midwich – (oTo) T50 and the Ordnance, Tape Only project

February 21, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Posted in fencing flatworm, midwich, no audience underground | 4 Comments
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midwich – (oTo) T50

oTo T50

Ahhh… oTo, what was I thinking?  Julian Bradley must have talked me into it.

‘Ordnance, Tape Only’, or oTo to its friends, was a sound-art off-shoot project of FFR.  Fifty releases, with each release limited to a numbered fifty copies, all on one-sided C90 cassette tapes.  Aside from the artist name and the catalogue number no other information was included and each tape had an inlay card cut from an Ordnance Survey map of this fair country.  Basically, you got a random five mile square of Britain to look at whilst listening to your near-anonymous tape.

To my surprise, this insane enterprise caught the collective imagination and I had no trouble filling up the 50 slots.  It became a cross section of the UK noise underground and even attracted the attention of the international experimental jetset as Thurston Moore donated some skronking.  Julian had tape number T01, I had the last one.  A complete list of releases can be found here on the defunct FFR site (please don’t use that email address though – it is also defunct). Whilst chopping up maps I was often left with some wholly blue squares containing just sea.  I kept those to one side and the 50 inlay cards for the midwich tape each cover a 25 square mile section of water.

Speaking of which, this is one of those long, single-track midwich releases.  Electro-cicadas slowly descend into a Cthuloid temple, then think better of it.  I really like this one, especially at around 25 minutes or so when it gets proper deep and dirty.

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  1. I have the entire (oTo) series! I enjoy them very very much. After a quick immersion in all 50, now I tend to pick one at random (no names on the sides of course) to enjoy. Always a new surprise! Some of my favorites include the Hobs ‘covers’ tape, all of the ‘altered soundtracks’ tapes (especially the one for ‘Duel’) and Basquadeck Shelf!

    • Hey Chris – good to hear from you, man! You are one of an elite of about four or five people who own the whole set. I’m going to have to find a tape walkman from somewhere and go through these again on my walks home from work. I’m tempted to squash all the thirty second samples on the oTo site together into one 25 minute skronk-out too… Rob x

  2. Many thanks for archiving these, the tapes are still treasured to this day. Cheering you on from Colorado, hope to make it to Leeds again at some point.


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