Don Campau himself tells us this about Big City Orchestra

I don’t exactly recall how I came into contact with das but it was inevitable. His enormous output and collaborations were well documented in the mags of the time and his local radio shows here in the SF Bay Area became legend quickly. I believe the first time I met him personally was at a radio station in Santa Cruz where he and GX Jupitter-Larsen were destroying vinyl and broadcasting the sounds. Later, in 1990, Eric Muhs and I performed on a bill in Santa Cruz with Randy Grief, The Haters ( who only sent a pre-recorded tape while BCO members dug with loudly miked shovels outside ) and BCO doing an entire set of songs by Kate Bush. There is simply no way to put das in a box. To me, he is the most important underground music figure on the west coast scene and, in fact, his influence and creative spirit resound worldwide.”

(you can read a full interview with das by clicking the link above)


Someone else, whose name I couldn’t find says

One of the most idiosyncratic and original groups of the past two decades, BCO is not your standard Orchestra. Situated in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, the band has released an enormous catalog of recorded material over the past two decades. Formed in the late 1970’s the ensemble continues to maintain a free-flowing roster of artists from around the world that collaborate on specific projects. Categorizing the Orchestra into any given genre can be a task, as releases continue to surprise even the most devout listener. There is never any way to precisely classify the next BCO release. An album of authentic sea-shanties? A wall of noise? A shimmering downpour of lullabies whispered to the wind? A humorous or thought-provoking album of Sound Collages? Vocal excursions set to make Rod McKuen blush? We press play, leaning forward with slight apprehension. We await the first wave of blissful deception. We are perpetually rewarded.”


Don makes a choice from the enormous amount of work that BCO published over the years. He limits himself to cassette releases. In typical Don-style we came to love so much here on Radio On he provides us with information and thus gives an insight in the existence of the Big City Orchestra.

Here’s the playlist

BCO/If You Would Be Loved,Love And Be Lovable A Good Time To Start Something New/ Epitapes cassette 1988 USA

BCO/ Minoy On Alpha Blockers/ MInd Of Evil/ SEI cassette 1987 USA

BCO/ baaaaaaaaaaaaa/and when we wake up, there is sheep in our eyes/ Doomsday Transmission 1997 Canada


BCO/ Leisure Hive/ Mind Of Evil/ SJ Organisation cassette France 1987

BCO/ Eaux/ Telegraphe/ New Flesh cassette 1990s?

BCO/ Mutilation Of T &A/ Gateway Of Fruit Loops/ SEI cassette 1986


BCO/  Blondel/ Aime Morot/ Harsh Reality cassette 1989 USA

BCO/ Cooperate With Integrity/ In The Near Future/ Freedom In A Vacuum cassette 1988 Canada


BCO/ Victor And Victim/ Planet Of Giants/ Peuleschille cassette 1990s Netherlands

BCO/ Ribos/ Fury From The Deep/ Schutt Und Asche/ cassette 1987

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The No Pigeonholes radio show is a result of Don’s direct involvement with the cassette culture, the vast network of home-produced cassette exchangers that anticipated the internet, its social networks and the whole shabam of netlabels and free downloadable musicians. An attempt to archive the movement is in his Living Archive of Underground Music.

Stations that broadcast No Pigeonholes:

KKUP Edition> 2nd and 4th Sundays 3-5 PM, on KKUP, 91.5FM if you are around.

European Edition> broadcast twice monthly by Radio Marabu throughout continental Europe ( and archived for the internet).

KWTF Edition> Streaming at KWTF> community radio for Sonoma County California.

No Pigeonholes EXP> broadcast and streamed live on KOWS-FM ( 1st, 3rd, 5th Thursdays 6-8 PM Pacific Time. KOWS> all experimental music.

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podcasts of past No Pigeonholes
podcasts of past No Pigeonholes EXP