Various Artists - "Moments of No Erase," c62, Dakota Bones - "Bones," c37, Potions - "Sea Legs," c32 (Pretty All Right)

Pretty All Right is a Chicago based label that dabbles in the art of the chill. Lucky for me they sent three mellow tapes of high quality mood music.  "Moments of No Erase" is a various artists compilation put together by Roland Potions and, according to RP, it was recorded, " a dingy cellar of a basement in Pilsen, Chicago. These were all sessions made in my basement with friends who came over to jam, drink beer and have fun!" You can hear the vibe and the relaxed groove on every minute of these extended jams. I don't mean to imply Grateful Dead rock band noodling or experimental Can worship freakouts either (though maybe closer to the more relaxed Can sides). What I mean is these tunes are exploratory beat machine/percussion, synth, bass, etc rompers that start kinda amateur, but before ya know it, you've been listening to twenty solid minutes! The six pieces of music on this release all flow together nicely. It's remarkable they were jammed out by a different group of friends each time because the music seems like a preconceived album. Groovy.
Dakota Bones' eponymous album is one that I will force my friends to listen to. The group give off 80s club vibrations...90s raves before anyone knew what "rave" meant as well. Musically sorta very demented Peter Gabriel (absolutely no cheese tho) and way less pretense. The album starts with "Morning One," which includes a sample of a Townes Van Zandt song called, "Be Here to Love Me." The dobro riff is such a great hook!! Plus I LOVE TVZ. So right away I'm thinking this tape is going to take me places. Don't let the folk troubadour sample fool you into thinking this is roots music. The synths (and even horns!) and occasional vocals draw from lots of sources in the electronic world, but I don't get the impression of simple genre copying from this group. Ambient nods and dance rhythms are here as are dub influences - really this tape has it all. "Dracula's Castle" is going to be playing at the party in my mind all month! My vote for a must have for electronic music aficionados.
Another pretty all right release from Pretty All Right. Chicago has a fine cassette and musical community obviously, because I hear a lot of good sounds coming from the land of the Cubs. Potions' music is perhaps the most typically electronic of this group of three tapes, but ask me in a week and I might disagree with myself. "Sea Legs" swims in ambient textures for sure. It's a worthwhile collection of aural travelogues to the bluest waters on Earth. The album also features one of my new favorite song titles of all time, "Hot Mega." The composition is cool too. With churning  bell like keys and drums with rattling percussion, it's seasickness, or a mushroom party on the beach!