Mashpot did some crazy home taping garage rock with scum and lo fi attitude. Very refreshing and with a true go-for-broke, garagey home taping feeling. Above, a cover for their cassette release “Songs That Bit The Big One”.
As long as I can remember, I have been playing with tape recorders. Some early memories go back to the mid 70 s when my sister Andrea and I taped TV shows, as well as our pet mynah bird, Jason. Another time was in the early 80 s when my neighbor Mike and I improvised a radio show about another neighbor who told us to get off of his lawn. Taping didn t get musical until the mid 80 s. That was around the time I got my first guitar and second tape recorder, and discovered sound-on-sound technology. From there I made tapes of jam sessions with kids from high school, and compiled them all onto one tape with a photocopied cover. I didn’ t know that what I was doing made me a home taper until I stumbled upon a copy of the zine Sound Choice in the late 80 s.
Sound Choice was quite the educational tool for me. It exposed me to all kinds of home tapers, as well as underground culture in general. I read about mail artists who made photocopied collage prints and drew on their envelopes in mad sharpie style. I also read about writers, poets, and musicians who published and recorded themselves with whatever means possible (as well as other zines that called for trades and cassette reviews).
This inspired me to invest in a better home recording set up. With some new mics, and a mixer with a built in tape deck, I would convert my bedroom into a recording studio (for some reason I called this set up Studio 32 ). I later compiled a catalogue of the lo-fi cassette releases, and responded to as many ads as I could. About a year or so into it, I was trading with tapers like Raymond Scott Woolson, the Bill Jones Show, Plastic Eye Miracle , and CW Gilchrist, just to name a few. Zines that reviewed my tapes ranged from Factsheet 5, Electronic Cottage, Ben is Dead in Seattle, and Creative Loafing in Atlanta.
The tape that I usually sent out was Red Soda s Florida Nightmare (Red Soda was my serious band). But the most popular tape to get reviewed was by my not so serious band/project, Mashpot . Songs That Bit The Big One Vol. 3 was a batch of goofy improvised songs recorded in a garage rock/punk/acoustic fashion (I recall dubbing off over 1000 copies of it myself before the master tape seized). Believe it or not, Mashpot actually got fan mail. Most fans wrote to say that they liked a few key tracks, and wished us luck on the next release (one fan in particular wrote to tell us that he wanted to start a Mashpot fanzine in Germany!). It wasn’ t much in the bigger sense of things, and never happened with any of the other releases on my Studio 32 Recordings label, however, it was nice to receive, and it meant a lot to everyone involved.
My tape trading days subsided in the mid 90 s when reviewing cassettes became outlawed in zines. However, I still play music and record in my home studio. In the years since, I have released several CD s/7 singles, and have been included on a few compilations . Recently, I have been going through several banana boxes full of tapes in hopes of saving some lost gems, and possibly doing a podcast on my experiences. This podcast would be distributed through my site: REVERBOJET.com.