Viking's Choice 2021: Cassettes rule everything around me : All Songs Considered NPR Music's Lars Gotrich offers a tribute to the Peruvian punk, chiptuned black metal and Brazilian dub that soundtracked his home office in 2021, cranked on a trusty tape machine.

Music heard on this episode:

• Morbo: "En el cubil" from ¿A Quién Le Echamos La Culpa?
• Cara Neir: "Damnation" from Phase Out
• Felinto: "Chroma" from Futuro Antigo Perpétuo
• Wendy Eisenberg: "Don't move" from Bent Ring
• Lucy Liyou: "Uncle" from Practice
• Neo Geodesia: "Fanta Rouge" from 2562 Neon Flames
• Maraudeur: "TWYWYS" from Puissance 4
• Myriam Gendron: "C'est dans les vieux pays" from Ma délire - Songs of love, lost & found
• Bacon Grease: "What Do You Know" from The Slow Burn
• Znous: "El-Mansiette" from Znousland 3

Viking's Choice 2021: Cassettes rule everything around me

Viking's Choice 2021: Cassettes rule everything around me

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Cassettes released by Znous, Bacon Grease, Wendy Eisenberg, Morbo, Maraudeur, Myriam Gendron, Cara Neir, Felinto, Neo Geodesia and Lucy Liyou appear on this Viking's Choice episode. Photo Illustration by Renee Klahr, Lars Gotrich/NPR hide caption

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Photo Illustration by Renee Klahr, Lars Gotrich/NPR

Cassettes released by Znous, Bacon Grease, Wendy Eisenberg, Morbo, Maraudeur, Myriam Gendron, Cara Neir, Felinto, Neo Geodesia and Lucy Liyou appear on this Viking's Choice episode.

Photo Illustration by Renee Klahr, Lars Gotrich/NPR

The cassette is my favorite format for music. Going into another year of the pandemic, the cute and compact cassette was how I most experienced music out in the open, without headphones or digital files. So this year-end Viking's Choice conversation with Bob Boilen is a tribute to the Peruvian punk, chiptuned black metal and Brazilian dub that soundtracked my home office in 2021, cranked on a trusty tape machine.

Listen above, read below. For more, follow the Viking's Choice playlist and subscribe to the newsletter. —Lars Gotrich


Morbo, ¿A Quién Le Echamos La Culpa?

This punk rock record just handed you a tallboy and then swung you into the pit. A joyous, debaucherous (and often drunken) spill across vintage garage-rock and punk styles via Lima, Peru.


Cara Neir, Phase Out

Black metal goes 8-bit in a nerdy concept album that takes its sprawling RPG story (about an alien abduction into a battle game dimension), but not the sonic prescriptions of black metal, seriously. Cara Neir tailors each track to the level, side-scroller style – you can actually play the game – calling upon screamo, surf-punk and chiptune in a raucously unique blast to the senses.


Felinto, Futuro Antigo Perpétuo

Digital dub for the digital club of the mind. Members of Deafkids and Rakta contribute live percussion and vocals to the São Paulo producer's tropi-psych meditations that playfully ripple across headphones and space.


Wendy Eisenberg, Bent Ring

Wendy Eisenberg is someone who looks at their instrument and wonders what's next. So, after releasing several albums of avant-garde guitar music (and a helluva rock album with Editrix) this year, they took on the banjo — an unfamiliar-to-them instrument — in a compelling, sung metanarrative that pushes (sometimes uncomfortably) at the act of making art.


Lucy Liyou, Practice

Distance can make the heart grow fonder, but also allows the heart to mend and make sense of trauma. Lucy Liyou's Practice laces glitched electronics and haunted drones with text-to-speech software that pulls from actual conversations about a dying family member. An intimate experience that nevertheless feels and sounds removed.


Neo Geodesia, 2562 Neon Flames

Neo Geodesia's 2562 Neon Flames is a non-linear soundscape of grief from Saphy Vong – euphoric sound collage of Cambodian folk song mashed into raver beats, gambling machines and cut-up karaoke. A glitter-smashed standout from Vong's London-based Chinabot, a label devoted to experimental musicians across the Asian diaspora.


Maraudeur, Puissance 4

The Leipzig-based quintet recalls Bush Tetras, Devo and Kleenex/LiLiPUT, but this multilingual post-punk built up, down and sideways from zig-zagged puzzle pieces.


Myriam Gendron, Ma délire - Songs of love, lost & found

The magic of Myriam Gendron is transformation. The Québécois singer-guitarist takes traditional songs in French and English and sets them out of time, placing her sepia-toned voice against the grain of current aches.


Bacon Grease, The Slow Burn

Orlando's Andrea Knight is Bacon Grease, a noisy electronic artist whose minimalist synth thump and skree is made for basement punk raves. The Slow Burn takes its time to develop beats and sequences, turning riddims into blown-out bangers.


Znous, Znousland 3

Besides Code Orange, few have made me reconsider my relationship with nü-metal more than Znous. On its third album, the Tunisian band fully realizes its unique alchemy: North African percussion and melodies woven into knuckle-dragging chugga-chug and catchy metallic grooves grown from righteous angst.