black tape for a blue girl: To touch the milky way (CD/LP)


Product Description

“…striving to take hold of the life they have left unlived”

1. I close my eyes and watch the galaxy turning (part i + ii) 09:00
2. Does anything remain? (part iII + iV) 09:59
3. In my memories 03:37
4. the Stars 04:42
5. On some faraway beach 02:53
6. All of the things i wanted 04:37
7. To touch the milky way 08:12

Ethereal, evocative, powerful and introspective, Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s 12th studio album To touch the milky way expands upon their sweeping Art Rock aesthetic. Utilizing multiple genres and instrumentations as elements to shape a larger conceptual work, the eclectic, modernist approach refreshes BlackTape’s pioneering musical sentiments while maintaining the unique originality of their sound. Captivating vocals from Danielle Herrera and Michael Plaster accent songwriter and bandleader Sam Rosenthal’s electro-acoustic atmospherics and foreboding, engaging lyricism. A contemplative twilight hangs over these seven tracks.

CD — 4-panel digipak with 8 page art-photo booklet. Limited edition of 1000.
LP — 140-gram split color vinyl (white & brown). 24pt jacket with 12″ lyric card. Limited edition of 300.

“Reconnect with and reflect on the larger legacy of Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s emotive whirlwind.” –

To Touch the Milky Way is art rock in the most orgasmic sense. Danielle Herrera has such a gothic sexuality to her performance.” – Infrared Magazine

As the premier artist on the Projekt record label he founded in the early 80s, Rosenthal has been a tireless creator of new sounds. Moving from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles to Chicago to Brooklyn, Rosenthal recently settled into Portland, Oregon where he’s written and released more music in the last 4 years than in the prior 15.

This creative energy led to an album encompassing powerful personal and transpersonal themes. There’s a yearning for connection to a truer understanding of self and our potential — letting go of façade and fears, obstacles which hold us back. The lyrics emerge from the depths of the psyche addressing a desire to feel truly alive by overcoming self-imposed boundaries. They are first-person narratives at the edge where something has to give, something has to change, as the characters strive to take hold of the life they have left unlived. “I close my eyes and watch the galaxy turning” and the title track explore a consciousness-expanding understanding of the cyclical nature of existence mixed with a hunger for something eternal beyond this reality.

Downloadable pdf with lyrics and images from the booklet.

Purchase in Europe for fast, inexpensive shipping:

Information in English here. Click to order CD or LP

Non-binary porn actress Mercy West portrays the androgynous alien traveler in Rosenthal’s cover photography. The deluxe crowdfunded edition, downloadable booklet, and CD booklet contain 10 pages of striking photos the duo shot at locations throughout Oregon. Rosenthal explains, “The photos externalize the feelings of isolation, alienation and longing of the lyrics. Mercy’s character is a stark representation of our struggles, lost within a larger self-defined world that work to limit our true nature.”

Rosenthal’s electronics, harmonium, piano, and acoustic guitar form an intimate backdrop for Herrera’s ethereal, tender, heartfelt voice and Plaster’s breathy, sensitive vocals. The emotionally-charged pieces are enhanced with appearances from drummer Brian Viglione (of The Dresden Dolls), violist Nick Shadow, and multi-instrumentalist Chase Dobson. The title track features electric guitar from Walter Holland of Californian 80s space rock band Amber Route.

Closing on a sorrowful but moving note, the arpeggiated piano of the title track slows to a crawl as we drift upon the alien landscape of the startling cover imagery. To touch the milky way is a goal that might remain beyond reach; however by interpreting Sam’s lyrical suggestions, we’re encouraged to reach for it nevertheless, grasping for all that might be attainable during our brief time under the existential glow of a fading sun.

Recent press:

• “In my memories” video mention in Prague |
• Interview with Sam about “In my memories” video | Side-Line Magazine
• Blurb about “In my memories video” | ReGen Magazine

• Interview with Sam Rosenthal | Noise Beneath The Snow
• For the Record | Charleston SC City Paper
• “To Touch The Milky Way”, le douzième album studio de Black Tape For A Blue Girl | Premonition France
• Poslechněte si novou desku Black Tape For A Blue Girl |
• Projekt Records announces “To Touch The Milky Way” | , Chain DLK, Top-40 News,, peek-a-boo-magazine, All In Music Review
• Black Tape For A Blue Girl Not Only Sees The Sky Is The Limit, but Wants “To Touch The Milky Way” |
• I Die: You Die Exclusive: streaming “To touch the milky way” |
• ReGen Exclusive: Black Tape for a Blue Girl streams new track ahead of release date | ReGen Magazine
• Black Tape For A Blue Girl Returns With New Album, To Touch The Milky Way | MusicTap

Click to Join, hit send, and I’ll add you to the list. – Sam

Additional information

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Credits and Digital Booklet

downloadable digital booklet with lyrics and imagery

danielle herrera, michael plaster, nick shadow, brian viglione & sam rosenthal

I close my eyes and watch the galaxy turning
michael: vocals
sam: electronics & harmonium
shadow: viola, pt ii

Does anything remain?
danielle: vocals
sam: electronics & harmonium
brian: percussion

In my memories
michael: vocals
sam: piano, electronics, spoken vocals & backing vocals
danielle: backing vocals

the Stars
danielle: vocals
sam: acoustic guitars & electronics
chase dobson: electric guitars & drum programming
brian: bass

On some faraway beach
danielle: vocals
sam: electronics & piano
shadow: viola

All of the things I wanted
michael: vocals
sam: acoustic guitars, electronics & backing vocals
danielle: backing vocals
brian: drums

To touch the milky way
michael: vocals
sam: piano & electronics
walter holland: electric guitars

executive producers:
marcos costa santos carreira, scott moen, & tristan payne

mastering sponsors:
nicholas maryol, & brian waters

this album wouldn’t have been possible if not for the generosity of all who supported this release at kickstarter and our bandcamp patrons.

written, produced and recorded by sam.
recorded in the lush garden 2017-18, portland, or; except for michael at yttrium audio, phoenix, az; brian at parlor studio, nyc, ny; danielle “faraway beach” at burning halo studios, miami, fl; chase at 1156 hq, denver, co; walter at dr. hunter’s sanitarium, san diego, ca. mastered by howard givens at spotted peccary studios nw, portland, or.

photography & graphic design by sam
the model is mercy west

©seireenien music, bmi


  1. padmin

    From Dark Entries

    This is the band of Sam Rosenthal, the label boss of the dark wave label Projekt from Portland, Oregon. Sam Rosenthal himself takes care of all the electronics and keyboards for this new album, in addition to harmonium and piano, acoustic guitar and sporadic vocals (background and spoken word). To Touch The Milky Way (7 tracks, 43 minutes playing time) is the twelfth album since Black Tape For A Blue Girl was formed in 1986. In addition, there are a lot of EPs and compilations in the discography.

    Black Tape For A Blue Girl traditionally play dark wave and gloomy ethereal wave or, say, dream pop. To Touch The Milky Way is primarily keyboard and synthesizer music, but other instruments are also covered: in addition to the piano and harmonium mentioned, also violins, in addition to the acoustic guitar, bass and electric guitar. As far as the latter is concerned, usually in the background, though. Only in the long closing and title song (also my favorite track) does an electric guitar come to the fore for a long time and treat us to an episode of beautiful, relaxed guitar playing as you can expect from Pink Floyd, for example . Guitarist is Walter Holland of the Californian 70s space rock band Amber Route. Man also has a number of solo albums out. Also very beautiful is the short, sober ‘On Some Faraway Beach, my favorite of the songs sung by singer Danielle Herrera .

    The songs on this album are slow, melancholic, floaty and often long drawn out, ending several times with a long softly fading keyboard drone. Overall, Black Tape For A Blue Girl actually reminds me the most of Eyeless In Gaza, but better (I’m not really a fan of the voice of Eyeless In Gaza singer Martyn Bates).

    The vocals here are also very relaxed and dreamy. Only in the penultimate song “All Of The Things I Wanted” the vocals get a bit heavier towards the end, but musically the calm ethereal dark wave remains. For the lead vocals, a male voice and a female voice alternate. The male vocals are by Michael Plaster (aka Soul Whirling Somewhere for the Projekt fans).

    Included with the CD is a booklet with 8 pages of artistic photos taken at various locations in Oregon. The photos want to express the feelings of loneliness, alienation and longing that are also contained in the lyrics of the songs. Those lyrics are deep soul stirrings from the deepest depths of the psyche and told in the first person. They reflect the desire to truly feel life by overcoming self-imposed limits. Opening song “I Close My Eyes And Watch The Galaxy Turning (part I + II)” and the title track explore a mind-bending understanding of the cyclical nature of existence, the cycle of life and death, mixed with a hunger for something eternal beyond this reality .

    For those who like beautiful dreamy, melancholic, introspective dark wave and ethereal wave with ambient keyboard sounds, this is a very nice acquisition, like every new release on this American quality label. -Henk Vereecken

  2. padmin

    From Premonition

    Passé l’effet de surprise face à cette pochette que l’on a du mal à relier à la voie lactée de son titre, le douzième album de Black Tape for a Blue Girl ravit par la chaleur de ses ambiances mélancoliques et electro-acoustiques. On retrouve cette légère brume sonore, ce voile immatériel caractéristique que Sam Rosenthal cultive à l’aide de son harmonium, notamment sur les deux premiers titres. Le disque nous renvoie à la période glorieuse de l’Heavenly Voices des 90’s et prolonge la magie d’une musique que l’on pensait avoir perdu de vue ces dernières années. L’album fait alterner chant féminin et masculin, avec douceur et retenue, et forme avec son prédécesseur These Fleeting Moments (2016) le vrai retour que nous attendions. -Bertrand Hamonou

  3. padmin

    From Onda Rock

    La creatura gotica di Sam Rosenthal non sembra essere intenzionata a farsi da parte anche nel 2018, dopo ben tre lavori in due anni. Abbandonate le tre bellissime cover di donne in posizione fetale contenute nel violoncello-utero – con una foto estraniante della pornostar Mercy West in copertina a esaltare il senso di isolamento e alienazione – il dodicesimo album della band statunitense To Touch The Milky Way mantiene ancora quella capacità evocativa ambient gotica che da sempre caratterizza la poetica di Rosenthal.

    E’ ancora un viaggio tra Dead Can Dance e paesaggi estremamente rallentati simili in vari momenti al recente e apprezzatissimo album dei Low “Double Negative”, come ad esempio nei due finali iperdilatati di “I Close My Eyes And Watch The Galaxy Turning” e “Does Anything Remain?” (in realtà una lunga suite divisa in quattro parti), magnifici esempi di canzone gotica dove l’oscurità aumenta sempre più sino ai lunghi finali statici, culmine della visione di Rosenthal. E’ un paradosso che la potenza aumenti nella lentezza e nella staticità, ma è questa una delle caratteristiche della musica dei Black Tape For A Blue Girl.

    Quando Rosenthal decide di aumentare i ritmi, lo fa in modo perfetto nel brano finale “To Touch The Milky Way”, con un pattern di piano palesemente à-la Terry Riley, vagamente simile a Baba O’Riley degli Who, che viene stravolto dalle note di una chitarra elettrica psichedelica che velocemente scompare per far spazio a un lungo finale di synth e harmonium che chiude in modo circolare l’album come era iniziato.

    In mezzo troviamo i brani più brevi, la canzone per piano e voce ”In My Memories”, le raffinate ballate pop “The Stars” e “All Of The Things I Wanted”, gli archi tra modern classical e la Nico gotica di “On Some Faraway Beach”. Tutto perfetto, tutto più o meno noto, ma sempre carico di emozioni, l’esploratore degli anfratti più oscuri della nostra esistenza non tradisce. -Valerio D’Onofrio

  4. padmin

    From I Die: You Die

    Are Black Tape For A Blue Girl actually issuing work with renewed vigor, or is that just subjective bias creeping in? Sure, Sam Rosenthal’s legendary ethereal project has never been far from hand, but 2016’s These Fleeting Moments was a tour de force record which couldn’t help but wrest our attention away. That could just as easily have been a function of timing: something as timeless and elegant as Rosenthal’s string arrangements or Oscar Herrera’s vocals can be a comforting balm in troubled times. But that’s perhaps to do disservice to the quality of tracks featured on that record, not to mention its rich excursions into shoegaze. New LP To Touch The Milky Way might not be as varied as its precursor in terms of sonics (understandable, given an economical 43 minute run-time, 27 shorter than Milky Way), but it still offers tranquility in meditation and upheaval in reflection.

    The record’s overarching concept is certainly as heady as anything on These Fleeting Moments, with opening track “I Close My Eyes And Watch The Galaxy Turning (Part I + II)” and the closing title track acting as philosophical bookends, tackling questions of temporaneity and impermanence. As Rosenthal told us upon the record’s release, “I see the futility of trying to touch the milky way, but it’s a human attempt to grasp more than what is within our reach, grasping for all that might be attainable during our brief time under the existential glow of life”. The musical palette he opts for suits those grand ambitions. The slow burn of “I Close My Eyes”‘s strings and pads suit the theme of the Eternal Return, while the dead simple piano figure which begins the closing title track makes for a stark and bracing beginning to a final push into cosmic void and kosmische guitar.

    Nestled between these ambitious buttresses are a set of the frail yet cozy sort of Black Tape tracks which seem to have been Platonically formed for Danielle Herrera’s voice. Drifting between organs, treated strings, and classic darkwave staging she weaves sad and incredibly proximal reflections on hope and loneliness. If pieces like “I Close My Eyes” stun us with stoic clarity and perspective, numbers like “Does Anything Remain? (Part III + IV)” wound us with their relatable angst. Lines like “I haven’t left the house in days, calling in sick with spirits watching over me / Drinking alone, I’m thinking you’ll abandon me when you keep finding me like this” have a photo-realistic bite, with the quiet and almost bashful tone of Herrera’s voice underscoring both the mundanity and intractability of such commonplace but devastating thoughts.

    The group of collaborators to whom Rosenthal’s become attuned over the years, in concert with the moods he seeks to evoke, makes for a versatile (and well-sharpened) multi-tool this far into Black Tape’s career. The ideas of struggling to become the only person you can or would want to be, or to harmonize oneself with principles personal or universal, are the sort of high-concept drama which countless other bands would sound naff trying to broach, but which continue to come naturally to Black Tape For A Blue Girl. Buy it. -Bruce

  5. padmin

    From ViolaNoir

    Если предшественник этого альбома These Fleeting Moments ознаменовал эпичное и торжественное возвращение Black Tape For A Blue Girl, то To touch the milky way — это уже что-то более личное и узконаправленное. Но не лишенное монументальных форм и сложных структур.

    Две части I close my eyes and watch the galaxy turning открывают релиз в эмбиентовом ключе, а их продолжение Does anything remain? сворачивает в сторону neoclassic и ethereal. Нежный, аккуратный трек In my memories сменяется ярким проявлением олдскульного ethereal и darkwave — the Stars. Созерцательность и безмятежность On some faraway beach на All of the things i wanted переходит в art rock пафос. Одноименный To touch the milky way, нагнетающий драматический флер клавишами и гитарным соло, завершает релиз.

    To touch the milky way — достаточно неожиданный альбом, но похвально, что Black Tape For A Blue Girl все-таки не стали повторяться, «закреплять результат», а сразу начали проявлять самобытность и новаторство. Несмотря на всю «камерность» и «немногословность» двенадцатого студийного альбома, проект посредством его звучания создал объемные, подробные иллюстрации к процессам микрокосмоса. «Стремление к истинному пониманию себя и своего потенциала — устранение фасада из страхов, препятствий, которые нас удерживают. Лирика из глубины психики, обнажающая желание чувствовать себя живым, преодолевать собственные границы» — Сэму Розенталю удалось воплотить в To touch the milky way все выше заявленное.

  6. padmin

    From Rock Portaal

    Eigenzinnigheid kun je Sam Rosenthal niet ontzeggen. Tegen de stroom in beheert de Amerikaan nog steeds zijn eigen platenlabel Projekt Records. Verder heeft hij met Black Tape For A Blue Girl een muzikale uitlaatklep die moeilijk te vergelijken is met andere bands. To Touch The Milky Way brengt een sfeervolle, regelmatig zweverige, mix van darkwave met ambient. In de lang uitgesponnen instrumentale stukken, vaak op het einde van een nummer, is het prima muziek voor op retraite. De plaat straalt echter een ongemakkelijke, maar daardoor wel mooie, kalmte en rust uit. Er broeit iets onder de oppervlakte en dat maakt dat To Touch The Milky Way blijft boeien. Soms lijkt Sam iets te lang te blijven hangen in het instrumentale escapisme, zoals tijdens het tweede deel van het door zangeres Danielle Herrera ingezongen Does Anything Remain? (Pt. III + IV). Dan wordt de luisteraar echt uitgedaagd om goed te (blijven) luisteren naar de verschillende lagen. De vaak bijna fluisterende, breekbare zang van Michael Plaster past prima op de gekozen muziek. Het rustige In My Memories met piano en de op akoestische gitaar ondersteunde All Of The Things I Wanted zijn daar uitstekende voorbeelden van. Michael laat op dat laatstgenoemde nummer horen dat hij ook uitgesproken en harder kan zingen. In contrast met al die lange nummers is het hele korte On Some Faraway Beach een vreemde eend in de bijt. Dat nummer wordt na 2:54 minuten ineens abrupt afgebroken. To Touch The Milky Way is een intrigerende plaat van een eigenzinnige muzikant. Het vraagt tijd, maar dan ontvouwt zich een mooie plaat. -Ron Schoonwater

  7. padmin

    From Music TAP

    For well over thirty years, the evocatively named Black Tape For A Blue Girl project, helmed by Projekt label owner, Sam Rosenthal, has produced strong and ethereally beautiful songs and albums to match them to. To date, there are twelve albums including the timeless 1996 classic, Remnants Of A Deeper Purity. (If you haven’t heard this album, it’s highly suggested that you attend to that soon!)

    Black Tape For A Blue Girl has produced an unusual blend of neo-classicism, rock, and ambience, liberally sprinkled with melancholy, and labeled darkwave. (I find the designation of Dark Wave too restricting for Black Tape For A Blue Girl releases. I do understand finding the proper niche for this band is difficult…so DarkWave it is.)

    Over the decades, Rosenthal’s vision for this band has gone through a healthy selection of interested styles that include footprints through classical, a foray through darker cabaret, ambient texture experiments, and later minimalism and drone. With a wide variety of input, Sam Rosenthal has kept Black Tape For A Blue Girl as fresh a listening experience as can be expected.

    With the release of his latest project, To touch the milky way has assembled a qualified moment of Black Tape For A Blue Girl with the talents of Brian Viglione (The Dresden Dolls), Nick Shadow (providing a fine mist of viola) for the collection, Chase Dobson, alongside vocal beauty from both Danielle Herrera, and Michael Plaster, both who imbue this new album with pondering dreaminess. Of course, Sam Rosenthal accentuates the album with his searching lyrics and his display of instruments (piano, electronics, acoustic guitar). The music on To touch the milky way is startling, fresh, heartbreaking, sad, evocative, and memorable.

    All of To touch the milky way brilliantly incorporates the heady sound textures of early Black Tape For A Blue Girl albums leading up to and including the masterpiece, Remnants Of A Deeper Purity. But it goes beyond with incorporation of drone, implemented perfectly amid the pathways of some of the songs. The curtain of the minimalistic music form the school of Fripp, Glass, the highly underrated Geoff Smith, and several others who liberally explore this intoxicating style, is evident and beautifully enhance the experience of listening to To touch the milky way. With seven highly emotional compositions, Sam Rosenthal has delivered a new experience that can only be enjoyed via Black Tape For A Blue Girl‘s latest gem. -Matt Rowe

  8. padmin

    From Void Music

    1986 es un año ya muy lejano, pero muy recurrente al momento de citar la memoria musical de los ochenta y cómo quimera de una época que nos ayuda entender porqué el darkwave es una fuerza global con muchas variantes. Ahora varios gigantes de esta orientación han regresado con bríos para reclamar el crédito que se difuminó por generaciones y que tomó un nuevo impulso gracias a la verdadera autogestión y la nueva forma de comunicarnos para compartir música con desconocidos de cualquier parte del mundo. Es en este punto de inflexión, los veteranos (que realmente nunca se han ido del todo) retornan periódicamente y hacen nueva música fascinante.

    Para Black Tape For A Blue Girl han sido muchos cambios estilísticos y de ambientación en estos más de treinta años de historia. Sam Rosenthal jamás ha renunciado a crear emociones profundas y su música tanto del pasado lejano como la más reciente, en todo momento llega a ese lugar alto de la fantasía. Su proyecto es en 2018 música resiliente, de vagas sombras, confusión, prolífica instrumentación y desbordante profundidad sonora; To Touch The Milky Way, es la continuación de su odisea en un paisaje cósmico que se reproduce en la belleza de lo terrenal.

    To Touch The Milky Way (2018) es el sucesor de These Fleeting Moments (2016). Su nuevo lanzamiento es una obra más concisa que su antecesor, en cuyas páginas divididas en siete episodios, está implícita una magia etérea que entreteje una telaraña de gruesos sentimientos siderales.

    To Touch The Milky Way abre con dos piezas que son muy propias del universo único de Black Tape For A Blue Girl, la primera ‘I Close My Eyes And Watch The Galaxy Turning’ es el inicio y segunda parte del viaje por los astros; la voz de Michael Plaster se plasma en una poesía melancólica que nos lleva a una galaxia distante, quizás saudade sea un concepto que explique con firmeza lo que significan música y letra de este track de nueve minutos. Luego, sin aviso de tregua, llegan la tercera y cuarta parte del viaje con ‘Does Anything Remain?’ en la tesitura de Danielle Herrera quien hace un cuestionamiento prolongado y virtuoso sobre las cosas que prevalecen, sobre los espíritus que rondan en los pensamientos.

    ‘In My Memories’ es una melodía al piano que le da respiro a las profundas fatalidades, pero el camino de los recuerdos sigue siendo una entidad presente en el tema. ‘The Stars’ es simplemente increíble con un beat contundente que nos inserta sin rodeos en la voz de Danielle, y un sintetizador que recrea la atmósfera estelar. Una oda a la luminosidad de los astros. ‘All Of The Things I Wanted’ es una pieza que navega por los caminos del rock gótico, con una estructura que va de menos a más y algo de estridencia que culmina de forma calmosa como cuando al fin se llega a la otra orilla a nado. En el epílogo To Touch The Milky Way es un momento de virtuosismo instrumental y visiones cósmicas de más de ocho minutos.

    Black Tape For A Blue Girl ha hecho con To Touch The Milky Way, un disco de contemplación muy fiel a los mejores estilos que han desarrollado en su largo trayecto. Aunque su planteamiento sea un alto tributo a los asuntos del cosmos, a la alienación y la soledad: los mensajes del álbum son claros; su música es un momento fuera del ruido cotidiano, es un reto a las emociones, mirando desde un lugar remoto todo el desastre de la vida moderna.

  9. padmin

    From Darkroom

    Dopo un’intensa campagna di finanziamento via Kickstarter, finalmente il dodicesimo studio-album della storica creatura di Sam Rosenthal diviene realtà in due formati: quello in CD (un digipack completo di booklet), limitato a 1000 copie, e quello in vinile, realizzato in 300 esemplari. A poco più di due anni di distanza dal precedente These Fleeting Moments, Sam prosegue nel suo viaggio a ritroso verso il classico sound che ha contraddistinto molti dei lavori migliori dell’act statunitense (si pensi a titoli come Mesmerized By The Sirens, A Chaos Of Desire, This Lush Garden Within etc.), come sempre coadiuvato da musicisti di grande spessore per dare corpo alle proprie idee. Fra questi, oltre a quel Brian Viglione ormai da tempo in formazione, ritroviamo sodali entrati solo recentemente nel giro dei BTFABG come il violista Nick Shadow e, soprattutto, le due splendide voci protagoniste, Danielle Herrera e Michael Plaster, quest’ultimo indimenticato fautore delle gesta di Soul Whirling Somewhere. Con tale line-up, Sam dà vita ad un lavoro che non manca di affondare le radici in quella darkwave che egli stesso ha contribuito a plasmare, ma che spinge con rinnovata forza verso un intimismo dai contorni atmosferici, eterei e finanche solenni, ben evocato dall’impossibilità fisica di “toccare la Via Lattea”, come il titolo suggerisce.

    “I Close My Eyes And Watch The Galaxy Turning” apre le danze con la sua drammatica enfasi para-sinfonica, ben supportata dall’emozionante vocalità di Michael, laddove “Does Anything Remain?” trasla la drammaticità verso un’ottica più passionale, anche grazie alla prova di Danielle. Se spetta al piano guidare “In My Memories”, tocca invece all’intreccio chitarristico trasportare verso lidi puramente darkwave “The Stars”, carezzevole gioiello che, assieme alla più ariosa, intensa e d’ampio respiro “All Of The Things I Wanted” (magistralmente interpretata da Michael ed unico frangente dotato di un vero e proprio drumming), si erge quale picco dell’opera. Ancora ottima Danielle nell’accorata fusione di synth e viola in “On Some Faraway Beach”, mentre il finale è appannaggio di Michael nella title-track, punto di maggior tensione di un disco che regala autentiche emozioni. Appare quasi pleonastico ricordare quale autentico punto fermo siano i BTFABG nel panorama darkwave, e tuttavia sottolineare come quello in esame sia un ritorno degno delle cose migliori espresse da Sam e soci in oltre trent’anni di onoratissima carriera ci appare come un dovere morale al quale giammai potremmo sottrarci. -Roberto Alessandro Filippozzi

  10. padmin

    From Infrared Magazine
    In my last review, I was talking about the impact of Pretty Hate Machine in 1989. Was the world ready for it? Did the world at that time really know how to take something so bleak and disturbing? You can add Black Tape for a Blue Girl in this discussion. In the 80’s, the music landscape was so wide. Bands like Leather Nun and Jesus and the Mary Chain was the college radio buzz. Other bands like REM, U2 and Simple Minds would get out of the college radio scene and go mainstream. Black Tape for a Blue Girl was that band that haunted you. It was the middle of Siouxsie and the Banshees and Sonic Youth. It was a band that you knew when you heard a song, that song would stick with you. Sam Rosenthal was the constant. Not sure if constant would be the proper term, maybe visionary. This is a band that has always stuck to its guns. No matter what trend or flavor popped up, they just produced this powerful yet haunting journey that each cd would send you on. 12 cds and close to 35 years, the band still just feels so unique and fresh. To Touch the Milky Way is art rock in the most orgasmic sense. Danielle Herrera has such a gothic sexuality to her performance. Does Anything Remain (part 3 and 4) is such a haunting piece. I am not sure if they were aiming for operetic, but the sound they have on this song is so epic. Each word the woman says feels so epic and dream like. The same can be said about The Stars as well.

    The music has so many layers that it feels like much more than a bunch of songs that were compiled for a release. This feels like a band that was taking a journey and wanted all of us to come along. Much like the Dead Can Dance cd last month, this cd feels like it was always here and we just did not know. This cd gives me such a sense of belonging and personalized joy. It awakes the music fan in me to appreciate a band that puts all their hearts and souls on the table and dares the listener to do the same. The lyrics come across with such an importance that it is easy to see why this band never fails their fanbase and most critics. Michael Plaster also delivers on the vocals as well. He is constantly being complemented by Sam and the rest of the band. His vocals do harken back to the 80’s dimension of this band. He has such a delivery that reminds you of where this band has been and where it is still at. In a world of bubble gum pop and bands that are here today and gone today, this is a band that just makes such an impactful statement.

    This cd is engaging, inviting, patient, melancholy and emotionally seductive. To say , this is the best album of the year is not fair. The year is not up. This album is the reason I hate the digital age. I have to own this cd. If you are a fan of the band, that last statement is for you also. This is not a music file on a phone or a fucking stolen link. This is artwork, this is a band giving their passion and a passion I will play many times before I go to bed tonight. I love this cd so much, this band has yet to fail me. I know most critics use words to make them look smart and frown upon showing fandom. I am not them thank god. I have no words to make me look smart but I have a passion for great bands. This is a great band.

    9 out of 10

  11. padmin

    From For All And None Blog
    from its inception music from the empty quarter and the glorious output of projekt records were intertwined. a constant stream of fully-focused, mesmeric and passionate music graced the pages throughout its existence, none more so than those sounds from the unrivalled label maker and his own black tape for a blue girl project. for those unaware and ease of description, this gathering of ever-changing vocalists and musicians have been producing astonishing soul-drenched harmonies in the area of this mortal coil since 1986. as with ivo’s landmark 4ad recordings, the one constant is its creative mind at the core. btfabg is sam rosenthal. figurehead, writer, producer and tear-duct sponsor. of course, it’s a generalisation to face-off black tape and tmc in a mirror. indeed, projekt and 4ad could be likewise, but if that is the nudge anyone needs to give this work more than a cursory glance then so be it. these are no mere cover versions though. the thematics of life and love feed throughout all of sam’s output, naked and intensely exposed. to touch the milky way is his twelfth studio album. familiar delicate threads weave the atmosphere and its two chosen vocalists danielle herrera and michael plaster shimmer horizons. their voices exuding darkness and light amongst patterning hues of electronics, piano, harmonium and other elements. there is always a diversity of textural tones within black tape. on this album ranges orchestral cascades, sweeping drones, lush driving melodics and searing dramatic art-rock, all underpinned by trademarked deep-rooted ambience. lyrically here sam is exploring deep personal feelings of self, unshackling from normalities to achieve and move beyond wasted opportunities, potential and mere existence. past shared experience, moments re-lived and the longing to move forward without inbuilt societal repression. seven tracks switch between the warm, caressing tones of michael and sensual breath of danielle. the sadness she portrays on does anything remain? is enough to break the blackest of hearts; “does anything remain through all the mistakes and all the wasted years, i try to forget myself”, whilst plaster momentarily rages “joy, hate, sex, thirst, longing, pain, passion, i think i want to feel alive” over all of the things i wanted which reminds a little of the emotional perfect pop of ian mcnabb’s icicle works. part of the triumph of btfabg has always been the deliberate switching of vocalists and even though i feel i’ve been touched by this record virtually all of my life it reveals unsurpassed intimacy. there is happiness in its openness and the closing lines offer hope “why do we fight, and love and die? on my back in the dust with my eyes on the wheel of the milky way. so the infinite can know itself. we are awake for the infinite to know itself”. very few artists would lay themselves as bare. sam was one of the first people to engage with the empty quarter and support our endeavours and it pleases me beyond words that he continues to record and thrive as a musician and label under these harsh industry climates. the fact he does is testament to his pride and quality of material he publishes. long may that continue until we are all wiry old flesh rattling bones into the cosmos.

  12. padmin

    From Lux Atenea

    El pasado viernes, día 2 de noviembre, fue presentado oficialmente el nuevo álbum de Black Tape For A Blue Girl titulado To Touch The Milky Way. Sus fieles seguidores que venimos disfrutando de la legendaria obra musical de Black Tape For A Blue Girl desde el comienzo de su carrera musical (álbum “The Rope”, Projekt, PRO20, 1986; CD original ya reseñado en Lux Atenea Webzine), estamos de enhorabuena con esta contundente y espectacular demostración de vanguardia musical y de innovación conceptual dentro de la escena cultural underground actual. Sam Rosenthal, alma máter de Black Tape For A Blue Girl, con absoluta brillantez vuelve a mostrar su privilegiado talento en la composición y su alma artística pionera en cada uno de estos temas cuyo trasfondo existencial invita a la reflexión. Publicado a través del mítico sello discográfico estadounidense PROJEKT RECORDS dirigido por Sam Rosenthal, este impresionante álbum está disponible en formato digital, en una edición limitada de 1000 unidades en digipak CD de cuatro paneles y libreto de ocho páginas, y en una preciosa edición limitada de 300 unidades en LP 12” en vinilo blanco y marrón. To Touch The Milky Way viene engalanado con un magnífico diseño creado por Sam Rosenthal, haciendo uso de sus propias fotografías tras haber tenido como modelo a Mercy West. Su impactante portada de trasfondo metafórico, con la figura del andrógino como pilar simbólico principal, presenta al individuo con características espirituales a la hora de armonizarlo en este desolado e inhóspito entorno. Pero el individuo no está integrado en este luminoso e inescrutable mundo, sino expectante, tratando de entender lo que le rodea, de ahí el mensaje existencial que transmite nítidamente esta imagen. En el álbum To Touch The Milky Way, Black Tape For A Blue Girl ha podido contar con la colaboración de artistas profesionales de prestigio como Brian Viglione (The Dresden Dolls) con la batería y el bajo, el violinista Nick Shadow, el instrumentista Chase Dobson, el guitarrista Walter Holland (Amber Route), y los sublimes vocalistas Michael Plaster y Danielle Herrera. Vertebrado por siete excelsos temas, a nivel técnico, quisiera destacar el extraordinario trabajo de masterización realizado por Howard Givens, convirtiendo la audición del álbum To Touch The Milky Way en una auténtica delicia musical. ¡¡¡Black Tape For A Blue Girl en estado puro!!! Sin más demora, nos sumergimos en la atmósfera solemne del primer tema “I Close My Eyes And Watch The Galaxy Turning (part I + II)” de textura sonora dark-ambient, abriéndose lentamente como un ritual de trascendencia mientras la voz de Michael Plaster va revelando una realidad incomprensible para el Ego, para el individuo, para el alma encarnada que anhela volver a su verdadero mundo mirando al universo. Mirando la colosal rueda del tiempo imparable en su movimiento circular que siempre retornará a su punto inicial, mientras el ser con consciencia despertada no deja de preguntarse el sentido de su existencia. Con el dark-ambient inicial evolucionando hacia un estilo ambient con planos sonoros atmosféricos, las pinceladas instrumentales de esencia ritual darán ese trasfondo existencial a esta excelsa composición final que nos llevará directamente hasta el tema “Does anything remain? (part III + IV)”, donde el registro de voz de Danielle Herrera es perfecto para transmitir estas sensaciones propias del individuo solitario inseguro de todo, incluso de sí mismo. Los pasajes melódicos del armonio, en manos de Sam Rosenthal, adquieren ese halo reflexivo a través de una espiritualidad tan frágil como el spleen decadentista siempre bailando existencialmente al borde del abismo, quedando éste recreado musicalmente en el dinámico plano de percusión interpretado por las expertas manos de Brian Viglione. ¡¡¡“Does anything remain?”, delicatessen musical!!!

    La esencia artística de Black Tape For A Blue Girl tendrá su continuidad en el maravilloso tema “In My Memories”, con el piano como maestro de ceremonias instrumental de esta canción melancólica donde la voz de Michael Plaster y los coros de Danielle Herrera y Sam Rosenthal, crean este entorno de radiante riqueza cromática en su cautivadora alma musical. Calor, recuerdos, amor… en el pasado, traen consigo el anhelo, la sensación de que se vivió algo único, irrepetible, y que no aparecerá más a lo largo del resto de la existencia, creando con ello la sensación de vacuidad vital a través de una llama interior que se va apagando poco a poco sin que se pueda hacer nada. Música atmosférica de corte etéreo y elegante neoclasicismo de auténtico lujo en esta segunda década del siglo XXI. Posteriormente, “The Stars” dará continuidad a la presencia del amor pero desde una perspectiva terrenal y humana que mira al cielo, al universo. La luminosidad melódica e instrumental que caracteriza a Black Tape For A Blue Girl en sus composiciones, estará presente en este tema tanto a nivel instrumental como vocal en esta ocasión, con la suave voz de Danielle Herrera fluyendo como el éter divino que irradia vida. En su preciosa lírica, los melómanos lectores de Lux Atenea Webzine quedarán sorprendidos con el trasfondo filosófico y metafísico que transmite, partiendo de la base de la imperfección humana, de su falta de armonía intrínseca, y de su constante sensación de inseguridad vital en un mundo que siempre le resulta incomprensible en su raíz más profunda. En definitiva, el amor como elemento salvífico, el ser asumiendo la imperfección de la condición humana, y su mirada esperanzadora al cielo en busca de la verdadera razón de su vida. Danielle Herrera seguirá proyectando la magia lírica en el tema “On Some Faraway Beach”, pero esta canción es muy introspectiva, incluso tan implacablemente dura como el individuo solitario de cuerpo tatuado con las cicatrices que da la vida, y que analiza sus actos y los hechos a través del juicio sumarísimo que hacen consigo mismas las almas perdidas. Aquí, el neoclasicismo es superlativo en cuanto a su grandeza artística, siendo el piano y la viola los que definan melódicamente su cuerpo musical con tan irresistible hechizo emocional. “On Some Faraway Beach” tiene luz, pero esa luz intensa que deslumbra y hacer perder el sentido y la orientación al ser. Y del neoclasicismo llegaremos a lo atmosférico fusionado con el post-rock en el tema “All Of The Things I Wanted”, de nuevo, con Sam Rosenthal y Danielle Herrera creando estos coros a Michael Plaster cuya intensidad interpretativa es mucho mayor, encontrándose mucho más cómodo en este nivel de registro sonoro que en los temas anteriores. El tempo marcado por Brian Viglione a la batería… ¡¡¡maravilloso!!! Por puro placer, repito varias veces la audición del tema “All Of The Things I Wanted”, antes de que To Touch The Milky Way extienda el telón de clausura de esta nueva obra maestra musical de Sam Rosenthal lacrada con el sello Black Tape For A Blue Girl. En To Touch The Milky Way, todo se vuelve belleza sublime y, por este motivo, el ser trasciende y ve elevado su plano existencial en pro de lo universal. Lo terrenal deja de tener sentido, y lo universal se convierte en un deseo casi al alcance de la mano en cuanto el individuo alza sus brazos al cielo y los abre, abrazando al universo en este acto, en este ritual, en este intento de armonización con el Todo. De ahí el vibrante plano melódico para piano de este tema que bajará su protagonismo a un segundo plano en cuanto la voz de Michael Plaster aparezca, siendo el perfilamiento sonoro de la guitarra eléctrica de Walter Holland en tono lánguido, lo que recree esa disolución del Ego cuanto más se acerca el plano existencial del ser a lo universal, a lo divino. To Touch The Milky Way, el mágico hechizo musical de Sam Rosenthal en su estado de creatividad más virtuoso y cautivador. ¡¡¡Disfrútenlo!!! -Felix V. Diaz

  13. padmin

    From I Die: You Die

    2016’s These Fleeting Moments wasn’t just one of the highlights of the year, it was also a chance for us to reconnect with and reflect on the larger legacy of Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s emotive whirlwind. We’re very pleased to be able to offer a premiere from that record’s follow-up, the title track from the forthcoming To Touch The Milky Way. Black Tape/Projekt mastermind Sam Rosenthal describes the track as a rumination on the tension between permanence and mortality. The song’s narrator thinks “about their connection to the things that mattered and once seemed so urgent, wondering why. Why did we do this? Why do we still do this? Is there something more than pain and dirt and sorrow? I picture them reaching up, hand at arm’s length, the stars in the distance between their fingers. I see the futility of trying to touch the milky way, but it’s a human attempt to grasp more than what is within our reach, grasping for all that might be attainable during our brief time under the existential glow of life.” Rosenthal tapped early Black Tape contributor Walter Holland to bring his space rock roots to bear on the track’s guitar work, “representing something rich, and chaotic, and authentic and filled with hunger; the music of the character’s civilization, singing through time.” Stay tuned to this site for further thoughts on To Touch The Milky Way.

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