Ryan Martin’s two-years-in-the-making collaboration with Italian noise composer Maurizio Bianchi, “As Strong As Death Is,” isn’t available on Spotify, or Bandcamp, or even CD. It was released today as a double cassette (yes, cassette) on his tape-centric label, Robert & Leopold.
Martin’s living room is part music library, part synth repair shop, and also headquarters for Dais Records, the bi-coastal imprint he runs with Gibby Miller (you may remember Miller, now in L.A., as the onetime house DJ at Lit). Founded in 2007, Dais boasts a diverse discography including several of Genesis P-Orridge’s projects, an LP from Sasha Grey’s experimental group aTelecine, and early releases from well known acts Cold Cave, Cult of Youth, and Iceage.
While Dais almost exclusively releases vinyl, Martin — who works in a law office by day — also runs Robert & Leopold out of his Greenpoint apartment. The short-run cassettes the label produces aren’t just a novelty, he’s quick to point out. Even during the CD revolution, tapes remained a constant in the punk, hardcore, metal, and experimental music subcultures. In the video above, he speaks to Bedford + Bowery about why he’s keeping the cassette alive.
Video by Taji Ameen.