(Tubapede Records / Heat Retention Records)

You experimentalist whackjobs make me feel so gross sometimes. And I mean that as a compliment, an honest-to-goodness pleasurable reaction to the strange and unusual. I don’t know what I’m getting myself into on half these out-there tapes, and I don’t know what they mean or where they come from, but I like it. You there, in the virtual audience, reading this right now – I hope you’ve got some sexy intestinal fortitude, because you’re gonna need it.

Brian Osborne and Dan Peck make a ruckus, and that’s sort of bizarre considering they’re doing their own thing with a limited instrumental palette. Osborne likes banging and scraping metal objects and processing the result. His side consists of five pieces, the middle three of which are the soundtrack to “an imaginary movie,” presumably one about insects shown only in extreme close-up, where their every move is given a tonal makeover and amplified by Osborne’s compositions. I’d watch that movie – huge spiny beetle-y things mating and killing and stuff. Maybe they’re alien insects. Maybe they’re the size of school buses! Osborne brings this kind of vile wonder to life as his music makes you feel both uncomfortable and, dare I say, happy at the same time. I’m an uncomfortable happy mess!

Dan Peck is the tuba man. That guy is so in love with his precious tuba that his entire side of the split is just him and his instrument and a four-track recorder, with some ambience mixed in for good measure. OK, it’s pretty much just Peck making out with his tuba for a while, but whatever. It’s an experimentalist music fan’s dream to hear the tuba front and center in all its lo-fi glory. A friend of mine from college was a tuba player before he was a drummer before he was an indie rock guitarist before he was an experimental songwriter, so, circle of life? I have no idea. Peck’s track is called “Wendigo Calls,” and this is all I can picture, rutting and grunting and breathing and stuff. Is it weird that this whole tape reminds me of things mating with other things? Yeah, it’s weird.

--Ryan Masteller