EP0003 – Tension Testing

February 18, 2022 Kale Brown Season 1 Episode 3
EP0003 – Tension Testing
Show Notes Transcript

It turns out a lot of you are on board with my little experiment, which kind of surprised me. I’m really excited!

If you know where I can get a tape retensioner and an analog-compatible IUS, feel free to send me the listing. 


Written and produced by Kale Brown. Artwork by Kale Brown. 

All music and sound effects used are available under a CC0 license. Music was ‘Sphere’ by Andrew Kn. [LOUD EERIE NOISE] was ‘Sci-fi Ambient Drone’ by Niedec. 

Visit us on Twitter at @sinkholepodcast or visit the website at 

INTRO: [Someone inhales deeply; their inhale has a distant, echoing quality to it. A strange, rattling sound grows in volume and speed before fading into eerie, warbling music. There’s a strange crackling sound. The voice whispers “Sinkhole.” The pitch and speed of the music drop, fading into the next track.]

[A low, slow hum fills the background. The melody is subtle and largely ambient.]

Uh, wow- I was not expecting such a huge response to that post. 

Before I say anything else, I’d like to apologize for exposing so many of you to the… just existentially kind of weird reality of eels. I’m sorry, but I’m also not. And I’m kind of sorry for that?


Also, a bunch of you have been giving me shit for calling optical discs a form of analog media, and to that I have two things to say:

The first is: LaserDisc. LaserDisc was not full digital! It was an analog optical disc format.

The second is: okay, I can acknowledge when I’ve said something misleading, and I’ll own up to that. Strictly speaking, most optical discs are digital. We have a lot of new members, and it was irresponsible of me to speak so carelessly. I’m very sorry to those of you I confused- you deserve better than that. 

I swear to God this does not happen every time I post. 

And in my defense, optical discs were an interstitial technology. In terms of historicity, I think they belong in the analog age, because the digital age was defined by solid-state storage. 

CD players and smartphones do not belong to the same technological era. You can disagree with me, but you’re not going to change my mind.  

But yeah! Sinkhole tapes. 

No, uh, wait- first, a couple of you have been asking why I’m not NEV-capable since I’m clearly so on-board with it, and… and those of you who guessed, guessed right.

I’m sunk. I got a sunk head. It’s really that simple. The A to B throughline of me living in the Sink and not being NEV-capable is a pretty clean one. 

I got a head full of stars. 

I would honestly love to be able to connect to the NEV. I feel like I’m missing out on a lot. Unfortunately, it’s just not in the cards for me. 

If the option ever does come up, hey, you know I’ll be the first in line. 

[long pause]

Sinkhole tapes. 

Turns out a lot of you are super on board with my little experiment, which kind of surprised me. I wasn’t sure how people would feel about it since I know there can be some pretty strong feelings about conservation of materials, and while bringing a tape into the Sink doesn’t actually damage the material components of it in any physical way, it does have a pretty profound effect on the contents. 

I’m really excited, honestly. 

Uh, I need to get a PO box set up, since obviously I’m not going to go around giving out my home address, so, uh, stay tuned for that. I’ll probably have that for you next time. 

Before I do anything else, I’m gonna need to hunt down some materials to set up a dedicated clean space in my apartment for tape handling and storage. I need to get that done first.

I think I actually do have a dehumidifier around here somewhere, but it might be junk at this point. It’s been a couple years since I last used it. 

I’ve also been combing the listings for a tape retensioner, a couple of playback devices in good condition and an analog-compatible IUS, since I don’t have any of those things. If anyone has any good leads, let me know.

Obviously, I do realize that everything I’m sent will probably already have been cleaned and retensioned already, but fluctuations in temperature during transit can affect tape tension and it’s just better to be safe than sorry. 

I’m really excited. 

I don’t think I’ve had a project this exciting since I found those phones.

Oh, yeah, uh… newbies- I’ll insert the link to that post if you want to check it out. 

They were lost-and-found items from a super religious summer camp north of the city. Ran for years and years prior to the Sinkhole opening up, and I don’t think anybody had ever cleared out that lost-and-found box before it found its way to me. 

Some extremely surreal shit in that post, be forewarned. Lotta drama, a lotta guilt- which you’d expect, but also a really weird running theme of, uh… 

You know, just go- go look at it.  

[mumbled] Real weird shit. 


Hell, maybe I’ll get weird and put up a picture of the Jackson Millennium Building on the wall of my clean space. 


Y’know, never mind. 

The comedy value of that is not worth having to look at that thing all day. [laughs] Uh, if you’re never seen an actual picture of the JMB, look it up. It was a truly wild-looking building. 

Sometimes I almost kind of think the Sinkhole might’ve done us a favour with that one. 

Oh, speaking of things that are bizarre and freak people out: I’m so sorry. 

It feels like this whole post is me apologizing, but this one I’m really sorry for. 

Yes, the weird noises you hear in the background of my audio are the Hole. 

I tend to forget how alien and threatening it must sound to people who don’t live here because… to me, it’s kind of like… a firetruck going by? It’s annoying and disruptive, sure, but it’s also a near-daily occurrence, so you kind of just stop noticing it after a while.  

It’s part of the auditory landscape of the Sink: get your ambulances, your firetrucks, your police vehicles, your neighborhood kids blasting music in the middle of the night, and your big glowing hole in the ground that likes to scream.

It’s normal.

Well, I mean, it’s not normal, but it’s normal. 

Some neighbourhoods have fountains or parks, we have a near-constantly shrieking hole hidden under a concrete dome the size of a few city blocks. 

Normal Sink shit. 

Like I said: you can get used to almost anything. 

[distant thunder rumbles; the sound of rain rapidly growing into a steady downpour]


[chair creaks]


That’s the sky opening up- it’s been threatening all day. 

[mumbled] I should really cut this off.

[chuckles quietly]

Now all I need is the Hole to start yelling and this will become completely unlistenable-


[quiet, incredulous laughter]




People are going to think I faked this.

[quiet, incredulous laughter]

The timing on that was unreal. 

Um… let me know if you find any of the stuff I’m looking for.

[speaking more loudly to compensate for the volume of the LOUD, EERIE SOUND] Stay safe, don’t fall into any holes!

[muttering] Absolutely fucking unreal. 

Oh, god. Uh… uh, fuck…

[The thunderstorm and eerie sounds fade into the next track.]

[An eerie, warbling music akin to the opening music plays, rising in volume and then slowing and quieting.]