by Jeff Milo
Mike Prezzato heads the cassette-centric operation. His take on the current local music scene? There's many: "...hardcore, garage, punk...do people still do ska? Maybe! It's all sort of fractured. But, in my opinion, the stuff happening in the garage-y, weirdo-punk scene is what's really interesting around here."
I'm inclined to agree. Weirdo punks in a garage, making music -on their own- the way they want, there's no way that couldn't be interesting. Or at least refreshingly disturbing. THAT's the kinda music that'll throttle you.
Characteristic of contemporary cliques, there's mutual respect and enthusiasm for other musical outfits. Whereas Flesh Wave's roster includes Eroders, Fake Surfers and Prezzato's band Fuck Eyes, (along with Vulgar), he's quick to admirably name drop local acts like: Protomartyr, Timmys Organism, Frustrations, Growwing Pains, Terrible Twos, Ritual Howls...as well as other labels like: X Records, Gold Tapes and Urinal Cake.
"All of that, that's what I'm really digging. I think this is the best it's been in years around here for those kind of sounds."
And Prezzato's been around for a bit - starting as a teenage punk guitarist who biked his way to Record Time in Roseville to forage for his musical education, Melvins, Bad Times, and even using the Flesh Wave moniker earlier (in '04) as catch-all for various art projects, including a music zine and a cassette compilation that featured local punk cut ups like the Bill Bondsmen.
In 2010, Prezzato started Terminal Girls with his main musical-ally Ian Swanson, with whom a debut album came out under a Philly-based label called FDH and a Detroit-based cassette label (ZZZ Tapes). Over the following year, Prezzato and Swanson started recording more and more music for their side projects, including the former's Fuck Eyes and the latter's Flat Black Animal.
"So, all of that recording, coupled with the inspiration to release some of my friends bands onto cassette, like Fake Surfers and Eroders, had me turn Flesh Wave into a tape label so that I could get all this stuff out there as quickly and efficiently as possible. Recently I got in contact with synth punk duo CANE! from Milan, Italy to try to put out their LP "Cum In Your Heart" on tape, and the next release is a 14 song album of demos and unreleased material by "Detroit scum father" Timmy Vulgar."
Prezzato, a St. Clair Shores native, is steadily solidifying his own little label-legacy here in the Detroit scene, hoping to do an occasional 7" in the near future but mostly, for now, just sticking with the tapes. "I hear people knock tapes sometimes, but those same people probably release stuff on CDs, which are the most despicable and disposable medium. This isn't some kind of throwback thing. I've always been listening to and making tapes, even if they were cheap little releases poorly recorded on a boombox, with bad xeroxed covers and a run of 10 for my Mortal Kombat themed thrash band."