Carl Howard ran the audiofile tape label for several years out of Jersey City, NJ. In addition to his label he also had his own musical group, NoMuzic, which ground out some tough semi industrial drum machine rock. His high quality cassette covers and his professional design sense were some of the best looking covers of the period.
One of the first tapes I got from him, “Hear The Roar Of Mountains” was a landmark compilation and featured many of the artists that defined this era.
The first person I contacted was Al Margolis (now Pogus Records, then Sound of Pig Tapes). He had placed a classified ad in William Davenport’s UNSOUND Magazine which caught my eye because, much like myself at that time, I was in the borough of Queens in New York City. UNSOUND was being sold in the legendary underground record store 99 Records – without question the edgiest and most progressive record shop in the city.
The Sound of Pig ad might well have included a phone number. Nothing that people would dare do nowadays. I called Margolis and met with him personally, meaning that any initial tape trading or gifting would have been done in person.
This was 1984, and by the end of that year we had co-released a cassette called “Whee. Whoopee. Wow,” (yes, punctuated that way). Far more was in the pipeline for both of us, and of course, Margolis proceeded to have a far more lasting impact on self-released music than anyone could have imagined at that time. At that time, in addition to manufacturing obtuse noises at home with an early 4-track cassette recorder, he was still picking up some extra bucks playing bass in a bar band in Brooklyn once a week. He had a Gibson bass that he got a real sweet tone out of.
I don’t remember who some of the earliest trade recipients of audiofile Tapes releases might have been. Al got them, of course. Unsound Magazine got them. 99 Records got them! William Davenport found me in Facebook a few weeks ago.
Of the legendary Ed Bahlman of 99 … does anybody really know? Drop me a comment . While there, check out the goody or two there for download from the shady world of European Production Library music, and click on over to Luxuriamusic!