I have not met Anne-F Jacques before and I’m afraid it might be difficult in the next few years. We have some common friends and I believe some similar interests around music, and maybe something beyond music too. We have traded cassettes before, shipping always taking too many days.
I also run a cassette label named Zoomin’ Night in Beijing.
In the summer of 2021, we started talking about some possible collaborations. A collaboration between two tiny cassette label runners, I thought, could be an interesting idea.
Then, I had an idea to invite two other cassette label
runner friends to join the game. For each release, two persons contribute sound materials, a third person makes
some arrangements and mix (only using these materials) and the final product is released on a fourth person’s label.
We change roles each time, so each person will act twice as
a musician, once as a producer, and once as a publisher. And also this way, each person’s work will not be published on their own label.
Anne-F suggested two friends. Pablo Picco is an Argentine musician who works under the name Bardo Todol and has just started the label Bolinga Everest this year. I always imagine him as a passionate and mysterious father, living with his family in the campo faraway from any civilization (comment from Pablo: I live 50 km away from a big city, not that far away from civilization!). And Christian Schiefner aka.Chemiefaserwerk, who has been running Falt for many years. Actually we had traded cassettes before. He lives in France, but it seems he is from Berlin. So many people have released their stuff on Falt, including Pablo, Anne-F and myself. It is one of many secret links between us.
We spent days preparing, recording, mixing, asking for more materials, and thinking about a name for this project.
One day, some old memories came back to me from the past.
When I was a teenager, in the mid-1990s, broken and loose tape could always be found in cities, even in the country. They were ripped on wire, on tree, or hidden in some corner someplace. After a breeze, some black tape would be floating in the air. No one had any interest in knowing what was recorded on those tapes. Maybe English teaching or pirated pop songs, or private messages, sound diary, radio programs…
After the 2000s, this sight became rare and then disappeared. But now I think, “floating tape” could be a good name for our collaboration. A tape can be soft, dirty and inconspicuous. But in another imaginary, these dirty tapes can be transported by the wind, floating across the ocean, and reach another un-met friend, all in an undetected way.
That is the whole story of “floating tape”. There will be four releases, sharing the same title but in different languages. The cassette you hold in your hand, released by Anne-F’s presses précaires, is the first one. It was performed by Chemiefaserwerk and Bardo Todol and mixed by myself. In the coming months, another 3 cassettes will come out in some other corners of the world. Hope you enjoy.
released December 15, 2021
A1 : lines and lines
A2 : ghosts
A3 : buried violin and percussion
B1 : duo
Sounds by Bardo Todol and Chemiefaserwerk
Mixed by Zhu Wenbo
Cover art by Bardo Todol, made into hand-carved stamps by Anne-F Jacques