Boomkat Product Review:
Berlin-based artist Alex the Fairy's debut for The Tapeworm.
"Alex The Fairy writes: "I had sent The Tapeworm tracks before, but I was being difficult so was asked to send a new bunch, with a deadline. I sent the new bunch, a fairly odd collection expecting perhaps some of them to be combined with the older stuff but not seeing any coherence in them. I figured The Tapeworm would find at least something. To my surprise the suggestion that came back was exclusively the tracks I had sent the second time, and, re-listening through the tracks in this new order after returning from a Christmas dinner lying on the floor of my nephews bedroom gave them a completely new context. Despite them being quite varied in terms of age (one had been flung together a few days earlier on the train while another was approaching Schulreife) they seemed to meld together in such a way that I hardly recognised them…
Last year my grandmother died. My last grandparent. I had put off seeing her during corona, as I thought it best not to put her at risk and had almost left to visit her days before her death but had delayed my departure because of a medical appointment. My failure to her weighs heavy on my mind - fates grimacing grin: too little, too late. The approaching march of death, one generation closer was a confrontation I wasn't prepared for.
While clearing out her flat in the following weeks I had kept some of my grandfathers cassettes, live recordings of jazz greats, Pink Floyd, Sade and some classical among them, none originals, several presumably from the radio e.g. a church organ rendition of Bach. At the time I wasn't sure why I was hanging on to them, other than the urge to hoard, and that it felt wrong not at least to keep some. Half a year later, half way through mixing this cassette, suffering from my first bout of COVID, I had the insatiable urge to hook up the cassette player I had received from my grandfather after his death around nineteen years earlier and had been dragging along with me since. I stuck a cassette in only to immediately return to the safety of my covers. I began to work my way into what I had saved, hearing the fruits of my grandfathers labour decades before. It felt like quite an intimate interaction with someone I had long lost contact to/was long gone. Quite a wonderful thing, these time traveling cassettes.
I returned to the tracks to mix them shortly before my corona/cassette experience, with a new mixing console at hand. I had been looking for one for several years, but nothing had ever clicked, until I found this old broadcast desk 30 minutes from my place (it also coincided with a payment from a job the sum of which matched the price identically… fates return). Installing became a massive hassle and I doubted my decision continuously, but the further it was implemented the more it made sense. The first track I recorded with the mixer is on this cassette. Shortly before the mixing I was introduced to an Effektgerät by a friend, Rapha. Another good friend Art lent me their one, and I ended up using copious amounts of it throughout mixing, alongside my usual space creators. All the tracks on this release were mixed again on this mixer and are in a sense all a bit of a dub of the originals. I wouldn't have worked this way without the mixer, and the effect gave me a dimension I hadn't had before, so, from a technical perspective, the mixer and this effect define this release, giving it a coherence, at least for me. Emotionally of course the chaos and turbulence of the preceding year and my newfound appreciation for the medium give it a meaning I will struggle to formulate." – Alex The Fairy, Berlin, 9 May 2022"