On Thanksgiving 1989, Kmart employee and audio enthusiast Mark Davis wandered behind the customer service desk to check out the store’s sound system, which looped muzak and top 40 plus ads and announcements under the banner of “KMRT, The Kmart Radio Network.” When he found last month’s tape hadn’t been thrown out yet, he pocketed it and made a habit of doing this, collecting 56 tapes from 1989-1992.
In September 2015, Davis uploaded the tapes to archive.org with the humble intention of preserving them. But within a few weeks he became an internet celebrity among obscure media fans and supplemented the collection with reel-to-reel tapes from the 70s and 80s thanks to Tom Schwarzrock, who acquired them serendipitously along with a deck he purchased. The tapes are like a consumerist time capsule, a vaporwave trove of eerily familiar corporate ephemera extracted from its original context and purpose.
Similarly, Attention Kmart Choppers is composed of pieces from this collection chopped up, resculpted, and mosaicked together, forming a new, distinctly contemporary sound while inheriting a haunting nostalgia that provokes memories burrowed deep in the subconscious.
With the support of the Greater Denton Arts Council, the Texas Commission of the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
“He took the basics of chopping and looping samples and turned it into something way more musical, plus the way all of the tracks connect to one another is pretty genius.”
– Black Milk
“I can honestly tell you that I have never seen a concept executed so flawlessly. Especially an instrumental concept album.”
– House Shoes
“We like it.”