Word on the Streets: Tape Loops, Hardware, and All Things Amulets

Common folk think cassettes are a think of the past, but those with an ear for analog understand the allure of tape. Portland-based audio + visual artist Randall Taylor is not only paying homage to the culture behind tape, ambient sounds, and maker culture; but he’s truly innovating one creation at a time.

The nature of tape is a fickle beast; each tone differs machine to machine, second to second. The Amulets project celebrates the unique and pushes it to the max. Centered around a series of experiments both large and small, Taylor bundles hardware to create unique recordings.

To get a feeling what tape loops really meant to the world, we asked Amulets fans about how these sounds impacted them and what attracts them to Taylor’s process and output. Most can appreciate the old, but few can see the path to make it new again. Amulets ambient output would work well pressed to wax or in a set.

Over the past four years Taylor has grown the Amulets channel with a series of drone and ambient tape loops. Defined in over twelve feature projects, the project has begun to appear in his new home of Portland. Studio project Parallels debuted earlier this year a Variform, an elegant testament to fusion between sound and visual art. The most recent short, ‘Where Land Meets The Sea’ pays homage to the Pacific Northwest as Amulets soundtracks the rugged landscapes of the Oregon coast.

By modifying both the cassette and tape players, I am able to physically break the tape outside of its original case in order to create longer, more exposed, and fragile loops.

Amulets – Parallels

A clear theme across the feedback from his audience is connection with the original usages of cassette as a common form to new sounds and DIY creations. Genres clearly don’t matter in the modern age of experimental electronica. More of a soundtrack to life rather than a staged setting, Amulet’s freeform tones deliver something unique each and every time.

Amassing a solid following through consistent and attractive visual pairings, the moniker has evolved far beyond the standard basement musician. A growing platform for refined yet entrancing displays of analogue in motion, Amulets is a gallery experience like no other.

Get The Full Experience with Amulets on Patreon.