Been in the tape game nigh on 10 years now. We’ve still only managed 40 releases in our main, numbered series, but I like to think this is because we insist on a higher level of amazingness than those other guys! We have to live with every release we do for the rest of our lives, so they may as well all be raging instant classics right?
This is the way I still feel about our first ever release, blue one: Matt Collins, which consisted of one single epic track - The Grin Without The Cat or The Cat Without An Outline.
At that point, the tape scene was still largely focused on ultra-limited, raw-as-hell noise product. Releasing ‘ambient’ music in that format – perhaps unthinkably now – still felt relatively unusual.
The Grin Without… wasn’t straight up ambient, though. Across its 25-minute runtime it spun through different movements and moods – sometimes it was shimmering and fantastic, other times angry and incandescent. Most of it was beatless, but then when the drums DID come in it felt like the whole piece was turning itself inside out. A brilliant, erratic baby symphony.
Only ever available in a super-limited, scrappy, home-dubbed run, we’re presenting The Grin Without… as a pro-dubbed release for the first time.
Not only that, but Matt has returned to his creation, reinterpreting its ‘aleatoric’ score for a 2021 update that while recognisably sharing some similar DNA with the original piece, is really a whole new thing. More feelings, more textures.
I might love the 2021 version even more than the 2012 one.