Tape Tuesday/Label Update: Forged Artifacts (Zula, Space Mountain & Rupert Angeleyes + Joey Joey Michaels)
Combining two sporadic features here on Reviler for one exciting post. We will be taking a look at a label we like but haven’t been keeping fully up to tabs with (our “Label Update” series) while also celebrating some music that has been released on tape (our “Tape Tuesday” series). This round we are looking at three (relatively) recent tapes from local label Forged Artifacts. FA have been putting out solid releases on the regular, and these are three we picked up at our local record store in the last few months that we thought would be worth your time. Check out the bandcamp links below to sample the music and if you like what you hear, support local music and buy a tape!
Space Mountain – Supermundane
Nothing mundane, let alone super mundane, but about this tape. For fans of Bill Callahan-esqe bruised songwriter with a twist, you should not miss this tape. This is the kind of record that delightfully walks the line between seeming causally distant and painfully exposed. You can count me in the camp that most music that could in any way be described as singer-songwriter should be thrown into the deepest pit you can find, but any connection this music has to that genre is forgiven by the rugged uniqueness of the songwriting and the rusty, warm production. One of my favorite finds of the last few months.
Zula – 6 Passes
An audacious, bug-picture take on psych pop from this East Coast group. The album sleeve gives a bit of a clue to the sound, with primary colors and shapes scattered in a slightly ajar fashion. The music picks melodies and instruments that could create some pretty straight-line pop music, but instead of painting between the lines there is something of a funhouse feel. It reminds me a bit sonically of the band Menomena, the group who wrote their songs and then chopped them up only to relearn them again in the new formation. There is a similar scattered but superglued together sound on this CS. One of those records that is engaging on first listen, and you find more quirks on each subsequent listen.
Joey Joey Michaels & Rupert Angeleyes – s/t
A slinky, electric batch of songs from these two (former?) local artists, meandering on the edge of snarky electro pop that leans closer to the work I know from JJM, basically erasing the garage pop Angeleyes did so well. There are many moments on this tape where I found myself getting sucked into the hypnotic groove and sugary-sweet melodies, then almost laughing at the absurdity of it all, wondering if this is all on the up-and-up. There is a moment in the middle of the tape where there is a technicolor groove bouncing through the speakers and the lyrics spinning around that say “I love you and I hate myself,” and I couldn’t help but thinking that I totally got what was happening. I think the thing that makes me come back to this CS is that it isn’t trying to be bubblegum pop…it is just too damn weird. If you’re up for a strange trip, buy a ticket and take the ride.