K7L - Hearing Double in Lacquerland
- Mikey, Herr Brain, Sumu Pretzler - $6.00 - (60 minutes)
[The following was actually written before this tape was published but printed in H23 after the tape was released. It's included here in its entirety because of it's theoretical relevance. The passage that specifically refers to Lacquerland is accentuated by a font size increase.]
From: "H23" #3 (the minimal(ism) issue)
- December 1991 - us@
[introduction by the editor of "H23", Ron Rice]
Many years ago, tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE released two wonderful, minimal tapes. They were not met with much enthusiasm in the music/art world, for several reasons. However, they represent a unique and important approach to the "minimalist aesthetic", and they are still available. The concerns elucidated in these tapes are still of significance, especially in the context of this issue of H23. I urge you to buy copies from Tent. What follows is a letter Tent wrote to a dissatisfied customer, regarding the minimal tapes.
I've postponed responding to your letter expressing disappointment because I want to try to explain my two tapes that you don't like in a way that will make them more interesting to you. And considering how deliberately formally perverse they are in relation to the music context that I imagine you might be trying to place them in, my task won't be easy.
1. Actually, talking with you in person would obviously make things more fluid communicatively, but alas..anyway, I'm a bit curious about what your tastes are. I can understand most people downright hating "dadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadada" and "side 1/side 2", but your "tastes" seem just peculiar enough that I can imagine you might like them (but you don't). Your ordering of cris cheek's tape is possibly a first! So you must be at least coming from left field in hyperspace hollow earth or some such. But back to the matter. Both are blatantly minimal - as such they are very focused. So the gist of the matter is: What is the Gist of the Matter? i.e. what essence have they been reduced to? And what do they negate? I don't know how helpful or necessary it is for me to explain what it is that I mean by "minimal" in contrast to what is often meant by minimal, as far as the more well-known "minimalism" are concerned. These pieces of mine are closer to LaMonte Young, George Brecht, Yoko One and other such Fluxus types than they are to the more compromised/popularized/commercialized Glass/Reich/Adams variety. Closer too to Terry Fox; again, I don't know how much of these references are obscure to you.
These tapes have attempted to be experiments in a form of hyper-amplified lowest common denominator crudity - sort of like hind-brain noises - the inane hummings of a broken culture, magnified ad nauseum on a barely functioning prototype xerox machine meant to be played forever. I'm sure that makes it all perfectly clear now, eh?
Should poor people without access to hi-fi equipment be discouraged from recording and disseminating? It seems to me that some things need to be distributed independent of fidelity criteria, and [that] there is information intrinsic to low-fi. Indeed, the low-fi enhances the conceptual obstacle course. Such a comment applies perfectly to "side 1/side 2" - "side 1" is simply self-contained machine noise.. In late '79 (when it was made) the extent of my recording equipment was two broken reel-to-reels. One of them could record and play on both channels, but the motor didn't turn the spindles. The other worked at one speed and in one channel. They were both stereo, and they both produced a lot of noise. Any recording that I made with them was fairly dominated by their funkiness. This typified my life in many ways. I lived in substantial poverty with an extremely bleak financial future ahead. No 4-track likely; not even a boom box! So rather than despair at not being able to do what rich, famous people do (which I wasn't really interested in doing anyway), I decided to push the poverty of these 2 junkers to an extreme. I linked them together in a 7-second delay with the only sound source being the recorder's own hiss being fed back on itself to magnify its own intrinsic rhythm. I let the cruminess of it all take over completely. The two machines only worked when joined together symbiotically anyway, since the only working motor had to pull the tape across the heads of the only machine working in both channels.
Of course, you're quite possibly thinking, "that's all well and good for him, but what the fuck do I get out of it? I still feel ripped off!" Maybe you'll always feel that way. In a way, I deliberately published "side 1/side 2" because it's so "unpublishable", as an act of very formalized defiance of what most people consider to be worth listening to. Some might call it a "nihilistic" gesture - whatever. Unlike the "anti-music" of the SubGenius Doctor bands, this isn't just more of the same old thing party jammin' R 'n R smashing the guitar business [my apologies to those Doctor bands that such a description doesn't apply to!]. "side 2" is the "dramatic climax", the archetypal cymbal crash top-off extended by the same machine's tape delay set-up to the duration of a tape [47 minutes]. An inanity of typical musical practice pushed far beyond the limits of usual practice to make it so inane that it's no longer inane at all. Much of what I was concerned with was environmental effectiveness in a conceptual obstacle course without having to be loud, and without having to use language. These are tapes that few people can stand to have playing for their entirety, even at low volume (and some of my tapes that are even more extreme in this respect - one is 66 hours long!).
The tedium of both "dadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadada" and "side 1/side 2" is especially amusing to me in contrast to "industrial music". Many people who pride themselves on being able to listen to such loud noise might just find my quiet exercises unbearable. I too have made "industrial music" - I supported myself as a hardwood floor finisher for many years (and as a research volunteer - how much more industrial can you get?) applying lacquer with a brush stooping over a bucket in a room full of intoxicating fumes. My co-workers and I would get high and enter "lacquerland" where we would spew the mythology of brains swimming in a "dangerously polluted environment" - a sound quite different from what TG and SPK et al did, but for my purposes equally as important (if not more so). I'll publish a tape called "Hearing Double in Lacquerland" eventually.
"dadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadada" is a score, meant to be realizable by anybody. In fact, one of the performers is my floor-finishing boss, a guy who cares about little or nothing other than drinking, gambling, and prostitutes (he seems to be currently in hiding from the IRS). Of course it's questionable how much of this you can tell from the recordings. How much do you need to 'know' in order to be able to appreciate it? It is my contention that you don't need any of this explanation if you simply listen with the understanding that the inanity and the tedium of such an "unpromising" focal point as 2 letters repeated as many times as the margin settings that my typewriter happened to be set to at the time would permit, is an inanity meant to break the rules that would inhibit the latent creativity of the "untalented". To me, this stuff is much more creative than anything on top-40 radio - it's below the lowest common denominator!
tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
From: "Gajoob" #4 - us@
Industrial High Society
Hearing Double in Lacquerland
This is a documentation of sorts. It's a recording of three guys on a lacquer high while applying lacquer to floors. The best thing about this tape is the liner notes. The tape itself is unbearably tedious, and could really be a recording of just about any situation in which the players are otherwise occupied. But is it a comment on the dehumization of the modern Industrialized society in which we live? [no] Maybe.
tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE responds
From: "Gajoob" #5 - early '90 - us@
bryan [the editor of Gajoob]-
K7L, Hearing Double in Lacquerland by Industrial High Society [see review in issue #4] was sent to GAJOOB for review for various reasons. 1st, because it had never been reviewed, and, 2nd, because I wanted to test whether you have much interest in the type of "amusical" residue from social experimentation that few labels, other than Widémouth, are willing to publish.
my purpose in this letter is not even to explain why i find/consider K7L to be interesting/important/whatever - in a sense, i'm glad that you reviewed it negatively because i think that it's not the sort of thing that even most K7 culture people would even like a little.
i'm not a salesperson, i just publish stuff that i like that's mainly unavailable elsewhere & hope that i'll occasionally connect with people with similar interests (which has, fortunately, happened - but most often with "interdisciplary" people - rather than people who consider themselves to be primarily "musicians", for example).
At any rate, here are 2 newer releases that have broader appeal [link to Review(s)-K7G.html & Review(s)-K7G+.html] insofar as they're more "musically" inclined - perhaps you'll like them more.
you'll note that the 2 tapes might seem to be the same if you look at them superficially - the story behind this is that both my friend & collaborator , John Berndt, & I were planning on making tapes of selected excerpts from various improvisations that we'd done solo or collectively over the past couple of years so we each decided to edit our tapes from material from the same period without letting the other know what we were choosing so that we could surprise each other with the contrasts between our respective products & so that i could make available 2 subtly inter-related tapes, a thorough perception of which would require attention to nuance - this is deliberately heightened by the packaging's having an identical cover (except for the slightly differing spines) - of course, the actual contents of the tapes are quite different from each other - additionally, our selections differ - as do our ways of treating them, etc..
best wishing wells,
tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
I was discussing with a friend the difficulty of reviewing tapes, based strictly on their own merits, and naturally, your last tape came up. It happens to be, in my opinion, a perfect example. As an aside, it was my friend's contention that the "music" on a tape should "speak" for itself and should not have to rely on packaging to explain itself. However, I argued that since a tape is usually presented as a package, the "music" and its packaging should be treated as a whole - the whole being the product or idea. With this in mind, I maintained, regardless of the "bad" review I gave your tape in issue #4, that your work "worked" in terms of presenting the idea that industrialization has dehumanized humans by their willingness to perform inhuman acts. My friend, steadfastly clinging to his waning sense of self-worth, argued that, however that may be, the tape itself is still ultimately tedious and not something he'd wish to experience. Although my review was written well before the conversation took place, I'm afraid its point of view reflects my friend's opinion, and not my later thoughts on the subject.
He added that, in his opinion, in order for the tape to "work," you should attempt to juxtapose the thoughts expressed in the liner notes with the documentation that exists on the current recording: such as dubbing in big-machinery sounds, and interspersing that with the seemingly pointless and distant conversation and expressions currently found on the tape. This is only a thought, and obviously not the only idea that could be implemented with regards to your concept.
It's also interesting to note, that while the tapes you recently sent me have infinitely more personal appeal, they will cause me to reflect and ponder to a much lesser extent than "Hearing Double in Lacquerland" did and does.
dear bryan -
thanks for your response to my response to your review of "Hearing Double in Lacquerland" - your having written it at all is a good sign to me that you're "open" to certain "theory" issues..... - to respond point by point to your letter. i'm not interested in the context of "music" PERIOD - it's an outmoded framework no matter how much it's updated - i prefer newer language to contextualize what i present - i often refer to my manipulations of audio as U(SI(AL (or, more simply, as USICAL) - further developments of this being USIC - 1, BOOED USIC (see article in this issue for a description of this - b), etc.. - people who say that what i do is not music/art are perfectly correct - unfortunately, they usually assume that what i'm trying to do(& failing at) is to be a musician/artist - this is merely a projection of their own assumptions (& lack of imagination) - as for your friend's contention that "music" on a tape should not "rely on packaging to explain itself": why should anything have to be a particular way all the time? - it's exactly this type of thinking that says: "music should always be diatonic", "the only good music is rock'n'roll", "the only good music is classical", blah, blah, blah..... - why not explore every possibility that occurs to you (perhaps short of ripping out someone's eyeballs for the sake of getting a recording of their vocalised agony, or whatever) - in other words, there will always be reasons/"reasons" for not doing something that you can imagine (& a multitude of pro & con philosophies) - so, i'm just exposing my own philosophical bias against your friend's variety of restricted formal thinking - some "music"/audio/whatever might be excessively package dependent if it even needs to be recorded & played back! - strictly speaking, the Lacquerland recording(s) aren't presented to the public to just say (or to say at all!) that "industrialization has dehumanized humans" - i'm poor (by "1st" world standards - i'm rich by "3rd" world standards) - at the same time that the Lacquerland tapes were made (in the late 70s, early 80s) my average yearly income was around $3,000 - as a much more flagrant "weirdo" than almost any other human being i've ever met (someone is bound to take me to task for that one, eh?) getting a job was/is almost impossible - especially one in wch i cd feel like i was preserving some integrity of personality/individuality - as such, i worked as a hardwood floor finisher (these daze, i'd almost be happy if someone wd even hire me to do that! but then i've been w/out income for 4 months) - the Lacquerland tapes are more a demonstration of my attempts to subvert (even slightly) what was a miserable and grinding aspect of my impoverishment - your friend didn't want to experience the "tedium" of the tape & i didn't want to experience the tedium of the job - the tape, however, is substantially less "tedious" than the job.. - & such activities as what Industrial High Society delved into can make the job almost bearable - the point being that if i find myself in a "bad" situation i try to turn it into something more positive - the Lacquerland tapes are an "extreme" example of this &, as such, "important" - maybe someday, i'll be making the "Prison Tapes" or the "Death Row Tapes" - not as an outsider making some "artistic" commentary about such things, but as an insider trying to survive w/ imagination & communication skills intact - but i hope not! - as for your friend's suggestion that i dub in "big machinery sounds": that's exactly what i don't want to do - in fact, it's precisely that sort of "musical" embellishment that i think wd divert the listener from the quasi-documentary content (see Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle for a partial explanation of my use of the prefix "quasi") & turn it too much into an "aesthetic" experience (there's much more to be said by me about all of this, but i'm trying to keep this letter short - & i'm not doing a very good job of it, eh?) - i like the contrast between the Industrial High Society material & the usual "Industrial Music" - i'd hoped that it wd be obvious that the tape is published partially as an indirect commentary on such things - i.e.: here's some (un)"real" life residue from the industrial world wch isn't drama - in other words, here's something that's more directly industrial (in one sense at least) than most "Industrial Music" wch doesn't use the vocabulary of clichés that "big machinery sounds" (or womyn's screams) are so much a part of..... - hence its being a recording rather than a transcript: i recommend listening to it closely w/ headphones on (maybe one channel only 1st, the other channel only 2nd, & both channels at once some other time..) - in order to study the meanderings of desperate lacquer infused workers trying to escape thru the meager doorway of perception that the job unintentionally offers - maybe you'll get something out of it, maybe you won't - if you don't get something out of it then that tapes's not for you - like a book, it may not be something you return to again & again - but it's probably worth listening to closely once..
best wishing wells,
tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
[the following exchange took place over the PhiBaPiDC list-serv - Mike Benedetti's frequent contributions are consistently articulate, humorous, & inventive]
From: "Michael D. Benedetti"
Subject: [phiba-improv] A Brief Introduction to My Involvement with Industrial High Society and
*** PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT WHAT I AM ABOUT TO WRITE IS THE OBJECTIVE TRUTH. ***
*** P.S. DON'T LISTEN TO TOSHI, HE IS A LAPDOG OF THE CONSPIRACY. ***
So I got this tape in the mail the other day. "A Brief Introduction to My Involvement with Industrial High Society and Lacquerland." The source material on this tape is the chatter of three men applying lacquer to a floor, high on solvent fumes. Each track is a montage of impromptu songs and discussion. It seems that the right track is slightly higher in pitch--this makes it easier to understand each track.
Like so many human endeavors, "Lacquerland" is about control. This plain fact is hidden in most audio works, but this tape makes no attempt to disguise the agendas of the performers.
Much of this tape consists of the three men yelling, whisting, and singing together. During these times, no one is being manipulated, and the listener is exposed to the raw results of an industrial high. But after a while one of the performers speaks up, explaining that the song was a traditional Lacquerland carol, or the sound of the wild creatures of Lacquerland. This voice wants to create a logical framework around these events; this voice wants to make these sounds "make sense," even if this "sense" has to be fabricated from whole cloth.
This same voice tries to direct the conversations as well, diverting the other performers onto the subject of Lacquerland, trying to keep all the events within this story he has created. His efforts remind me of my own experiences trying to run meetings when everyone is drunk, stoned, etc. Only a truly anal mind wants to stick with the business at hand; everyone else wants to run around and have fun.
Lacquerland fails to draw the listener into this fuzzy world of nylon brushes where "every day is February the 29th," but the view from the outside has its own rewards. Though I don't know if anyone besides me will appreciate those rewards.
You could get "Lacquerland" from email@example.com, but if you're going to send anon some $$$ be aware that he has a lot of tapes available that are better than this one.
P.S. I will not deign to characterize the veracity of this post.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (anonymous)
Subject: [phiba-improv] "Hearing Double in Lacquerland"
*** PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT WHAT I AM ABOUT TO WRITE IS THE OBJECTIVE TRUTH. ***
>So I got this tape in the mail the other day. "A Brief Introduction to My Involvement with Industrial High Society and Lacquerland."
Strictly speaking, the tape is called "Hearing Double in Lacquerland" & the accompanying insert is titled "A Brief [etc..]". It's called "Hearing Double [..]" as a take-off of the "seeing double" that's often associated with drunkeness & because there're different duet sessions in each channel. As such, 1 can listen to 1 session in 1 channel only or the other in the other alone or both together or alternate betwixt them.
>Like so many human endeavors, "Lacquerland" is about control.
>Much of this tape consists of the three men yelling, whisting, and singing together.
As explained above, each channel is a duet &, therefore, all 3 of the floor finishers were not "going to lacquerland" at the same time except thru the unifying factor of the recording.
>During these times, no one is being manipulated, and the listener is exposed to the raw results of an industrial high. But after a while one of the performers speaks up, explaining that the song was a traditional Lacquerland carol, or the sound of the wild creatures of Lacquerland. This voice wants to create a logical framework around these events; this voice wants to make these sounds "make sense," even if this "sense" has to be fabricated from whole cloth.
Actually, rather than being "after a while", this happens immediately in the "Xmas in Lacquerland" channel - which was actually recorded on "Christmas" in 1983 - since both Sumu & Mikey preferred working on Xmas to spending time with their families (& had a deadline to meet for this freelance construction job) they made frequent references to Xmas & holidays in their vocalizing.
>This same voice tries to direct the conversations as well, diverting the other performers onto the subject of Lacquerland, trying to keep all the events within this story he has created.
Keep in mind that the session in which these story elements are being primarily brought up is between 2 people - therefore, this "same voice" could not be "diverting the other performers" [PLURAL] but only the other performer. Even independent of this, the above is completely inaccurate. The "subject of Lacquerland" was created by all 3 of the finishers over time. Close listening to the "Xmas" channel will reveal 1 voice providing the opening framing narration & another, more distant, voice talking about the "mallscapes of Lacquerland" & saying "these are thesounds of Lacquerland", etc..
In the meantime, in the other channel, very little of this myth-making is going on at all. In both channels, their is interplay of a somewhat predictable sort: each finisher echoing or mutating the other. For example, 1 finisher starts whistling or making an ersatz bird-call (of the passing pterodactyls) & the other does the same or comments on the same.
The low fidelity of these recordings, however, makes Mike's perception understandable. These sessions were recorded with a very cheap cassette recorder in mono. As such, the person whose voice is closest to the mike is the 1 whose comments are forefronted & who, therefore, seems tobe attempting to direct it all.
>His efforts remind me of my own experiences trying to run meetings when everyone is drunk, stoned, etc. Only a truly anal mind wants to stick with the business at hand; everyone else wants to run around and have fun.
Actually, this WAS their way of having fun. By collectively redefining their conditions they could 'transcend' the misery of the job. This was both "the business at hand" & the "fun." The job was extremely filthy, 'back-breaking', exhausting, & unhealthy. For a while there, the boss was so preoccupied with giving his money away at the horseraces, to his poker buddies, & to prostitutes, that he thought nothing of paying Mikey in large quantities of rolled pennies. Thanks alot.
As for being anal: with criticisms of the Freudian basis of such terminology put aside for the moment, Mikey, at least, can honestly claim to be PROUD OF BEING "ANAL"! Anal people remember to do things like turn the mike on, write down people's names & phone #s, edit the tapes, give away the copies to the people who participate, & otherwise keep track of TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DETAILS that are sheerly beyond the "non-anal" people who have to search for their keys for 45 minutes every time they leave the house. "Anal" doesn't necessarily mean CONTROL FREAK which, to me, is a very different story. An "anal" person can have the type of imagination that can create a structure within which people are MORE INSPIRED (because of the challenges or contextualization pushing the activities out of the normal muck) than they would be otherwise WITHOUT HAVING TO SACRIFICE THEIR PERSONALITIES. Witness the "Official" C(ue)A(ctivated)M(odular)U(nits) as a case in point.
>Lacquerland fails to draw the listener into this fuzzy world of nylon brushes where "every day is February the 29th,"
I think more people would be "drawn in" by a high fidelity recording - something not very sympatico with the floor finisher's lifestyle at the time.
>but the view from the outside has its own rewards. Though I don't know if anyone besides me will appreciate those rewards.
Actually, I think very, very few people would appreciate these "rewards" - or even give the tape a careful series of multiple listenings. The 'importance' to me of such things as Lacquerland recordings is the unusualness of the situation that they're quasi-documentary recordings of. I find that the tendency of most people is to lump together Lacquerland tapes with things like 'studio-produced music' & then to compare them to the disfavor of the Lacquerland material using criteria like "fidelity" & "musicality". To me, that's a big mistake. Despite, &/or 'BECAUSE OF', my total fanatical devotion to "music", I find it valuable to publish & study recordings made outside its context - especially in SITUATIONAL SPECIFIC circumstances in which the social & physical environment (etc..) is exploited consciously as a primary determinant of the 'results'.
>You could get "Lacquerland" from email@example.com, but if you're going to send anon some $$$ be aware that he has a lot of tapes available that are better than this one.
I would certainly recommend MOST of them over this 1 but I sent Mike "Hearing Double [..]" because he asked for it. For SITUATIONAL SPECIFIC recordings, I would more highly recommend my LP "Usic minus the Square Root of Negative One" or the tapes "Sinnit-Nut Hollow Earth Symposium" &/or "10 YRS IN 10(T)S" &/or the upcoming Volunteers Collective release "A Year of Sundays", etc, etc..
>P.S. I will not deign to characterize the veracity of this post.
p.p.s. Fans of the "ANAL" wishing an "ANAL" 'music'-related document compiled over the last 31 years can request it from me via my above address & I'll send it by e-mail for your reading pleasure.
From: "Michael D. Benedetti"
Subject: Re: [phiba-improv] "Hearing Double in Lacquerland"
*** THIS POST IS MEANT TO CONVEY A LIGHTHEARTED, RATHER THAN SULKING, TONE. ***
Mr. Anon wrote:
>Mr. Benedetti wrote:
>>Like so many human endeavors, "Lacquerland" is about control.
See what I mean? This guy says "I don't care what you got out of my tape, if it's not what I wanted you to get out of the tape it doesn't count."
Thanks for the extra information. No work of "art" exists in a vacuum, and additional information provided via the liner notes or anecdotes can change one's entire perspective on a recording. For example, the information that this consists of duets rather than trios. I once thought that the conversation sections were made up of two people discussing a topic, with the third person occasionally screaming or interjecting nonsequiturs. Now, I realize that this lacquer must be pretty powerful stuff, and that the people in the conversation are interrupting themselves.
I am sure I'm misinterpreting a lot of this, because as you say the fidelity is low and it's sometimes difficult to tell who is saying what and even to make out the words. This is perhaps an extreme case of the saying that "the record is not the event." You were there, you have infinitely more perspective and background on this than any listener. All the listener has is a spotty recording from which he must piece together the original situation. I enjoy listening to this recording both because it's fun to listen to high people and because it's fun to imagine the circumstances that produced this recording.
Plus, I have long had an interest in documentaries on refinishing and construction: This Old House, New Yankee Workshop, Furniture On the Mend, etc.
>An "anal" person can have the type of imagination that can create a structure within which people are MORE INSPIRED (because of the challenges or contextualization pushing the activities out of the normal muck) than they would be otherwise WITHOUT HAVING TO SACRIFICE THEIR PERSONALITIES. Witness the "Official" C(ue)A(ctivated)M(odular)U(nits) as a case in point.
Strong agreement from me. In fact I think some of my favorite recordings and projects are a result of collaboration between the casual and the non-casual.
P.S. John Berndt had no role in the creation of this post.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (anonymous)
Subject: Re: [phiba-improv] "Hearing Double in Lacquerland"
>Mr. Anon wrote:
>>Mr. Benedetti wrote:
>>>Like so many human endeavors, "Lacquerland" is about control.
>See what I mean? This guy says "I don't care what you got out of my tape, if it's not what I wanted you to get out of the tape it doesn't count."
Actually, what I'm objecting to here is the 'objective' framing of your statement - not your subjectivity. You don't write: "IMO, "Lacquerland" is about control." - "is", at least as far as my understanding of grammar goes, makes the statement a claim of objectivity. What you get out of it does, indeed, count plenty to me - in 'fact', increases my own level on interest.
to V.C. home page - to S.P.C.S.M.E.F home page - to N.A.A.M.C.P. home page
to A Mere Outline for One Aspect of a Book on Mystery Catalysts, Guerrilla Playfare, booed usic, Mad Scientist Didactions, Acts of As-Beenism, So-Called Whatevers, Psychopathfinding, Uncerts, Air Dressing, Practicing Promotextuality, Imp Activism, etc..
to Widémouth Tapes home page - to Widémouth Tapes Catalog - to Usic Essays home page
The reviews are not necessarily copied verbatim from the original. Usually, small apparent typos are corrected & obsolete addresses are removed. In some cases, I may choose to leave misspellings, misinformation, etc intact to demonstrate how sloppy the reviewer is. Of course, there may be times when the original packaging was confusing (deliberately or otherwise) which may effect the reviewer's comprehension. The more recent the tapes are, the less likely this is to be the case. Most of the recent tapes provide fairly extensive liner notes. In some cases, reviewers whose native language isn't English may be writing in English anyway for the sake of 'internationalizing' their reviews. Obviously, this may lead to what strikes native English speakers as 'bad' English. Hopefully, equally obviously, this should not be interpreted as a lack of intelligence in the writing. Editorial notes may be inserted into the reviews in [brackets]. In many instances, I (tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE) replied to reviews that I disagreed with strongly. These replies are included here. In some cases, I may add additional retrospective comments.