Album Review – Sampler 2021 by Various Tapes (2021) (Z Tapes)


Without getting all anal and counting them, I would hazard an extremely (un)educated guess that at least 37.4% of all my album reviews, over the past couple of years, have been in relation to cassette label releases.
Perhaps the absolute Daddy of them all is the Slovakian based Z Tapes label of whom regular readers will know I have oft become a bit ‘besotted fanboy’, such is the sheer quality of some of the jangle-gaze acts that the label unearths and promotes.
For fans of the gaze nuanced essence of the jangle-pop genre this label always excels and this three cassette sampler of all that was magificent about their releases in 2021 never disappoints, with tracks from the releases of acts such as Wake In June, Phantom Handshakes, Swiss Portrait, JustMakeMeCry and Community Swimming Pool, showing what a stellar year 2021 was for the label.
However, it just felt that the label branched out a bit more this year into non-gaze laden areas. Perhaps this was not the case at all and it was merely the fact that the quality of bedroom-pop releases from the likes of Pickle Darling, Permanent Vacation, Fuvk and the brilliant lo-fi fuzz-pop of Seventeen Years and Stevenson, just made it feel like a concerted branch out, when really such sounds were always concentrated upon. Either way, they proved to be the perfect sounds for the tape format.
This 29 track sampler celebrates a label that just seems to get exponentially better each year. Grab a copy here.






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