I believe my first words to James Kavoussi were, "You're pHoaming Edison? I'm in awe of you." Though we would later play together in the band Uncle Wiggly for 10 years, I first came to know James' song craft through his pHoaming Edison cassettes submitted for the Lo-Fi show. Though often containing only a handful of songs, every tape is a mini-masterpiece of avant-pop looniness, where Kavoussi's combination of dense layers of Fender noise, exquisite melodies, brain-worm riffage and hand-scribbled cover art presents a fully formed personal aesthetic that continues to this day. "Phed" has made one limited LP and two CDs for the darkbelovedcloud label; the Highest Grady LP and 2nd Highest Grady CD are collections of his home recordings, while the Happy Nap Casino disc takes a more studio-oriented, full-band approach on several tracks. There are more recent pHoaming Edison CD-Rs available too, as good or better than anything already discussed. This tape, which just happened to be the nearest at hand, is a good five-song overview of p.E. song stylings. James also plays in the bands Fly Ashtray and The Gimme 5.
I've raved about DDAA elsewhere on this blog, and also addressed the fact that several of their best releases were cassette-only. La Famille des Saltimbanques was released in a beautiful custom package by the Italian ADN label in 1984, and is among my personal top three DDAA recordings, along with their masterpiece, the Ronsard LP (1988) and their first full-length album, Action and Japanese Demonstration (1982). DDAA's songs have a relentlessly human quality, an emotional intensity that I find lacking in much of the post-punk avant-garde, having more in common with Can or Amon Düül than with DDAA contemporaries like Nurse With Wound and P16.D4. The two lengthy songs that make up most of Face 2 of this tape are mindbending excursions of plodding percussion and monolithic distorted guitar. (Note: Certain tracks on La Famille des Saltimbanques run together, and are thus ripped as a single mp3.) As an extra treat, I've uploaded side B of DDAA's Nouvelles Constructions Sonores sur Fondations Visuelles cassette from 1991; download here [mp3, 52MB] (If you haven't already, you can download side A via the post What's On My Micro, Part 3: Experimental Sounds, Long Tracks.)