Edition of 300. When it comes to music, time and geography can have a strange effect. Divisions form and dissolve. Things which were heard are can be forgotten. Things which were not are often remembered. As many of us know, this is increasingly the effect of the reissue market, with its radical reappraisals for history, pulling the lost and obscure from the shadows - musical objects now given the ability to travel and gain the attention they deserve. One of the more fascinating and important territories within this, are the widely overlooked movements and scenes of experimental music, which used the format of cassette as a vehicle for their voice and DIY ethos. Drawing inspiration from everything from punk and tape music, to ambient and new age, it is a definition defying and fascinating world. It is into this ambitious territory that the fledgling Dutch imprint Ongehoord takes us now, with 2/3, their stunning new survey of the little know outfit Deadline Paranoia.
Deadline Paranoia is a quintessential emblem of the 1980s cassette underground. Liberated and filled with experiment, the project, located in Amsterdam and led by Hugo Vlugt, Marcel Witte, Paul Hettema and Paul Soto, defies categorization and genre, folding the spirit of punk, industrial, experimental practice, and ambient music into a single, sprawling body. Between 1986 and 1988, fueled by a steady diet of drugs, the group self-released four wondrous cassettes, before disappearing from view. It is from the best of this material which Ongehoord’s latest LP, 2/3 - the second of a series of 3 records that will feature the essence of this band.
2/3 is aagain a revelatory, motorik wonder which forces the ear to entirely rethink common conceptions of 80’s music. Having remained almost entirely unknown in the years since it was made, the sounds of Deadline Paranoia form a reality entirely made possible by the cassette tape. Created at the musician’s homes, utilizing a vast of array of instruments and sound explorations, incorporating everything from field recording, sound collage, and autonomous and collective jam sessions, before folding it all together on a four-track. Ambiences and subtle hints at chaos are threaded with driving rhythms, creating a starting totality which flirts at the out edges of tribalism. Druggy, jarring, and beautiful. This is one to get for anyone who wants to turn the 80’s on its head, or is interested in new visions of synthesizer and DIY culture. Unquestionably worth checking out and grabbing fast.