The thing about music blogging is that it isn’t an art form. It’s a medium that’s entire purpose is to show off the work of others, to celebrate the brilliance and genius that others create. With that, there is little to take solace in – statistics, nice e-mails, the small nuggets of recognition. Perhaps that’s why so many of us turn into labels, in order to garner some sense of achievement, that you might actually be able to contribute something to a scene that you are trying to document. And whilst there is always pride to be taken in writing, there’s real honour to take when an artist lets you release some of their songs, especially on something as limited and insular as Duck Tapes.
For those who didn’t catch the first release on Duck Tapes, the ethos is simple – a series of EPs, singles and short albums by acts previously featured and loved on Pigeon Post, all put out on second hand cassettes found at bric-a-brac stalls and charity shops. The first, by worriedaboutsatan, sold pretty sharpish, and the same should be happening with this. Model Warships is the work of a young man called Michael Waters from Leeds. The influence of Xiu Xiu looms pretty large over pretty much everything that he puts out, which can never be a bad thing. unflinching, boundary breaking and utterly stunning. It’s a cliché to say that there’s heart or personality in a song, but wioth these recordings, entitled ‘Grain’, it feels as though this is Michael, stripped bare, pouring himself out with the simplest of orchestration to back him up.
The tape itself is up for sale now, priced at £10. All proceeds are going to one of the charities that supplied the tapes, but it’s not quite certain which one yet. If you don’t manage to get your hands on the tape, or you’d rather not spend quite so much money, the EP itself is available as a digital download for the token sum of a pound, with the money going to the same source. Sample the delights of Model Warships – Grain below, and a link to the bandcamp and that one off cassette too.
Anyway, to celebrate the launch of this latest Duck Tape, it is with great pleasure that I can announce the opening of the the third Great Mixtape Swap. Just like the last two, the concept is pretty simple – you put together a selection of your favourite tracks as a playlist, zip them up, upload them to mediafire or wherever and send them in – and then a few weeks later you get an email back with a link to someone else’s mixtape. Put in pretty much anything that you enjoy, and do your best to make it as special as possible – the best mixes are the ones that have artwork and have been sorted out into a tracklisting, but neither of those are really essential. The rules are as follows:
- Submissions open now
- Make your mix around 10 tracks long, any age/genre but preferably newer stuff
- Ensure your mix is Zipped or Rar-red
- Upload to mediafire / similar filesharing website
- Send link to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11 a.m. Sunday 12th December
- Expect an email with your ‘swap’ around the same time
So yeah, entries are open now. Make a nice mix that you’d want someone else to hear, making sure that it’s packed with the best, most underrated music you can possibly imagine, so that someone somewhere can listen to it and find some nice new music and hopefully you will get the same back. If you need any help or pointers, feel free to email me on email@example.com, or comment. Or guess.