One of my favorite pastimes in the 1990s was hanging around Co-Op Records in Cedar Falls picking through the used cassette racks looking for stuff that looked interesting, especially anything that looked self-released or like a demo tape. Part of the reason for this was that I had a startling lack of ability to hold down a job consistently in those days so funds to spend on music were limited, and I could score a lot of these sorts of tapes there for as little as $2 each. But also, I was just really interested in anything underground or obscure, and was excited to stumble on unknown gems. I probably drove the management of that place nuts hanging around but maybe they were glad I was there to clear out some of this particular inventory. This is one of the sources for a lot of my cassette collection to this day, in addition to review material that would get mailed in to a zine I wrote for.
This 1993 cassette by someone called Daas is an especially interesting find. The package is immediately eye-catching as the cover insert is a plastic transparency with black printing on it, such that the tape itself is visible through it. If this causes the expectation that you’re in for something interesting, the music more than lives up to it. Four tracks fill up a 60 minute tape with electronic drums, ominous clashy synths, abstract samples, and noisy guitars. Some of it sounds like it could make good soundtrack music for some apocalyptic ’80s action movie. The B side is entirely devoted to a single 27-minute piece “This Depth Venom” which features the closest thing to lyrics on here, a guest spoken-word appearance by someone named Alva Svoboda.
About the only information related to this that I’ve been able to turn up online is this home page for one of the two main members, Art Simon, and a MySpace profile for the other, one Dan Harris, which is of course gone now. It looks from that like Art Simon’s had other music projects, including another Daas tape that I’d love to find. Art hasn’t seen fit to put much in the way of his music up on his site, which is rather a shame. I’m going to try contacting him by email, wish me luck.