trickle through their fingers like some yet-to-be-invented sci-fi prop. If you can get only a single tape inspired draws from the future, make it this one.

Matt Rogers, SK√-1 (Slip)

We’re as chuffed to gush about Slip as we are loathe to share one of our best-kept secrets. The label, operated by London/Berlin composer and EB contributor Laurie Tompkins, has curated a stellar output that often deals in carefully-arranged classical subversions. This time, Brit Matt Rogers goes places that we didn’t even knew existed on his debut, SK√-1. And it only took a Casio SK1 to get there.

AYN SØF, AYN SØF (Tombed Visions)

Gnod is a Manchester-based band/collective loosely built around psychedelic and manic compositions. Paddy Shine, a core member of this powerhouse, has several other side projects, and his latest outburst comes as AYN SØF. The tape’s two sides are surprisingly quiet and reflective freeform experiments, and it seems to connect his work within Gnod and his solo percussive explorations. Although the Tombed Visions Bandcamp page indicates this bad boy came out in November 2015, it only recently appeared in our inboxes and Boomkat’s new cassette releases section.

Cover photo via The Rooster.