blue tapes

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  • katie gately – blue eight – blue tapes

    out of stock

    Pro-dubbed C30 with onbody printing + bonus ‘b-side’ download
    Comes in deluxe presentation case
    200 copies only

    It was after hearing Katie Gately’s remix of Schemawound back in February – incredibly one of the first pieces of music that she had made – that we immediately began hassling her to do a tape for us.

    The result is Pipes, a piece that is both concise and ambitious. A 22nd Century pop song made out of nothing but the massed tones of the human voice, so complex that it took six painstaking months to assemble, but dropkicks the seratonin-releasing pleasure centres of the brain like the most immediate and narcotic of pop hits.

    Influenced by Arthur Russell and Gregorian chant, Pipes is a kind of future choral music. In its soundworld, synthesizers have been superseded by lungs, and soundscapes are no longer programmed, but can be projected into the air at the speed of thought.

    If you loved Petra Haden’s classic 2005 acapella reading of The Who Sell Out, but thought it would be loads better without all The Who bits, then you’ll love this. If you love pop music, but hate dumb lyrics, then this is for you. If you’ve ever felt a surge of energy from the sound of another human singing – whether it’s opera or death metal – then this is a substation. This electric is natural and now.


  • kurosounds – blue seven – blue tapes

    $12.00 Add to cart

    Home-dubbed C25+C25+download code
    Limited edition of 20 copies only

    That awful cliche about musicians not being able to choose between their songs (even the bad ones!) because the songs are like their children – and picking a favourite would not just be wrong, it would be impossible – is proved scarily true once you start running a tape label.

    Not that we can claim any ownership over the craftmanship in the seven releases so far, but we’re equally protective of each installment in the series.

    That said…

    Kurosounds’ release – two tapes, one featuring the tape-length composition Bleu Nuit – is all kinds of special for us. It inhabits the strange dreamy place where not-quite music and diegetic daysound blur into sound as pure as paintings.

    This is the closest to the sound we heard in our heads when we started Blue Tapes as an endeavour, so Kurosounds to us sounds like home.

    There are instruments here – acoustic guitar that sounds like it’s been deconstructed atom by atom (and then sewn back together), something that might be a kalimba or mbira, distant percussion and sounds that could be synths were it not for the fact that they seem to be breathing. But these manmade contraptions never dominate – they drift in and out with as much agency or urgency as any of the found sound snatches of conversation or other noise that populate this world.

    Each element goes about its business, seemingly aware of the other shapes in the space it inhabits, but blissfully relieved of any pressure to interact with them.

  • laurent chambert / the fractal skulls – c20 + c25 – blue tapes

    out of stock

    Laurent Chambert is a French visual artist and composer who has been creating beautiful and unusual art since 1990. His installations are playful, thought-provoking and visually-arresting. As a musician he has been involved in several acclaimed projects, the most recent of which is the electronic duo The Other Colors.

    Laurent’s submission to Blue Tapes is When The Cat Is Away The Mice Will Play. In his solo work, Laurent combines field recordings with flickering patterns of electronic sound that are both grid-like and strangely euphoric. Like the brilliant Italian producer Lorenzo Senni/Stargate, some of his work almost feels like a stripped-down-to-the-bare-atoms reading of techno. At other times it feels pastoral and immersive. Always, Laurent’s music is intrinsically ‘plugged-in’ to his environment, whether it’s the bustling cityscapes of Paris described by When The Cat… or the wells of ambient silence in his improvisations recorded in the French countryside.

    We’ve parcelled Chambert with a similar electronic sound artist, Chris Smith of High Wycombe, England. A studio engineer by day, Chris makes delicious minimal synth-structures under the name The Fractal Skulls. Influenced by the god-twins of John Cage+Steve Reich andCluster+Harmonia, the music of The Fractal Skulls is unashamedly pretty, full of clockwork analogue pulses and holy repetition.

    Each purchase of blue four comes with a (blue) envelope containing a few sticks of nag champa, the psychoactive incense manufactured in Hindu and Buddhist monasteries that is used to enhance the meditative state.