Häpna H.25, CD (sold out)
5 tracks, 46 minutes
On October the 24th the Swedish trio Tape will release their eagerly awaited third album Rideau. The main idea behind this record was to make something that differed from the two previous albums that were recorded by the group members themselves, and also to try to work with another person to push the music in another direction. The choice fell on Marcus Schmickler, German musician and producer and the album was recorded in his studio in Cologne, winter/spring 2004-2005. Another way of working had to be found and the concentrated atmosphere that was established was soon transferred to the recordings. The surroundings of Cologne made for sure an imprint as the previous albums were recorded in rural Sweden. The songs have a more architectural structure this time, a sharper sound, more rhythmical elements and a grandeur that hasnt shown before.
Tapes music moves between experimental music and pop without effort and has been recognized internationally for its particular sound where electronics blend with all sorts of acoustic and electric instruments.
Tape was formed in 2000 by brothers Andreas and Johan Berthling together with Tomas Hallonsten. Their first recording Opera came out in 2002, the second Milieu in 2003, both released on Häpna. Tape has done shorter tours in Europe, the US and Japan. In August 2005 Staalplaat released a live CD of Tape in their Mort Aux Vaches series.
Marcus Schmickler is a musician, producer and composer with a broad range. He makes pop with Pluramon (with Julee Cruise), experimental computer music solo, and composes contemporary music for choir.
More info: tape.se
Tracks: 1. Sunrefrain, 2. A spire, 3. Sand dunes, 4. Exuma, 5. Long lost engine
For their third opus, the three guys from Tape wanted to think differently and so hired noted computer artist Marcus Schmickler (of the electro-improv supergroup MIMEO) to record, mix and produce the album. The result actually comes pretty close to the previous two offerings, with two main differences. First of all, the music proceeds from a fuller, tighter integration of acoustic instruments and digital manipulations. Computer textures are not added to or happening behind the instruments anymore, they become one with them. The second difference is the temporal dimension: Rideau is longer (45 minutes - that almost 50% more material than on Milieu) and presents fewer pieces that have a longer average duration. Out of five tracks, three clock in over 11 minutes. Basically, Tomas Hallonsten, Johan Berthling and Andreas Berthling are stretching out their beautiful themes. "Sun Refrain" and "A Spire" each present a single melody that is iterated regularly over the course of their ten minutes, with textural interludes interspersed between repetitions. Some listeners will interpret this m.o. as a way to fill some minutes, others will appreciate the chance to revel in the subtle variations and simply inhabit Tape's universe for longer stretches of time. One thing is sure: Rideau takes the group's sound much closer to the post-rock ethos that it ever was. The Scandinavian folk references are all but gone ("A Spire" and "Sand Dunes" being exceptions) and the quiet brass choruses in "Sun Refrain" and "Long Lost Engine" evoke a slowed-down, ballad-mood Jaga Jazzist. A slightly different yet still very strong effort.
Rated 3.5/5, François Couture, All Music Guide
Tape is a Swedish trio comprised of brothers Andreas and Johan Berthling and Tomas Hallonsten. After releasing two albums (Opera and Milieu) of gentle, pastoral electro-acoustic sounds, they decided to try to change up their writing and recording process slightly in order to see what the result would be. Instead of recording in rural Sweden, the group moved base to Cologne, Germany, where they worked with Markus Schmickler (aka Pluramon).
Until now I'd have called Tape's music seasonally or temperamentally effective, but Rideau arrives as a near-reinvention of the trio's sound, their most fully-realized and best record yet. Tape has clearly taken a chance with this one and I'm glad.
Finally the third studio CD by Tape (their fourth release if you count the live album Mort Aux Vaches), the trio of the brothers Andreas and Johan Berthling and Tomas Hallonsten. They play acoustic guitars, samples, computer, field recordings and maybe even an electric guitar. The previous two studio CDs were recorded in rural parts of Sweden, but for Rideau they went to Cologne to recorded under supervision of Marcus Schmickler. I can't say it helped, but it certainly changed the sound of Tape. It seems as if musical events are more present in the mix, without being harsh, more clearer and apparent. Without losing their sense for experiments, nor the wish to make it more poppy, Tape is still on the edge of experimental music meeting pop, or vice versa. They don't use vocals, or even samples from vocals, which makes this still far away from the world of real popmusic, but Tape crafts minimal tunes, walking the thin line between acoustic guitar playing, drone pieces of their melodica and bon tempi organs and computer processed field recordings. The addition of horns in Sunrefrain and violins in A Spire make their marks for an even extended sound in the future. Can't wait for the next one. Slow, peaceful and pastoral: Tape is simply beautiful music.
Första spåret på Tapes nya album "Rideau" börjar som en surrealistisk bilfärd i en mörk skog, med oanade ljud som tränger sig på från vägkanten. Tills man plötsligt inser att, herregud!, det sitter någon på sätet bredvid. Alldeles intill en. Och då lyfter bilen, högt över skogen - mot en rymd som ekar av lika främmande som välbekanta signaler. Av ekot från avlägsna skolavslutningar, bröllop eller dopkalas, men i ett ljus som blir alltmer bländande. Resan heter "Sunrefrain". Men åk även med i låtar som "A spire", "Sand dunes" och "Long lost engine". Tape rattas av Tomas Hallonsten, Johan och Andreas Berthling. Sveriges äventyrligaste körskola!
Jag förstår ingenting av Tapes teoretiska bas. När jag recenserade deras förra album Milieu i Sonic nummer fjorton blev det en hel del naturromantik med lummighet och daggdroppar. Det var befogat då, där fanns fågelkvitter och andra ljudbilder från skog och mark. Milieu liknade bilden av ett vetefält som under tystnad böljar i vinden.
Och så var ljudet av medelsvensk skogsdunge ett minne blott. Den elektroakustiska trion Berthling-Berthling-Hallonsten har besökt Köln där producenten Marcus Schmickler mest känd för samarbetet med sångerskan Julee Cruise i Pluramon översett en subtil metamorfos från Slas till Ishiguro, från ursvenskt vemod till en geografiskt oidentifierbar popmusik som försiktigt med silkesvantar doppar tårna i både Sigur Rós epik och japansk nynaivism innan de till slut närmar sig en nästan ambient och egensinnig uppdatering av Chick Coreas drömmar om den slutgiltiga fusionen.