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Sounds on repeat: TELLUS, the audio cassette magazine

TELLUS Audio Cassette magazine

Going back to the early 80s when the digital revolution and the DIY movement was radically increasing, an idea of a subscription only bimonthly publication that will document mainly the New York music scene was born! TELLUS, an Audio Cassette Magazine that was active from 1983-1993, arrived through the discussions of Joseph Nechvatal, Claudia Gould and Carol Parkinson at Rum Runner bar, at Canal Street, in New York. The aim of These Cassette series was to document sonic works which had been produced and distributed by artists themselves, the mail art movement and some mail orders. Eventually, Tellus series numbered 27 Ιssues, exploring a wide range of improvised music, minimal electronics, no wave, speaking words, punk, tango, new Chinese music (listen to the piece of Hao Yuchi – A Hundred Birds Calling) and much more. The compilations managed to list musical works written for radio, experimental theater, visual works etc, giving the impression of one of the most complete audio archives, of that period.

Perhaps names like sonic youth, Michael Gira, Lydia Lunch, Glenn Branca, Merzbow may be the most notable entries on these historical editions, but what I enjoyed most was the most anti-art music. I will definitely recommend you to listen:

  • Tellus # 24, a flux movement documentation, published in 1990 with contributed artists like La Monte Young, Dick Higgins, Philip Corner, Takehisa Kosugi etc.
  • Tellus #13 (1986), including music by If Bwana, Amor fati, Coup de grace etc, and is dedicated to power electronics.
  • The material presented in the media myths collection (Tellus # 20 1988: difficult to mention only a few names. This is my very beloved one!) and
  • The video art music (Tellus # 17, 1987: Ann-Sargent Wooster and Brooks William, Arlene Schoss, Allan Powell and Connie Coleman etc.)

Active for just 10 years, TELLUS Audio Cassette magazine managed to release 27 issues, a highly recommended musical source that you have to explore!

Links to follow:

Listen: ubu

More info: here

Radio Show about Tellus: here