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tape - Rideau
Back in stock! I've been looking forward to this album all year. Tape's previous masterpieces 'Opera' and 'Mileau' came out in 2002 and 2003 respectively, at a time when Hapna's UK distribution was less than competent which resulted in our less than completely tuned in reaction to them. Thankfully now in 2005 things are much better and we can whole heartedly recommend 'Rideau' as one of the finest home listening cd's of the year. The trio of Andreas and Johan Berthling and Tomas Hallousten recorded their previous album in rural Sweden. For 'Rideau' the trio wanted a new challenge and chose to record this album in a more confined/pressurized space which turned out to be Marcus 'Pluramon' Schmickler's studio in Cologne, Marcus producing and mixing this album as well. 'Sunrefrain' opens the set and feels more dynamic than before - even with the minimal means at its disposal of organ, guitar, electronics and multi layered trumpet. 'A Spire' hits a more gradually rhythmic pace, a hypnotic banjo strum loops into infinity over which a developing cresta of vibraphone notes, guitar stabs and tonewaves congregate. By the midpoint all that's left is a lonesome acoustic guitar and piano replaying a sublime melody before slowly all the other instrumentation rejoins taking the track to a deep blue finish. 'Sand Dunes' sounds like an outtake from Pluramon's wonderful 'Dreams Top Rock', one almost expects Julee Cruise to appear at any moment, that she doesn't this time takes nothing away from this fantastic track. 'Exuma' reminds me in places of Iso 68, a shuffling percussive pattern is its constant, while organic radiophonic-vibed soundwaves take the melodic baton. The final 12min+ track 'Long Lost Engine' feels like it's going to fall into the kind of dronescaping we associate with Basinski, Fennesz and Rabelais but instead develops into a sublime soundscape piece that is just hugely evocative. A resolution for me in 2006 is to see Tape live, something I screwed up with at Sonar this year. I predict this album will be very high in our year-end list so make sure to give it a good listen. A massive recommendation.