Dan Fioretti is one of the most unique individuals and home tapers I have ever come across. On one hand he created an extremely lo fi, humorous, self deprecating body of work and on the other, some complex, unusual and completely fresh takes on keyboard composition. Sort of like Conlon Nancarrow on acid. That’s not all of course. His many collaborations with Ken Clinger and others ( including yours truly) have spawned unexpected triumphs at times and puzzling mishaps as well. His prolific nature, especially in the prime days of the late 80s/ early 90s had him releasing a truckload worth of material. His cat even released a keyboard tape.
I met Dan a couple of times at his home in Princeton, New Jersey and felt honored to have visited the room where it all went on. A dark and dank back bedroom with computer flashing, tapes stacked here and there and a feeling of chaos mixed with serendipity. A true original. He calls himself KittiMan. His tape label was Kitti Tapes.
His cassette covers were also unique: hand colored with magic markers and bright splashes of eccentricity.
Above, his tape “The Present Day Composer Refuses To Diet” and below, “ Haunted By The Ghost Of Santa Claus”.
It all started one day when I was doing my laundry. I do that sometimes. I was living in New Brunswick and I was doing my laundry at a laundromat near where I live. I went to a record store 2 houses away where I noticed a magazine I have NOT seen before, entitled Sound Choice. All sorts of new and exciting types of music. That is when I discovered Cassette Culture.
Anyway, I had some tapes I made myself, with cheap boom boxes and a cheap Casio keyboard. I found four addresses to send tapes to, including WFMU in East Orange, Sound Choice Magazine, and Sherman Loper, who was making a comp tape called Music For Muzak’s Sake.
The comp came out and my piece King Kong was track #4. The basic track for that song was actually recorded in a department store before I had an electric keyboard. The keyboard had a built
in cassette deck and I taped myself in the store, took the tape home and edited it and add found sounds from the radio.
I contacted some of the people on the tape and most of the people I contacted wrote back, including Don Campau of No Pigeonholes fame. He sent a tape called Pinata Party, featuring mail collabs with Ken Clinger, Dino DiMuro, and several others. The tape featured the very FIRST Bovine story I ever heard, Life With Mary Mayhem by KC and Catfish.
Fun story: on the day the tape came in the mail, I had the flu. Don had this elaborate package so the thingie looks like a pinata party about to happen. I open the thing up and everything goes flying all over the place. Fun times.
Of course I started writing to these people too. Ken Clinger surprised me when he wrote and he said he wanted to write stories with me, and I also wrote stories with Catfish.
Eventually, I also started reviewing tapes for Sound Choice Magazine, and was in contact with nick, Zan Hoffman, Al Margolis, Hal McGee, and the late Doug Walker of Alien Planetscapes.
I actually went to Doug’s house and I met Carl Howard, and Doug’s wife. I saw Doug and Carl record some music. I actually saw Doug’s ginormous tape collection of thousands of tapes. I visited Carl some time later at his apartment.
I went on to make 200 cassettes of my own original music which I am now converting to mp3 and uploading to the web. I have lots of cassette uploads at last.fm where I have two online music labels, Planet Kitti and Seagull Sea Productions. The second label is for collab projects with other cassette artists.