Thursday, 23 April 2009

NOVASAK / BONEMACHINE split tape

Band: BONEMACHINE
Title: Untitled - Novasek / Bonemachine split tape
Format: Cassette tape only release on the W.A.R. label (WAR031) in 200?. The tape case has a unique piece of circuit board stuck to the face, each tape being different. Laminated inlay card with track details and edition number.
Edition: Limited to only 16 hand-numbered pieces.

Track Listing:
Novasak side:
01 / 02. Drowning While On Fire

Bonemachine side:
03. Black Sky

A work of genius, for all the right reasons!

Packaging - excellent: the unique nature of the glued-on piece of circuit board makes this visually completely different from anything else in my collection, and whoever had that brainwave deserves a pat on the back. Obviously makes it a bit of a bugger to stand up on a shelf (as the weight is not evenly distributed) and won't fit in a cassette rack, but that's the price to pay for cutting edge design! Edit: Alex has just emailed to comment that it was really hard to cut the circuit board to achieve this effect, and that it's something he's not inclined to try to repeat!

Availability - not a hope in hell! With only 16 being made, they are all long sold out and I've never seen another one for sale anywhere. My copy is #7 of the 16, and I've only seen one other copy (number unknown) in an online review of this at the German website www.club-debil.com/fanzine/rezis/tontraeger/novbonem.htm and the circuit board fragment there is markedly different from mine. I wonder, did anyone think to take a photo of all 16 tapes when they were originally made...that would be worth seeing!

Music - well, this is one of my personal favourites from Bonemachine! You really can't try and put into words the ambient and noise-related nature of the music on here, save to say that it's both catchy (with a simple but rhythmic synth riff overlaid by static later in the piece) and occasionally brooding and mysterious. I love it and quite happily play it whilst busy on other tasks as it is balanced just right to be lodged in your brain to hum along to without being so intrusive that you lose focus on what you're supposed to be doing!

Novasak - an American band, the experimental noise project of one Todd Novosad, the guy running the Swamp of Pus label. As usual with split releases I'm not putting much emphasis on the non-Hugin side of the album, but suffice to say it's both entertaining and pretty much what you'd expect from this project.

Conclusion - I'm really, really pleased I managed to snare this one when I had the chance, as I don't suspect it would be easy to find another to replace this. Equally, the track 'Black Sky' seems pretty unique to this release too, so I really must give some thought to making a back-up copy just in case my trusty death-deck decides to eat the tape....perish the thought.

Marvellous!

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