Went to the Ecology Records tape release show at the Eyedrum featuring Mutual Jerk, Femignome, Casual Tiger. It’s a one step out of the house-show show.
I got to pick the cassette, they’re all different. Based on the cover, I went for the lighter shade of graphics, the one with trees in the background. Dragged. The composition of the compilation is comprised of several speeds and styles. It’s slow, warped, noise, punk, pretty and loud.
Tracy Soo-Ming, partner in Ecology Record gave up some insights about the old-school media.
“I think there’s something to be said about the materiality of cassettes themselves. Tapes offer more ways to tangibly make manifest your ideas about what your music/art is, and they also let the owner develop their own relationship with the material object. So much of what makes DIY important is the opportunity to inject oneself into projects and leave traces of their “human touch”. A tape has a life of its own in a way an mp3 never can.”
I listen to the tape, get to Art School Jocks and wonder if the batteries on my cassette player are running low. Sure is dragging in spots. Adjust the pitch. Think about the word dragged and decide, nah. That’s how it’s supposed to be. It’s perfect. The tape is perfect.
If you want to hear the songs as recorded, you can always listen to the digital version one. There’s a download code on a slip of white paper in the tape case. I prefer the cassette, turned loud, all the dust popping off the dirty tape heads, like a crackling fire.
Ecology Records a little bit California, a lot East Atlanta. “We like the name Ecology because it evokes a system of entities working together to make something new. We also like the educational aspect of the phrase ‘ecology’.,” says Hira Mahmood, the West Coast partner at Ecology.
Soo-Ming adds, “We don’t want to be a genre-specific label. We want to put out stuff we enjoy. I think what’s most important to us is that the bands/musicians share our interest in DIY.”
The show is a benefit for the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) America’s largest Islamic civil liberties and advocacy group.
“Due to the generally harsh climate we find ourselves in amongst sharp xenophobia and assault on Black people, we want to make our show a fundraiser event. For this particular show, we are raising funds for CAIR, which provides legal assistance to Muslim Americans, and Freedom University, an underground school that provides higher education for undocumented students who have been barred from the public higher institutions in Georgia since 2010.”
Music starts at exactly 10:00 p.m. I appreciate this fact. Ervin Lockett, bass player in Casual Tiger, is the only person I know at the show. I like this fact. He says he met Tracy Soo Ming at his Camellia street house show in August 2015, where Frau (UK), local faves, Uniform, Nurse, and Bends from Charlotte, NC.
“Half of the band relocated here in Atlanta at the time of the show,” says Lockett.
I got lucky and got to talk to Lindsay Harbourafter after her set. She’s the vocalist for Casual Tiger. We both wore black w/ white polka dots, so I felt a certain kindred. We spoke about the importance of communication and the current political climate.
“Lies,” she said softly. Then “LIES” as if there was so much truth to the word, loudly with a smile.
The compilation tape features Art School Jocks, Birth Defects, Casual Tiger, Femignome, GHB, Gnarwhal, Guerilla Toss, Mirza, MTN ISL, Mums, Mutual Jerk, Palberta, Pamela_ and her sons, Plax, Predator, Red Sea, Scroll Downers, SKIN JOBS, Stevie Dinner, and Uniform.
What’s up for the future?
“We are a huge fan of Art School Jocks and would love to release any upcoming music they have coming out. We are also keen on organizing benefit shows geared towards ending prison abolition and supporting prisoners, assisting immigrant communities and queer youth, and other issues that are important for us. We are also interested in zine collaborations, so keep an eye out for that!.” – Hira Mahmood
Ervin Lockett contributed to this post.