Alan Herrick was a key player in the San Francisco Bay area underground scene with his retail outlet, Auricular Records. As an artist he produced many different releases with several different groups including Big City Orchestra. He continues to create experimental work and distribute it at his web site: Auricular Records
Above and below are pictures of their 1991 tour. Left to right ( below): Alan Herrick, dAS, Gustave Pastre.
My earliest experiences with the cassette culture stemmed primarily from foraging through Fact Sheet Five and finding the bits and pieces that seemed interesting to me and occasionally contacting the artists to obtain recordings or try to trade for one of their releases. In the beginning of my experience (mid 80’s), I was not recording so would shuffle off my small bills into properly addressed envelopes and await the audio, art and small catalogs I would receive via post.
In the later 80’s I opened a retail record shop in San Francisco with a focus on experimental music and a primary focus on cassette culture for the stock. I began to contact more artists regularly and began consigning many local and distant artists works for our store. At this time I began recording as Nux Vomica and with a few other local projects. My first trades I made were with Eric Hausmann of Spilling Audio, Mike Honeycutt, and Gen Ken Montgomery. Many of these trades resulted in exchanges with artists appearing on each of the other small cassette labels and an even broader network of friends.
I started the label Auricular Records in 1989 as a cassette only label – who could afford anything else really – and reached out to all these new DIY artists I had met for tracks and full-length releases.
Auricular Audio Magazine was conceived as an series of compilations to highlight the significant work of many of these people and was presented in rather elaborate packaging with each release – two sewn together 7“s with a cassette in between, cassette inside a sealed cylinder covered in audio tape etc etc. These endeavors allowed me to meet and work with some of the greatest people I have met in my lifetime GX, dAS, AMK, Eric Hausmann, Yr. Host Bobby, Brook Hinton, blackhumour, Little Fyodor, Ron Anderson, LX Rudis and the list goes on and on and on and on up to well over 100 different artists and projects. In the meantime my project, Nux Vomica, was appearing regularly on many of the compilations and small DIY labels.
It was an incredible time and we had a large family spread out across the entire world but the music seemed to bring us all together into the same small space more often than not.