Apologies for the blurry scan of dk’s 1985 cassette, “The Sexual Fix”. This was a bizarre tape, the only one I had received from this Canadian artist at the time, and it revealed a unique vision of disjointed rhythms, strange vocal twists and turns and jumbled arrangements of quasi Beefheartian approach. There was really no artist that sounded anything like him. He released his material as strictly “anti copyright” and actively traded at the time. Over 20 years went by without any contact with him and then finally we reconnected and he sent me a bunch of two CD sets that were recorded somewhat later although still in his identifiable and unusual style.
I started home recording with early cassette decks and reel to reels in late 1960s with my friend Dave Porter. Just after high school we made a very lo-fi cassette recording of us and another friend improvising on household items like pots & pans, vaccum cleaner, sewing machine and some musical instruments.
We went to art school and continued with our sound work and were involved in an installation piece as well as some performance art. Later in the mid 70s I had a set up suggested in a mag of two tape recorders with mic and line mixing and you build music by bouncing between to the two decks.
At first I would trade tapes with my friends. With Dave we would sometimes respond to each on tape, he would make some kind of music for me to overdub onto to. I knew about the mail-art movement and I dabbled a little there sending out a tape or too. But it wasn’t until I found Op that I really got going. Eventually in the late 70s I got the first Portastudio that Tascam brought out and it remained my main recorder
until the mid 90s.
I thought about what Op was about and came up with a plan to do trade only because I did not want to involve money. I would tell people who wrote me that they just had to send my some form of art, whether it was music or a collage or writing. I am not sure who my first musical trader was. But one trade that started a long friendship was with Bright Too Late: Steve Karcasheff and David Mattingly of Indianapolis. I also traded early on with Hal McGee and Deborah Jaffe, Tom Furgas, Masami Akita, John Oswald, Schimpfluch, Sue Ann Harkey, Forrest Fang, Zan Hoffman, and many many others.
In the late 80s I started collaborations with Tom Furgas, Peter Sramek and Dan Lander. The latter collaboration went on for 3 to 4 years but we never released more than one track on a compilation. We mastered a tape around 1990 but I never sent it out. I have been working on this and do plan to release it soon.