Minimal Wave: both a genre of underground DIY electronic music from North America and Europe in the late 1970s and 80s, and the name of the label devoted to unearthing these recordings. The Minimal Wave Tapes is the first official anthology (on CD, LP and digital) of Minimal Wave music from this label. Most of the songs were originally released on limited edition cassettes or vinyl by the artists themselves, and only a handful of people knew about them. They’ve been remastered from their analog source tapes and compiled here by Minimal Wave’s Veronica Vasicka and Stones Throw’s Peanut Butter Wolf.
The Minimal Wave musical genre was hallmarked by the use of the analog synths and drum machines manufactured in the 70s and 80s, and characterized by simple music structures made by musicians working in the early D.I.Y. asthetic: recording on tape in their home studios, creating their own album artwork, and often collaborating via postage mail. The fanzine CLEM (Contact List Of Electronic Musicians) was very influential in creating a worldwide community for this sort of music, before digital technology and the internet came into play.
Minimal Wave the label was founded in New York City in 2005 by Veronika Vasicka, who focused the label solely on obscure Minimal Wave recordings, remastering and releasing them on limited vinyl and digital.
The Minimal Waves Tapes fits neatly into Stones Throw Records’ own tradition of compiling or reissuing the independent music of the past which influences the independent music we make today – 60s funk (The Funky 16 Corners), early 80s hip-hop (The Third Unheard) and West Coast Electro/Rap (Arabian Prince’s Innovative Life) to name a few.