Now it's been shipped to its new owner, my contribution for the latest round of the Metal Punk Tape Exchange was so much fun to make, I feel I should go into a more detailed account of how it came to be, if only to keep a trace of it. The music will probably surface one day in the Mixtapes section of this website, but let's talk for now about the concept itself...
First of all, I've been thinking for a long time of how a mixtape would be "deconstructed" or "reconstructed" by some different life forms or a non-human intelligence (yes, I think about stuff like this all the time haha), a bit like French writer Claro did in his 'Black Box Beatles' novel, only in a more prosaic and 'earthy' manner.
So this is the package that my recipient for this round got in his mailbox: a C60 mixtape, obviously, and some clippings. The tape in itself is a fairly straightforward Heavy Metal/Hard Rock mix of obvious tunes and the lesser known gems that I always feel like sharing with the rest of the world. Songs I like, solid bangers, the works. Nothing out of the ordinary.
But this time, the tape itself is not the be-all end-all of the exchange. On the contrary...
Now imagine if the very same cassette tape lay dormant in a time capsule for centuries, millenia, eons...
War, plague, pestilence, famine: the human race has come and gone.
Earth has some new owners now, a highly advanced race of mutant cockroaches. Sometimes their archaeologists dig stuff up from the ground. Ancient artefacts from the previous inhabitants of this planet: us.
But the thing is, they don't know how to make heads or tails of their discoveries, having no clue as to the purpose of the objects they find.
The humans worked in such mysterious ways. Our cockroaches are literally obsessed with their predecessors. They write books about us. So what could be the purpose of this new discovery, the "tape", this mysterious plastic rectangle holding a ribbon inside? A top team of cockroach scientists are on the case. They exchange emails and theories, and I included some of their correspondence, public and private, with the clippings.
Of course, even if they've found a way of listening to what's on the ribbon, they're lost in conjecture as to the purpose of it all. So they highlight what they know and what they don't on a diagram, which I also included in the package.
Like I've said before, I had a lot of fun making all that stuff up. But honestly, in the name of The Great Ootheca, I could have never done it without those guys in the first place... don't know if you remember them? The funky little buggers that live in Joe's Appartment? Who knows, my futuristic cockroach scientists could even be distant relatives of theirs...