Jim DeJong’s label in the 1990s was called Doomsday Transmissions. This particular tape came in a plastic bag. Jim has a fine art esthetic that adds special grace to his releases. This was a short experimental cassette.
Later, Jim changed his label to The Ceiling when he moved to Hamilton, Ontario. On this release he made a 45 rpm vinyl release to look like a CD. On more current projects he has done untitled 3” CD projects of glitchy, strange landscapes.
The other day, I was walking by the train tracks near my house, and noticed a VHS cassette that seem to have been deliberately placed on a track. It had been destroyed by being run over by the time I saw it. I wondered what would be recorded onto this tape, for someone to want it destroyed in such a dramatic fashion? Also the fluttering tape reminded me of a sight you don’t see so much of anymore, the shiny ribbons on the side of any road, casually discarded with, the antithesis of audiophile attitudes…
So where is this leading? My introduction to tape culture was more through what I was listening to in my teens (‘85 thereabouts?)- hardcore punk, noise rock, underground metal. I had discovered the neat stuff was on indie labels, but the jump into the tape world was what inspired and mobilized me in my high school years. The idea of pressing a record seemed like a faraway idea, but tapes you could get anywhere. Suddenly, you realized that releasing music wasn’t something you had to have someone else’s OK (or money) to do. The “cheapness” of tapes was a great leveler of the playing field. In fact, you probably couldn’t have lowered the bar anymore- There perhaps was never a more inexpensive time to have recorded music.
I met Jared Davison through the tape trader scene, through an overseas trader rag, though he only lived about 15 minutes away. I’ve since worked with him on many occasions, and it’s been a friendship that has endured over 20 years. Both of us grew up with the odor of new tape and blackened fingers from cheap black and white xerox machines (another old hallmark that has disappeared from view). He is still an interesting composer capable of surprising me….