I believe I first started receiving tapes from this project in the early 1990s right about the time the tape above was released. A freeform freakery of fuzz bass, bent electronic sounds and noise.
Years later one of the members ( Crystal Awareness) turned up in my own hometown still purveying his far out electronic blends and improvs. This is the very essence of the freedom home taping provided to chance takers.
I believe I first started receiving tapes from this project in the early 1990s right about the time the tape above was released. A freeform freakery of fuzz bass, bent electronic sounds and noise. Years later one of the members ( Crystal Awareness) turned up in my own hometown still purveying his far out electronic blends and improvs. This is the very essence of the freedom home taping provided to chance takers.
DBAR and 60Cycle Hum join the mail art movement
Dancing Bear Audio Research started it’s mission in 1981 and soon after that the band 60 Cycle Hum formed out of the wreckage of an unnamed five piece band. As we were not exactly playing popular music we recorded at home onto reel to reel and cassette tape. Chances of the big record deal, large cash advances, and sold out auditoriums were quite unlikely considering our penchant for cascading wall of sound feedback jams, atonal or monochordal excesses, and quite often disdain for almost any kind of structure at all. We played out a few gigs here and there but mostly we rented halls and threw parties as Dancing Bear Audio Research presents, with our friends collecting money at the door, helping schlep our equipment around, drinking, and decorating.
After a few years, two things happened, synchronistically, that gave us our first gaze into the home taper phenomenon. Firstly, one of the fans of the band moved to SF, CA and met and cohabitated with CIII from Taped Rugs Productions. Secondly, a friend who worked for a printer in the Albany NY area discovered a copy of Factsheet Five magazine and gave it to me. In CA, CIII heard some early tapes of 60 Cycle Hum and offered to release one on his label, which we took him up on and so our first “official” release “Message from Space” was created. Between the contacts from Factsheet Five and Taped Rugs Productions i started to trade cassettes and zines on a frequent basis. I traded consistently with Sound of Pig music, AT, Harsh Reality Music, Taped Rugs Productions, JSLabs, Gajoob magazine, Hal Mcgee – Electronic Cottage Magazine, Don Campau and No Pigeonholes and Lonely Whistle Stop, Dave Fuglewicz, and many, many other people far and wide. Having a friend who worked in a corporate mail room certainly helped me out, as far as postage was concerned. The folks working at the post office in rural NY state, where i lived, were always amazed at the strange mail i received from all around the world. i traded approximately 10 cassette tapes weekly for about 2.5 years. during this time DBAR released about 10 cassettes, mostly but not all from 60CYCLE HUM. The fun and adventure was interrupted by massive personal legal troubles in 1992 at which time i had to drop out of the mail art movement.
I consider all the friends that i made through this network, many of whom i still trade with, but still haven’t met in person, to be the most inspiring bunch of people that i know.