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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, 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). 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.