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Remnants of a deeper purity (deluxe edition) by Black Tape For A Blue Girl
Inner Pale Sun
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Anthology Archive (Nicki Jaine & Sam Rosenthal) ~ SALE $5
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"Like Dead Can Dance, black tape for a blue girl dramatically flirts with symphonic decay." The Philadelphia City Paper
"Black Tape for a Blue Girl is best described as the poets of the broken spirit, musically and lyrically exploring the heart of the human soul in all of its unavoidable sadness. That may sound like depressing stuff but it is far from it. The quest for the elements of love, of faith and faithfulness, and the essence of happiness as if they were concrete rather than the abstract rudiments of humankind, has been the unrequited search of all time. Given the absolute heartbreak of desire and free will, with all of its choices, most of which bode badly, it is little wonder that the great authors, painters, and composers of all time have devoted lives to the sad song of impossibility with the brush of possibility somewhere hidden. Black Tape explores these dark corners of deception, betrayal, love, hope, and rebirth perhaps more adroitly than any other band. The revisitation of Black Tape for a Blue Girl’s greatest achievement is a great cause for celebration. Works such as are found on this 2CD 10th Anniversary reissue of the classic Remnants of a Deeper Purity are priceless." -musictap.net
2 CDs for the price of a single disc. black tape for a blue girl's achingly beautiful neo-classical, ethereal, darkwave classic is given a 10th anniversary re-release with a bonus disc of additional music. Long droning deep tones overlayed by intense vocals from Oscar and Lucian as well as rich cello and violin arrangements from Vicki and Mera. The results are deeply mesmerizing and melancholy passages. The finished 77-minute album is Black tape's masterpiece: exquisite and stunning. Wrapped up in the emotions of betrayal and salvation, searching for the deeper fragments of a truer reality -- somewhere between sadness and hope -- Sam's words and harmonies weave a soft, opaque veil over a world where feeling is foremost, emotions on the surface, the heart laid bare.
Included are the ultra rare pieces, originally released on the with my sorrow maxi on Italy's Amplexus label; also featuring 3 live songs recorded at the 1996 Projektfest (the first time live tracks have appeared on a black tape for a blue girl release).
“The ethereal, romantic sounds of Remnants is their richest work so far: tapestries of melancholic, often neo-classical music manifest themselves amidst waves of Rosenthal’s lush keyboards, haunting strings and the vocals of Oscar & Lucian.” - huh magazine
“These songs are remnants of universal feelings that accompany the experience of bonding with another human being and its aftermath - perhaps this is why the group has attained a strong cult following.” - Magnet Magazine
“Absolutely beautiful, bleeding emotion wonderfully portrayed.” - ink19
Read more reviews for the original release.
...from the 1986 album bio:This album picks up musically where songs like "We watched our sad-eyedangel fall" left off: long droning deep tones overlayed by intense vocals from Oscar and Lucian as well as rich cello and violin arrangements from Vicki and Mera. The results are deeply mesmerizing and melancholy passages that draw from influences as diverse as turn-of-the-century minimalism, Indian classical music and occult dirge-rock. The finished 77-minute album is Black tape's masterpiece; exquisite and stunning. Wrapped up in the emotions of betrayal and salvation, searching for the deeper fragments of a truer reality -- somewhere between sadness and hope -- Sam's words and harmonies weave a soft, opaque veil over a world where feeling is foremost. With this release, Black tape for a blue girl draws together all the diversities of their past ten years, becoming the consummate modern day chamber orchestra whose maestro is our own inner soul.
"Remnants of a deeper purity is an album of rebirth -- the internal analysis and exploration that paves the way for a major upheaval. arealignment of balances. searching through the fragments of a past. paringexperiences down to their essence. revealing the deeper core. the shatteredfilaments of truth and experience that will yet re-entwine to form a newhighwire of ecstatic life. the album is the contemplation of betrayal (byothers and of the self), the realization of a subterranean thread linkingthe past to current desire, the revelation of deep personal fears andinsecurities...and the attempt to reintegrate all of this into anindividual who can re-experience life and the beauty of existence. the lingering thought is 'redefine pure faith' so that we may yet re-emerge,renewed..." - sam rosenthal
Unlike the popular perception of remixes making a whole new genre - usually dance-based - out of the original track, the tracks on the bonus disc here reshape the original material in a way that is completely in the spirit of the original material; different from it yet wholly in tune with it. Also on the bonus CD is a remix of Across A Thousand Blades, which is not a track from Remnants of a Deeper Purity and differs stylistically from the overall feel of the album, favouring a more rock approach. -Kim Harten
Starting with the first and original disc from this album we're treated with "Redefine Pure Faith", with its slow, pulsing sound that just oozes with emotion and sincerity that you can literally feeel through the music. Oscar Herrera lends his stunning tenor vocals to this track with pure perfection, delivering Sam's lyrics as only he can do with the occasional, beautiful siren vocals of Lucian Casselman harmonizing in the background. Every bit of this song is a masterpiece from the slow introduction, the electronics, cello and even to the final outro piano piece. This brings us to "Fin de Siecle" on which Lucian takes the lead on vocals and Oscar provides backup while the musical arrangement brings the ambient and orchestral elements out as the dominating sound through spatialized echos, all creating an absolutely mesmerizing and dreamy atmosphere.
At this point we're brought back to the original mood and style on "With My Sorrows" which quickly became a favorite track. This piece once again brings out so many facets of what great ethereal music is all about and also breaks down some of the stereotypes as well, such as a great male tenor vocalist can bring out just as much of the ethereal mood as a haunting muse might be able to. The addition of spanish lyrics at the end of the track is a really nice touch as well, which fits in perfectly with the underlying mood. But overall, the lyrical and vocal content layered over the electronics, cello and violin is just stunning on this piece. This is a great time to introduce the wonderful violinist Vicki Richards and cellist Mera Roberts, both of which have excellent talents that come out so well on this and many other pieces on this album.
"For you will burn your wings upon the sun" is an enigmatic track in itself, containing percussion which is a rare addition for this album and when I first heard this piece I was in awe of how captivating a track that is literally over 26 minutes long can be. It's broken down into five basic parts, the first being what you could easily extract for a "radio edit" or what we've heard at their live performances containing the lyrics and vocals, which in themselves are awe-inspiring with the raw emotion and sense of betrayal they contain. After this first part draws to a close the second part takes over which is all instrumental and begins with its deep, droning cello and electronics with the violin bringing out much of the melody. This slowly fades after a few minutes and we're brought to the third part which introduces a slightly different style that doesn't flow the same way but introduces some soft guitar strumming. The fourth part reverts back closely resembling the previous flowing style of orchestral and electronic arrangements which eventually fade into the fifth and final arrangement that provides a sense of finality as it wraps up the last minute or so of this piece.
The ambient soundscapes really come out in "Wings tattered, fallen" with an overall portrayal much like "Fin de Siecle" with a feeling of floating through the ether while Lucian's vocals hold you enraptured. The music, lyrics and vocals blend so well on this song to give an overall feeling of sadness and longing that could make anyone nostalgic. "Fitfull" is another instrumental piece which relies heavily on ambient textures that build and flow, adding layer upon layer including vocal samples that brings out imagery of a chorus of angels singing. This brings us to the title track and my first true introduction to this group and this album. "Remnants of a deeper purity" is the perfect title for this piece and the album as portrayed through the lyrics and awesome musical arrangements. This song is unique in its entire composition, featuring some steady guitar strumming, tambourine and harmonized male vocals while angelic female vocals hang in the air like a waving shear tapestry in the cool breeze.
"Again, to drift (for Veronika)" is another instrumental piece featuring a beautiful piano arrangement accented by beautiful, soaring synthesized strings. I can never get enough of this piece, the title explains it so well, drifting along to the mesmerizing music is exactly what the listener does when listening to this song. This provides an excellent segue into the finale on this album, "I have no more answers". Again, the listener is enveloped in the thick emotional moods of pain, longing, sadness... unanswered questions. These are portrayed not only through the lyrics, but once again, the music and vocals come together as one and provide the substance of this piece, finalizing the disc and leaving the listener just begging for more.
This feeling of wanting more is exactly what I was thinking after I heard this album, so then I picked up everything ever recorded as Black Tape for a Blue Girl, and now we have this second bonus disc to enjoy as well. While it doesn't really bring out anything really "new" per se, it has some great material on it. "en la mar ay una torre" is an extract from "with my sorrows" of Oscar singing the spanish part accapella, and done so well as only he can do. "with my sorrows (part 2)" again features Oscar doing a short excerpt from the original track and then drifting off into various instrumental excerpts. "with my sorrows (part 3)" is not quite 100% instrumental with some vocal arrangements without lyrics are presented, again featuring these excerpts and "remixes" from the original pieces. Also present is the "radio edit" of "I have no more answers", which is a nice, shorter excerpt from the original.
At this point we reach the three live tracks which are all presented well. If the reader has ever been to a live show from this group, it's amazing how well this finely orchestrated music can be performed live with a handful of instruments and just a few pre-recorded electronic tracks. "redefine pure faith", "through sky blue rooms" and "remnants of a deeper purity" are all presented in true form and recorded in front of a live audience.
"Across a thousand blades" may be the most well-known song from this band because of its appearance on various compilations and its club-friendly structure. The version presented on this disc is the same appearing on the Goth Box compilation with some excellent guitars and drums. The final track is not listed on the tracklist or sleave anywhere and is actually so subtle that unless you really listen for 30 seconds or so, you'll probably miss it. It's just a short piece, another extract from the instrumental on the original disc and arranged into something of an epilogue or outro to the disc. And that wraps it up, another beautiful and astounding work from this group to be cherished for many years to come. Rating: 5/5
All compositions have been made by composer and electronica specialist Sam Rosenthal, whilst Lucian Casselman and Oscar Herrera deliver the vocal parts, Vicky Richards plays the violin and Mera Roberts the cello. ‘With My Sorrows’ is a extremely beautiful piece of music, with a melody made by Oscar and the Sephardic song ‘en la mar ay una torre’ processed in it. ‘Fin de Siècle’ has passages that are strongly inspired by the diary letters of Anaïs Nin. ‘For You Will Burn Your Wings Upon The Sun’ has very beautiful violin passages that at times add an Oriental atmosphere to the neo-classical ambient spheres.
The atmosphere is very fragile at moments, such as can be heard in ‘Wings Tattered, Fallen’. Harmonic vocals can be found in the pop-like titletrack ‘Remnants of a Deeper Purity’. The second cd of this special edition of Remnants of a Deeper Purity consists of recordings in which the original compositions are stripped to the string parts solely which creates an intensity and passion that almost transforms it to completely new compositions.
This special re-issue is a real recommendation to fans as well as people that are not familiar with the beautiful music of Black Tape For A Blue Girl.
The second disk has a lovely arrangement of an old Sephardic tune called “En La Mar Ay Una Torre,” some instrumental remixes and, best of all, some live tracks, just in case anyone thought this music was studiobound. -Michael Toland
For the tenth anniversary of Remnants of a Deep Purity's release, Projekt has re-issued the album with a second disc that contains re-workings and material from the same era, three beautiful live tracks, and the 1996 version of "Across a Thousand Blades," all for the sum of a regularly-priced album. The extra material is just as brilliant as the main offering; this is truly an essential addition to any discerning collection. 5 out of 5. -Jack
Nel 1996 i BTFABG avevano già una carriera decennale alle spalle e una mezza dozzina di ottimi album di darkwave influenzati tanto dalle stelle più brillanti della costellazione 4AD quanto dai corrieri cosmici alla Tangerne Dream. Ma con “Remnants Of A Deeper Purity” qualcosa iniziò a cambiare. A partire dai musicisti che cominciarono ad accompagnare Sam sia in studio che dal vivo: non più gli amici e i colleghi presi in prestito dai gruppi dicasa alla Projekt ma veri e propri musicisti da impiegare in pianta stabile nel gruppo. A tutti gli effetti una rinascita. Sottolineata dal violino di Vicky Richards e dal violoncello di Mera Roberts, i due strumenti che caratterizzano in modo preponderante la maggior parte delle composizioni del nuovo album. E poi la voce baritonale di Oscar Herrera, già ascoltato in verità in precedenza, ma ora finalmente a suo agio nel ruolo di primo attore.
Essenziale ai fini della riuscita di “Remnants Of A Deeper Purity” l’alternanza tra la voce profonda di Herrera e quella eterea di Lucian Casselman, che con il suo tono sospeso porta tra le nuvole alcuni dei capolavori dell’album, “fin de siecle”, “wings tattered, fallen”, “fitful” e la conclusiva “i have no more answers”. Oceani di suono si distendono sotto la sua voce definendo momenti di bellezza ammaliante. Più vicini al concetto classico di canzone i brani cantati da Herrera che definiscono, in qualche modo, la rotta per i dischi a venire (“redefine pure faith”, “remnants of a deeper purity”).
La composizione più ardita dell’album è “for you will burn your wings upon the sun” con i suoi ventisei e passa minuti di durata. Una sinfonia darkwave in quattro movimenti in cui si esaltano le doti di arrangiatrici di Vicky e Mera. Prima della fine Sam Rosenthal si prende il tempo per registrare un pezzo strumentale di una bellezza struggente, “again, to drift (for veronica)”, tra note di pianoforte leggere come lacrime e respiri di fata confortanti come carezze.
Della stessa grazia risuona “with my sorrows (part3)”, una delle due composizioni che uscirono dieci anni fa su un mini cd 3” pubblicato in un’elegante confezione cartonata dall’italiana Amplexus di Stefano Gentile, e ora riproposti nel bonus cd che accompagna questa ristampa. Insieme alle due “with my sorrows” il ‘disc two’ raccoglie quanto rimasto fuori dai 77 minuti di “Remnants Of A Deeper Purity” e pubblicato allora su un mini-cd, e in più ben tre versioni live inedite di altrettante canzoni del repertorio dei BTFABG. -Roberto Mandolini
Remnants of a Deeper Purity was released by Black Tape for a Blue Girl in 1996 with 9 tracks of poetics afloat on layers of electronics and strings, incorporating chant, classical components, and expressive heart-rending vocals, resulting in a beautiful album that is yet to be challenged.
With this new re-issue, Projekt brings the searching depths of Remnants in touch with 8 extra tracks on a second disc, thus making this reissue a collector’s ‘must-have.’ In 1996, the band was approached by Amplexus, a label in Italy, asking for songs to be included in a limited edition series. “With My Sorrows, Pt 2” and “With My Sorrows, Pt 3,” both extensions of "For you will burn your wings upon the sun," because of the multiple sections of strings found on that song, although using the words from the original track of "With my sorrows" also found on Remnants. Both bonus tracks carry the profoundness of the original song into new spaces. Both are dark shades of emotion with “With My Sorrows, Pt 3” taking on additional elements to make the song even darker in scope, an exploration into the deep pit of a broken heart.
Added bonus tracks include a traditional arrangement, “En La Mar Ay Una Torre,” the radio edit of “I Have No More Answers,” 3 live tracks of songs from the original album performed by Black Tape for a Blue Girl at ProjektFest 96, and remix of “Across A Thousand Blades (96),” before found only in the Goth Box compilation from Cleopatra Records.
The revisitation of Black Tape for a Blue Girl’s greatest achievement, Remnants of a Deeper Purity , is a great cause for celebration. With many classics being given the Expanded Special Edition lately, it is only right that the timeless, heartbreaking beauty of Remnants be given the same respect. Works such as is found on this 2CD 10th Anniversary reissue of the classic Remnants of a Deeper Purity are priceless.
Il punto più basso - nel senso di "profondo" - di questo rituale dell'assoluto e del misterioso lo si ha nei 26 minuti di "For You Will Burn Your Wings Upon The Sun", una drammatica discesa, in 5 parti, nei labirinti dell'anima umana. In uno spazio desolato e arcano si diffondono i droni minacciosi delle tastiere, mentre il violino di Vicky Richards inizia la sua abbacinante danza sull'orlo del precipizio. Le voci dei due sciamani dell'assoluto imbastiscono un magma ipnotico di emozioni, prima di essere risucchiate dal vuoto cosmico. Anche il violoncello di Mera Roberts contribuisce ad aumentare il senso di debordante pathos che si respira un po' dovunque.
La terza parte di questo delirio estatico spinge il grumo sonoro verso gli estremi più insondati dell'universo, in un vortice ancestrale fatto di imperscrutabili simboli divini, nella cui contemplazione si raccoglie "Wings Tattered, Fallen", un esercizio di ambient dai sottili connotati mistici. L'incanto magniloquente di "Redifine Pure Faith" si chiude con una tenera sonata per pianoforte, preludio alla dolcezza venata di tragedia di "Fin De Siécle". "With My Sorrows" è un' altra grande prova vocale di Herrera, mentre "Fitful" ripropone bagliori cosmici con tanto di voce (Casselman) "trattata". L'unico brano che si avvicina alla forma-canzone tradizionale è la title track, anche se in un modo del tutto particolare. Le dolenti note di piano di "Again, To Drift (For Veronika)" rinsaldano, invece, i non tenui legami con certe cose della new-age più trasognata. A questo punto, non resta altro che il minimalismo di "I Have No More Answers", in cui la Casselman raggiunge una delle punte più alte del suo declamare sofferto. La lunga coda fatta di droni e di echi soffusi è lo spazio aperto sulla radura del mondo, osservato senza pregiudizi e senza paura, ma con una mestizia infinita, e senza redenzione alcuna.
La filosofia "negativa" di Rosenthal ha trovato il suo corrispettivo artistico più intenso in questi 77 minuti di indelebili emozioni, confermando, tra l'altro, il vecchio assioma secondo cui l'arte è la sola cura capace di porre rimedio alla malattia dell'esistenza. La caduta nel tempo - di cui parlava Cioran - ha sì condannato l'uomo all'esperienza della propria fragilità, ma, di rimando, gli ha conferito anche la possibilità di poter sondare il suo mistero, in vista di un tentativo chiarificatore dell'arcano della vita. Questo tentativo, destinato al fallimento proprio perché condotto da un'ottica umana e, quindi, "finita", ha il suo momento cardine nell'attimo della creazione, il cui unico scopo è quello di lasciare che la Verità si dia come "evento", e che, dunque, sia accessibile all'uomo (anche se solo per pochi, infinitesimali attimi...). Di tutto ciò, Remnants Of A Deeper Purity è esempio lampante, maestoso, indimenticabile. -Francesco Nunziata
I asked my friend at Ondarock what a "PIETRA MILIARE" is, and he replied: Literally translated it means "miliar stone", is the category in which we put albums we consider historical masterpieces, something that has been very important for the development of a genre or for music history :-)
#7 Remnants of a Deeper Purity (1996) Of all the albums on this list, none are more fragile or beautiful than Black Tape for a Blue Girl’s Remnants of a Deeper Purity. Fronted by Sam Rosenthal, the record is home to a host of long, challenging songs, including 26 minute centerpiece “For You Will Burn Your Wings upon the Sun.” Blending synths with Vicki Richards’ violin and Mera Roberts’ cello, Rosenthal has created something more than rock music. If ethereal had a sound, Remnants would be it. Featuring Oscar Herrera and Lucian Casselman on vocals, these nine songs are goth to the core: they are darkly beautiful, aching and melancholy. By the time album closer “I Have No More Answers” comes to an end, you feel that Rosenthal has taken you on a journey, floating you through a realm of shadowy sadness and an electronic atmosphere that stretches out forever. – David Harris