A fairly random very-early-morning/very-late-night purchase of mine led to this discovery: a self-titled and self-released cassette by Anode from 1979. An incredible mix of field recording, tape effects, proto-electro and drone which has baffled me for the last week – mostly because it sounds incredibly contemporary. Sections (like the last 6 minutes of ‘Trips North…’) are easily compared to Giancarlo Toniutti‘s tape work, others (the start of ‘Downtime’) to 1990s-era Japanese field recording (see Soundscape’s show on Feb. 1, 2012) with only minimal editing, and still other spans of looped guitar feedback to a variety of recent issues on labels such as Type.
I have not yet been able to find anything on the group to go on besides the sleeve. It was recorded at Drab Studios and Palace of Lights in Seattle, both used by better-known then-contemporary ambient artists such as Kerry Leimer and Marc Barreca. The group appeared to consist of James and David Keller, Charles Bronson and Robert Carlberg, at least around 1981. It is a luxurious listen, spanning a variety of material yet almost never veering into new-age or kitsch – a constant issue (at least for me) with similar music from the early 80s. Highly recommended.