George Beleznay of London-based label Purely Physical Teeny Tapes talks us through some of the most prized pieces from his vast cassette collection. Recalling stories of weed bag art, Facebook messaging and finds through friends-of-friends George tells us about releases from Wilted Woman, Dale Cornish, HTRK, Mix-Mup and more with Sarah White shooting each tape on location in the Canary Islands.
DALE CORNISH “CUT SLEEVE” - HALCYON VEIL - 2017
I love the look of this tape so much, like a piece of candy. Tapes come in all the colours of the rainbow and more and I think the crazier they look the more I like them, which is the complete opposite of vinyl which looks hideous in any other colour than black. Only 60 copies of this one made, which I love, like a little private press.
HTRK “UNTITLED” – (HTRK SELF RELEASED) 2010
This tape was given out to friends at Sean’s funeral. I couldn’t attend as it took place in Melbourne and I was a minimum-wage employee in London at the time. A friend that did attend saved me a copy and brought it back to London, but I’ve never had the courage to listen to it. I think it has some demo/alternate versions of Work (Work, Work) material, and perhaps some unreleased tracks. It’s one of my most-cherished possessions, a special artifact for everyone to keep and remember Sean by. It states: “Please keep this music a secret” on the rear tab.
HOLLY HERNDON “CAR” – THIRDSEX - 2011
Holly’s first release, a kind of collage of found sounds, abstract own material and the occasional pop song sample. It says “Best Played While Driving” on the inside of the cover, although I’ve never actually tried this, and maybe it’s a little joke. Some parts are quite disorientating and there are car-based sound samples like windscreen wipers in there that could be distracting while driving! Picked this up around 2013 before she blew up. There’s a copy of this for 80€ on Discogs as I write this, what on earth!?
MIX MUP “MIXMUP CARCASSETTE” – MIX MUP SELF RELEASED - 2015
Big fan of Mix Mup so when I saw he was selling these mixtapes through Facebook I messaged him straight away! Home-dubbed, second-hand tapes, complete with tippexed titles on the cassette and case by Lorenz himself—what more could you want? I was psyched to be able to get one.
MAALAM MAHMOUD KANIA “FESTIVAL D’ESSAOUIRA” - MOGADOR MUSIC - date unknown
Picked this up in Essaouira a few years ago just based on the artwork. There are these cool music stores/stands in the markets there with all sorts of Moroccan CDs and tapes, as well as dubbed versions of classic pop albums (picked up a Mariah Carey one). They all have faded covers from being out in the sun all day. Kania (also spelled Guinia, Guinéa, Guinea, Gania or Khania) was a well known traditional Moroccan Gnawa musician I learned and has collaborated with Pharoah Sanders and Peter Brötzmann, among others.
CS “CONFUSION/CLARITY” – ZERO BALANCE - 2016
Killer mixtape by Conrad Standish of CS + Kreme. Conrad’s mixes are always next level and this one in particular is one of my favourites. Spans a wide array of styles, but it’s the dreamy, ethereal dance jams on there that I got down to most in the summer of 2018, driving along the beach near Double Island Point. It will forever remind me of that moment, wind in the hair etc. Zero Balance does these awesome mixtapes, curated and released by Nathan Corbin of Excepter/Blazer Sound System fame. His work is still relatively under the radar. No tracklist or digital versions—I have no idea of what about 80% of the tracks actually are, as with all good mixes.
TOOTHY SWEDE “ROOTS EXTRACTION” – GOOD MORNING TAPES - 2018
Bo AKA Toothy Swede is actually an old friend of mine from Brisbane circa 2004–05. I remember buying weed from him at the time and he’d always give it to me in these brown sandwich bags that he’d decorated with illustrations using sharpies and highlighter pens. I still have these! Now he has one of the best collections of reggae and dub 45s in all of Australia I hear, from which he’s compiled this mixtape. On the Good Morning Tapes label that a guy known as Biscuit runs—he releases great music and silly expensive T-shirts always with cool trippy artwork.
WILTED WOMAN “DEMON WORLD VISIT” - STENZE QUO MUSIK - 2015
Killer fuzzy analogue techno tape from Wilted Woman. This was the first tape of hers I really got into, and I ended up booking her for her first London show mostly off the back of how much I liked it. I actually couldn’t find a copy of it anywhere for years (I just had the digital – the tape was really limited) until I stumbled upon the Boekie Woekie bookstore in Amsterdam last year. This store is magic. It stocks only small press and self published art books and zines (think Donlon or Printed Matter but with a focus on local artists), along with a handful of prints, records, tapes and postcards, really special stuff. I was so surprised to see this tape in there, but in a way it also made complete sense. It must’ve been hiding in there for years!
LUCY VAN & LAILA SAKINI – FIGURES - 2016
When I first heard ‘Those Who See’ on one of Laila’s NTS shows I was completely struck by it. I knew straight away I wanted to release it, but of course was too shy to ask and thought it was way too good to be on a teeny tiny label. I’d put out two records on Purely Physical, and didn’t really have the funds to do vinyl again at that point. I can’t recall the details but somehow we agreed to do it as a cassette, changing the label name to Purely Physical Teeny Tapes (thanks to Laila for the name too). Lucy’s poems were printed on an A3 sheet, which didn’t fit in the regular tape jewel case, so I adapted an idea from the excellent Dutch label Wichelroede and packaged them in clear heat-sealed plastic pouches. Very proud of this one and so grateful that they let me do it. Also a shout out to Y-L Hooi for the amazing design and layout work <3.