Gotta Read The Labels: Folding Cassettes

It was 2007 when I became aware of Sic Alps, a San Fran psych-garage act that were somewhat of an obsession following my purchase of and connection to the album Pleasures and Treasures. Pleasures and Treasures was the band's proper full-length debut, but they'd produced some 7" singles and 12" and cassette EPs, all of which were issued by labels like City, Animal Disguise, Awesome Vistas, Skulltones, and Folding Cassettes.

Folding Cassettes was a cassette label owned by former Sic Alps member Mike Donovan, the sort of SF-area enterprise meant to keep the oddball creatives and fringe artists documented and available to any against-the-grain listenership willing to dig into the catalogue. I was very drawn to the Folding Cassettes website, not only because of the tunes that were made available, (some of which I remember being experimental noise projects), but because of its aesthetic. From memory, I recall the entire interface being built from a single image of a rugged, makeshift shelving unit backed into a large wall, housing media and stereo equipment. It's the feeling you get when you see an artist's studio or a band's practice space. It's clear that the environs are meant to be practical and that function is its primary consideration since the work or art itself is meant to receive the finesse and attention. 

The site no longer exists and I'm likely romanticizing this image that I have in my head. Either way, Donovan's efforts generated a substantial catalogue, enough so that Drag City (the home of some of Sic Alps' last albums before the band called it quits) is issuing a Folding compilation titled Folding Cassettes Greatest Hits. It's available for pre-order at Drag City and on Bandcamp. Release date is 11.11.22.

Track listing:
  1. Patrick Michael Mullins - "Please Recycle (Edit)"
  2. Bear Klawz - "Untitled" 
  3. Kit Clayton - "It's Not About Space" 
  4. Netmen - "Untitled 13 (Edit)"
  5. Big Techno Werewolves - "Birthday Party" 
  6. Freedom Jazz - "Song One from Session Two of Freedom Jazz (Edit)" 
  7. Nam - "Trading N's for J's" 
  8. NVH/Chasny - "...No Refund (Edit")
  9. Skeletor - "Take Yr $ & Bash Yr Skull" 
  10. ABK - "Untitled" 
  11. Mike Donovan - "Xmas Pie" 
  12. Unknown - "Cocaineville" 
  13. Bananas - "Hippocleides Doesn't Care" 
  14. Mikey Wild - "Fucked Up Wilson (Edit)"
  15. No Boss - "No Boss Theme"
A blogger site containing the label's catalogue is still up and running.

Letters From A Tapehead


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