Audio Adventuring through North Eurasia Found Tapes
I'm not totally sure how I got here.
What I DO know is that about a year-and-a-half ago, back in early 2022, I stumbled across an album titled закуток ↬ якутск by катя егорова и егор клочихин and decided to highlight it on the site. Maybe I found it posted on Foresteppe's IG? Who the heck knows. But this album of mashed-together spoken word + media broadcast + airwave static + folk instrumentation + background ambiance sent me down a strange rabbit hole, leading me to the other side of the world - specifically to Yakutsk, Sibera. Eventually, I connected with a IG user, @wlkthln (who was behind this release) and we struck up an online conversation about our respective homes. It was a nice internet moment, for sure, especially since the US/Russia political relationship would quickly deteriorate just a few weeks later.
Now I'd like to jump back in time for a little bit of context. I think that my fascination with sound collages from faraway places began when I was sent DILO by Lucia Nimcová & Sholto Dobie. It's a stellar mappa release, so be sure to check it out when you have a moment (and read my review here). I remember walking through downtown Astoria, Oregon on a hot June afternoon, blasting Ukranian folk songs through my earbuds and thinking, "Dang, this is a trip." And that's truly what it felt like - a trip. For me, a former history major/international studies minor and current history teacher, learning about the album's background was as interesting to me as the audio, itself. It didn't even matter that I couldn't understand much of what I heard - I felt that I had gotten a glimpse (if only a small glimpse) into a corner of the world I knew nothing about. I was hooked, and started seeking out similarly-styled media.
And now back to the present, and to the focus of this meandering piece. I've only just recently started to follow the mysterious label, North Eurasian Found Tapes on Bandcamp (they're the ones who released the first album I referenced - the one from Yakutsk). And my goodness what a treasure trove! At the time of this publication, it looks like the they've released 65 "found tapes" of who-knows-what. Now, I've only listened to a few of these recordings, so I can't really name favorites, but if you've got some space this summer, maybe you'd like to join me in an audio adventure. I used to spend my Junes - Augusts listeneing only to Dead shows, then last summer I got really into episodes of It's a Beautiful Day in the Gulch, and now I think I'm ready for a new deep dive. Watering my plants, staining my fence, walking my dog - I'll have these mixes to soundtrack my long days ahead. Check a few of 'em out for yourself! I've embedded my entry point, as well a more recent release below.