Irgendwann 1987-88 hat kein Geringerer als Curt Cobain dieses Mixtape hier aufgenommen und diesem den Namen „Montage of Heck“ gegeben. Jetzt ist das Dingen aufgetaucht und klingt nach dem Digitalisieren genau so bescheiden schön wie eine alte Kassette. Dennoch interessant zu wissen, was der Mann so auf ein Mixtape packte, auch wenn das alles sehr, sehr avantgardistisch daher kommt und doch ein wenig merkwürdig klingt. So richtig will da keine Musik bei rauskommen. Klar.
Well, here’s an interesting find: A strange mixtape supposedly put together by Kurt Cobain a year before Nirvana released their debut album has recently come to light. According to Dangerous Minds, Cobain composed Montage of Heck around 1988 using a 4-track cassette recorded. The mixtape is a sound collage, and travels to unexpected places using clips culled from obscure sources. Though the 36-minute-long track starts of pleasantly enough, it gets very weird very fast — there’s a lengthy segment about three minutes in that’s mostly a repeated retching sound.
Still, it’s a worthwhile listen just to gain some insight as to how Cobain thought about sound, and to admire the then-21-year-old’s impressive music catalog. Dangerous Minds points out that he must’ve had actual physical copies of everything he samples, as he didn’t have access to any sort of streaming site in 1988. The reported full list of components used in the making of Montage of Heck is below, according to the blog United Mutations.
Courtesy of United Mutilations, here’s a list of components that Kurt used in making “Montage of Heck.” It’s quite a list:
“The Men In My Little Girl’s Life” by Mike Douglas
“The Sounds of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel
“Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” by The Beatles
“A Day In The Life” by The Beatles
“Eruption” by Van Halen
“Hot Pants” by James Brown
“Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” by Cher
“Go Away Little Girl” by Donny Osmond
“Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver
“Everybody Loves Somebody” by Dean Martin
“The Candy Man” by Sammy Davis, Jr.
“In A Gadda Da Vida” by Iron Butterfly
“Wild Thing” by William Shatner
“Taxman” by The Beatles
“I Think I Love You” by The Partridge Family
“Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl?” by The Barbarians
“Queen Of The Reich” by Queensryche
“Last Caress/Green Hell” covered by Metallica
“Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin
“Get Down, Make Love” by Queen
“ABC” by The Jackson Five
“I Want Your Sex” by George Michael
“Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden
“Eye Of The Chicken” by Butthole Surfers
“Dance of the Cobra” by Butthole Surfers
“The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey’s Grave” by Butthole Surfers
“New Age” by The Velvet Underground
“Love Buzz” by Shocking Blue
Orchestral music from 200 Motels by Frank Zappa
“Help I’m A Rock” / “It Can’t Happen Here” by Frank Zappa
“Call Any Vegetable” by Frank Zappa
“The Day We Fall In Love” by The Monkees
“Sweet Leaf” by Black Sabbath (intro)
Theme from The Andy Griffith Show
Mike Love (of The Beach Boys) talking about “Transcendental Meditation”
Excerpts of Jimi Hendrix speaking at the Monterey Pop Festival
Excerpts of Paul Stanley from KISS’ Alive!
Excerpts of Daniel Johnston screaming about Satan
Excerpts from sound effects records
Various children’s records (Curious George, Sesame Street, The Flintstones, Star Wars).
Der Guardian hat die Geschichte hinter dem Tape.
The tape itself is a surreal, often psychedelic insight into the mind of the 20-year-old Cobain: cut-ups of 60s, 70s and 80s TV shows interspersed with the sound of the toilet flushing and people vomiting, bits of the Beatles and Led Zeppelin interspersed with troubled Austin singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston screaming about Satan, and white noise so intense that when Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound Of Silence starts up it comes as physical relief.
There are snippets of a few unreleased Nirvana songs, too, among the tumult and screaming and dead-end repetition, amid the excerpts of William Shatner, The Partridge Family, Queen, Queensryche, Butthole Surfers, James Brown. In many respects, Montage Of Heck echoes and predates turntable culture, the ubiquitous YouTube mash-up and the Beatles‘ experimental sound collage Revolution No 9.