THE MUSIC TAPES

Led by Julian Koster (with longtime creative collaborator Robbie Cucchiaro, Thomas Hughes, the 7-Foot-Tall Metronome, Static the Singing Television, and a legion of singing saws), The Music Tapes use music, storytelling, games, and their own brand of magic to collapse the boundaries between pop experimentation, theater, and performance art. They have played in opera houses, over 500 living rooms across North America, and in a roving circus tent.

 

FOR MORE, SEE THE MUSIC TAPES AT MERGE RECORDS.

RECORDINGS

THE ORBITING HUMAN CIRCUS
(EP, 2017) // Buy

 

 

MARY'S VOICE
(LP, 2012) // Buy

 

“Running an impressive gamut between stark confessionals and sepia-toned Stephen Foster fantasia, the new Mary's Voice is a grand, genre-straddling vision in sound; on strictly musical terms, it's the most accomplished Music Tapes LP to date... In Mary's Voice, Koster and Cucchiaro have created a eerily beautiful little world unto itself.” Pitchfork

 

“...[A] beauteous and tender embrace of melody, invention, love and strangeness, this is a magnificent, near-magical album that should prove conclusively to anyone who cares that Julian Koster and his Music Tapes are just the right guys to take the Elephant 6 dream of a musical utopia through to its logical, illogical, frightening, chest-bursting conclusion. It’s something of a masterpiece, you see.” The Line of Best Fit

PURIM'S SHADOWS

(THE DARK TOURS THE WORLD)
(EP, 2011) // Buy

 

“Some of the most beguilingly strange outsider art you've ever heard.” Spin

MUSIC TAPES FOR CLOUDS AND TORNADOES
(LP, 2008) // Buy

 

“The rare case of a record that literally sounds timeless, or not of a specific era... Koster and his cast of collaborators use lyrical abstraction and experimental recording techniques, but the melodies at the heart of each song are welcoming and familiar. And even the unusual way they've been gussied up only adds to their poignancy. These 15 tracks were certainly worth the almost-decade-long wait.” Pitchfork

 

“An aesthetic expansion that is decidedly upfront and human, seeped in tradition, and with a vision that's seen all the way through... With Koster's curious inventions, unprecedented happenings, risky production techniques, stylistic inventiveness, and lyrical dexterity, this album comes truly out of leftfield... Unless you're already a Music Tapes fan, chances are you haven't experienced anything quite as exquisitely raw, effortlessly transportive, and charmingly distinct in a long time.” Tiny Mix Tapes

1ST IMAGINARY SYMPHONY FOR NOMAD
(LP, 1999) // Buy

 

“This here is an album so nice it makes your belly hurt. Maybe it’s because the songs were recorded on an 1897 Edison Wax Cylinder recorder, and a 1940’s wire recorder, and a little cassette reel to reel… I don’t know... I like the graphic-art-strip that comes with the album, too; it’s just a very well-developed story. This band manages to write the most disjunctive, delicately held together songs, while still coming off like the strange godchild of pop—but maybe they’re just the noise of all those bones of the dead godchild of pop, clinking against each other in the dark. Anyhow, on a good day you can dance to it." Joanna Newsom