BOB OSTERTAG: Getting a Head



with Fred Frith, Charles K. Noyes and Bryan Medwed
Seeland 516
Limited CD in screened metal tin with inserts
1980 (reissued 2000)

Seeland announces the re-issue of Bob Ostertag’s Getting A Head, an underground classic of tape manipulation from before the days of digital sampling.

Best known for his work with computers, here is a young Ostertag playing an instrument consisting of a highly unstable and peculiar recording system, which uses helium balloons to hold up tape loops between three tape recorders made to malfunction in a variety of ways. The record marks one of the first, and to this day one of the only, times that tape manipulation techniques developed by the first generation of electronic composers for use in the studio were adapted for live performance and improvisation. Ostertag uses this rather sculptural and bizarre contraption to manipulate the brilliant guitar playing of Fred Frith, and the elusive percussion work of Charles K. Noyes.

Originally released in 1980 as an LP, the 1,000-copy run quickly disappeared into the abyss of the collectors item.

Visit Bob’s website at

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  • Model: Seeland 516
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25lbs
  • Manufactured by: Seeland

This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 15 May, 2001.

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