the blue tapes house band

Ah, the joys of the cassette tape and dysfunctional Walkmen players, I secretly thought it was just I alone that was bedevilled by the almost contrary nature of these defunct devices as they chose to play, depending on their mood, itself varying ever more impishly with spite seemingly mirroring the level of your frustration and rage, quaintly unrecognisable variations of recordings you’d made, too boot chewing up your beloved cassette in the process. And on the subject of cassettes, is it just me who finds the more expensive the cassette, then the more prone to warping conditions it gets, I’ve cassettes here that were so cheap and nasty the shops used to force you to take them gratis before they’d even consider serving you, now these blighters have been through all manner of near destructive incidences, yet like cockroaches after the big bomb, they remain almost indestructibly resilient. I mention all this because there’s a free to download set that’s just appeared via those Blue Tapes and X-Ray records folk that appears to have suffered a similar fate. A planned collage – or as the label put – a real time composition was mooted to feature sample loops provided by a host of invited artists to be wired and manipulated by way of those pesky Walkmen device, only the machines suffered glitches, some died, some just went weird and others just refused to play ball, the tapes were damaged through warping, stretching and drop outs rendering the plan obsolete until, that is, now. Recently re-discovered and played again, what was once deemed unlistenable took on a likeable charm, described in passing as sounding not unlike a ‘drunk evil Can’, these recordings were placed in the safe hands of Chemiefaserwerk for mastering who with visitations from Father Murphy, Benjamin Finger, Verity Sussman and a previously mentioned gathering of folk whose names and contributions have been waylaid in the troublesome tape head fog. Set across two extended suites, this is ‘vol. 2: C∞’ by the Blue Tapes House Band, a distractively becoming collage, agreeably warped, weird and though decidedly unsettling and remote, possessed of a meditative hypno-grooving calm that’s ostensibly buried beneath a hazy gauzing of rolling mist as were drifting across a waterfront illuminated by the crackle of a post-apocalyptic fire which in time begins to unfurl and manifest briefly into a strangely lilting dream draped passage whereupon a sepia drawn psych waltz plays, which after a passing, blurs and dissolves to peel away back to its grim grinning reality. Side 2 maintains the sense of tense disquiet, in truth it recalls the Revenant Sea’s side of the bargain on his split collaboration with Roadside Picnic a few years back, though after a while you soon begin to reveal it is in essence the same track only chipped, polished and lengthened by an additional minute’s worth of rescued sample loops.

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