Jon Nelson, Host of Some Assembly Required
Jon Nelson hosts the tape collage radio show "Some Assembly Required," which features sound collages from both known and unknown musicians. In this list, he focusses on the unknown and independent side of tape collage. I suggest you check out the Some Assembly Required webpage, too, because you can see playlists and learn more about the show (and when it's on.)Some Assembly Required on the Web: www.some-assembly-required.net
Here is Jon Nelson's top ten (unknown) tape collage artists:
The Bran Flakes
These guys make pop songs out of recycled bits of a huge collection of weird old thrift store records, commercials and even...old pop songs. They're funky, fresh and fun. The Bran flakes just put out a new record on Lomo Records, called "I don't have a friend." My favorite CD by them is "I remember when I break down" on the Ovenguard label (www.ovenguard.com) You'll love the song whose chief repeated lyric is "I hate this song!" as well as the extended sample fest at the very end, but my favorite is the odd groovy anthem, "Put a hump in your back." Check out their website at www.thebranflakes.com.
I think the stand-outs are a track where the recorded rant of an evangelical speaker is turned inside-out, leaving him sounding like he's raving in favor of the very things he's actually dead set against. You might also get a kick out of the children's tv show host whose calm, reassuring message has been rearranged to sound as if he's telling little kids that "only children can go down a bathroom drain." (www.detritus.net/escmech) (Disclosure: I hesitated to include my own project on this list, but decided I thought it was good enough - I hope you agree!)
Evolution Control Committee
Not sure at all about a release date, but there are rumblings of a new record by these guys. They have a previous CD, and a couple of great seven-inches out on Eerie Materials (www2.sbbs.se/hp/eerie/eerie.html). If you haven't heard "Rocked by rape" and/or the "Whipped Cream Mixes" by the Evolution Control Committee, then you need to go to www.evolution-control.com immediately.
Only a few recordings by these guys out there and as far as I know they aren't putting out anything more, but you should look for them at www.wifflefist.com - There are some great tracks on a compilation CD called "Scattered and smothered" and I think they still have a 12" available. Laso Halo is a step or three beyond ambient - and a bit noisier - but this isn't "noise music" by a long shot. Most of the artists I like incorporate a lot of recycled recordings of spoken words, so you'll find more of the same here. Wifflefist has a lot of cool stuff to offer. Check out Silica Gel while you're there.
Lecture on Nothing
Why aren't more people talking about this guy? He has a record out on Pop Mafia (Its self titled), and I'm pretty sure there's a new one on the way. Sampling both music and spoken text, and organizing it in ways more musical than most, Lecture on Nothing is a really well-produced, fun listen - which makes sense considering its producer is a professional studio guy. But don't let that dissuade you from finding out more - this is far removed from what most music producers would have you hear. Its got a message, a beat, a sense of humor... in short, they've got it all - and a website, at: home.sprintmail.com/~lon/
OK - so maybe he is more recognized than most on this list, but he just re-released "plunderphonics" as part of a 2 disc set, with an accompanying book, and its really a great read/listen. I'd recommend anyone interested in this genre should go find it now. (www.plunderphonics.com)
They've also gotten some attention, being the Tape Beatle's side project, but this work is slightly lesser known - and they have a new record coming out, so look for it soon. Not as crunchy as the Tape Beatles, Public Works is a slightly more classical approach to appropriation-based music, while utilizing most of the same techniques. Look for their latest release on Elevator Bath (www.elevatorbath.com) - Its a 9" record, an oddity in and of itself, titled "Numbers." You can order their stuff straight from their website at: pwp.detritus.net.
Steinski and Mass Media
Ok, Ok, so these last three have strayed a bit from my original intent of getting away from the more acknowledged artists, but the fact is Steinski's got very few recorded works out there which you can legally buy, so its doubtful you've got any of his work sitting in your collection of collage music. In fact, despite being a bonafide member of this... oh, hell, lets call it a movement - there's very little info about him on the internet, or anywhere for that matter. Tune in to my radio show - we've got an hour-long feature on his work coming up soon.
Wobbly's worked with a lot of folks, from People Like Us, to Don Joyce and the Weatherman (of Negativland), but some of his best stuff has been solo. My favorite? Check out illegal art's "Extracted Celluloid," (www.detritus.net/illegalart) for his track "Only Musical," or look forward to a new record called "Wild Why." I forget what label is putting it out, but you can find a lot of his previous work on Ovenguard (Ovenguard is at www.ovenguard.com and Wobbly is at www.detritus.net/wobbly).