Monday, March 24, 2008

Tellus resurfaces- good ol' industrial noise

History lesson: way back in the day before digital media, we had these little rectangle things called cassettes. They let us record from albums and make mixtapes long before CD's were around. Some enterprising labels (like ROIR) even made them the primary way that they put out new releases.

Like ROIR, Tellus was another cassette-based label in New York though they favored more arty fare. They had the interesting idea to put 'cassette magazines' aka compilations of artists based on certain themes. Since they intended it as a real mag, the cassettes were offered by subscription. From 1983 to 1993, they put out 27 issues, with issues ranging from guitars to visual art music to Chinese music.

Tellus #13 (1986) was their "power electronics" issue, featuring such luminaries as Merzbow, Rhys Chatham and Controlled Bleeding. Catchy, toe-tapping stuff it ain't but it is challenging, harsh and fascinating. Now thanks to the good people at UbuWeb (an excellent archive of art/experimental pieces), you can experience this onslaught of sound and noise which makes Ministry and NIN sound like the Carpenters.

If you're hungering for more (and you know you are...), the Continuo blog offers more Tellus compilations and related material too.

2 Comments:

Blogger Karate Boogaloo said...

I have a friend who will love this. Thanks J!

8:38 PM  
Blogger Joseph Nechvatal said...

Thanks for posting this.
Curated by Joseph Nechvatal. Cover art by Joseph Nechvatal.

9:56 AM  

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