Saturday, June 27, 2009

three more recordings received, radio airplay, Hal McGee interview

In the last several days I received three more contributions, all of which will be on the upcoming Dictaphonia #3. I need to receive about seven more contributions and then #3 will be ready to go! - probably sometime in July.

The track by Master/Slave Relationship is the first new MSR recording in over a decade.

Los Angeles, California, USA

Seffner, Florida, USA
"So Pissed Off"

66) EGG
Pasadena, California, USA
"Transmutations in Juarez"

Michael Barrett played the first five tracks from Side B of Dictaphonia #1 on the June 19th edition of his Ill-Planned Escape Route radio program in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Dave X interviewed me on the June 20th edition of his It's Too Damn Early radio show. You can download the interview on this page on my web site - look in the left margin. Later in the same program he played the first seven tracks from Side A of Dictaphonia #2. On his June 27th show he played the entire second side of Dictaphonia #2.

I am still accepting contributions to the Dictaphonia project.
Information on Dictaphonia #1

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I bought a new microcassette recorder for $9.49

I need a new handheld portable microcassette recorder so on Monday I bid on a new Olympus J300 microcassette recorder and won it for $4.25 plus $5.24 shipping, handling and tax. These are offered directly from Olympus, the company that originated the microcassette back in 1969.

So, for those of you who have been wanting to contribute to my Dictaphonia Compilation project, but having been lacking the microcassette recorder, here is your opportunity.

Igloo Martian has been wanting to contribute to Dictaphonia but lacked a microcassette recorder. He bid on and won an Olympus J300 offered by Olympus Auctions and won it for a total of $10.43 ($4.85 plus $5.85 for shipping, handling and tax).

Olympus has a lot more available at this link. Put the word Pearlcorder in Search.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dictaphonia #3 - Five more contributions received

In the last few days I have received five more contributions for Dictaphonia, all of which will be on Dictaphonia #3 (bringing the total to 14 out of about 24 needed to fill up the compilation):

59) Alan George Ledergerber
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
"I like to scare myself."

60) Stirner
Almelo, The Netherlands

61) auvikogue
Ulm, Germany
"heima®t/exp - lost concert series vol. 1"

62) mortuus auris & the black hand
New Malden, Surrey, England
"Ena Ari Nea"

63) Johnny Brewton
Pasadena, California, USA
"Frequency Oblique No.001"

Saturday, June 20, 2009

BORING excuses

Many of the people whom I have invited to participate in Dictaphonia send a similar, lame reply:

First, complaining about the "rules" and guidelines.
My guidelines are why my compilations rule. :)
But they can be summed up in one sentence:
"Dude, send me a recording on microcassette, not longer than 3 minutes".

Second, many people complain that they don't own a microcassette recorder.
The proper reply to give me is: "Hal, I do not own a microcassette recorder, but I will purchase one".
They can be purchased on eBay for just a few dollars! In fact, Olympus, the originator of the microcassette, is selling new J-300 microcassette recorders for a starting bid of $0.99! I saw one sell last night for $3.52 (plus $4.95 shipping).
Many people have written to me telling me that they are buying a microcassette recorder so that they can participate in Dictaphonia.

Or, third, I get the reply that "I am too busy with other projects right now".
Yeah BUT how many microcassette compilations have you been on?!
Dictaphonia is an ongoing project. If you don't have time for it now, send something when you do.

For those who are interested in contributing to the Dictaphonia Microcassette Compilation Project, I am still accepting recordings. You can find submission guidelines here

Dictaphonia Volume Two is now available! plus listing info

DICTAPHONIA Microcassette Compilation 2 is now available
24 artists
61 minutes of sound recordings made on microcassette,
released on microcassette
Go to this page on my web site for more info

recordings by Dave Wright, Richard Orlando, Mark McGee, Sonic Disorder, Douglas Burkett, Jamison Williams, Zebra Mu, Ian Watson, Crap Last Tape, Kurt Gottschalk, Julie Schubert, Dada Action Group, Andrew Coltrane, The Raytownian(s), Belltonesuicide, blanco estira nuestro (+) hermana Hélice, Fried Marlenstahl, NXP, Rez Epo, Hanson Ono, Death Factory, Douglas Ferguson, Melissa Lovely & Justin Waters Here And Thereian Duo, Pony Payroll

this is a homemade product!
featuring simple homestyle packaging
each tape comes with a j-card cut out of a magazine (each one is different)
with a black and white photocopy insert
with collage artwork on one side
and a list of the artists and their piece titles on the other
$6.00 postage paid USA and Canada
$7.00 Air Mail postage paid everywhere else
PayPal to haltapes1 @ aol dot com

Dictaphonia #2 is now listed at, thanks to Andrew Chadwick

DICTAPHONIA Volume One is now online

DICTAPHONIA Microcassette Compilation 1 is now available in its entirety online for free downloading and streaming audio, including bonus material not available on the tape on this page on my web site

recordings by Dave X, Su Sous Toulouse En Rouge, Kathy Burkett, Istituzioni Ambienti Naturalismo, Otolathe, IWANTTOKILLEVERYHUMAN, Mike Khoury, Black Beast Of Arrrghhh, Horseflesh, Vagina Teeth/Jesus Teeth, William A. Davison, Homogenized Terrestrials, Krysten Davis, Violet, Fiver's Stereo, Hal McGee, 3D-MAN, Chefkirk, Ironing, Concrete Violin, Jeph Jerman, Blind Umizato, Dave Fuglewicz, Big City Orchestra, Waterdigger

DICTAPHONIA Microcassette Compilation 1 is still available in its original microcassette format.
$6.00 postage paid USA and Canada
$7.00 Air Mail postage paid everywhere else
PayPal to haltapes1 @ aol dot com

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

morning thoughts on Dictaphonia

One of the reasons I am doing the Dictaphonia project is to promote the use of microcassette! Lots of people have written me telling me that they didn't own a microcassette machine but that they were going to buy one just so they could participate!

Some people wrote to me saying that they would borrow one from a friend - but I discouraged this, saying "how are you going to listen to the comp when it comes out if you have to give the recorder back after you get done recording?"

I do appreciate all contributions that I have received. All of them sound great and are special to me! I especially admire the contributing audio/noise artists who actually love microcassette and worked with it as a medium and used it as an audio art/noise tool to create their piece. Microcassette is more than a way to document. It's a way to create.

All of the Dictaphonia volumes will be online eventually. This weekend Dictaphonia #1 will go up on my web site. But the tracks will be presented as individual mp3 files - not zipped - and so the only way someone is ever going to get the full idea of what Dictaphonia #1 sounds like and how it flows is to listen to the tape itself. But putting it all online is a way to promote microcassette use - maybe someone who previously balked at the idea of buying a micro recorder to participate will change their minds after hearing the stuff online. Plus for the thousands of hal mcgee dot com visitors/listeners in China this will be the only way for them to hear it. :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dictaphonia #2 contributor's copies in the mail; three more contributions for Dictaphonia #3 received

I have mailed out most of the contributor's copies for Dictaphonia, Volume Two. If your submission is on Dictaphonia #2 you should receive your copy within the next few days.

Later this week I will make an announcement about the release of Dictaphonia #2 and copies will be available for sale at that time. Contributors to the project will be able to purchase Dictaphonia #2 at a reduced price. This means that if your track is on #2, and if your track was on #1 or will be on #3 you can buy #2 for a lower price than the general public. Contact me first before sending money.

I have now received nine submissions since Dictaphonia #2 filled up, with about 15 more needed to fill up #3. In recent days I have received three more contributions that will appear on Dictaphonia, Volume Three:

56) Fludd
Genova, Italy

Norfolk, England, UK
"Beethoven's 9th - Bonus track (Movement 5)"

Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, USA
"The Exercist"

Fludd is Marco Cacciamani, an associate of mine from the 1980s Hometaper Days. I distributed his Step tape through my Cause And Effect Distribution Service (ca. 1985).

The microcassette contribution from JLIAT came housed inside the battery compartment of a fully-operational Behringer UD100 Ultra Distortion pedal. Thanks, James! I tried for several hours in vain to figure out how to open the battery compartment. I contacted JLIAT on MySpace and he posted  a funny YouTube video that demonstrated how to open the battery compartment.

Bisexual Swinger is a new contact of mine, via MySpace.

A special treat of sorts awaits those who visit the Dictaphonia page on my web site...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

2 more contributions, Dictaphonia radio airplay, and Dictaphonia on

I recently received two more contributions which will appear on Dictaphonia Volume 3:

London, England
"Impulse Response"

55) Ooy
Tokyo, Japan

Andrew Chadwick played three tracks from Dictaphonia #1 on the May 25th edition of his The Sum Of Your Life Radio program on Grow Radio, by Krysten Davis, Hal McGee, and Dave X.
On the June 1st edition he played selections by Jeph Jerman, Violet, and Homogenized Terrestrials.

Dave X played Side A of Dictaphonia #1 in its entirety on the
June 5th edition of his It's Too Damn Early radio program on WDBX-FM.

Thanks to Andrew Chadwick Dictaphonia Microcassette Compilation, Volume One now has a listing at!

Friday, June 5, 2009

the first four tracks on Dictaphonia #3 received - I hope to have Dictaphonia #2 ready June 15

In the last two days I have received four more contributions to the Dictaphonia project, all of which will appear on Dictaphonia #3.

York, Pennsylvania, USA
"Panic Attack"

Kingsport, Tennessee, USA
"shrapnel bath"

52) Karl J. Palouček
Berwyn, Illinois, USA

Saint Petersburg, Florida, USA

I have completed the master for Dictaphonia #2, and soon I will start producing copies for the contributors, putting together the artwork, etc. I hope to be able to start mailing out copies on June 15th.

My friend Dave Fuglewicz, who appeared on Dictaphonia #1, recently custom-built a device for me that will make production of Dictaphonia tape copies not only much easier and more efficient, but will enhance the sound quality.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dictaphonia #2 is complete - keep sending your recordings - I will produce a third volume of Dictaphonia

Yesterday I received what will be the last two contributions that will appear on the second volume of the Dictaphonia Microcassette Compilation project.

48) Melissa Lovely & Justin Waters Here And Thereian Duo
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

49) Pony Payroll
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

As many of you know, Justin Waters produced the famous Microcassettor project, which was a major inspiration for the Dictaphonia project, and operates the Sound From The Pocket label.

This weekend I will probably continue working on the master for Dictaphonia #2, and I hope to have it ready for release in a couple of weeks or so.

I will produce at least one more volume of Dictaphonia in the microcassette format. So, if you have not already sent a recording and wish to participate in the project send yours soon if you want to be on Dictaphonia #3.