With Cassette Store Day more than a full week behind us, hopefully everyone has gotten a chance to pop one of those special new releases into their deck and flip it over at least once, savoring both sides A and B. It seems like such an antiquated statement, but appreciation for the cassette as a medium of music distribution is still alive and well in Cleveland.
“You can sell [them] for cheap enough that almost everyone can afford it,” says Robert Joyce, lead of the Ma Holos lineup. “I wish we could sell records for $5.”
Ma Holos seized the opportunity to release a cassette via Quality Time Records, a DIY tape label recently founded by Ricky Hamilton of Useless Eaters. A few copies of Demonduction were made available at Blue Arrow Records on September 27 in honor of the holiday. “I thought it fit the content of the tape well—the physical of having a little box of music is something I’ve always been a fan of,” explains Joyce.
The songs on the new release are a curated look at how the band has changed over the past year. For fans of the band, this may be the only release to feature almost all the members of Ma Holos since their start in January of 2013. The songs feature Jess Sikon and Steven Miller, in addition to their current members. Joyce views the collection as a mini time capsule of songs that Ma Holos no longer play live, but were too good to be left unheard.
Recorded on a Tascam and mixed in Joyce’s Cleveland Chinatown loft, the ten tracks sound extremely cohesive despite the fact that they were made independently of one another with varying members. This may be in part thanks to the professional mastering done by James Kananen. Ma Holos just finished recording a brand new full length at Bad Racket Studios with Kananen that will be making an appearance in the near future.
The remaining cassettes have been tucked away until the Ma Holos tape release party on October 12th at a private residence. For more information about the event, you can go to their Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/MaHolos
In the meantime, listen to three tracks from Demonduction while waiting for your physical copy of the release.