Ø+yn & Madrugapha – The Dark Side of the Moon

IMG_20151108_111050A mind-blowing/mind-blurring team up from Argentina’s kings of the bizarre, this is over 35 minutes of the most out their sounds we have ever released. Ø+yn have always sounded to me like what Nurse With Wound would sound like if they were a South American acoustic band. There is that experimental surrealism but instead of the studio as instrument approach, its something for more tactile and hands-on. Madrugapha is more of a cosmonaut, following whacked-out stoned comet trails through deepest space. The two worlds collided a couple of years ago for the live tape “Golden Rain Pope” released on Madrugapha’s own label, the excellent Salvador Records (check it out).

Anyway, here’s some fruits picked from the overflowing branches of this album:

Side A
1.The Great Gig In My Hole
2.Golas Con Surpensor
3.Climbing The Limits Of Molecular Strings
4.Walt(z) Disney

Side B
1.Meado (for Ricardo Montaaer)
2.Loro Lin Tones
3.El Sintetizador Anal

Limited edition of 50. 42 copies on dark blue cassettes, 8 on freaky purple. Buy from here

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Sunday, November 8th, 2015 Tape No Comments

Cheval Scintillantes

tape pic
It is a great honour and privilege to bring to you the debut release from a major new talent – Cheval Scintillantes. Cheval Scintillantes is Sophie Bernadou, a multi-instrumentalist who previously played in the trio Folle Eglise along with Alice Dourlen (aka Chicaloyoh). Both the tracks on here see Sophie displaying her creative talents with the cello. Her playing is passionate, intricate and inspired.

The recording captures the tactile actions of her instrument and the acoustics of the room she was recording in. More akin to how Steve Albini engineers recordings to make them sound as live and real as possible, this is the antithesis of a sterile over-produced production, but a living, breathing organic recording in which you can almost hear the air molecules being displaced by her bow.

This is a very limited release of 50 copies on glittering blue tapes, pro-dubbed. Recorded at Studio Chaudelande by Bertrand Duchemin. Artwork by Marion Dubois

Side A
Bonne chance pour ta passion

Side B
J’espère que tu vas t’épanouir et profiter de ce nouveau départ

WAS14 – out October 16th
pre-order now from our shop

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Friday, October 2nd, 2015 Tape No Comments

Delphine Dora & Sophie Cooper – Distance Future

pic of tape
This is edited together from the highlights of a very creative session that Sophie Cooper and Delphine Dora had in the perfect setting of Todmorden Unitarian Church. This is their first collaboration, although Delphine put out Sophie’s stunning solo album “Our Aquarius” last year on her own excellent Wild Silence label. They also both appeared separately on Richard Moult’s album “Last Night I Dreamt of Hibrihteselle”. Put all these previous works out of you mind, though, as this is something very different. Different to most things.

Sophie and Delphine are caught here carrying out primal improvisations utilising the profound acoustics of this historic chapel. If you caught any of the unplugged sets at Tor Ist Das! Festival that just used the building’s acoustics then you will know what the building is capable of but with just two people in there, it sounds even more spacious, more infinite. Their tools are a trombone, percussion, electronics, organ and their wordless voices.

This is a limited edition of 50 copies on pink tapes, home dubbed. Mastered by Andie Brown. Cover art by Lucy Atherton

Side A
Les Différences S’unissent
L’avenir Le Dira
Remote Position
The Former Residents
A Moment of Speaking
Interlude #1

Side B
The Cold Train
Saturation Melody
Interlude #2
Length of Space
Mary’s in the Doorway
Esprit Universel

WAS13 – out October 9th

France’s Delphine Dora and England’s Sophie Cooper have both made impressively uncategorizable music over the past decade, and while they’ve been mutual supporters (Dora released Cooper’s excellent Our Aquarius on her Wild Silence label last year), this is the first time they’ve played together. Improvising in a echo-laden church in West Yorkshire, the pair found a sound distinct from their respective individual work. Their voices fill the space in a haunting-yet-reverent way; some of the tracks are like wordless hymns sung by ghosts. Distance Future’s surrounding ambience reminds me of the holy drones of Charlemagne Palestine and Janek Schaefer on Day of the Demons, but where that record’s power came in clarity, Dora and Cooper’s work is more mysterious—and ultimately something only these two could conjure” – Marc Masters, Pitchfork. Experimental albums of the year, 2015

There’s something completely transporting about this album that makes it a winner, one of the standouts in label Was Ist Das?’s already formidable discography. Those vocals, wordless, enigmatic and beautiful, are definitely part of it, their ineffable shimmer seeming wholly alien and totally human at the same time. They cast a glistering web that seem to reveal the immutable laws of the universe, stars and planets revolving like brass models as those same incantations, almost shamanic in nature, bind them together in their eternal pirouettes.” – We Need No Swords

Sounds emanate from stained glass shadows, reverberating through the church’s crevices to become both immediate and distant, a ghost simultaneously stuck in the past and present.” – The Big Takeover

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Thursday, October 1st, 2015 Tape 2 Comments

Chicaloyoh / Terrine – Elles Sont Barrées Elles Ou Quoi?

IMG_20150908_142925Its our first ever split album and we are taking no prisoners, is it a real double-whammy. We have two solo artists, both from France, who recently wowed everyone on their joint UK tour which included revelatory sets at our very own Tor Ist Das! festival which won them lots of new fans so its a real honour to be putting out one tape with both of them on it.

First up is Chicaloyoh, the project of Alice Dourlen. Alice is a singer, painter, poet and multi-instrumentalist from Normandy. She has amassed a rich and varied discography since starting out on her own in 2010, clocking up releases on labels such as Shelter Press, Brave Mysteries and Digitalis. On this release, Alice sings in French, her voice soft but dark, over a backdrop of head-nodding beats, weird psychedelic soundscapes and heavy synths.

On the flip is Terrine, the solo project of Claire Gapenne from mighty French noise-rockers Headwar. Her first EPs were devastatingly heavy no-wave assaults but here she embraces playful experimentalism creating head-wigging sounds that cross through the realms of Coil, musique concrete and even early Faust but all with a playful wit and some burst of speed noise.

Chicaloyoh Side

Paroles Creuses
Coeur De Sable, Ogre

Terrine Side

Punks & Jean Detrémont
Mundial Consignar Late
Indus Mauvais Goût

Limited edition of 100. Black C30 tapes with yellow cases. Cover artwork is “TWO GIRLS IN HAUNTED WOODS” by Alice Dourlen.

On sale now at http://wasistdas.bigcartel.com/

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Tuesday, September 8th, 2015 Tape No Comments

Bird People – Constellations

IMG_20150822_165432 From Vienna, Austria hails Ulrich Rois’ majestic Bird People project. Sometimes its just Ulrich and sometimes its a full band. For “Constellations” its a trio of Ulrich, Roy Culbertson III and Lucas Henao Serna. This time the drone harvest is one with a rich vein of Indian classical drone via the anticipation of Austrian spring. Ulrich, Roy and Lucas on this album use lap steel, singing bowls, mountain dulcimer, shruti box, bass, esraj, banjo, singing bowls, gong, accordion and electric organ to take you away to imaginary mountain retreats and impossible landscapes.

Easily the deepest, most blissed-out release yet to grace our spools. This one is a limited edition of 75 and comes on fluorescent green tapes with beautiful cover artwork by Sarah Coppen.

Out mid to late August, pre ordering now from HERE


Saturday, July 25th, 2015 Tape 4 Comments

Suzuki Junzo – If I Die Before I Wake

IMG_20150625_142242We’re very proud to have been putting Suzuki Junzo on in Hebden Bridge every year since 2010 and we’re even prouder to be releasing the next chapter in his recording career. How to describe Junzo’s work to the unitiated? He is a cosmic bluesman whose work ranges from skeltal laments to space-ripping walls of noise. His live shoes and records usually capture all these extremes. He’s in bands with Tabata Mitsuru of AMT/Zeni Geva, Koji Shimura of Mainliner

‘If I Die Before I Wake’ is another gem for his discography and takes an interesting new approach. Side one is all brand new studio work and sees Junzo accompanied by veteran drummer Takahashi Ikuro (High Rise, LSD March, Overhang Party and many more). Side two, meanwhile, is a live solo show from 2014 at the Fortress Callosum in San Francisco.

A: Studio 2015
1.Crossing the Valley of the Cosmic Death Demons [08:39]
2.Les Visiteurs du Soir [10:53]
3.If I Die Before I Wake [12:28]

B: Live at Fortress Callosum SF/CA, 21/11/2014
1.She Kissed Their Graves but They Hit Her with Their Ashes [04:38]
2.In the Lair of Norma Desmond / 4 Mosche di Velluto Grigio [22:49]

Limited edition of 70 copies, coming out July 13th. Pre orders now been taken from https://wasistdas.bigcartel.com

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Wednesday, June 10th, 2015 Tape 2 Comments

Ekca Liena – Lacia Is Joined

IMG_20150516_062138Its taken a while but I’ve finally got Daniel MacKenzie of Plurals to let me put out the first ever tape from his solo project Ekca Liena. How to describe this music? Its difficult to pin down but it is a kind of high-fidelity blend of electronic drones and intense waves of guitar noise. You might say if Natural Snow Buildings sound comes from rural France then Ekca Liena does a similar thing for decaying urban Britain. When I listen to it I imagine beautiful glowing sunsets over crumbling, derelict industrial estates.

You can listen for yourself right now as for this album we are selling it via bandcamp so you can stream it there right now and you will get a free download of it immediately when you buy it but I really can’t stress enough that this is an album that needs to be experienced as a whole not by dipping in for few seconds or skipping through the tracks on bandcamp while listening on rubbish laptop speakers. This is over 70 minutes of deep listening music and needs total immersion for maximum results.

It’s been mastered by Andrew Liles (Nurse With Wound/Current 93), sleeve design by Daniel himself and cover photo by me. We’re only doing 50 copies which means after artists copies and subscribers copies that we have less than 20 of these going on sale. Get it here while you still can.

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Monday, May 11th, 2015 Download, Tape No Comments

Daphne Oram – Pop Tryouts

IMG_20150324_184320 Introducing Mondo Hebden which is the name we are using for releasing archival music (as opposed to Was Ist Das? which is for new music). Our first release really is from the first lady of British electronic music and founder of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop – Daphne Oram.

It came about because I’ve spent the past 10 months working on a book about the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and ended up at Goldsmiths University going through Daphne’s papers. While I was there I was given the opportunity to listen to her archives and the contents of tape number 037, marked “Pop Tryouts” really struck me.

It seems to be various different arrangements and takes of the same track, a very melodic part of the “Birds Of Parralax” suite featured on the excellent “Oramics” compilation. Daphne tackles it in a variety of ways including acapella and proto-techno. It was probably made around 1972/1973 as it was for the ballet “Xallaraparallax” which Daphne which Daphne’s paperwork refers to as being worked on in that period.

It gives a fascinating glimpse into her working methods and gets the melody very firmly lodged into your memory! Its been gently remastered but the two acoustic tracks have some inevitable room hiss on them. Thank you to the Daphne Oram Trust for making this all possible.

The tape will be shipping mid-March and the book, “An Electric Storm” will be out in Autumn. You can pre-order the book fromObverse Books


Limited edition of 150 copies, pre-order from http://wasistdas.bigcartel.com/


Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 Download, Mondo Hebden, Tape 3 Comments

Kawabata Makoto – In the Lodge of Prince Frederick

IMG_20150114_104506nearly 50 minutes of Makoto exploring the possibilities of his guitar in Hebden Bridge’s Masonic Hall. Makoto’s solo output away from Acid Mothers Temple is always far more way-out there and here he creates a wide-ranging cosmic adventure that goes from heaven to hell and back again. Limited edition of 130 copies on orange cassettes.

Out now! Order from https://wasistdas.bigcartel.com

Kawabata Makoto manages to channel the distilled spirit of Hebden Bridge in this solo set of electric guitar and what sounds like a slew of pitch shifter, ring modulator and delay pedals. As with most of his solo recordings, here Makoto eschews the prog/psych excesses of his various groups in favour of a starker, more introverted approach that ranges from isolationist ambience and shimmering waves of silvery chords to alien plumes of twisting feedback, motion sickness glissando and melancholy cello-like resonances. He moves across the various sections of the set with seamless grace, conjuring up a similar atmosphere of cosmic wonder seen in some of Keiji Haino’s more meditative moments or KK Null’s early solo guitar work. I’m not sure when this was recorded but I’m guessing it was winter as there’s a frosty, almost glacial feel to the music that’s perfect for theses dark months.” – Jim at Norman Records

What a title, eh? Like The Incredible String Band jamming in the background of some lost Twin Peaks episode … or something. Anybody who’s followed the solo guitar explorations of Acid Mothers Temple’s spiritual leader Kawabata Makoto knows he well and truly eschews his “Speed Guru” nickname for what usually constitutes lengthy, minimal, often improvised and often ambient pieces. This outing recorded at the Masonic Hall in Hebden Bridge manages to stand out though, with a gradually aging Kawabata plunging even deeper into the recesses of the cosmos than usual. There came a point during the 2000s (when the Acid Mothers Temple camp were seemingly releasing albums on a weekly basis) that Makoto’s improvisations for solo guitar became somewhat predictable, though admittedly far from stale. Lines of loop drones and impressionistic glissandi would wash over the listener, with Makoto occasionally breaking into sparse lush plucking, or dropping back into some variation of his eternal riff from ‘Pink Lady Lemonade’. Anybody who’s seen more recent solo live sets from Kawabata knows he’s changed as a solo improviser, drinking in the atmosphere of his venues, and often eschewing any semblance of melody or the user-friendly wash of ambient chords in favour of atonality, and timbral experimentation. A series of bizarre passages strewn together by stream of consciousness fill up both sides of this 50-minute tape, with Makoto spending plenty of time scraping his strings furiously with a bow, warping tones through a ring modulator, and generally making drones almost unrecognisable as having first come from a guitar. Some way into the second side, we’re treated to some very pretty noodling akin to Kawabata favourite Jerry Garcia reaching ultra deep into space on some harsh-acid-trip reading of ‘Dark Star’. Kawabata soon disintegrates the pretty shapes of his noodling, quickly disseminating everything into whistling wails of lingering glissandi underpinned by folksy picking, and vocals!!. It’s not quite “The Speed Guru Sings”, but his mumbled intonations make the penultimate passage of the tape some of the tenderest music the man’s recorded since his utterly gorgeous collaboration with Richard Youngs back in 2001 – admittedly he soon destroys the sweetness with a blast of red raw amp-exploding feedback. Kawabata Makoto continues to develop as an improviser, and his focus here on riding wave after wave of non sequiturs into the cosmos makes In The Black Lodge Of Prince Frederick one of his most revealing and rawest solo recordings.” – Tristan Bath, The Quietus



Friday, January 2nd, 2015 Tape No Comments

Various Artists – Mistletoe & Cold Winter Skies

mistletoeNot quite the Was Ist Das? Christmas album, this is none the less, a mid-Winter themed compilation which can include Christmas…and for some of the songs, it does.


Side A

1.The Lamp – intro
just a brief scene-setter with the voice of Stuart Davison and some synth

2.Magpahi – Winter Solstice Night
Magpahi is the solo project of Alison Cooper [Samandtheplants, N.Racker] who has recorded for such fine labels as Twisted Nerve, Bird Records and Library Tapes. She has contributed a beautiful instrumental piece which makes me want to go to an Elizabethan frost fair.

3.Sophie Cooper – Rack Up The Bintang, it’s Christmas Day sleigh bells by Dale Cornish
The Queen of Stoke has played many a fine gig for us and this year raised the bar very high with her spell-binding album “Our Aquarius”. For us, she’s gone all wild and anti-folk and deviously catchy.

4.Bewilderness – The Muffled King
Bewilderness is a new collaboration between Jeff Stonehouse and Sanja Ivkov. Crawley resident Jeff started out making experimental music in Organs of Battle but went on to make techno in the 90s under the name Spiralhead. Since then he has made deep pastoral ambience as Listening Mirror (Hibernate Recordings) and more experimental electronics as jffstnhs. His recent collaborations include Le Moors with Wil Bolton and Snoqualmie Falls with Alicia Merz (aka Birds Of Passage). Sanja Ivkov is a singer, painter & tattoo artist from Sombor, Serbia. She is the lead singer in Mesta and was previously in Syphil.

5.Nick Hudson – A Dogbed’s View of Christmas
L’enfant terrible of the Brighton music scene, Nick’s beautiful voice and arrangements at first sound like they are crying out for prominent playlisting on daytime Radio 2 and 6 until you actually stop and listen to the lyrics. Witty but exceedingly dark it is no surprise he has earnt high praise from David Tibet and a cold shoulder from Broadcasting House but its their loss. His Christmas song is every bit as lovely, funny and horrifying as you would expect.
Side B

1.The Psychogeographical Commission – Antenociticus Awakens
Antenociticus, spelt wrongly on the tape sleeve just like the band are, is a mysterious Roman god who seems to have only been worshipped up by Hadrian’s Wall. The remains of his temple are now found on a housing estate in Tyne and Wear. This powerful and mysterious music really does suggest him awakening and being a very bad neighbour. I know many things about The Psychogeographical Commission but if I told you, I’d have to kill you. All of you.

2.Jake Blanchard – Erithacus Rubecula
Jake Blanchard first made his name with his remarkable illustration work and his label Tor Press (you MUST check out their Menagerie compilations which are all amazing). However, in recent years he has been releasing a steady stream of exotic drone releases, each one completely unlike the previous ones. Here, he lays on some extraordinary electronics in honour of our Winter friend, the Robin.

3.Gena Netherwood – Life Is A Bug You Step On
Although she has collaborated with Andrew Liles (Nurse With Wound, Current 93), this is Gena’s first ever official solo release. Its actually over ten years old and has been shared around the internet. She’s picked it up, given it a digital dusting off and kindly donated it to this compilation. Thanks

4.Bird People – The Holly King and The Oak King
Bird People is the musical project of Mr.Feathered Coyote himself, Vienna’s leading light Ulrich Rois. This epic ritualistic psychedelic folk track will make you want to dance in the snowy woods wearing nothing but berries. Please don’t, though, as this is illegal except in Sweden.

5.The Lamp – outro
the end.

A very limited edition of 50 on yellow tapes and, for the first time, comes with a download. Cover picture by me. Tape is sold out but download only for pay what you can from https://wasistdas.bandcamp.com/album/mistletoe-cold-winter-skies


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Saturday, December 6th, 2014 Download, Tape No Comments