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black tape for a blue girl
Anthology Archive (Nicki Jaine & Sam Rosenthal) ~ SALE $5
limited quantity available. We received a few copies of the German edition on Trisol as well as the American edition on Projekt. We will send you whichever is available at the time.
2-CD Highlights 1986-2003 ~ Limited Edition hand-numbered in an edition of 2250
A milestone in ethereal/heavenly voices history! As the ultimate collection from this legendary band, with a million tear-stained memories presents 31 brilliant tracks from black tape’s first 17 years. Limited to 2250 pieces, this 2-CD set is divided into a vocal and an instrumental disc offering fans two diverse listening experiences. Disc 1 begins with a new 2003 re-recording of the first song from their 1986 debut album, the rope (with current member Bret Helm on vocals); disc 2 begins with a never-before-heard Steve Roach remix of the song “Kinski” from 2002’s, the scavenger bride. In between, this collection contains music of legendary and beautiful proportion offering a unique blend of ethereal soundscapes, heavenly voices and neo-classical songs with a touch of gothic stylings. To complete this special release, the cd comes with a 16 page booklet of lyrics and stories from songwriter Sam Rosenthal.
Black tape for a blue girl have a reputation as one of the few bands able to reinvent and create current music from the origins of the Gothic genre. Over the years, the band has continually reconfigured itself with new members adding their distinct talents to the band's sound. The powerful and enchanting combination of male and female vocals propel the songs with melody and harmonies not regularly associated with Goth music. Sam Rosenthal's touches are present throughout. His lyrics deal with an existential search for truths and understanding, setting up black tape for a blue girl as one of the few bands to take to heart the work of Sartre, Kafka and Duchamp (often all at once in a jumble of personal contradictions). His subtle and sensual electronics form the foundation upon which the other musicians' work appears. "I see myself more as a playwright," Sam comments. "I create the songs and the characters that populate them, bringing in others artists to add their talents to help me realize my ideas." Setting this CD apart is the stunning work of violinist Vicki Richards, trained in the early 70's in Indian Raga as well as western classical modes. Her performances with black tape for a blue girl are an important element of the band's overall sound, draping the music with an elegant and passionate classical aura; reaching a pinnacle in the suite of songs that conclude disc 2.
Sam adds says "For me, an album is a complete work of art. From the songwriting, to the performances, to the photos I shoot for the cover. My goal on with a million tear-stained memories was to create an album that stands on its own, even though it is comprised of tracks from throughout my career. I chose the images on the cover as homage back to my 1986 debut, "the rope." Even though we go through years of emotional and mental evolution, there are still threads that tie us right back to the beginning."
| Rating: 10 | Shortly after their latest, The Scavenger Bride, comes a comprehensive intro into this incredibly gifted group. Their sound has never been an easy intake for even those in the gothic scene, for it’s disregard of rules in the genre and it’s sheerly overwhelming sense of heart-breaking, melancholy emotion that even defies some of the biggest emotion seekers. But for those who enjoy music for it’s emotions, this group holds a goldmine of them! The older material dwells upon very lonely, confused and emotional times in the life of founder/Projekt president Sam Rosenthal, covering times of unattainable love, crushing heartbreak, constant isolation with constant thought of escape, and even at times self obsession. Their newer material covers a more sculpted mode, taking that past knowledge and covering the state of love itself, combined with some Kafka influences. This is short is gothic for the thinking man, and songs in celebration of both love itself, it’s transience, Sam’s powerful love for his wife Lisa, and the female in all it’s forms. As you may remember, I mentioned Black Tape’s CD As One Aflame Laid Bare By Desire”in the forum as being one of my 5 all time favorite CD’s as well. Haha and I’m coincidently wearing my Black Tape shirt as well! The CD includes a new version of “Memory, Uncaring Friend”, which brings to my mind the sound of Audra, an acoustic and wonderous version of “Could I Stay The Honest One?”, and a 2000 version of “Overwhelmed Beneath Me”. This CD oozes out classic after dark classic, though I’m kind of sad that “Given” and “As One Aflame…….” Didn’t get on here, but eh everyone has different thoughts on best of sets as to songs. Gladly “Russia” made it on here, another favorite of mine J. Hardened BTFABG fans like me also get taken back down memory lane, to isolated times filled with such beautiful melancholy and self-searching, to one of my most pivotal times in lyric and poetry writing spending hours listening to their music and simply sucking up the inspiration. And for those more laid back times, the second CD is filled with all instrumentals any Black Tape fan could ever need. Hearing the vocals of Oscar Herrara also is a treat we now miss (he left right after “As One…..”) listening to this, but it also gives us a retrospect into his captivating and unique vocal style (check him out in El Deundo, his new project). Add that to Lisa’s trancey flutes, Sam’s masterful ambient layers, and a cast of players carved out of pure classical genius and you have a force that changed the landscape of both classical and gothic music forever. This is highly recommended, though it’s limited, to anyone curious to the group’s sound, Projekt’s ideas, and anyone tired of listening to corporate gothic tripe bands who wants to learn what real gothic is supposed to sound like. Not to mention one of the greatest fucking bands to walk this earth ;-). - KlingKlangBedlam
At long last the long time dark scene luminaries Black Tape release their best of and it was most certainly worth the wait. Spanning their eighteen year career in two cd's one can say is hardly enough for these pioneers of gothic-ethereal, but they've wisely chosen some of the best highlights snaring them in all their elegantly pouty and shoe gazing wonderment on thirty compositions. Disc one properly titled "Vocal Tracks" features an array of lovely angelic voices provided by Juliana Towns, Sue-Kenny Smith, Elysabeth Grant, Lucian, and male vocals from Bret Helm, Oscar, and founder Sam Rosenthal, while supported by an ensemble of their trademark minimalist, experimental electronics and classical instruments with some of the most ghostly piano keys ever. Being quite varied throughout their career, "Memory, uncaring friends" shows an earlier and harsher sound with Peter Murphy like vocals and its something newer fans wouldn't expect from Sam and company. Some of their ethereal, neo classical gems come in the form of "The Broken Glass," "Could I Stay the Honest One?" ('98 acoustic ver.), "Ashes in the Brittle Air," "Russia," "The Flow of our Spirit," "One Last Breath," "Overwhelmed, beneath me" ('00 ver.), "Tear Love From My Mind," and "Bastille Day." Disc two entitled "Instrumental Tracks" showcases their talent for not only composing tragically lush ballads, but for making some equally romantic dire soundscapes. Personal favorites include "Kinski" (Steve Roach remix), "With A Million Tears," "For You will Burn Your Wings Upon the Sun-pt.4," "The Green Box," "Slow Blur," "Das Liselottenbett," and "Beneath the icy Floe." Their poetically sincere lyrics add more beauty to their already branded melancholic magnificence and like fusing colors of the more solitude moments from NICO with earlier 4AD bands such as This Mortal Coil, Dead Can Dance, or even the Cocteau Twins but with a much grander concept in the scheme of things. So timeless, it's beautiful as it's haunting. This band should be huge! -Marcos
Since 1986, Sam Rosenthal’s Black Tape For A Blue Girl have created music that stirs and intrigues, and as one of the bands on the Projekt label has taken great strides to create a new musical identity for the thriving Goth culture here in North America. With A Million Tear-Stained Memories is a limited edition two-disc anthology of Black Tape songs that reaches all the way back to 1986’s debut The Rope. Their musical output has traversed and blended many musical forms together, both organic and electronic, modern and ancient. The first disc features seventeen songs with vocals—highlights include an update on a 1986 tune, “Memory, Uncaring Friend”, and chilling pieces like “Russia” and the delicate “Your One Wish”. The second disc is an assortment of fourteen instrumental tracks including an exclusive Steve Roach remix of The Scavenger Bride’s “Kinski”. Their instrumentals are equally as potent as the vocal tracks, with orchestral strings packing immense emotion and effortlessly complimenting the almost ambient electronic backdrops within each track. Black Tape For A Blue Girl make music that’s light years more mature and advanced than almost anything else that’s been labeled (or mislabeled) to be Gothic. With A Million Tear-Stained Memories is a wonderful anthology of a worthy body of work. Everyone should be required by law to own it.
I realized that there wasn't anything from Black Tape for a Girl reviewed yet @ funprox.com, and hardly anything of their label Projekt. A bit strange perhaps, considering the acclaimed status of these Americans in the gothic scene. Last Easter they were one of the headliners at the Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig. The band was already started in 1986, by Projekt label founder Sam Rosenthal. In the following years Black Tape built up an impressive discography and quite some followers. Their music is a subtle mixture of gothic rock and (dark)wave, with heavenly voices, ethereal and neo-classical music. An electronic base is mixed with flutes and strings and various vocalists, singing Sam's poetic metaphor-ridden lyrics. The band is iften sounding delicate and emotional, with an occasional more uptempo song. In the course of time the sound of Black Tape for a Blue Girl seems to become more bare, stripped to the essentials.
If you're not very familair with their music, the compilation With a million tear-stained memories is a good place to start. Two cd's filled to the brim with no less than 31 tracks, showing the varied range of musical styles which Black Tape has on its repertoire. The two discs are clearly different from each other: Disc 1 contains 'Vocal Tracks', while Disc 2, you may have guessed it already, is comprised of 'Instrumental Tracks'. Tracks are taken from all phases in their career, dating from 1986 till 2003. Of course there are also a few alternative versions od songs present, like a 2003 version of 'Memory, uncaring friend' or a Steve Roach remix of 'Kinski'. As always the release has been carefully designed, with nice cover art and an extensive booklet with all the lyrics.
The aforementioned 'Mentioned, uncaring friend' is a quite creepy dense gothic rock track, somewhere between Bauhaus and more rocking Faith & the Muse material. Perhaps not one of my favourite Black Tape songs, but certainly suprising. Nevertheless the romantic 'The Broken Glass' is more to my liking, an atmospheric ballad with various great male and female vocalists and moody electronics. Lovely is the acoustic version of "Could I stay the longest one?', with nice guitars, flutes and an intimate female voice. On 'Ashes in the brittle air' drums and percussion play a larger role, accompanying floating female voices. 'Griffith Park' is perhaps a bit too smooth and bubblegum-like for me, but this is made up for by the heavy drama of 'Russia' from the 1999 "As One Aflame Laid Bare By Desire" album. Various other melancholic, romantic and introspective moments follow, and everyone will probably have his or her own favourites. One of mine is the piano-driven ballad 'Floats in my updrafts', from the recent The Scavenger Bride, reminding me of early Dead can Dance. Though vocalists play an important role in Black Tape's music, The instrumental disc proves that without them the music is worthwile too. 14 ethereal, classical compositions which makes you drift to higher spheres. Perhaps these songs are more effedtive when alternated with vocal compositions, but now they form a pleasant ambient album.
An exemplary compilation of a band which never confined itself to clear-cut genre boundaries or accessibility concessions! - HD
It's been 17 years since musician/entrepreneur Sam Rosenthal inaugurated the beloved Projekt label with The Rope, the debut album by his multi-faceted electronic ensemble black tape for a blue girl. In that time Rosenthal and Projekt pioneered the Gothic rock subgenre called darkwave and sold thousands (if not millions—it's hard to tell when Soundscan doesn't register Internet sales) of albums by category-defying artists like Lycia, Unto Ashes and Steve Roach without so much as a passing glance from mainstream music publications or fans. Black tape itself hit its artistic peak with last year's luminously beautiful The Scavenger Bride, and apparently Rosenthal felt it was time to sum up: With a Million Tear-Stained Memories is the first all-encompassing compilation devoted to Projekt's flagship act.
Even as a best-of, this is a challenging set. Rosenthal and his various singers (most prominently dramatic tenor Oscar Herrera and lovely thrushes Julianna Townes and Sue Kenny-Smith) and backing musicians (mostly flautist and spouse Lisa Feuer and violinist Vicki Richards) don't create upbeat, happy synth-pop—this is brooding stuff, where melancholy is often the brightest color on the emotional palette. The songwriter's high romanticism results in self-absorbed, image-heavy songs with poetic leanings, leading more critical listeners to throw words like "pretentious" at Rosenthal's work. Also, he tends to derive his melodies from classical and baroque motifs, not pop or rock, and the leisurely pace of the more-often-than-not percussionless songs will test the attention span of the casual pop fan. More adventurous listeners, however, will find a lot to appreciate here. There's a great deal of beauty in the languorous melodies and sonorous atmosphere of tracks like "Your One Wish," "Ashes in the Brittle Air" and "The Flow of Our Spirit," which sound like little else in music, Goth or otherwise. The second disk consists of instrumental tracks and is definitely aimed at the diehard, rather than the newcomer. Some of black tape's more accessible moments, like "All My Lovers" from The Scavenger Bride, could have been included to make the collection a bit more neophyte-friendly, but anyone with a taste for sphere-expanding art will find With a Million Tear-Stained Memories to be a fresh breeze through a stale atmosphere. - Michael Toland
For fans of: This Mortal Coil, Eyeless in Gaza, Love is Colder Than Death
| 4 Stars | Okay metal-heads, prog-freaks and jazz junkies – it’s time to open up your mind to something new! Okay – not that new, since Black Tape For A Blue Girl has been around since 1986. But it certainly is different. Sam Rosenthal founded Project Records around 1983, and using his band as a vehicle, Rosenthal and Projekt pioneered a sub-genre of gothic rock called ‘darkwave’. It is a mournful sound, with ethereal, ambient soundscapes tinged by new age and progressive music.
The band has been through countless lineup changes, the music has evolved over the years, and after building a discography of more than a dozen releases Rosenthal has finally released this “Best Of” anthology. But With a Million Tear Stained Memories is more than just a re-release of old songs. This limited edition contains remixes and reworks, and the double-CD has been divided into two distinctly different bodies of work: Disc 1 is the “Vocal Side”, and disc 2 is the “Instrumental Side”.
The instrumental disc may take some work to appreciate if you aren’t already a fan of swirling, ambient music. It is an interesting combination of spacey electronica and classical instruments such as violin, cello, dulcimer, piano, guitars and the flute of Sam’s wife Lisa Feuer. This is brooding, valium-tinged melancholy music which will stir the soul and intrigue the mind. If it doesn’t put you to sleep. You see, if you’re not a fan of space music, you might be frustrated by the fact that the music doesn’t go anywhere – it has no defined objective, and it never builds up to anything. This is mood music – its purpose is to create swirls and eddies in your consciousness and let the moods flow where they will.
The standout track on the instrumental disc is the Steve Roach remix of “Kinski” from The Scavenger Bride.
The vocal disc will find a home in the regular rotation of a far wider community of music lovers. Yes, there are passages of those spacey sounds, but the singing and the lyrics give the music more purpose than anything you’ll find on the instrumental disc. And because the tracks are selected from 18 years of music, there’s an interesting diversity in styles, voices and maturity. The singing is typically in the mid-ranges, with strong, melodic projection, and accompanied by instrumentation that ranges from free flowing classically influenced electronica through to the more standard rock ensemble. It is on this disc that you’ll find those new age influences, although it’s more ballsy than most records from that genre. The songs are haunting and beautiful and have that quality that encourages you to play them again and again.
The music on this double album is captivating and imaginative, but the production does not permit the true qualities to shine through. There is little separation of instruments, and you sometimes have to listen and re-listen to favorite passages to uncover the hidden gems. Well recommended for the adventurous listener. - Duncan Glenday
August 20 2003: Easy to think of this goth act as female, given its name, the Morticia Adams types on its CD covers, and how its flowing Kate Bush parts trounce its immobile Peter Murphy parts. BTFABG, though, are in fact the project of Projekt Records head Sam Rosenthal, who here selflessly abridges 17 years of impenetrable "play-writing." Nothing much happens on the new-aged instrumental disc; but on the vocal one, midnight-mass madrigals, Bach and Prokofiev motifs, Teutonic electrobeats, tragic shlockestrations, and dippily archaic romance add up to surprisingly playable music-for-airports disguised as some grandiose Druidic ritual. The harmonium tune kicks ass.