Outdated recorders, cheap cassettes and forgotten tape reels are an infinite universe of sound that, in the right hands, can generate interesting outcomes but in the wrong ones aliment the (never really extinguished) flame of “bruit-art” perpetrated by those knob-rotating, button-pushing bedroom animals who are guaranteed to destroy our stomach when delivered from the chains of their self-confinement (the “horrible independent release” syndrome has by now become a terminal illness). But this CD is another kind of story, as Courtis retrieved some very nice memories from his old tapes, which contain a few selected ideas that – lo-fi as they are – sound good enough to raise curiosity in this gibbering reviewer. In “Tape works” you’ll find low-budget acousmatic mini-operas where tape hiss and ancient rack effects fight for a place in the mix’s front row, a superimposition of female voices reciting an ad for diapers, studies for a wire’s ground loop noise that sound like a polar bear right after waking up, a crazed analog synthesizer that would make Klaus Schulze cry for desperation and a 16-minute, incessant, immobile electric guitar loop that saturates my headphones until one of my eyes reads “Electro” and the other “Harmonix”. Some of this archival material is just naive, but there are moments in there that really stand out, achieving a discombobulating, radically unbalanced excellence. It’s a classic Pogus release, uncompromisingly effective in a “do-what-you-want-of-it” kind of a way.


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