A decade of eccentric tape label ThirdTypeTapes.
A label profile interview
You started ThirdTypeTapes 10 years ago. Why?
TTT: ThirdTypeTapes is a tape label founded in the summer of 2012. We want to archive as much sounds and music as possible in the widest possible time of the cosmos. Magnetic tape is a high quality analog sound recording medium available since the 1970’s by humans who want to spread alternatives and minority discourses. It still appears today as very efficient for these purposes even if it’s been largely replaced by digital technologies since the first decade of 21st century.
CCCPu: (Beginning transmission).
Why did you want to start a label?
TTT: Because we had the chance to be surrounded by talented artists whose music we had to release.
CCCPu: As a graphist, I’ve always worked with some label or some creative collective for logo creations, album cover designs, websites, etc. The original label members approached me to produce a logo and I came up with the concept of vintage tape covers’ redesign, which have permitted us to release many different musical projects in terms of styles, but to keep a strong visual and artistic line, in order to gain unity for the whole catalog.
It’s an interesting exercise for me as a creator, as my other works as an illustrator are mostly baroque and very image oriented. These covers are a “back to basics” reminder in my work.
Why a tape label?
TTT: To provide listenable objects, not just dematerialized data.
CCCPu: At the origin of the project, 10 years ago, tapes were cheap to make and permitted to have a near industrial-made finish, fulfilling the idea of “industrial music for industrial people.” But recently the cheap aspect of the object is no longer an argument, the prices for production have gone up by double… so I’d say it’s mostly to have a physical object to launch in our virtual world!
Where do you get your tapes ?
TTT: We get our tapes from E-disco (in Portugal) and the duplication process happens in France, handled with care by William Nurdin (another talented artist involved in the Bruitism festival).
Are they new or recycled?
TTT: The tapes are new.
What do you enjoy about tape? The sound? The object?
TTT: Both – sound and object, the space it offers for experimenting visual designs and physical exchanges.
CCCPu: As a graphist (and a collector) I enjoy the object: making it and having it.
What’s your favorite release on ThirdTypeTape? And why?
CCCPu: Letal Ataraxia, 2Mo and Exoterrism, for their experimental and/or aggressive approach.
What does the name “third type” refer to?
TTT: Aliens for sure.
How do you decide what you release on the label?
TTT: Either by crushes or propositions sent from artists to the label. We’re a group of five people involved in programming and attending concerts, four of us proposing and receiving demos to and from people we listen to. Usually one person proposes a project to the group based on a demo, and the majority decides whether we would release it or not.
CCCPu: Our graphic designer both made flesh, then proposes a selection of tape templates (mostly from the 60s to 80s’ tape industry) to the artists and uses these time-consumed ressources to make new cover designs. From one release to another, CCCPu’s process allows it to maintain a coherent visual whole, whilst including the artists to take part in its creative phase.
Do you know all the artists on the label in person?
TTT: We know most of the artists in person, but some of them live far away and in this case it’s different – we’ve never met Hanali who is from Japan, for example.
Which labels inspired you to start your own label?
TTT: There are many amongst the five of us, which makes it hard to list: Mego, Science, Small but Hard, Ambush, Hangars Liquides, Touch, Metalheadz, Raster Noton (Raster), Sub Rosa, Staalplaat, Wordsound, Cavage, Voyder, KVITNU, Fatcat, Soot, Praxis…
What’s the music you listen to yourself currently?
TTT: Selm and Forbidden Siren OST, Billy Woods, Shapednoise, Slikback, Nurse with Wound, Mick Harris, Kool Keith, Új Bála, Silvia Tarozzi & Deborah Walker, Still House Plants…
CCCPu: Mostly ambient and concrete music. Releases from Balmat, a Spanish label, old Mick Harris industrial dub stuff, early Autechre works, vaporwave, neo-bodymusic, horror movies soundtracks, ASMR youtube videos of rainy soundscapes…
What are your future plans with the label?
TTT: We plan to release a tape by Wash Club.
CCCPu: To keep making covers until I’ve exhausted all 60’s-80’s sources, then go back in time and search for the covers that weren’t archived.
Which artist would be your dream release?
TTT: There are too many of them, it’s too hard to choose one.
CCCPu: (Ending transmission).