Inside No. 9, Episode #3: Selected Audio Tapes 2011-2022

Episode #3: Selected Audio Tapes 2011-2022

I returned to my shelves of cassettes for this mix after a determination to pick up more tapes this year after a brief hiatus, and because I’m running out of room for vinyl in my apartment. This mix features several old favourites of mine, including Fennesz and Klara Lewis, but it also features artists new to me such as ROMANCE and Heavenly (Tiger Hutchence-Geldof).

The episode begins with a cassette recorded somewhere out in the woods surrounding the Wirral. Or at least that’s what I recall the story was when Infinite Light’s Barry Dean gave me this tape many moons ago. This is a restrained and meditative moment from Infinite Light’s small back catalogue, and the double cassette Zodiacal Light is a phenomenal work, containing wild and raw outsider blues. For the second reel I went for something new. I picked up the Malcolm Pardon remix tape on the strength of the Klara Lewis mix, and the fact that I like to make sure I own all her recorded work. She treat’s Pardon’s work with a deft and delicate hand delivering a perfect trip of tumbling ambience. I must confess it was the mention on Daniel Lopatin’s Chuck Person’s Ecco Jams that drew me to the third reel. ROMANCE’s warped and stretch treatments of Celine Dion are sublime and this tape has been on constant rotation since I picked it up. 

I have been following Rob Lye’s work for a long time, since first hearing him on the awesome Chora records back in the mid/late 2000s. Lye’s Stairwell Editions label is a wonder and his recent three solo records have blown me away. Last year’s Un was incredibly special, and Cortisol was a perfect moment from that tape, making the fourth slot on this mix. Following on with processed strings and electronic composition, how could I not include Fennesz? His cassette Live at the Jazz Cafe is one of my favourite tapes of all times and captures Fennesz at his most expansive. I selected a lighter moment for reel five of the mix. If you’re a fan and haven’t heard this, I can’t recommend it enough. Reel six is Slow Clinic. I was introduced to Slow Clinic by my friend Sergey, and as soon as I heard the self-released cassette Become Nothing, I was hooked. James Armstrong has an incredible way with drone and ambience and this record moved me deeply. From the gathering delirium of listing the side effects of antidepressants I had to drop a recent side of fine sludge from Karen Constance. Her metal insect orchestra is a perfect trip from inside a hive fucked up on too much honey and wood smoke and drops on reel seven. This cassette sees Blood Stereo, the married duo of Karen Constance and husband Dylan Nyoukis taking a side each, showing us their warped audio wonderland. (Imagine if Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter were the real deal, only living in Brighton and making real magic).

The penultimate and longest reel to grace this mix comes from the duo Tongue Depressor. This is transportive and meditative music that drills into the skull with ever-evolving drones and bells. After things spiral out of control the I had to play as soundtrack to a shipwrecked monastery. Things conclude with a wonderful slice of lo-fi dream pop courtesy of Heavenly. There’s such a tragic naivety to this record that is made even more impactful when you realise that the songs are a love letter to her late sister Peaches Geldof. A huge debt is owed to Daniel Johnston and early Radiohead B-sides; and she pays it forward with grace.

Reel 1
Infinite Light
Divination No. 3

Reel 2
Malcolm Pardon X Klara Lewis
End Less Theory

Reel 3
Just a Moment

Reel 4
Rob Lye

Reel 5
Live at the Jazz Cafe [edit]

Reel 6
Slow Clinic
Possible Side Effects Include…

Reel 7
Karen Constance
The Half Z

Reel 8
Tongue Depressor
Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em

Reel 9
Touching Everything

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