Boomkat Product Review:
Vinyl-on-Demand make the excellent Young Scientist portion of their American Cassette Culture Recordings boxset available on wax to the public for the first time.
The Seattle-based electronic and synth improv trio are perhaps best considered as an early model for Emeralds or FSOL, with whom they share a mutual adoration of dramatic, engrossing space rock and new age synthesiser themes.
Tape Recordings 1979-81 documents extracts from their four tapes for Eurock - 'Life Sciences', 'Results Not Answers', 'Over Low Trees', and 'Electron Music' - compiled together with previously unreleased archive material (but, it's probably fair to say the majority of us are hearing all this for the first time.)
It finds all three players, Roland Barker (who would go on to join Ministry), Marc Barreca (bandmate of K Leimer in Savant), and James Husted at their farthest reaches, demonstrating deeply sophisticated technique and mixing belied by a sense of exploratory naivety and freedom in moving between their palette of modified sax and accordion with tape loops, mellotron and electronics.
The results are marked by a much wider soundsphere and vaulted production values than you might expect from their home-recording European counterparts at that time, covering great distance from the silvery contrails of 'Breakfast at Mom's' thru the collaged abstractions of 'Manufacturing' and 'Subculture', and the tenderly evocative ambient shimmer of 'Uzu Suburbs'.
Sterling collection, best of the new V-O-D bunch. Recommended!