Dog Daze Tapes

Dog Daze Tapes, of Portland, OR,has been popping up on my radar recently. The label only a handful of releases to it's name, each available in cassette and mp3 formats. What's more is that each displays a keen sense of taste and curatorial prowess that can sometimes be lacking in the cassette label scene. This includes releases by Excepter, Marnie Stern, and Blues Control's alter-ego Watersports. When looking beyond the curatorial choices made by Parrish, the label distinguishes itself by keeping each title in-print as often as possible. A move which is in contrast with most other labels around these days.

Watersports Natural History is so far the most satisfying cassette from Dog Daze yet. This double tape release is a compilation of the duo's out-of-print cassette and CDR releases over the past couple years. This is a needed look into the alter-ego of Lea & Russ as their other project Blues Control has seemingly become M.O. of these two. The releases brings light to the duo's noisy new age compositions. These sparse, often aquatic themed, tracks showcase a juxtaposition of grainy noise/drone & plenty of insect samples along with the previously mentioned new age vibes.

Dog Daze's first release Excepter's Maze of Death was recorded in a "within the ad-hoc labyrinth, Excepter performed obscured to the audience and alienated from each other, starting early and playing late. Shares title with a Philip K. Dick novel in which an isolated group of space colonists consider the absolute as their mutual hallucination crumbles around them" according to the cassette's press release. For those familiar with Excepter then this translates to pretty much what they do best, extended synth and drum machine jammers that follow a logic all their own. This release is a special version of the performance edited by Robert Giradin and was recorded at one of Last Nights favorite brooklyn DIY spaces Death By Audio.

I'll admit that I wasn't too familiar with Marnie Stern's work outside of seeing her name name coming up here & there. Each of time she was mentioned the word "shred" always tagged along. Dog Daze's release of Stern's initial home recorded demos really showcase why. Even more so though a great deal of credit must be equally given to the overall compositions & song craft that appears even as early as these demos.

Dog Daze has some exciting stuff lined up for it's future releases including music by Twins & Occasional Detroit. Also be sure to check out the label's mixtape offshoot Foggy Notion Tapes which has Mitch Hedberg (note from editor: love that dude) mix on the way.