I don't need to (further) discuss the beauty or the importance of mix tapes, but there's something especially magical about an unmarked cassette filled with new and sometimes mysterious tracks. Like many folks, one of my first introductions to "underground" punk and hardcore was the P.E.A.C.E. double LP, but my copy was dubbed onto cassette with all of the artists listed.....in alphabetical order. So this Oklahoma teenager had exactly zero chance of figuring out who was DECLINO and who was SHIT S.A. and whether that was CONTRAZIONE or R.A.F. PUNK doing "Sbarre." But that was half the excitement (who IS this....? WHAT is this?!), and today's 09 JULY 88 mix tape taps into some of that joy - 63 minutes of punk and proto-punk and outsider music. I was able to pick out classics from MENACE, ARTISTIC DECLINE, AVENGERS and DESTROY ALL MONSTERS, contemporary late '80s US punk from STIKKY, BEAT HAPPENING and MR. T EXPERIENCE (all of whom sound insanely fresh in this context - BEAT HAPPENING providing one of the highlights of the tape, in fact) and nuggets from THE FUGS, THE MOCK TURTLES and a coupla burners from THEM. But there are loads more tracks that escape my far-from-encyclopedic brain, and I think that this mix is expertly crafted for long drives and/or party settings. So....a tip of the hat to the creature who created this, and a casual nod to the invisible hands of the universe that guided it from The Creator's hands to mine, and now to yours.