About I.S.C

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International Sound Communication (frequently abbreviated as I.S.C.) was a series of compilation cassettes, compiled and distributed as a mail art project by Andi Xport from Peterborough, England, in the mid 1980s. Fifteen volumes were issued,[1] and it was one of the largest and most versatile series of its kind.

The series was intended to provide an outlet for any kind of music from any country in the world. Most artists who appeared were not signed to a record label, but had released their music privately on cassettes sold via mail, and these were often the source of the material that appeared on the compilations. All volumes came with a list of contact addresses, with the exception of artists from “Iron Curtain” or Soviet Union countries whose addresses were not published, to protect them from government persecution, as the “importation” of Western culture and influences, and communication with artists outside the Soviet Union, without government approval were generally illegal. In those cases, a contact address for an associate outside of the Soviet Union was provided. As stated on the inserts, “All bands and individuals featured on I.S.C. comps have more music available, so get in touch now!” A slogan, “Communicate to Create” often appeared.

In addition to compiling the series, Andi Xport recorded under the name Man’s Hate, which was also the name of his cassette label which distributed I.S.C. (plus 5 cassette albums by Man’s Hate).[1] Xport was also a member of APF Brigade, and The Peace & Freedom Band. Xport claims that more than 3,000 tapes were sent to him, and many had to be stored under his bed due to space limitations.

Released on the same date as volume 13, an extra volume appeared as The Noise Collective which, although presented as an artist name, was actually another compilation project. All tracks were collaborations between two or more artists, most of whom had appeared previously on I.S.C. The collaborations were accomplished by having the artists send each other unfinished recordings through the mail. The tracks were edited to overlap and segue, forming a continuous suite on each side of the tape.

Volumes 1 to 8 were C-60 (60 minute) tapes, with a cover price of ₤1.00. The remaining volumes, including The Noise Collective, were C-90 with a cover price of ₤1.50. Volumes 1 to 9 used a fold-out insert (shown at the right), while volume 10 had a cardboard insert separate from the track list and contacts sheet. Starting with volume 11 (and including The Noise Collective), the outer cover was a cardboard sleeve wrapped around the plastic jewel case.

Responses

  1. You might find this interesting.

    We refer to it as “Analog Music from a Lost World” — previously unreleased post-punk experimental rock from 1981, unlike anything else recorded before or after.

    “…a comment i had from an anonymous friend made me to move my old fat ass and write about this unique lost treasure, post-punk mixed with avant-rock, filled with spastic rhythms and synths in a very New York-ish manner, something like a No Wave Beefheart, if he was a female…” — buginthecity.blogspot.com

    “It’s amazing!” — Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock

    “…distorted echoes of prophets, and Border Breakers…” — I Wanna Rock You Baby Blog (Hungary)

    “Shinjuku Birdwalk” bodes something approaching fractured genius, and does little to disappoint.” — sibLINGSHOT ON THE BLEACHERS Blog
     
    “…five seconds into the first tune on KCC’s “Shinjuku Birdwalk,” no recommendations were necessary. Hail, yeah, y’all, let’s break some waves… — unterkayness.blogspot.com

    “…some hefty grooves, and plenty of ‘holy shit” moments’. It’s a spacious but highly rewarding listen, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some label makes an effort to press this on vinyl in the near future.” — ongakubaka.blogspot.com

    “Hopefully, some enterprising reissue label will snatch this one up, as it’s too good to exist only in the ephemeral form of a download.” — Mutant Sounds

    Jason Sigal, Managing Director at WFMU said:
    “This is amazing stuff and we would be honored to feature it in wfmu’s curated portal on the free music archive. I’m very sorry for our slow response, we have a lot of stuff to wade through to find gems like these.”

    http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Karen_Cooper_Complex/

  2. thats an interesting website 😉
    may use that to play my music on

  3. Great to see the originals again.
    Sandy Viktor Nys
    the one who started the concept of international audio communication before internet !!!!!

    • hey sandy good to hear from you again ;0)
      you ought to put out your old tapes on mp3, would be cool to hear them again

  4. Very interesting! I dig it.
    I downloaded 1-7 and zipped them up nicely into a master zip file, if you’d like it hosted for free to avoid the popups on the site you’re using, let me know!


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