Solve the Mystery Tape Mystery

February 22, 2011

This mystery has been solved!

The tape in question is from the Tellus series, Tellus #11, The Sound of Radio. I found it and the entire series while doing some sleuthing on the web. You can hear the entire series here:
Ubuweb, Tellus Series.

Hi all,
I’ve had this tape for over 20 years. I used to obsessively record anything off the radio that I thought was cool, so like a lot of you, I have giant boxes of cassettes of radio shows.
This one has continued to haunt me. It’s a weird radio play about a carnival sideshow coming into a small town and how the town reacts to them. I guess it’s sort of a Civil Rights allegory – given the townsfolk’s redneck attitude, with some creepy horror thrown in. The production values and techniques makes me think it was in the 70’s or 80’s.
It was played on Portland OR KBOO in the mid to late 80’s.
Here it is:

Can someone help me identify who made this and where it came from?
It’s been driving me crazy! You can hear some Psychic TV mixed in and perhaps some Einsturzende Neubauten, but that’s just the DJ, as this was a Halloween show and this is just one bit from it.
I would really love to know where this came from originally.

Notes on the sound quality
: This was recorded on a cheap, low-bias cassette in the mid eighties. The signal was very weak, so you hear static from time to time. It’s also not been stored in the most ideal manner. I also ran it through a little light dynamic compression, due to changes in levels through the recording.



  1. […] UGLY RADIO::: Home of The Kill Ugly Radio Adventure Hour « Solve the Mystery Tape Mystery February 23, […]

  2. Hey there, I haven’t listened to this yet, but I wanted to thank you for this post. I always talk about my box of tapes I recorded from the radio (back in the mid-’80s) but you are the first person I’ve ever “encountered” who did the same thing!! I love the Internet.

  3. Oh, you have no idea, Less!
    TONS of tapes!
    I’ll never get around to listening to them or even ripping them! A lot of them are really worthless, but some have audio experiments or at the very least, some amazing radio shows.
    It’s what got me wanting to get involved with radio in the first place.

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