The 1991 cassette release, “O Parladoiro” was a soundscape portrait of the Spanish town of Vigo. Francisco did many such aural portraits all over the world and many of his other sound immersion recordings are sourced from field recordings from different locales. He brings the sounds together and forms them into a profound, universal statement that cannot be expressed in words.
I started working with cassettes by the very simple reason that a couple of cassette recorders were the only means I had at the time (back in 1980). We shouldn’t forget the context of those years when it came to make something like “experimental” or electronic music: i.e., the mighty and cool analog synthesizers and rhythm boxes! Also the music: something called “techno-pop”, remember? Especially for a kid like me, growing up in post-Franco, new wave / punk, Spain was quite a challenge, believe me. For one thing, I wasn’t interested in that scene as such. A reel-to-reel tape recorder was just a dream, and I didn’t really want to make music but to somehow explore that strange virtual world of sound that persistently appeared every time I tried to record “reality”.
Whatever the case, I found myself doing the best I could out of the combination of two cassette recorders for manipulation and further processing of those materials. Very primitive but enormously inspirational. In fact, that was the situation for me for almost ten long years of cassette do-it-yourself, learn-it-yourself techniques and adventures. In such solitude, it took me a while to actually find out there were others out there walking similar paths. As is the case for many others, it’s also hard for me to remember precisely what was the first contact / exchange for
cassette trade. I do remember that happening during the first half of the 80s and that among the first exchanges and collaborations were Hunting Lodge, Maurizio Bianchi, Whitehouse, Jordi Valls, Merzbow, and, in Spain, Esplendor Geométrico (we grew up in the same neighbourhood) and Comando Bruno. The rest, as it happens for most of us, is history ;-)