The Tape-beatles

The Tape-beatles on UbuWeb

A subtle buoyancy of pulse (1988)

01 Remain quiet and passive

02 The Charlie Murdock show

03 Number one cheese spread

04 The ads become the news

05 Listen to the radio

06 Deeper

07 These are our radio voices

08 Talking about the Tape beatles

09 Sing sing sing (Sing sing)

10 Concern about

11 I'm Lonely

12 Guitar filler

13 A hard hand to hold

14 Love song

15 Wow feel the amazing power

16 Recognize resist

17 These are the real things

18 Scream scream scream

19 Stove top

20 Play by their rules

21 Right for the job

22 You people are in great danger

23 You make the choice

24 Urgent rushing around

25 What kind of problems

26 Microphone burning in flames

27 I think I'm in heaven

28 The law of repetition

29 The law of always being nice

30 Piano filler

31 Individual choice

32 Really fine yoke of bondage

33 Big show

34 The salt

35 Opera lady

36 Take my hand

37 On with it I suppose

38 Radio plays

39 Right for the job

40 That means a lot

41 It's been done

42 Exciting Exiting

43 Logo

44 Rhythm filler

45 Short history of the Tape beatles

46 Catbird

47 Silent filler

The recordings in this collection is the debut release a new group trying to find its own means of expression in a rather narrowly self-defined project: that of making a kind of "pop" music entirely without the use of musical instruments. Taking their cue mainly from musique concréte and cut-up technique, The Tape-beatles made analog tape recording and basic home stereo equipment, connected in unorthodox configurations, their only instruments.

Originally a cassette-only release, this recording created something of a stir in the home-taper community and cassette underground when it first came out on the Plagiarism label in 1988. (Parts of the work were originally conceived for radio.) In 1998, it was painstakingly remastered and re-sequenced for its first release on CD. Lang Thompson, writing for Option, October 1988, said:

"""The Tape-beatles don't just go after easy targets or use a shotgun approach hoping something will work. Their focus and sense of purpose make it worth the attention paid to their dense, associative mix. Like early Firesign Theater, you can't catch everything in just one listening. Especially insightful are the pieces dealing with politically-oriented artists and trendy esthetic theories, because the Tape-beatles are too smart to just ridicule them. The Tape-beatles also want to create new, politically responsive art, but they're working on more effective ways of creating it."

Composed by:
Lloyd Dunn
John Heck
Ralph Johnson
Paul Neff

Cassette release (1988): Plagiarism Cassettes, Iowa City, Iowa
Expanded CD release (1998): Staalplaat, Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Berlin, Germany

Additional material at: