So swiss radio played one of our songs we recorded more than 20 years ago. One airplay only in the first half of 2012. I’m not complaining – I’m jubilating. Just look at the numbers: one song during daytime paid 7.78, which is about 8 $, if I’m not very mistaken.
8 $, that’s more than the price you had to pay for the single.
You certainly know that every server keeps a log file of the search terms readers used to find the site. I do post these informations here from time to time to let you know why others came to this blog. Also, from whose blog they were sent here. Maybe you’ll discover stuff of interest you didn’t know about before.
You would have guessed it: I did put a day’s worth of digging in my files tapes pix to ensure a lot of follow-ups to the tapes I’ve presented here in the last few weeks. Well, expect some heavy unheard stuff in the near future. But for tonight some ambient cut-ups… Yeah, I used to release catalogues of my tapes on a tape, usually a C-90, so you could cram as much as possible on it. I’ve uploaded one for your listening pleasure. I gave them away for free then, you just had to send a blank tape and return postage. That was the http-protocol of the offline world.
For the techies among you: It was made with an Aiwa Double Decker, the first of its kind, I believe. It was the backbone of my tape production, because it could copy a C-90 in 27 Minutes: both sides at a time at double speed. Plus it had a tiny mixing desk with a microphone input, so you had three separate channels, two for tapes, one for ambient noise or speech. I really miss those cheap simple can-do-alls….
So, that’s what you got here: two sides of the C-90 catalogue, probably from around 1986. Side one is obviously the commercial side, you’ll hear garage bands and above all the wonderful Cleaners From Venus, one of my all time faves, will tell you more soon. Side two takes no prisoners. Some fantastic snippets there. On minute 25 approx. you can hear my then incredibly powerful sax playing – now I know why the more clean punks hated me… Wow, those lungs…
Music for a unforgettable new moon night. Don’t know yet if those tapes are still around, but I really do hope so, mind blowing stuff, you’ll hear. I’ll be back with the news. Don’t hesitate to ask about something specific you heard on the tape.
The Calypso Now Audio Catalogue ~1986
Side 1 of C-90 cassette
Side 2 of C-90 cassette
Ajust playback volume to 10 and press the play button!
Wer um alles in der Welt, ausser mir, hat eigentlich noch ein Kassettengeraet zu Hause?
ein paar Kassetten
Naehme mich ehrlich gesagt sehr wunder… Da ich im Moment diesen neuen Blog mit Musik fuelle, das meiste kommt von Kassette, alles ist Indie, das meiste wohl recht krachig fuer DRS3-Hoerer… Fuer Aficionados allerdings bestimmt voller ueberraschungen.
Manchmal frage ich mich, ob ich einen Occasionskassettengeraetegrosshandel eroeffnen soll, so nach dem Giletteprinzip: Das Geraet ist billig, die Klingen kosten dann ein Vermoegen. Denn ich stolpere natuerlich allethalben ueber ausgezeichnete Maschinen, die zu ihrer Zeit ein paar Hundert Franken gekostet haben, fuer 30 bis 120 Franken. Brockenhaeuser abklappern, Leute. Denn eines muesst ihr euch bewusst sein: Kein Geraet der Welt kann dermassen hoch aussteuern – wo eine Nadel aus der Rille springt, da haelt das Kassettengeraet noch laengst mit. Und viele Produktionen legen es drauf an, die Bandbreite einer Kassette voll auszureizen, die Lautstaerke zu uebersteuern. Und das kann ein MP3 natuerlich nicht wiedergeben – Digital ist praktisch, klingt aber katastrophal.
Also, Geraet kaufen! Kassetten gibt’s naemlich noch
I’ve just scanned some parts of the Calypso Now catalogues from the 80′s and I’m astonished by this ‘hit-and-run’ graphic style that just came natural because the tools weren’t really available – some catalogues were even printed in my kitchen on those heavy machines they used to have in schools, where you typed your text on a so-called stencil, and with this you could print up to several hundred A-4 sized copies, until the stencil just ripped itself apart. That was by far the cheapest way to publish a catalogue.
Later, when the label got ‘bigger’, I could afford to have flyers printed, at some time the catalogue came on a poster, from which I scanned a small part here. So, let’s talk about sex!
The “Sex sells” slogan was used as a provocation for the swiss postal service, the catalogues being folded in a transparent enveloppe so you saw the picture and the slogan, but couldn’t tell if the penis would be visible as a whole. Well, the provocation worked marvellously, the catalogues were refused by the post office here, which gave me the opportunity to put a ‘Censored’-sticker on the cock, which anyway wasn’t really visible, as you can see for yourself. Click on the picture to see it full size in a new browser window.
Why this cheap provocation? Well, I was a bit fed up by all those shops flashing naked tits around to sell some product, so I really had to prove my point. As I said, it worked great. It would still work today, bet?
Steven Tetzloff, by the way, the man with the penis, was a guitar player from San Francisco who played in rather shitty New Wave bands (by my humble opinion ), but he made three solo tapes which I still adore; all of them have been released here by Calypso Now and I will upload some of his music soon. He did them really cheap in his bathroom, with nice distorted guitar and a cheasy rhythm box, kind of a Velvet-Underground-play-Suicide sound. Suicide? No, not suicide as an action, I mean Suicide, the band, with Alan Vega.
I liked the music of Steven Tetzloff so much that I also put him on the last compilation tape from Calypso Now, the Starspot Compilation (click here for a full picture of the catalogue and more information about Starspot), and on a promotional single, called Sex Sells, of course. By the way: I must still have some copies of this 7 incher laying around here somewhere, will probably have to dig in the boxes I’ve moved with at least three times in the last 10 years without opening them once more. I’ll keep you posted. Might interest you that the tape and the single also contains a marvelous track from Herr Dr. Michael Angele, now Leiter Kultur at german paper and web community Der Freitag… hehehe – more is here to come!
And…. I’ve uploaded two tracks by Crash Course from Biel-Bienne, then renowned as the fastest (post) punk band in Switzerland (probably falsely), from their deleted single, which came out on a compilation tape of the band on Calypso Now. Singer is the same Herr Dr. Michael Angele
Crash Course: Break Down The Walls, Television
Ajust playback volume to 11 and press the play button!
Calypso Now is the Swiss cassette label active mainly in the 1980s. There were about 200 releases over the years, some produced by the label itself. Most of the releases were produced by the musicians themselves or came from foreign labels, some tape productions, fanzines and records were only distributed by Calypso Now.
Sales were not fantastic – they range from zero to several dozens, as far as I remember. This was not due to the quality of the productions, but cassettes were always an aficionados-only medium. They have several advantages, though:
they can produce a higher output level than vinyl or digital records
they are very cheap to make because there are no costs for a master
they can be recycled – simply record over the existing sound
I set up this blog to present some of the productions, publish some stuff from my archives and links to uploaded music from the label. I’ll be back soon…