Kurt Cobain's Mix Tape Delights With The Sounds of 'Heck'
  • TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 04, 2014

  • Posted by: Austin Price

When I was in high school my friends and I had a band by the name of The Goth Conglomerate. As a rule we were not allowed to know how to play the instrument we chose. As a consequence, our music regularly devolved into a collage of found noises, botched attempts playing that only halfway resembled "music" and speeches that could hardly even be described as "babble." Little did I know that these kinds of "mixtapes" were a rather common part of the musical landscape and that plenty of aspiring musicians had made a habit of cobbling these kinds of ephemera together.

Turns out that even Kurt Cobain was guilty of throwing together this kind of nonsense as one can hear for themselves on the recently re-discovered "Montage of Heck." 36 minutes long and not a second too short, this is the kind of wacked out sampling that will do any bored wasteoid proud. This is youtube poop before there was a youtube to poop upon, the kind of rambling gobbleydegook that will remind those who had long forgotten of the time they spent listening, rapt, to the musings of Raleigh Theodore Sakers that dotted Sublime recordings.

Samples of music from all ends of the spectrum -- "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite," "Sweet Leaf," "Hot Pants," "The Candy Man" and many others -- melt like candle wax into recordings from a thousand and one television shows, Star Wars audio book cassettes and Curious George tapes. The effect, as anyone might hope, is maybe too goofy to be unsettling but just perfect for a mixtape that would use the word "heck."

Go ahead, flush 36 minutes of your life down the toilet! I won't stop you. In fact, I'd encourage it.

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