I got these tapes right when the Half and Half was closing and never wrote about them, even though they get a lot of stereo time around here. Tone Filth is a Minneapolis based label run by Justin Meyers, who has been making very interesting drone and abstract music for years now under several different names, though more commonly his own these days. There is definitely a label style going on, in both design and sound. The silk-screening emphasizes subtle layering of ink and the tiny irregularities inherent in the process. The music, I'm not sure what the word for it is, the aesthetic is something like weathered tone work. Many of these tapes have the wonderful quality of decaying tape -- flickering textures, asymmetries, a deep sense of mystery. It's stoic, beautiful stuff.
Chambers - Soon - Tone Filth
A very, very restrained tape, made up almost entirely of swells of worn audio-detritus, rumblings, static-like whispers of sound. Something very evocative and affecting about it, though. Almost sounds like jets going by overhead, or a distant freeway, or a windy day, but not quite. Intriguing and strange. $7.
Scott Goodwin - Referent - Tone Filth
Abstract tape that is none-the-less very much the work of Scott Goodwin. His beguiling, op-art tones are in full effect here, but in this context placed minimally in the large open space of the tape. I enjoy this release quite a bit but in all honesty it's not an easy one. $7.
Helm - Direct Landscapes - Tone Filth
Gentle, shimmering, swirling textures with a twinge of Eno-like wistfulness and melody. Very interesting silk-screen job on this one -- thick inks that appear to have been applied to wet paper so that each tape is different in the way the color is dispersed. $7
Justin Meyers - Permanent Pressure - Tone Filth
Out of the last batch of tapes from Arbor, Justin's was the one I was really crazy about, and getting a hold of "Permanent Pressure" directly after was a real treat. There is a deep sense of mystery about this tape -- the way the it begins in near silence, the way the tones slowly break through like paint chipping from the wall of an abandoned building, the tones themselves, which are insistent and organic, that all but hide some kind of activity going on in the background. $7
Several excellent tapes are posted here: http://www.justinchrismeyers.com/