[some text deleted where duplicated from the 1994 catalog jh]
ASP - CRAWLING WITH TARTS - CATALOGUE OF PARTICULARS - 1996
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ooze-06: Motorini Elettrici 2x7" 45 rpm Release date: 4.17.96. The sounds in Motorini Elettrici are primarily the noise of friction between the rotating shafts of small high-speed AC motors and various large resonant wooden objects, a sheet of tinfoil, and a record player. These are then picked up from the objects either locally or remotely using contact mics. Most of the sounds as they are heard are solutions to the problem of reducing the speed of the motors, usually by simple means and at a high cost in efficiency due to the generation of heat. The original performance version of Motorini Elettrici is continuous, with only one pause, which is now between sides 2 and 3 of this set of discs. The records have been faced 1/3 and 2/4, for (optional) playback in the following manner: overlap sides 1 and 2, pause between sides 2 and 3, and overlap sides 3 and 4. But primarily, these sides have been mixed and edited so that each can stand alone. Three-color gatefold sleeve. Edition of 500. Distributed by ASP*
RZD-019: Sarajevo Center Metal Doors CD (67:08) Release date: 3.23.95. The three compositions on this CD, though quite dissimilar in sound and form, are united in the pursuit of musicality with non-instruments (and in one case, extended use of traditional instruments). 1-8 Ideomotors (19:52) is arranged in strict form for 24 discarded objects, each used to produce one tiny (but distinct) noise. Formally, Motors (9:13) is derived in performance using a deck of cards. The sound sources are small AC motors, the shafts of which are turned against various metals and taught strings. And finally, Sarajevo Center Metal Doors (36:58) is written for a quartet of non-specific instrumentation. In form, a particular sense of background/ foreground is explored, (mis)using violin, bass trombone, and lots of found percussion Distributed by ASP*
"This is the most amazing thing I've heard in years. Granted I don't follow the music scene much, but maybe if there was more material like this I would. The performers on this CD generated music and sound by assembling a variety of nontraditional instruments and orchestrating their use through a series of semi-random events, similar to Zorn's Cobra, but where Cobra utilizes routine instruments, Crawling With Tarts makes use of a wide variety of found objects and intriguing metal goodies. Sometimes very playful, and sparsely laid out so you can appreciate everything, the music evokes an unlimited number of mental images. I know many of you out there won't think of this as music, but to me these pieces are far more creative, even catchier, than anything on the radio today." Chris W. Becker in Factsheet Five
"...The Sarajevo Center Metal Doors CD is a...demanding CD. It is based upon scores to be performed, but it somehow retains an improvisational touch. Silence seems to play an important role in all of the [three] compositions present here. Therefore this can not be regarded as an easy listening CD. For me it took several listening sessions to discover the beauty that is undoubtedly here. Probably one of the best CWT [releases] I [have] heard." Frans de Waard in Vital
"A perennial stalwart on the experimental music scene, Crawling With Tarts' work is strange, provocative, impenetrable and baffling, generally all at the same time. Sarajevo Center Metal Doors is a near-minimal set of recordings using an unorthodox collection of instruments (whistles, cowbells, beans, stones, fish bowls, pans, saw blades, etc.) executed with reckless abandon and seemingly little regard for any Westernized notion of melody, harmony, or rhythm. Sounds exist in an unspecified plane, random discreet noises announce themselves and vanish; it's all in service of a new environmental aesthetic where one can stand the very definitions of 'music' on its head. What remains a mystery is how appealing these sounds truly are__in that quandary does there lie an answer?" Darren Bergstein in i/e
"The first piece Ideomotors 1-8 is a very minimalistic score based around a healthy amount of intuition and chance__not to mention a huge number of not-so-conventional instruments like pans, fishbowls, styrofoam, and beans. Motors is more abrasive with small motors being turned against various metals and strings. The title track is back to the minimalism...very difficult to describe as there's more to contemporary experimental music than [that of] death-fixated noise merchants. CWT may be "composers," but I'd bet they have an awful lot of fun too." Todd Zachritz in Godsend
plank 17: Enthusiasm C60 Release date: 2.23.95. Music adapted from Dziga Vertov's text Sound March (from the film Symphony of the Donbas, also known as Enthusiasm) written circa 1930. The text for the sound portion of Enthusiasm was written independently from the image script, and was intended to exist as a discreet composition, an equal along with the image track, in Vertov's concept of "the two pillars of film". This tape also includes a recording of a live performance of Enthusiasm 1993, for hypnosis records, light bulb, timer, and conflicting audience members. Packaged with stenciled muslin broadcloth. Edition of 100. Distributed by Fisheye Distribution P.O. Box 110, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 6YT, England. Price ú2.00. Shipping: ú0.40 to UK; surface elsewhere: ú0.90; air to Europe: ú0.75; air to USA, Canada, Hong Kong, and Singapore: ú1.25; air to New Zealand, Australia, and Japan: ú1.75.
ASP 27: Grand Surface Noise Opera Nr. 3 (Indian Ocean Ship) and Grand Surface Noise Opera Nr. 4 (Drum Totem) CD (73:02) Release date: 1.31.95. This CD contains two large-scale operatic works for (mostly) turntables. Attention is focused on the quality of surface noise as a textural (binding) element, and for use as a formal signifier, the content of the discs. Grand Surface Noise Opera Nr. 3 (Indian Ocean Ship) (47:30) contains only the noise from (and subsequently, the sounds recorded upon) exquisitely worn discs, except for an occasional plate bell used to mark otherwise concealed transitions. The disc content in this opera is mostly amateur 78 rpm disc recordings, and a few institutional discs, spanning from 1942 to 1982. Grand Surface Noise Opera Nr. 4 (Drum Totem) (25:25) is for discs (surface noise) and percussion, and features the recorded debut of the 3-meter ham can cordophone. Disc content is primarily institutional, functional, and historical, spanning 1960 to 1977. Edition of 1000. Distributed by ASP*
"Entire operatic works composed primarily of found sounds and vinyl surface noises__it's an idea that would have certainly delighted the late John Cage, and should probably send pretty much everyone else heading for the hills. But, lo and behold, composers/performers Michael Gendreau and Suzanne Dycus-Gendreau have fashioned a live recording of a 1993 Mills College concert that's surprisingly listenable__so listenable, in fact, that the experimental and aleatory aspects of the music appear to take a back seat to the quiet, pleasant exchanges among the performers. The first piece consists almost entirely of turntables, only occasionally punctuated by a refreshingly irritating plate bell, while the second brackets a similar sound collage with a hard, percussive "overture" and "postlude." Don't be fooled by the sarcastic sampling of Art Linkletter in the intro; this is a light, engaging, at times winsomely musical avant-garde recording." David Shirley in Option
"You know all those radio broadcasts that drifted off into the stratosphere during the 1950's and are theoretically still floating around out there? Well Crawling With Tarts must have built a rocket ship and orbited the earth scooping them up, putting them and a bunch of home movies that they got from Goodwill into a big shopping bag which they then used as a pi§ata, and then they finally found some guy to put it out on CD. Clock DVA started out [sic] this way, with overlapped multitrack info overload, but they didn't do it quite as cleverly or listenable. Of the two tracks (lasting well over an hour) the best part is the end of "Indian Ocean Ship" where it sounds like you're in an inner-tube far from land eavesdropping on a party taking place nearby on a ghost yacht. This is not music nor is it pretty, but should interest those who take their sound seriously." TP in Snipehunt
"Oakland's Crawling With Tarts were always a bit perplexing to me. Having heard both their experimental cassette releases and their 7" pop songs, I had the mistaken suspicion that they were two different bands with the same name. My confusion was finally cleared up by the excellent Mayten's Throw album (1994), which contained both songs and explorative pieces. Operas 3 and 4 is the second in a series of "Grand Surface Noise Opera," collages made from old records__dusty voices from your grandparents' attic, Wurlitzer waltzes, mysterious marimba, and even good-old Art Linkletter, all with the nostalgic scratchy hiss of 78 rpm records. With an ear for song and melody (unfortunately a rarity among many practitioners of this sort of sound composition), Crawling With Tarts use repetition of rhythms and melodic motives for structural development. There are rumored to be two more imminent Crawling With Tarts albums on two other labels; keep your ears open." David Newgarden in CMJ
"With almost every recording that I put on for review, I immediately get a mental image to go along with the music. I rarely include it in the review as it's usually just my personal association. This disc, however, brings up such a strong picture that I'm sure it will help explain the music. The first of the two pieces, the 47 minute "Grand Surface Noise Opera Nr. 3" makes me think of walking through an abandoned but still functioning exhibit of talking displays; something like the World's Fair or an older version of The Epcot Center. You can hear the strained whirring of all the machines in operation as they talk to you, giving you the various details of modern life and trying to sell their miracle products in vain. It's a work similar to something Negativland might produce but with less traditional music. The followup piece "Nr. 4" is a noisy, brash collage of drums, tinkling toy cymbals, and truck horns that make a bizarre performance of experimental sound. A brilliant alternative to almost everything else on the market." Chris W. Becker in Factsheet Five
"Negativland e Tape Beatles trovano finalmente degni rivali in materia di "plagiarismo" creativo nei californiani Crawling With Tarts, il cui nuovo album (sulla falsariga del LP Operas) contiene due lunghi brani per giradischi e percussioni, in cui vecchi dischi amatoriali o didattchi e fruscianti 78 giri vengono riciclati in ricercati e piacevoli collages, molto pió attenti alla strutura formale e alle sfumature tonali che alla natura tematica dei materiali impiegati." Vittore Baroni in Rumore
"After a couple of more traditional music (though NOT traditional by any sense of the word) releases, CWT are back with two more operas; Grand Surface Noise Opera Nrs. 3 + 4. They create one of the more enchanting and thoroughly unique audio atmospheres imaginable." Scott B. of Blackjack
"Warning: not intended for consumption by those who use the word "weird" in their daily vocabulary. Performed live at Mills College in 1993 by the composers, both of these operas use as many as four turntables simultaneously playing an assortment of institutional records (the sort that usually feature anything but music), and one-of-a-kind transcription discs (the predecessors to Dictaphones), with percussion used as an accent. These "primary form generators" are layered and faded in and out at predetermined intervals, giving them a function analogous to traditional instruments capable of producing sustained textures. The result is a deep and mesmerizing soundscape." Peter Johnston in Out Of Bounds
"This is, without a doubt, one of the most strange compact discs I've ever heard. I speak from experience, having heard some of the most bizarre compact discs available. This is the only band I've ever heard who actually go as far as to sample a turkey. Hearing this album puts you in a mood that could only be described as wacky. There are two pieces on this compact disc. The first one has the turkey and the second one has a nice tribal beat. The first track also contains all sorts of strange bird sounds along with many other oddities that form a nice sound collage. If you like your industrial on the weird side, here's a recording for you." cipher in Industrial Nation
SR9472: Madeleine CD (46:54) Release date: 1.28.95. An Index of Songs: 12 songs gathered from early out-of-print cassette releases, remastered. Released by Sulphur 340 Bryant Street, 3rd Floor East, San Francisco CA 94107 USA. Price $12.98 plus $2 postage to the United States, Canada, Mexico, or South America; or $3 postage to Europe; or $4 postage elsewhere.
"...Crawling With Tarts is a duo that has my respect, mainly because they don't allow themselves to be pigeon-holed. Each release is contextually ever so distant from the next. If one ever dare think they understand the formula, Crawling With Tarts will just throw out another curve ball, leaving one in the corner and scratching the old noggin. Although all of the tracks appear in a very coherent order, it's interesting to note that they were all recorded somewhere between 1983 and 1994. This release is about the most pop-oriented thing I've ever heard them do, except to say that it's unmistakably quite quirky and angular too. Attentive listening will reveal some of the inner secrets of what makes this band so damn great." RKF in Dead Angel
"This CD is different than previous releases I've heard, More a collection of 'pop' songs using more 'standard' instruments such as drums/percussion, bass, guitar, and [a Farfisa]. These are opposed to some previous recordings using old phonograph players and records. Of Suzanne and Michael who make up CWT, Suzanne does the singing and has a beautiful voice. Listening to the lyrics, they may seem odd...but all seem to fit together in a unique way." Christopher Joy in Spongey Monkey
ASP 23: Mayten's Throw CD (52:02) Release date: 4.16.94. Mayten's Throw includes songs, motors, stories, and other. Edition of 1000. Distributed by ASP*
"Conceptual brilliance this intriguing is a rare find. I had thought that Crawling With Tarts was fairly new...formed by partners Suzanne Dycus and Michael Gendreau and with only one EP (entitled Operas...) under their belts. I've since found that I was very wrong and that the couple has put out  cassettes of music since 198 and has been reviewed in a ton of cassette-only and underground 'zines. I'm only glad that I'm finally privy to the combination of found-sound manipulation and equally brilliant pop songs (which they do also, and better than most!). Take your Pork Queen, yer Charalambides, and some TVP pop__then step up a level. That's where we're at right now." Leslie Gaffney in Popwatch
"Proof that love can be a beautiful thing. Suzanne and Michael create a music so intimate and unique and without pretension, one feels like an antique lamp sitting in their living room, a silent observer to their intuitive musical voyages. Mayten's Throw has a deep arm in the pail of pop, though CWT pop, a kind of child-like, off kilter charm that has a bare bones instrumental approach, enhanced by Suzanne's soda fountain voice. Cello, sax, and odd percussion make up the more drifty instrumentals, recalling much of the spirit of ESP groups. Think of sand castles, wet dogs, mild mushroom trips, and midnight walks to the convenience store. Less "experimental" than the uncomparable Operas, this still displays the same care and vision. When music is so dominated by ego, hipness, attitude, concept, and genericism (yes, I am talking about the underground, too), CWT's breath of fresh air smells and sounds downright exquisite." Rob Forman in ND
"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
"California's CWT are a very underrated group, creating unpretentious, experimental, yet very accessible sounds...whereas previous releases separated their "soundscape" and "pop" sides, this CD (their first) combines the two__interspersing the odder "weird noises" with honest soft-edged melodiousness. Surprisingly, it works too. CWT's "noise" isn't harsh__it's more open-ended and flowing, nearly tribal in feel, as they mess around with old records or other altered organic sounds. Great stuff__both highly recommended and individual." Todd Zachritz in Godsend
"Five tracks into this thing you'll run across New Islands, a catchy pop song with floating female vocals over riff-crazy guitars. So what's next? A John Cage-ian piece that builds piano and electric squeal from sparseness to a real wall-rattler. Those are the two ends of Mayten's Throw's spectrum, and surprisingly it's a compelling one. As numerous smug musicians have proved, it's easy to throw together an album of conglomerated sound while claiming that anything can be music. Much tougher is throwing together sounds that somebody else will care about. Maybe looped sounds, clicking percussion and droning horns seem worn out, but in CWT's hands they have a new life. There are only a couple of half-hearted moments on this album; most of it has the clear structure and clever surprise of a good abstract painting. Even the album's unexpected pop songs don't suffer from the condescending tone that too many avant-gardists think are more appropriate for more conventional art. CWT's modesty may be its most attractive feature but it is one that means listeners will have to discover the music on their own." Lang Thompson in Option
ASP 26: Operas 12" 33 RPM 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 principal form generators. Other instruments are then added to the surface noises. Edition of 1000. Distributed by ASP*
ITO94: 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."
ASP 22: Radio 45 7" 45 RPM Release date: 9.29.91. A Crawling With Tarts record of songs including Lavender Bobby (from the out-of-print cassette 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*
"This band is fucking amazing...A genuinely childlike joy of experimentation is everywhere on their recordings. It is the sound of grownups at play, a sound I never fail to enjoy. Simply as essential as early Red Krayola or the latest Yamatzuka Eye." Mike McGonigal in Chemical Imbalance
ASP 20: Deathranch / Crawling With Tarts C62 CrO2 Release date: early 1991. This music on this cassette is drawn out of a 12-hour collaboration between S. Dycus(CWT), M. Gendreau(CWT), P. Leeming(Dr), and C. Neighbors(Dr) recorded in May 1987. Distributed by ASP*
ASP 19: AA REDBOX PAHOEHOE C62 CrO2 Release date: early 1991. A Crawling With Tarts live radio broadcast using wind instruments, junk percussion, and loops. Performed by S. Dycus, Das, M. Gendreau, and Cliff Neighbors. Distributed by ASP*
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.
"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 underground cassette network] has put out..." Alex V. Cook, KLSU
"A very rich experience..." Mike Gunderloy in Factsheet Five
ASP 11: Voccianna C42 CrO2 Release date: 12.26.86. Subtractive and elemental music packaged with folded paper and sticks. Distributed by ASP*
"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
Price of Items Distributed by ASP: ooze-06 $7 RZD-19 $10 ASP 27 $10 ASP 23 $10 ASP 22 $4 ASP 20 $6 ASP 19 $6 ASP 11 $7
Postage for Items Distributed by ASP: Items distributed by ASP are post paid in North America. Orders from other locales should add $2 (surface) or $3 (air) for shipping for the first item, and $1 for each additional item. Surface shipment is not recommended for vinyl.
Crawling With Tarts Releases are also Distributed by: In the United States Anomalous_, Audiofile Tapes, Blackjack, Forced Exposure, Frog Peak Music, Printed Matter_, Realization, Revolver, RRR, Subterranean, Wayside Music; In Canada Verge Music Distribution; In Europe Demos, Fisheye Distribution, Metamkine, and Staalplaat. _Check with Anomalous (505 E. Denny Way, Suite B100, Seattle WA 98122-2160) for cassette titles, and Printed Matter (77 Wooster Street, New York NY 10012) for video titles no longer available through this catalog.