Compilation Review: ‘The Minimal Wave Tapes Volume Two’ (Stones Throw)


Peanut Butter Wolf starts his next cassette-crawling assignment with Veronica Vasicka looking for more electronic prototypes and fossils. The beauty of another Minimal Wave Tapes collection is discovering the back story behind these one-off, maverick, misunderstood and marginalised artists. Even better, if there’s no story to tell, no Discogs entry and no supporting search engine evidence, the enigma and myth rises tenfold, leaving listeners to fill in the blanks about electro remnants, machine music and pop opposition from the ’80s downwards. Thanks to the TDK, at times the off-white noise has such scant regard (or obliviousness) toward engineering through innovative use of limited resources that it will make your ears feel fuzzy. Ende Shneafliet and Felix Kubin, we’re looking at you and your beat up microphones.

The alien, antisocial and ultimately influential include the very danceable and bizarrely bookended “Presidente” by In Trance 95, Subject launching together electro and guitars with vision, and the DIY ethic giving the likes of Ohama’s “The Drum” a natural right to frighten. Rhythms are almost as if some are reading the manual to their equipment while trying out patterns and structures, though Ruins and Aural Indifference show a clean set of speakers to disprove thoughts of the solely primitive. Essential for those that love Stones Throw’s weirder side.
File under: Das Ding, Mark Lane, Somnambulist