Black Tape For A Blue Girl

Picture of Black Tape For A Blue Girl

Mesmerized By The Sirens

Black Tape For A Blue Girl - Mesmerized By The Sirens ©1987 Projekt
1. Jamais Pars
2. A Teardrop Left Behind
3. Dark Skinned And Inviting
4. Lie Broken, Bleeding
5. Hairline Sunlight
6. With A Million Tears
7. The Sawdust Scatter
8. Beneath The Planks
9. Scream, My Shallow
10. Seireenian Lumoama

The title aptly describes how one will be affected by this outfit's music. Continuing from where The Rope left off with a bit more ambient moods, Mesmerized is a good foray into late night tranquil music. Since I've heard most of the other Black Tape albums before this one, I have to admit this one isn't quite their best, though it's still very worthy of the catalogue as it shows how this band progressed. Quite morose (especially Oscar Herrara's impassioned vocals) and somber, there really is no other band like this one. As with all Black Tape albums, very recommended for those looking for haunting, ethereal music.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/1998

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Ashes In The Brittle Air

Black Tape For A Blue Girl - Ashes In The Brittle Air ©1989 Projekt
1. Ashes In The Brittle Air
2. Across A Thousand Blades
3. The Touch And The Darkness
4. Through Sky Blue Rooms
5. The Scar Of A Poet
6. You Tangle Within Me
7. From The Tightrope
8. Am I So Deceived
9. Is It Love That Dare Not Be?
10. Seireenian Lumoama
11. I Wish You Could Smile

One thing you gotta give Black Tape for a Blue Girl credit for is their very descriptive album titles. Brittle actually describes much of the music as it is so delicate and crystaline that you almost expect it to shatter. To date I've yet to hear another project sound anywhere near the ambient, transluscent aural fabric that Black Tape weaves. Singer Sue-Kinney Smith's voice is childlike and quite amazing while Oscar Herrera's passioned voice covers many of the other songs. Most of the songs are quiet pieces of musical landscaping that allows notes to finish their business of being haunting and drawn out, though "Across a Thousand Blades" utilizes percussion and is the closest you'll ever hear this band to being aggressive. "Through Sky Blue Rooms" is a folkish number that is quite catchy though it is followed by the extremely ambient "The scar of a Poet". Again, Black Tape's work comes highly recommended to anyone who seeks a more peaceful yet impassioned musical outlet.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/1998

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This Lush Garden Within

Black Tape For A Blue Girl - This Lush Garden Within ©1993 Projekt
1. Left, Unsaid
2. The Broken Glass
3. We Exist, Entwined
4. Overwhelmed, Beneath Me
5. This Lush Garden Within
6. The Christ In The Desert
7. The Turbulence And The Torment
8. The Flow Of Our Spirit
9. Into The Garden
10. Decomposed By The Fire Of The Firmament
11. Gravity's Angel
12. On Broken Shells Of Crystal Dreams
13. Our Future Imagined

From the oblique album cover to the mystical poetics of the lyrics, Black Tape for a Blue Girl orbits in a musical plane all their own. The best way to describe their music is neo-classical soundscapes that use long floating notes and arrangements with haunting male and female vocals. In other words, don't play this on a long roadtrip and expect to stay awake. This is late-night mood music.

As I get older, I find myself drawn more and more to this sort of ambience for my late night relaxations. Black Tape uses traditional instruments such as pianos and guitars, but often the way they are employed makes them a little exotic and transient. Oscar Herrara and Lucian Casselman's somewhat operatic vocals are a great focal point and compliment the music perfectly. "We Exist, Entwined" is an example of a middle eastern influence with the electronic ambience while "The Turbulence and the Torment" is so quiet and ethereal that the build in the music is very subliminal. This kind of music isn't recommended for anyone who must have incessant percussion or traditional western music arrangements. However, if the escape into a contemplative, trance-like mood is what you are searching for, then check this one out.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/1998

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The First Pain To Linger

Black Tape For A Blue Girl - The First Pain To Linger ©1996 Projekt
1. Forbidden
2. The Glass Is Shattered
3. Pandora's Dream
4. Overwhelmed, Beneath Me
5. I No Longer Remember The Feelings
6. A Good Omen
7. (untitled)

This is kind of an interesting concept for a project. Sam Rosenthal, founder of Projekt Records and the leader of Black Tape for Blue Girl, has compiled various rare tracks to tie into a short book of prose and poetry that is included with the CD.

As usual, the music is ethereal, quiet and morose. There's a lot of usage of guitar (unlike what I normally listen to in guitar), electronics, and chanted female vocals. This is very subtle and it often takes a long time for the track to reach its climactic point, but that's the beauty of it.

The book itself I haven't really read too far yet. It seems to be very personal and moving thoughts about his relationship with a girl named Susan. All right all right, that's a lame synopsis, but I'm hardly NY Times book review. My suggestion is to find this neat little package and check it for yourself.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/1997

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Black Tape For A Blue Girl (single)

Black Tape For A Blue Girl - Black Tape For A Blue Girl (single) ©1996 Projekt
1. Remnants Of A Deeper Purity
2. Across A Thousand Blades ('96)
3. En La Mar Ay Una Torre
4. I Have No More Answers (radio Edit)

Designed as a teaser for the full length Remnants of a Deeper Purity, this brief little EP gives us one song from that album as well as a remake of "Across a thousand Blades" from Ashes in the Brittle Air. While it does give a little taste of Black Tape's beautiful and enveloping music, it doesn't even come close to the serenity and disturbing beauty of their full albums.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/1998

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As One Aflame Laid Bare By Desire

Black Tape For A Blue Girl - As One Aflame Laid Bare By Desire ©1999 Projekt
1. As One Aflame Laid Bare By Desire
2. Given
3. Entr`acte (the Garden Awaits Us)
4. Tell Me You've Taken Another
5. Entràcte (The Carnival Barker)
6. Dream
7. The Apothesis
8. Russia
9. Your One Wish
10. Dulcinea
11. The Green Box
12. Denouement/denouncement
13. The Passage

Pure romance and bittersweet passion. Fully tapped into the ethereal and unencumbered world of bare emotion, Black Tape for a Blue Girl has again led me down an incredible and undeniably beautiful path. The minimalistic barren isolation of Remnants of a Deeper Purity have been set aside for a more lush and wide-eyed album delving deep into the soul. It has literally taken me thirty or forty listens to even begin to express how touching and moving this album is. Each successive listen unearths a new layer of emotion and each individual note, each individual performance meshes together into a new dimension in music. From the haunting flute of Lisa Feuer to Oscar Herrer's stark and wrought vocals to the sweeping majestic song arrangements, As One Aflame encompasses all the project has done to date and moves to a new level. There is simply not enough adjectives to describe the power of this work. Their finest to date.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/1999

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The Scavenger Bride

Black Tape For A Blue Girl - The Scavenger Bride ©2002 Projekt
1. The Scavenger Bride
2. Kinski
3. All My Lovers
4. Shadow Of A Doubt
5. The Doorkeeper
6. Floats In The Updrafts
7. Livery Of Bachelors
8. Das Liselottenbett
9. The Lie Which Refuses To Die
10. The Scavenger's Daughter
11. Like A Dog/Letter To A Brod
12. The Whipper
13. Bastille Day, 1961

As with essentially every Black Tape release since their inception quite a few years ago, The Scavenger Bride is an album that I've played many times and never quite knew what to say about it. The most notable thing about Project Records' founder Sam Rosenthal's band is that they have been consistently touching, moving and beautiful throughout their entire existence and no matter who was contributing to the effort.

On The Scavenger Bride, the outfit sticks to their darkwave base and simply works wonders within their forged style. Longtime vocalist Oscar Herrera is absent but Black Tape receives a little vocal assistance from various other names associated with Projekt: Audra, Attrition, Unto Ashes and others. It would seem that the focal point of the singing on The Scavenger Bride lays quite a bit on Elysabeth Grant. Throughout the album, Black Tape weaves piano, viola and electronics to create their lush sound, captivating and sobering. The thing about Black Tape's music is that you always feel as though you shouldn't quite be so gosh-darned happy about anything going on around you. The album also tends to be slightly more ambient and spacy than other releases.

For anyone who has enjoyed at least one record from Black Tape in the past, The Scavenger Bride is a gimme. The outfit's consistency from album to album is marvelous and their ability to create such passionate, quietly intense music is remarkable.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/2003

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