Fika004: Horowitz - The Knitwear Generation EP

Horowitz Cassettes
Horowitz Cassettes

Horowitz and cassettes have a long history. Back in the early 2000s, Pete was a member of Trilemma, a self-professed “glo-fi” outfit headed up by Rob Jones (Venus Beads/Exit Condition). Most of the Trilemma stuff, including their amazing Crowded Wilderness 7” EP on Kitchen Records, was recorded on a Tascam 8-track cassette machine.

At the time, I was playing in a punky new wave band called The Mittens. The Stoke indie scene was and still is microscopic, so it was inevitable we’d get together at some point and start making music. Who else in Stoke understood D.I.Y aesthetics? Only the handful of souls who came along to the one decent night the city had to offer back then – John Owen’s Music Room. At the Talbot Hotel, we saw glitch electronica followed by math-rock, psychedelic pop (Of Montreal before they became Prince-aping sex monkeys were particularly good), jazz, grindcore – the lot. All the bands and artists were united by the common thread of D.I.Y. Amongst the multitude of records bands would be selling, I remember a fair number of cassettes on the merch table. Including my own. Influenced first by Trilemma and then the heady days of the Music Room, I started bashing out as many songs as I could on a 4-track cassette recorder. These were then dubbed onto more cassettes and distributed to whoever would listen.

Fast-forward to 2004 and the first Horowitz EP. 30 cassette copies. We just couldn’t let it lie. I wonder if anyone still has one? If you do, let us know! Anyway, we hope you enjoy this record as much as we enjoyed making it. A lot of love has gone into the Fika recordings project – a passion that mirrors our own love for cassettes – and we think it shows. Tack Tom & Lisa!

The Knitwear Generation

Fittingly, this song was on the first cassette album I ever put together back in (I think) 2002. The lyric probably sounds a bit twee, but I’m sure if you’re able to make out what I’m going on about underneath all the fuzz, you’ll see the humour! I love the chugging rhythm we managed to achieve using a drum preset on a Casio keyboard and some shaker and tambourine overdubs. Crunchy!

Summer Promised Me Too Much

Another old song from the cassette years (see what we’ve done here?) with one or two different words and guitar parts. I’m really proud of this. We were going for a Thames Valley vibe, specifically early Ride. We’ve never used an echo pedal on a Horowitz record but I think it works well, particularly at the end of the song when it really takes off. You might hear more of this sort of thing from us in future.

Play Me Your Song

A little pop song. Couldn’t resist doing some Malkmus guitar bits in the verses (all improvised on the spot, btw.) Went for a snotty vocal delivery and I’m glad – I think it fits well in the noisy chorus. Might do this one live :-)