Helmut Lemke's Tapemachine

Well, I hope Tom doesn't mind me turning up here unannounced. I said I'd start to post again about six months ago but never got round to it (sorry!). Anyway I just found the website of Helmut Lemke, a sonic artist who I had the pleasure of working with back in 1997, when he was a researcher at Manchester Metropolitan University. His Tapemachine is a bank of eight cassette players, each with volume, speed and mute controls, which he built to create 'live sound collages'. It's a bit like a more primitive version of Mike Waters 'Melloman', featured here a little while back. I did see the Tapemachine in the flesh once, but have never had the chance of hearing it in action. It would be great with a stack of TDK Endless Cassettes, which up until a few weeks back were still available from TDK's American site, although the page seems to have now disappeared. This page still has some for sale. Snap 'em up quick before they vanish too.

Dude! Good to have you back!
Ah! Thanks Tom, I'm happy to be here!
have we had this before?
I didn't know about Endless Cassettes. Now I'm going to spend the entire morning thinking "homemade mellotron" and it's all your fault!

Can't seem to find a Uk supplier though.
I like the idea, but a laptop and Ableton Live is a lot less hassle... ;)
"I like the idea, but a laptop and Ableton Live is a lot less hassle... ;)"

plus the results would be EXACTLY the same, obviously. what a stupid and pointless post.

oh, sorry:


12 min tapes are no more at Tapeworld. 6min Tapes are even cheaper at the link above.

Not an advert - it's not my store. I'm just a compulsive MusicThing reader and a compulsive gear buyer and can't plunk down for the Moog.
I bought 2 boxes of TDK 3 minute endless cassettes for The Melloman shortly after I built it. I bought them off ebay for about 10 dollars for a box of 10 (I think that's right).

Unfortunately, they don't seem to track in stereo properly, so they're useless for the Melloman (it relies on stereo separation for octaves). The audio quality was pretty poor too.

So I've just had to get used to rewinding every 30 minutes with standard 60 minute cassettes. I've only used it live maybe twice thus far, and that hasn't been a big deal. Now if I were Rick Wakeman... I probably wouldn't play a bunch of Walkmans!! :p

-Mike Walters
Mr Walters you are an obvious god. That is *exactly* what I had in mind. Now someone else has done it, I don't have to.
> plus the results would be EXACTLY the
> same, obviously. what a stupid and pointless post.

What, playing 8 stereo tracks of looping audio, which you can start/stop, mute at will? How exactly is that not the same as playing 8 stereo tracks of audio from tape players, cassette compression artifacts aside?

I simply said I like the idea of making sound collages like this, and pointed out a little jokey thing saying I'd use Live for exactly this kind of thing. No need to get your knickers in a twist, geezer...
har har har! just baiting you "geezer", shame it didn't work....

i love the fact that people who don't go down the obvious or easy route (vinyl vs cd, tapes vs ableton, real analogue vs virtual, harware vs software sequencers and so on)find that doing it the hard way produces different (and often better) results.
When I saw the tapemachine it reminded me of an album I have by Pyrolator, "Home Taping is Killing Music" (1985). This machine was apparently put together by AK Klosowski.
I couldn't find any link between Lemke and Klosowski on google but it seems like they must be related.
Any ideas?
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