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April 2001


‘Numbers’ is First Release by Public Works in Five Years

Numbers by Public Works 2001-04-23 / In their new EP entitled Numbers, audio-art group Public Works logs their second release, their first since their 1996 CD Matter. The group made their début with the latter title. (Followers of the group’s work know that Public Works spun off from the efforts of the Tape-beatles, though fans of that group were quick to note that Matter exhibited a markedly different sound and temperament from any of the Tape-beatles’ earlier work.) Numbers follows the release of the Tape-beatles’ 1999 CD Good Times, in which both members of Public Works participated.

The unusually-sized 9-inch EP contains 20 minutes of all new material by the group, much of which was produced earlier this year. It comes out on the Elevator Bath label, based in Bedford, Texas, and boasts clear vinyl and color printing on both the labels and the outer sleeve.

Notes on ‘Numbers’. With regard to Numbers, a few key observations can be made. Intuition, it seems clear, reaches conclusions that logic cannot. The same can be said of Public Works’ manner of working. The strength of Numbers lies in its ability to invoke whisps of apparently coded meaning, without necessarily rendering these too clearly; almost as if to say that in excessive amounts, clarity can serve to stifle the full development of intellectual flavor, presenting a less rounded impression of the form and volume occupied by whatever phenomenon is being discussed. What better, indeed clearer, way is there to encapsulate the essence of the humankind’s contemporary predicament? We know so much, and yet so little. We are masters of minutia, and slaves to an ignorance of its ramifying effects. Furthermore it has always been like that!

Numbers finds mysteries in the playful particles that turn the ossified intentions of humans (their machines) toward unexplainable flights of poetry. It is as if the airwaves are alive, breathing and moaning with ghostly voices. It is as if the electrical grid’s throb carries intelligence, its organs and circulatory systems negotiating remarkable levels of complexity and touching nearly everyone. It is a hesitant affirmation that mathematics and magic are one and the same. By shaping mechanisms that capture thought, one gets a strong sense (without proof) that a transubstantiation of intellectual energies is taking place. We can easily imagine that some excess heat leaks out of this process and accounts for otherwise unexplained, perhaps unexplainable, phenomena. We don’t know, and we don’t aim, really, to find out. Instead, we present our sonic impressions of the landscape we dimly see in our more lucid moments. Ultimately, this may be the best way to get close to it and sense its contours, and even understand it a bit better.

And, like the music, if these words become too precise, then their significance begins to fade. Numbers is the audible analogue of this verbal exercise.

Order your copy of the ‘Numbers’ EP today.


Tape-beatles Re-Issue ‘Plagiarism®’ Tee

Tape-beatles T-shirt emblem 2001-04-23 / As a miniature media conglomerate, audio-art mavens The Tape-beatles have attempted to hold forth at least once in every medium the world has to offer. Even the garment industry has been given a run for its money when we printed a run of ‘tee’ shirts emblazoned with the graphic at left. The inventory quickly evaporated, and we ran another. The same thing happened again, but by this time, our unapologized-for dilettantism had turned its attention to other things.

Now we are here to announce that the shirt is back. It is a product of ours that you cannot, after all, download. It needs to be owned physically to be possessed. In other words, you have to buy it if you want it.

‘But what does it look like,’ you may well ask. It is a white cotton T with a black printed emblem and you can have it in L, and XL, and XXL sizes.

See the T shirt emblem, more or less full-size.

Order your T-shirt today.

2001-04-23 / Lost inventory found. Moving has its rewards, as I was to discover while cleaning out my apartment for my impending move to Prague. I discovered some ‘long-lost’ Tape-beatle inventory! I now make them available for purchase from this web site. Tape-beatle collector-completists, rejoice!

The items consist of the 7-inch single Grave implications/Home Problems, released Minneapolis’ Carburetor Records circa 1994, as well as a 6-inch flexidisc of America is confident. This latter title was produced for the Minneapolis journal Artpaper and, as well as being a different version than appears on CD, it also features a locked groove at the end of the track — making the running time a bit difficult to calculate.

Anyway, you can now buy the two items as a set from this web site for a low-low price.

Order your copy of the 7-inch with flexidisc combo.

Support our ongoing work! Yah yah yah!

2001-04-01 / Note. Site updates may be even more sporadic than usual for the next two months. I will be travelling a lot. So be patient with me. Thanks.

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