Records > Haunted Tape Found in the Attic, All Covered In Dirt and Spells

Avsluta & David Toop


Order via Bandcamp NEXT Festival Records

Performed and recorded at NEXT Festival in Cafe OTO, London, 22/11/2021

bone conduction speakers, cassettes, paper, fl utes and whistles, bass recorder, African fi ddle, percussion

small clay vessel, hexbugs, brass lid, african hand drum, djembe, vibration coin motor, decorative brass plate, tibetan singing bowls, brass coaster, violin bow, broken walkman, Strymon, Big Sky, Strymon Timeline, wooden bowl & wooden beads, elephant claw bell, brass tiger bell, clay flute, paper & rice

David Toop and Avsluta are friends, collaborators and occasional co-performers in various constellations. This live recording from their 2021 set at NEXT Festival in Cafe OTO is from their first concert together following a pandemic-enforced pause, and provides a glimpse of their mystical practice of object-oriented improvisation and sonic dialogue.
On a blog post from late November 2021, David Toop recalls how he utilised a gift from Ecka Mordecai – a collection ofeggflutes – in several concerts at that time. In particular, he highlights this performance with Avsluta and his use of the eggflutes in that context: “What I found myself doing was playing the eggflute as a flute, while simultaneously using it as a resonant chamber to amplify sound transmitted through a bone conduction speaker… I also used my teeth for bone conduction, so there was a feeling within myself …of cavities and edges at work together.”

This small account highlights the care and intention, but also playfulness and curiosity, which characterises the duo’s relationship with objects when they improvise. ‘Haunted Tape Found in the Attic, All Covered in Dirt and Spells’ embodies these qualities even in its name; the duo treats the plethora of objects and sounds as if they were exploring a long-forgotten secret attic. They navigate among and within the sounds with tangible fascination, gentleness and inquisitiveness, treating homemade instruments, toys, found cassettes, treasured wind instruments, mechanical devices, and the most mundane of objects with equal care and significance.

The result is a fascinating sound document, one which conjures visions of both a deep investigation as well as an expedition. It’s a testament to David Toop and Avsluta’s common language, improvisational proficiency, but most of all their willingness to listen. ‘Haunted Tape Found in the Attic, All Covered in Dirt and Spells’ is David Toop & Avsluta’s second release, following a mini-album released by Cafe OTO’s Takuroku label back in 2020.


releases September 11, 2023

Cover image by David Toop
Recorded by Shaun Crook
Mixed by Avsluta and David Toop
Mastering: Rupert Clervaux

Released by NEXT Festival Records

Supported using public funding by Slovak Arts Council