SOP 32: rhlinkouis C60 CrO2 Release date: 3.17.86. Music utilizing semantic satiations and found sounds. Distributed by ASP Post Office Box 24908 Oakland CA 94623 USA. Price $6. Post paid everywhere.
ASP 11: Voccianna C42 CrO2 Release date: 12.26.86. Subtractive and elemental music packaged with folded paper and sticks. Distributed by ASP Post Office Box 24908 Oakland CA 94623 USA. Price $6. Post paid everywhere.
ASP 12: HaselrĀte C60 CrO2 Release date: 7.15.87. J-card package of cotton paper impressed with leaves. Music ranges from Puritan to a ritual performance Packing Away the Glass. Distributed by ASP Post Office Box 24908 Oakland CA 94623 USA. Price $6. Post paid everywhere.
"The tape is set apart by a wealth of ideas that replace the usual pounding single-mindedness...Too many to mention here, the changes have a slow smooth flow, somewhere between sad and scary, and are continuously engaging." W. Mueller in Sound Choice
"...the real secret of this music is its ability to consistently produce the unexpected unsettling sound. In the tape this is often by use of either a waifish woman's voice (which seems to sing of psychological upheavals) or of distortion of vocal tapes, often to an elaborate degree." Brad Goins in Raunch-O-Rama
"These folks put out the aural equivalent of mail art. You never know what's going to be on the next track, although the odds are good that it will be out of the ordinary. Black Beasts + Cobs is a moody number, evocative of jungles; Wenn ich gehen is a supremely annoying ode to the power of horns." Mike Gunderloy in Factsheet Five
"Crawling With Tarts apply a vast array of ideas. There is no way of knowing from minute to minute what direction they will go. Still nothing sounds misplaced. The whole is as meticulously conceived, composed, and arranged as any home recording I have heard." Glen Thrasher in Lowlife
"...a structured, ensemble feel. The percussion pieces are exceptional..." Bryan Baker in Gajoob
"In the twelve selections, Crawling With Tarts show incredible compositional, improvisational, and emotional range. They run the gamut from bizarre folk-like nursery tales to noise arrangements to somber instrumentals to traditionally arranged rock numbers in their own messed up way...They appear to limit themselves to no boundaries whatsoever, and that is quite refreshing." John Collegio in Sound Choice
"CWT plays long stretches of slowly varying instrumentation punctuated by wildly unexpected vocals: little stories, nonsense sounds, or chants about 'elephant number one...elephant number two-oo'...the moods it creates are all over the map." Mike Gunderloy in Factsheet Five
aT 49: Bled es Siba 2xC90 CrO2 Release date: 8.15.88. Three hours of electronic - percussion - string music with a third Tart, Cliff Neighbors. Distributed by Audiophile Tapes 209-25 18th Avenue, Bayside NY 11360 USA. Price $9. Postage: USA add $2.25; other than USA add $2.50.
ASP 15: Broom C48 CrO2 Release date: 8.28.88. Boxed with hand-dyed cloth and botanical samples. Limited numbered edition of 49. Hot sun music, insects, creaking ships, masking pulse. Distributed by ASP Post Office Box 24908 Oakland CA 94623 USA. Price $16. Post paid everywhere. SCARCE __only a few copies left.
ASP 16: Candy Tooth Ceylon C83 CrO2
ASP 17: The Tudor Tapes C30 CrO2 Release date: 6.14.89. Set packaged in offset print paper boxes with newsprint inserts. Limited numbered edition of 100. Distributed by ASP Post Office Box 24908 Oakland CA 94623 USA. Price $15/set. Post paid everywhere. SCARCE__only a few copies left.
"Crawling With Tarts have been putting out amazing works on cassettes for some time now...Yet nothing I have heard previously from this duo has struck home dead center in the way this three hour gem has...The music comes to life in the room between the listener's ears. Repetitive, trance inducing, and powerfully moving, the sounds on these two tapes comprise one of the year's major releases." Glen Thrasher in Lowlife
"...the best tape this whole niche [referring to the cassette underground] has put out..." Alex Cook
"A very rich experience..." Mike Gunderloy in Factsheet Five
[No review copies sent out.]
"[Candy Tooth Ceylon] is both more eclectic and more accessible than most of their previous releases (neat trick, that). It has everything from simple piano studies to straight rock and roll to industrial to their more usual experimentation with the limits of music and scattered cultural experiments. If only supermarkets would play this instead of muzak the world would be a much more interesting place. Very polished..." Mike Gunderloy in Factsheet Five
"Stark, haunting, ethereal, and mesmerizing tunes played on a variety of ethnic musical instruments. Minimalist, repetitive, but very melodic, with beautiful female vocals on several cuts..." Dan Fioretti in Sound Choice
"[On The Tudor Tapes] These songs (that's what I'd call them) offer spritely and wafting melodies rendered in organ, bell, guitar, and female voice...Almost classical sounding." Lloyd Dunn in PhotoStatic
"CWT's cassettes are the musical equivalent of visual art__sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly and dissonant, always unpredictable." Dino DiMuro in Sound Choice
ASP 18: Greed Tool Hand in the Lee of Icebergs C52 CrO2 Release date: 3.17.90. Music employing arctic exploration, parataxis, and temporal persistence. J-card packaged on quarter cotton paper and vellum printed in black and yellow. Numbered. Distributed by ASP Post Office Box 24908 Oakland CA 94623 USA. Price $6. Post paid everywhere.
ASP 19: AA REDBOX PAHOEHOE C62 CrO2 Release date: early 1991. A Crawling With Tarts live radio broadcast using wind instruments, primitive percussion, and loops. Performed by S. Dycus, dAS, M. Gendreau, and Cliff Neighbors. Distributed by ASP Post Office Box 24908 Oakland CA 94623 USA. Price $6. Post paid everywhere.
"Slow, bewitching compositions constructed of ever-so-gradually evolving drum patterns, bass guitar-woven fabrics and sputterings, splashes of piano, sleepy voice, and spritzes of guitar. Improvisation and pre-conceived structures are nicely married throughout, with great attention given to varying density and tempo. The drumming/percussion is consistently interesting, as are the percussion sound sources (in their elusive identifiability)..." B. H. Hart in Sound Choice
"From Oakland comes Antarctic exploration in the form of rhythmic improvisation for guitar, drums, piano, and various percussive instruments. The pieces range from droning rhythmic pieces to high energy interaction, with occasional female voice singing in a semi-abstracted manner above...High quality numbered inserts with Antarctic maps round out the package." Phil M. Zampino in Factsheet Five
"...Though improv'd or semi-so, there's a hellish focus here which carries the tape. Melodies, no. Atmosphere, yes__rhythmic, usually. 'A Circle is Not Going to Appear as a Circle in a Curled-up Windblown Flag' features Suzanne's Patty Waters-like vocal with narrative..." Jack Jordan in Option
"There is something ritualistic and narcotic about much of the work of Suzanne Dycus and Michael Gendreau. Here they've teamed up with droney noise guys Cliff Neighbors and dAS (Deathranch and Big City Orchestra) for some improvised primal noise. This is the sound genre I carry around in my head so it feels good coming back at me from two speakers. I think it is an ambient dance music almost any contemporary town dweller might want to dig into." Glen Thrasher in Lowlife
"...Often sounding ritualistic then evolving into fits of delirium..." RS in Factsheet Five
"Sounds to me like a primitive tribe caught inside a grimy subway station... Musically CWT combine wind instruments, tape loops, and primitive object percussion. It's a sound that's anything but mellow. Well-done." Godsend
ASP 20: Deathranch / Crawling With Tarts C62 CrO2 Release date: early 1991. Previously only available in bootleg, this is the official version of the collaboration between S. Dycus(CWT), M. Gendreau(CWT), P. Leeming(Dr), and C. Neighbors(Dr) recorded in May 1987. Distributed by ASP Post Office Box 24908 Oakland CA 94623 USA. Price $6. Post paid everywhere.
"PICK OF THE ISSUE: I just can't say enough about this 1987 collaboration between these two Bay-area groups. None of the pieces on this tape are titled, but the tape starts out with some rather 'industrial' clanking, humming, and rattling sounds__assembled meaningfully and leaping out of the speakers in a true-to-life P. Children sort of way. Later we're treated to some melancholy and melodic lines, while the background is taken up by more of these vivid textures. Then a billowing roar/rumble takes over, accompanied by metallic percussion and grating sounds, and, later, some mesmerizing backwards string/guitar sounds. On this recording, four musicians merge in harmony to create a wonderfully organic work that seems to live and breathe its own." Mark Lo in File 13
"...an eerily reverberant set of tone pieces. The sound is layered of dense and backwards tracks, throbbing cycles with feedback gyrations, metallic scrapings and slow destruction, all unfolding moodily..." Phil M. Zampino in Factsheet Five ASP 21: 813 (ASP FILMS 1989-1991) VHS video tape, (1:18:00) Release date: May 1991. PXL2000 and 8mm films made by M. Gendreau and S. Dycus, and three video taped performances by Crawling With Tarts are included in this collection. Also included is an adaption of House of Asterion by Jorge Luis Borges in PXL by P. Cavallero, S. Dycus, and M. Gendreau. Distributed by ASP Post Office Box 24908 Oakland CA 94623 USA. Price $16. Post paid everywhere.
ASP 22: Radio 45 7" 45 RPM record Release date: 9.29.91. A Crawling With Tarts record of songs including Lavender Bobby (from Candy Tooth Ceylon), The Small House on Top of the Larger One, Cotton Flys, and Ground Sifting Wind. Sleeve is offset printed in lavender and olive. Insert with lyrics. Edition of 500. Distributed by ASP Post Office Box 24908 Oakland CA 94623 USA. Price $4. Post paid everywhere.
"[Partially] filmed on a Fisher-Price camera between 1989-1991, these under 15 minute films are mostly abstract...'House of Asterion' is an adapted story of Jorge Luis Borges', and was filmed in the now inaccessible bunkers north of San Francisco. Also includes three performances of Crawling With Tarts in Oakland. Well edited and clean packaging which includes notes and scores." Susanna Mast in ND
"[CWT] slips into the verse/chorus sweeps with a charming 4 cut single that relies on simple and light instrumentation, but presented with a feel that slithers around like mercury adding a creepy vibe. Songs are strong, vocals are sweet and this would not seem out of place on 'K'. A keeper." Rob Forman in ND
SPH 058: New Caldonia C46 CrO2 Release date: 7.2.92. Side A contains "songs," B an improvisation for piano and 2 drum sets. With a full color cover illustrating flags from Suz' New Caldonian series. Distributed by SPH Apartado 223, 2780 Oeiras, Portugal. Price 900 escudos (to Fernando Cerqueira, postage included).
ITO94 / ASP 25: 1 snak 2 rider C46 CrO2 Release date: 1.17.93. Contains a live version of Sarajevo Center Metal Doors, a 17 section color graphic notation score performed by the Tarts supplemented by members of The Clubfoot Orchestra, Zircus, and Speed The Parting Guest. Added bonus: linear and non-linear computer noises. Distributed by IRRE-Tapes BĄrendellstraŠe 35, 6795 Kindsbach, Germany. Price: 8 DM or $5 (airmail add $2) "or the money of your country." Also to the American continent only by ASP Post Office Box 24908 Oakland CA 94623 USA. Price $5. Post paid.
"Pop minimalism achieves a glorious resolution in the hands of both Suzanne Dycus and Michael Gendreau on this insanely good tape. The tone of these is arty and intelligent and appealing to a mind that likes to be confronted and comforted. The glory of imagination is caught by the seven short pop attacks on side one, whilst the longer New Caldonia on side 2 takes the whole side to develop its almost jazz like ponderings." Stick It In Your Ears
"The two sides of this tape are quite dichotomous. Side one contains seven pieces with a loose sort of song structure. Clean guitars, acoustic drums, coupled with a strong bass along with Suzanne Dycus' fragile, unaffected vocals..." "...Side two charts quite a different course, with the entire side given over to the title piece, played on acoustic piano with some percussion accompaniment. The pianist runs through a variety of styles, from fragmented tone clusters with percussive thumping, to slightly astringent romanticism, and then to minimalist tinkling and vaguely ominous lower register rumblings, again with percussive thumping. The piece ends quietly which may or may not be symbolic of something, but some nice sonorities and textures are explored en route." Bryan Baker in Gajoob and Bill Tilland in Option
"Side A, being real 'songs,' is somewhat of a departure for CWT with guitars, drumming, and sweet vocals from Suzanne Dycus, and great pop melodies. It's lovely, minimalistic, and as pure as anything out there calling itself music. A sort of...freeflowing discord kinda bubbles in around the edges also keeping things even more interesting. Side B is improv music for piano and two drumsets, coming across as some sort of track to a dada movie. It's a beautiful excursion, filled with texture and life. More great stuff here__highly recommended." Todd Zachritz in Godsend
"This cassette makes a nice counterpoint to a rainy day. It contains two pieces by Michael Gendreau. The music is framed (first and last cut) by E+E, described as 'linear and non-linear computer noises'. These improvisations seem to effect the part of the ear that has to do with equilibrium. Imagine the sounds of loud construction machinery heard while your head is underwater. These mechanical sounds occur as episodes with much space in between; this space being filled with the constant drone of a constant machine maybe in the next room. Some episodes sound like a small motor boat, or the blowing of bubbles through a straw with only a small amount of coke left in your glass__but with the treble turned up. The center piece on the cassette is a live performance of Sarajevo Center Metal Doors, with performers Michael Gendreau and Suzanne Dycus (both mostly on percussion), Eric Bergkvist
(mostly bass trombone), and Catharine Clune (mostly violin). A total of 48 instruments are listed as being played by the quartet. The piece occurs in 17 sections. In each section, one person plays all the way through, creating some kind of landscape, while each of the other three players perform smaller episodes within the section. Clarity is consistent throughout, and the sonic variety is impressive. Sometimes the landscape is drumming on a cookie tin, or slobbery trombone, or wheezing, bouncing, or the suggestion of milling about in a market. Bergkvist's trombone says, 'Hmmm...Whyyy? Whyyy?' with long blotchy human tone quality. Clune's violin is very focussed, often bouncy and personal. A high point on the recording is a harmonica-accordion duet by [Clune and Dycus]. They play in the same register, phasing rhythmically to create some gripping stuff. Gendreau is not an obvious percussionist. I get the idea that he is always thinking compositionally, and he uses an arsenal of sounds for positive effect and never as a gimmick. Even his scratching on metal (a sound which will exist in my personal hell) is curiously melodic. His clarinet playing, occurring twice on this recording, is frenetic and impressive. Suzanne D.G. seems to function as a muse: I can see her musing, creating, milling; using her collection of objects (including a victrola and a bowl of pottery chips) to conjure images for the other three musicians to work with. The 17 sections form a coherent whole because the musicians play with an impressive consistency of intent over the length of the piece. This cassette is highly recommended, especially if you are interested in music with imaginative sonic combinations." Randy Porter in Freeway
"Now this is well different, not what I expected from a band with a name like that! This is like something from the 'serious' world of avant garde composition. The two pieces are written by one Michael Gendreau, one recorded live at the Kennel Club in San Francisco...You get lots of silence, intercut with sounds, all sorts of sounds. You wait, you listen, nothing, you wait, you listen, then something. The performers use boxes of pottery chips, saw blades, fishbowls, gas pipes, prayer stones, bass trombone, harmonica, violin, Helmholz resonator, and whistles...amongst other things. I'd love to have been at the gig! For those who take the avant garde seriously, this would be a breath of fresh air..." Mick Regic in M+E Newsletter
ASP 26: Operas 12" 33.3 RPM record Release date: 4.12.93. Operas is an LP of 4 dramatic pieces that use turntables and particular, particularly worn home made 78s as one of the main form generators. The pieces were all composed for live performance by the duet Crawling With Tarts, who also add other instruments to the surface noises. Full color cover, edition of 1000. Distributed by ASP Post Office Box 24908 Oakland CA 94623 USA. Price $7 post paid in the usa. Canada and Mexico add $ 1.00 postage, Europe and Asia add $ 2.00 postage.
"...a very fetching LP...This is the aural equivalent of those movies that are designed to be projected onto yr closed eyelids. The sounds here move around behind an array of obscuring curtains, w/ pieces of 'found' sound emerging like palimpsests from amidst delicate & jittery 'live' music. The manipulations of records on this are unlike any conceptually similar work being done with turntables & the combinations of noise that are invented here are elegant & original." Byron Coley in Forced Exposure
"...I was very impressed with how good it is__concept and execution__really brilliant..." Joel Haertling in Zamisdat Trade Journal
"Wonderful Operas! Noisy!...When I was listening to Orses Opera (very loud) yesterday, my neighbors who live on the floor below were exasperated and decided to take vengeance__they poured water into the doorbell, which caused a short circuit, and then the bell rang for 10 minutes until we dried it out with the help of a candle. It was really cool__my dad was all nerves and whole time asked me, why I listen to such depraved music." fax received from a Russian DJ working in Moscow (translated by Jeff Surak)
"...a real dizzying statement on the transportational powers of surface noise and decay. One of the most surprising/unexpected experimental 'pieces' I've recently run across." Jimmy Johnson in Forced Exposure
"...the music was made using 78 RPM records, 'especially one-of-a-kind amateur-cut disks made during the '30s through the '50s'. To this CWT add instruments, mainly percussion and concrete sounds. It is through this combination that this record is not your average sound-collage of records, but a well balanced unity of all elements put in... " Frans de Waard in Vital
"...Both an album of entertainment and, if not a milestone, then a good example of an esoteric genre... " Antony Glenn Burnham in Soft Watch
"...This is experimental music that doesn't follow the 'industrial' or gloom/doom paths. CWT produce a happy sort of noise, full of life, wonder, curiosity, and bewilderment. A rich and individual blend of cultures and influences. Recommended." Todd Zachritz in Godsend
"Suzanne and Michael have created a complex and ornate universe by using old 78rpm disks and players as sound generators to which they embellish with differing handmade instruments. Many of the tracks are rich with scratches, bumps, and unusual surface noises giving a warmth and playfulness to the pieces. This can be compared to Marclay's disk collaging, but here there is a greater sensitivity to transporting the overall work into something new. Highly recommended." Rob Foreman in ND
"Extremely innovative collection of four operas by...Crawling With Tarts who have been creating challenging sounds since 198. Operas combines live instruments like cello and drums with 'found' sounds from decaying 78 RPM records to create exhilarating soundsheets...
Crawling With Tarts incorporates multiple turntables operating simultaneously to create new sounds from aged, discarded records. Foreign language records speak over scratchy [ballet] exercise records and pianos flail in the background as record surface noise generates a rhythmic, ambient background. Crawling With Tarts are going way beyond the call of duty to deconstruct and reconstruct music from the past and present. Recommended." Dave McGurgan in Yakuza
"In the underground experimental scene, this duo claim a particularly long-lived and typically unpredictable existence, which makes it more surprising that this is its first non-cassette release, apart from a 7-inch. Appropriately ear-twisting and ambiguous, Operas dredges up unsettling feelings of times past. That's partly because CWT builds the music on Operas from turntables playing worn records, particularly amateur 78s with an inherent unpredictability of content. Unlike the musical collages of, say, fellow turntablist Christian Marclay, CWT's pieces are more organic even when the records emit foreign languages, spoken instructions, or musical fragments from no conceivable song. CWT fills out the sound with more conventional instruments like a cello, though in a way that ties together the turntable sounds into a coherent composition. Perhaps having created these pieces for live performances made CWT focus on the way they flow and are received by listeners...this taut and well-executed album will convince you it has a reason for existing." Lang Thompson in Option
ASP 23: Mayten's Throw CD Release date: 4.16.94. Mayten's Throw is Chapter 14 in a treatise on unbalanced style. Includes songs, motors, stories, and other. Full color cover, edition of 1000. Distributed by ASP Post Office Box 24908 Oakland CA 94623 USA. Price $10 post paid in North America. Orders from other locales should include $2 (surface) or $3 (air) in addition for shipping.
"...A bit of a departure from last year's more conceptual Operas LP, Mayten's Throw ranges from Faustian sonic landscapes to surprisingly structured, pop-oriented 'songs,' all the while remaining texturally innovative." Eric via Seana Baruth in BAM Magazine
"Fuzzy noise paired with a finely-tuned sense of melody makes for music that is experimental and softly appealing, both discordant and concordant. Crawling With Tarts combines these elements with joyful abandon, abruptly leaving a verse/chorus structure to flow into a deliberately sloppy avant-garde section. Although the form is that of a much more awkward record, Crawling With Tarts' two main musicians__Suzanne Dycus and Michael Gendreau__ensure that not only are the ideas original, but that they are comprehensible as well. Each song contains some intriguing element, from the clattering drum taps of 'The Bean Threaders' to the lo-fi rock on 'Cotton Flys' to the cocktail jazz feel that slides into acoustic folk on 'They Kill And Think.' Crawling With Tarts straddles the line between obscure and pop with flair, and the resulting Mayten's Throw is a very listenable piece of experimental noise." Megan McLaughlin in CMJ
Crawling With Tarts releases are also distributed by: In the United States Anomalous, Blackjack, Forced Exposure, Frog Peak Music, Printed Matter, Realization, Revolver, RRR, Subterranean, Swinging Axe Productions, Wayside Music; In Canada Marginal Distribution; In Europe A-Musik, Recommended-No Man's Land