Wednesday, 2 March 2016

The Tapes - Selected Works 1982​-​1992

Selected Works 1982-1992 cover art

'I think that everything has its time, with a beginning and an end...', so says Giancarlo Drago, reflecting on the process of creating these tracks with his brother, Roberto - indeed - though we know these days that everything is of Now, no matter when it was made. The popularity of electronic music from the days of tape distribution has increased over recent years. Listening to these tracks, it's easy to see why. If the brothers Drago embraced 'mistakes', as the blurb suggests, it's all to the good. 

Lo-fi everything, from art to zines and music is what many would wish to recreate, yet today's overriding dictatorship of professionalism twinned with technology which supposedly allows us to make it possible prevents most from harnessing the spirit of old. Perhaps the notion that the clean, marketable product might make money is just too powerful. 

Some of the best art, however, is made without concern for financial reward (sorry for stating the obvious). Selected Works 1982​-​1992 doesn't so much brim with bravura ideas as seduce with simplicity. Or rather, the fantastic crudity of the one-take adventure, press 'record', go. It's sludgy sounds seems to be made as a predictive act of defiance against not only the professionalism of the time, but all time to come. The Gate, for instance, bobs along like a mad thing with no destination in mind, other than forward. Nervous Breakdown exploits tape; the rapid rewind back and forth perfectly mirroring our thought machine gone haywire. The simple drone with bare bones rhythm and cut-up vocals of Nove also works a treat.

There's a lot of old tape stuff stuff available these days but The Tapes and Selected Works 1982​-​1992 is a cut above.

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