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Music Tapes

Though the Music Tapes are seen primarily as a spinoff from the Elephant 6 music collective, which includes bands like Neutral Milk Hotel, the Olivia Tremor Control, and the Apples in Stereo, they began as the brainchild of Julian Koster. As a 16-year-old, Koster conceived of his early recordings, like the "Silly Putty Symphony" as a surreal soundworld to escape into and share with friends. This motivation also fueled Koster's band at the time, Chocolate U.S.A., which eventually evolved into the Elephant 6 projects, including Neutral Milk Hotel, in which Koster performed as a multi-instrumentalist. When he decided to resurrect the Music Tapes in 1995, Koster enlisted the help of Jeremy Barnes, another member of Neutral Milk Hotel. Their first single, Please Hear Mr. Flight Control, was released three years later, and featured a variety of sounds and antique and contemporary instruments, as well as pop-up artwork. The 1999 debut album 1st Imaginary Symphony for Nomad had a similar aesthetic: a wax cylinder recorder and a wire recorder were used to record it, and a supplemental comic book was also included. 2008 saw the release of the like-minded Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes, which took nearly nine years to record, and 2012 heralded the arrival of the Purim's Shadows (The Dark Tours the World) EP and the full length Mary's Voice. ~ Heather Phares
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Mary's Voice

1. The Dark Is Singing Songs (Sleepy Time Down South)

2. Saw And Calliope Organ On Wire

3. S' Alive (Pt. 1)

4. The Big Beautiful Shops (It's Sad That It Could Be Anyone)

5. Spare The Dark Streets

6. To All Who Say Goodnight

7. Intermission (Pt. 1)

8. Intermission (Pt. 2)

9. Kolyada #3

10. Playing "Evening"

11. Go Home Again

12. S' Alive To Be Known (May We Starve)

13. Untitled

14. Takeshi And Elijah

x

Track List: Music Tapes For Clouds And Tornadoes

1. Saw Ping Pong And Orchestra

2. Schedrevka

3. Freeing Song For Reindeer

4. Majesty

5. Nimbus Stratus Cirrus (Mr. Piano's Majestic Haircut)

6. Freeing Song By Reindeer

7. Tornado Longing For Freedom

8. Song For Oceans Falling

9. Kolyada #1

10. The Minister Of Longitude

11. Manifest Destiny

12. Kolyada #2

13. Cumulonimbus (Magnetic Tape For Clouds)

14. Julian And Grandpa

15. In An Ice Palace

x

Track List: 1st Imaginary Symphony for Nomad

1. Song For Soon To Be Sailor

2. 1st Imaginary Symphony for Vaccume Cleaner

3. Song Of The Nomad Lost

4. "Pulled Out To Sea..."

5. March Of The Father Fists

6. Nomad Tell Us

7. Aliens

8. Song Of 100 Castles

9. What The Single Made The Needle Sing

10. The Clapping Hands

11. Sea's Song For Sailor

12. The Television Tells Us

13. An Orchistration's Overture

14. Song For The Death Of Parents

15. A Warning!

16. Fanfare For The Speeding Bullet

17. Wishing Well At Caper's End

x

Track List: Purim's Shadows (The Dark Tours The World)

1. So The Day Long

2. A Lightning's Cheeks (Everything Gets Born Here)

3. 3

4. 4 (Jeff, Jill, And Julian Serenade Rudy On The Beach At Nantasket)

5. Night And Day

6. Nantasket

x

Track List: The Dark Is Singing Songs (Sleepy Time Down South) (Single)

1. The Dark Is Singing Songs (Sleepy Time Down South)

Comments

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Music that pours directly from the soul.
Report as inappropriate
To quote someone in a music forum last night
Julian is a magical, elf-like manchild who makes everybody's life that much better just by existing
Report as inappropriate
crazy creative little guy
Report as inappropriate
so good

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