Thursday, 31 December 2015

Ex-Boyfriends - Deli Oriental Meat Style & Food (2015)

We're going to close out 2015 with an album we've been looking forward to for a while. We know the Ex-Boyfriends are a bit of a polarizing band - you either can handle the combo of Michael Paton's crushing guitar volumes and Djewel's stage antics or you can't. We can't get enough of this, ever. So when we found out they had an album in the can but no firm plans to release it, we were left to wait in anticipation.

Well, the wait's over, and we're pretty happy with the Ex-Boyfriends' product. Sure, we miss Jean Choe's bubblegum backups, but the songs are as catchy and garage-y as always. Paton continues to deliver the hooks and Djewel delivers the snotty/bewildered vocals. Oh, and the rock-solid Dean Martin is back in the drummer's throne. Good times!

There's a vinyl version of this floating around as well (which we have yet to grip), but we know for sure that you can order this on tape from the Shake! webstore.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Dri Hiev - Contravirtual (2015)

Here's a second tape from Dri Hiev. We should have mentioned their industrial influences when we posted that first tape. But we didn't, so here's a taste:

This one's still available from Shake! or Dri Hiev's bandcamp.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Browns - The Return of. The Browns (2015)

Well, here's a thing. Jeff Caissie - er, sorry, we mean Charlie Brown - has reanimated the Browns in Medicine Hat, and put out a new LP. On tape. As many bands over the past year have, we suppose.

This is pretty much what you'd expect from the band - catchy pop-punk tunes that draw heavily on themes from horror films and b-movies. We went to their tape release, and we can also confirm that their live show is also the same as before: lots of energy, and lots of berating the audience. Hey, where else do you get that sort of experience?

We've seen copies of this tape a in a couple of Calgary record stores, or you can download it for free from the Browns bandcamp.

Dri Hiev - Dri Hiev (2015)

We saw Dri Hiev earlier this year, and still aren't quite sure how to describe them. They're messy, aggressive and post-punk, but in an arty/gothy sort of way that recalls early Killing Joke.

Looks like this is sold out at Shake! but you can grab the download from the Dri Hiev bandcamp.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Blu Shorts - Blu Shorts (2015)

Blu Shorts features one of the members of Hag Face, so it's not surprising that they mine the same sludgy, dark garage rock. Actually, it is kind of surprising to us - we saw them as a quartet during Sled Island (with an additional member playing electronics), and they had a more dark wave tinge to their sound. And then we saw them as a quartet during Femme Wave (with a completely different fourth member playing second guitar), and they were more Hag Face-esque. Anyways, this tape is more like the latter, featuring just the three core members.

That's probably way more trivia than anyone needs. So we'll just point you over to Shake!, where you can order the tape.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Fist City - Greatest Splits (2015)

We can't get enough of Fist City - their Everything is a Mess LP is one of the best things we've heard all year. So we're really happy to have this weird compilation from Shake! Records as well - even if it means we're running out of cassette shelving again.

The songs on this tape are culled from a bunch of places (their split 7" with Time Copz, a few unreleased tracks, different versions of LP tracks), and actually serves as a good intro to the band, with Ryan Grieves' relentless precision drumming and Kier Griffiths' yelping vocals couched in a bed of staccato guitars. Well, maybe not so much a bed. More of a nest, maybe?

Anyways, get it from Shake.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Telstar Drugs - Sonatine (2015)

We just did some math (which is scary for some of us at the CCPS), and realized that we have almost as many tapes from this year left to post as we do days left in the year. So, back to things!

This tape comes to us via the former proprietor of Golden Rock, the site that was doing what the CCPS does before we usurped their schtick. To make up for that usurption, though, this tape was packed alongside another LP by the Cry. Just desserts, or something.

Anyways, the lads from Telstar Drugs moved out to Montreal a while ago, and put this tape out earlier in the fall. This is a bit of a sideways jump from the deconstructed guitar pop from their Calgary-based tape, with more atmospherics and drone-y elements at play.

Get the tape from the Telstar Drugs bandcamp.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Prepared - Young & Poor (2015)

We like pretty much anything that Kevin Stebner is a part of, and Prepared is no exception. The band picks up where Stalward Sons left off, taking hardcore into dark, reflective places. When Stebner sings, "I still hate the sound of guitars" on "Young Millionaires," you know he doesn't but also that he does. We like the regret, self-questioning and sheer volume that Prepared has delivered with this tape.

Get it from the Bart Records store or listen on the Prepared bandcamp.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Dada Centauri - III (2013)

We hate to make a big deal about the design of tape packaging, but ohmygod this tape is gorgeous. We're not sure when we last saw a tape this nicely packaged. We almost didn't get this to the CCPS tape deck because we were so entranced by the design.

But we're glad we did get it to the tape deck, because this third volume of space jams between Whitney Ota and Andrew Hume (on a Montreal tape label, we think) is super good. They've come down from the space station on this, and are exploring the planet surface with their synths and electronics struggling under the strange new gravity.

Looks like there's ONE copy left on the La Cohu bandcamp at the time of writing this....

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Dada Centauri - II (2013)

We didn't plan this very well, did we? We're back to 2013 as we work our way through the Unit Structure Sound Recordings tapes that Whitney Ota gave us. This one is a nice companion to the tape from yesterday, with Ota and Andrew Hume going head-to-head and making a pulsating, blooping soundscape that's warmer than the Pedro Monkeyfinger-Protagonist/Antagonist tape, but no less a rewarding listen. Wyrd Canada nailed it when they said it sounds like the inside of a space station.

Get it via the USSR bandcamp.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Pedro Monkeyfinger + Protagonist/Antagonist (2015)

And now Whitney Ota has dragged us back into 2015. This tape is a collaboration between Larry McDowell and Brad Hawkins, with each musician creating a cold, glitchy landscape of noise in their own speaker. It's a pretty stark contrast to the Valiska tape we just posted, but in a good way.

Get it from the USSR bandcamp.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Valiska - Shifts (2013)

We'd like to thank United Structure Sound Recordings' Whitney Ota for (a) passing us a big pile of his tapes, (b) contributing to our tape storage issues, and (c) stretching our writing ability as we struggle to describe ambient/noise recordings.

So, here's another tape by Krzysztof Sujata's Valiska, complemented by Ota's excellent design. As we're basically no good when it comes to describing ambient musics, we'll just say that this one feels more organic and fluid than the collaboration tape we just posted.

Listen for yourself over at Valiska's bandcamp.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Valiska & MHVA - Music on Hold (2012)

We're really happy to be able to post a tape that wasn't released in 2015. Thanks to Eddie from Melodiya for sliding this our way... and breaking the perpetual onslaught of new tapes that we've been posting.

This tape is a collaboration of ambient, atmospheric sounds between Calgary's Valiska (Krzysztof Sujata) and Norwegian MHVA, on UK label Black Hymn Records. This is the type of tape that we feel pretty unsure about describing - we just don't have the vocabulary beyond describing the ambient drones and echoing piano chords that make this an enjoyable, immersive listen.

The tape is sold out (duh, it's three years old), but you can get it from the Black Hymn bandcamp.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Unspooled Episode 1: Jackson Phibes and Forbidden Dimension's "Martian Death Saucer"

There's no shortage of stuff to do around the CCPS offices, what with the tape shelves that need to be dusted and the bourbon that needs drinking. But when the good folks at CJSW invited us to contribute a new monthly podcast all about Calgary cassettes, we couldn't say no!

So, we're very pleased to share with you the first episode of Unspooled. This spot will air on the first Wednesday of each month during Dawn Loucks and Mike Bell's great new show, Saved by the Bell (that's from 4 to 6 pm, in case you're wondering). The spot will focus on a Calgary band, a tape they put out and a song from said tape. A shorter version will run on air, and we'll be posting an extended listen on this here blog via Soundcloud.

Our first episode is an interview with the one and only Jackson Phibes. Jackson took us back 25 years to the 1990 and Forbidden Dimension's Mars is Heaven tape. Want to know the story behind "Martian Death Saucer"? Listen below! This podcast makes up for our less-than-comprehensive original post of the tape!

And tune in next month for more great stories from Calgary's cassettes!

Monday, 7 December 2015

Calgary Songs Project: One Month Until the Reveal!

Well, time flies when you're listening to records. And CDs. And tapes. And streamy things on the interweb. So it's probably high time we gave you a quick update on the Calgary Songs Project thing that we're prepping with Kenna Burima, in celebration of the High Performance Rodeo's 30th anniversary.

So, uh, we think we have the final list of 30 songs. There was heartbreak, gnashing of teeth, and, well, a lot of listening. But we're pretty sure we're there... some of the inclusions aren't going to be too surprising, but we do have a couple of things in the mix that are sure to perplex. But we think we have a playlist that represents the city, our scene and the High Performance Rodeo pretty well. We think.

Heck, we're not sure. There's bound to be a bit of regret tied up with this. Check back on Jan 7 for the list!