Various Artists

The Minimal Wave Tapes Vol. One

  • LP-STH-2223
  • Release Date: January 22nd 2010
  • $24.99

For those seeking a substantial once-over, Minimal Wave Tapes, Vol. 1 serves as a great introduction. Most of the releases on the imprint are vinyl only, so PB Wolf combed through Vasicka's vast collection (the two co-produced the project) and hand-picked the group of tracks that show up here. Though Vasicka has released compilations in the past, Tapes is the kind of primer that makes the overwhelming (and for the listener, rather expensive) process of weeding through these acts (hailing from Belgium to Spain to the States and beyond) a little easier. And though there is a commonality at work with the music featured, the genre variations that arise throughout the compilation— ranging from punk-funk to early techno rumblings to chilly goth textures— help orient the listener with what they might like to delve deeper into. Almost every track shares an exploratory, homemade feel in either production or the varying degrees of musicianship at work, and though it makes things sound a little lop-sided at times, it's an exciting peek into the experimental, underfunded aspect of a burgeoning trend.