Jaz Long is the founder of the UK’s newest record label, Heliospheric.
one day in 2004 he was ambling home from his job at BBC Leeds when he spied a bin full of tapes, part of the station's clear out operation in advance of its move to new premises. What to do? He rummaged through them, reading name after name of artists not compelling enough to justify him taking their tape home and storing it in his spare room. And then he found this one. It was labelled “Kristin Hersh”. No freaking way – this was an incredible find for a devoted fan of Throwing Muses and Kristin’s solo work. He quickly scanned the rest of the label: “1) Sundrops 2) The Cuckoo. Recorded on 29/03/1994, for future TX”. Kristin had come in and recorded these two songs with her acoustic guitar in March 1994 when she played Leeds on the 'Hips And Makers' tour, and the session had never been broadcast. Jaz raced home with the tape in a state of frantic excitement. When he got there he realised he didn’t have a reel to reel tape player to play the tape on. The next day, a little more slowly, he returned to work and dubbed off a CD of the tracks. They were awesome! This version of 'Sundrops' in particular is dramatic and luscious. Jaz promised himself that he would either release this record or return the tape to Kristin. There followed a waiting game of several years. He was ready to return the tape, but the BBC gave their blessing in return for a wad of cash, and eventually Kristin, her management and ex-label representatives gave the go-ahead for this very special Record Store Day release. So it is that, 21 years later, the public may finally hear these two stunning examples of Kristin's auditory hallucinations, mastered directly from the quarter inch tape and on a magnificently-hued vinyl to boot.
- The Cuckoo