Tote bag and a mix CD

and a sticker

Back in 2011 I made a mix CD to give away to advance ticket holders for Suzuki Junzo’s first ever Hebden Bridge visit (his first UK tour, London and Hebden Bridge). It was designed to open local ears to the sort of acts I was planning on bringing to the small town. I wrote a little intro and got my boss at the time, a keen thespian, to recite in an empty office and recorded it on my phone.

There was a great response to the CD, fast forward 9 years later and my friend Jonathan Dennis in California who I mailed a copy of it to back then reminds me he still has it and kindly does a rip for me as I no longer had one. It was like a sonic postcard from the past but everything was mixed from mp3s, some quite low res.

So, seen as how it was the a special anniversary year, I remade it using lossless formats. The same songs, better quality and mixed slightly differently. I hate nostalgia but this was just too seductive. After all, it is the 15th birthday of Was Ist Das? so there. I threw it in as a freebie with the tote bag.

WAS47.

The Lamp – Sentimental Journey

So, I wanted to make a DJ set where I mixed ambient drone music with vocals from some of my fave music that wouldn’t normally get associated with ambient drone. Then I began to think about what if I dubbed something ambient and spectral onto some old cassettes containing dubs of old country LPs that belonged to someone who had left this world? Would we get that phenomenon tapers dreaded the most, ghosts of the old recording coming through?

So what was initially planned as a DJ set evolved more into an entirely sample based album, the mix of drones songs instead replaced with time stretched samples plus some pertinent blends and the aforementioned acapellas. Then dubbed to ten aged tapes.

The sleeves have been customized in different ways: some have collages, some have been painted over, some have unique fake tracklists. Each has its own unique insert.So every copy looks and sounds different.

However, it seemed the tapes, despite their age, were of very high quality and no sound leaked through. So then different masters were made for each tape. Some tapes were allowed to keep their original content for a few seconds. Each one has different levels. Different lengths.

As it seemed like we were playing with sound and time, a further, final idea arrived. I would delete all the masters. No downloads, no repress, no listening again. My only experience of it will be my memories.

WAS48

Kawabata Makoto – The Infinity That Wasn’t

To me, there’s always been a world of difference between Kawabata Makoto’s solo work and his group work with Acid Mothers Temple. His solo works have always been minimalist, spiritual, energy accumulating and inward looking, whereas AMT is wild party music, a cosmic outgoing, a burst of great energy. His solo work is avant garde classical folk music whereas AMT are a rock n roll band from the end of the universe.

Then this landed in my inbox and burned that rule down. On “Infinity That Wasn’t” Makoto has become a band, multi tracking his own drums, keys, guitars and electronics. It goes far beyond any convention. The epic opener ending up furious guitar shreds dueling over hypnotic organ riffs like Can replaced Irmin with Philip Glass.

released July 3, 2020

Kawabata Makoto : acoustic & electric guitars, drums, hand clapper, drift box, electric organ

all music by Kawabata Makoto
recorded at Acid Mothers Temple, May – June 2020
produced, engineered and mixed by Kawabata Makoto
mastered by Andrew Liles
cover art by Sarah Coppen at Desert Moon Art

Special edition comes with t-shirt

WAS45

United Bible Studies – Three Barrows Round

We’ve had the pleasure of working with David Colohan on three of his solo releases so it’s a real pleasure to have him back with us a 4th time and this time as part of ever fluid United Bible Studies collective for a new cassette release.

Taking inspiration (and field recordings) from a visit to an old roman cemetery, this captures them at their most atmospheric. The band cite MR James’ classic tale “A View From A Hill” but for some reason “Red Shift” by Alan Garner is what plays in my mind as I listen to this. I guess both tales are about a strange coming together of past and present.

That’s precisely what happens on Side A of the tape. All the tracks on Side B are assembled together into one piece like a DJ set directed by psychogeography rather than beats. Side B [tracks 2 to 11 of your free download that comes with you pre-order] are the actual individual tracks.

WAS41

Bird People – Molting

the much delayed (our fault) WAS40 is here and for a special number like that we needed someone special so here is Bird People again with a stellar 5/6 piece line-up incluidng Eric Arn [Primordial Undermind] and some absolute drop to the floor slowburn psyche rock.

Forget all your troubles and surf the sunset slipstream of this one!

released June 5, 2020

Eric Arn – electric guitar
Roy Culbertson III – drums, percussion, trombone, voice and electric violin
Johanna Forster – electric guitar
Lucas Henao Serna – drums and percussion
Michaela Konrad – accordion
Stefanie Neuhuber – alto sax
Johannes Oberhuber – bass, voice
Ulrich Rois – electric guitar

Recorded April and May 2018 on Olympus LS11 at Studio 7, Vienna, Austria
Mastering by Ulrich Rois
Cover Photography and Layout by Ned Netherwood

WAS40

One Eleven Heavy – Live At Jam Castle

Kind of a big deal for us. One Eleven Heavy are the supergroup of Wooden Wand, Hans Chew, Dan Brown from Royal Trux, Nick Mitchell Maiato and Jake Morris (from Stephen Malkmus’ band). They’ve done two absolute killer albums but I could totally smell that they must be quite the jammers live, even though they haven’t played our my way yet.

Ages ago I said I’d love to put out a live album for them and here it is at last,
their first ever live album and I knew I was right – it’s a roaring gem. They explode those album tracks with amazing vivacity. And of course there’s some killer jam outs. Classic rock 2020 style. It’s the album in your collection that even your cool Uncle digs

You can order it right now on pro digipak CD or digital from here:

Suzuki Junzo – The Magus / Live Phantasmagoria Vol.1

Our first ever box set! You get “The Magus” – a studio album of scorched psychedelia from the great cosmic bluesman, Suzuki Junzo. Features drums from the legendary Takahashi Ikuro who has beat the skins for everyone from Fushitsusha, High Rise, LSD March and countless others. The second cassette in the box set, “Live Phantasmagoria Vol.1” features a live set from Junzo and Ikuro! Limited edition of 60, get it from here

WAS36 & WAS37.

David Colohan – Prosperpolder


Our second David Colohan album this month is a more cinematic affair, recalling classic synth soundtracks getting lost in the fog.

WAS39

David Colohan – Arc of a Snowfall


A blissed-out electronic album from David Colohan (Raising Holy Sparks/United Bible Studies), one of two we release this month, side by side on CDR and digital. David says “Returning from a trip to Istanbul, the skies were clear & Europe was covered in snow. I spent hours gazing at the endless illuminated wilderness below, as if in a dream. Arc Of A Snowfall is an attempt to recapture that feeling.”

Made using Casio MT-400V, Korg MS-20 Mini & modular synthesizer through Binson Echorec EC3, Phonic Digital Echo Chamber PH6070, Shin-Ei ER-23 Echo Reverb Master, Boss Digital Delay DD-6, Boss Digital Reverb RV-5 & Boss RC-20XL Loop Station.

Recorded in Ballymahon, Ireland during February 2015.

WAS38

Stuart Chalmers – The Shadow

Stuart Chalmers - The Shadow CDR


After blowing minds worldwide with his last tape for the label two years ago, Stuart is back once again with his swarmandal, some effects and a whole lot of imagination. Five new tracks plus a remix from Moroccan artist Sukitoa o Namau makes for another dazzling sonic journey to far off plains.

Limited edition of 40 special box tapes and 40 CDRs


WAS35

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