Häpna H.25, CD (sold out)
5 tracks, 46 minutes
Listen to: “A spire” (excerpt)
Video: Sand dunes (small, large)
Reviews of “Rideau”
Release date: October 24, 2005

On October the 24th the Swedish trio Tape will release their eagerly awaited third album – “Rideau”. The main idea behind this record was to make something that differed from the two previous albums that were recorded by the group members themselves, and also to try to work with another person to push the music in another direction. The choice fell on Marcus Schmickler, German musician and producer and the album was recorded in his studio in Cologne, winter/spring 2004-2005. Another way of working had to be found and the concentrated atmosphere that was established was soon transferred to the recordings. The surroundings of Cologne made for sure an imprint as the previous albums were recorded in rural Sweden. The songs have a more architectural structure this time, a sharper sound, more rhythmical elements and a grandeur that hasn’t shown before.

Tape’s music moves between experimental music and pop without effort and has been recognized internationally for it’s particular sound where electronics blend with all sorts of acoustic and electric instruments.

Tape was formed in 2000 by brothers Andreas and Johan Berthling together with Tomas Hallonsten. Their first recording Opera came out in 2002, the second Milieu in 2003, both released on Häpna. Tape has done shorter tours in Europe, the US and Japan. In August 2005 Staalplaat released a live CD of Tape in their “Mort Aux Vaches” series.

Marcus Schmickler is a musician, producer and composer with a broad range. He makes pop with Pluramon (with Julee Cruise), experimental computer music solo, and composes contemporary music for choir.

More info: tape.se

Tracks: 1. Sunrefrain, 2. A spire, 3. Sand dunes, 4. Exuma, 5. Long lost engine

“For their third opus, the three guys from Tape wanted to think differently and so hired noted computer artist Marcus Schmickler (of the electro-improv supergroup MIMEO) to record, mix and produce the album. The result actually comes pretty close to the previous two offerings, with two main differences. First of all, the music proceeds from a fuller, tighter integration of acoustic instruments and digital manipulations. Computer textures are not added to or happening behind the instruments anymore, they become one with them. The second difference is the temporal dimension: Rideau is longer (45 minutes - that almost 50% more material than on Milieu) and presents fewer pieces that have a longer average duration. Out of five tracks, three clock in over 11 minutes. Basically, Tomas Hallonsten, Johan Berthling and Andreas Berthling are stretching out their beautiful themes. "Sun Refrain" and "A Spire" each present a single melody that is iterated regularly over the course of their ten minutes, with textural interludes interspersed between repetitions. Some listeners will interpret this m.o. as a way to fill some minutes, others will appreciate the chance to revel in the subtle variations and simply inhabit Tape's universe for longer stretches of time. One thing is sure: Rideau takes the group's sound much closer to the post-rock ethos that it ever was. The Scandinavian folk references are all but gone ("A Spire" and "Sand Dunes" being exceptions) and the quiet brass choruses in "Sun Refrain" and "Long Lost Engine" evoke a slowed-down, ballad-mood Jaga Jazzist. A slightly different yet still very strong effort.”
Rated 3.5/5, François Couture, All Music Guide

“Tape is a Swedish trio comprised of brothers Andreas and Johan Berthling and Tomas Hallonsten. After releasing two albums (Opera and Milieu) of gentle, pastoral electro-acoustic sounds, they decided to try to change up their writing and recording process slightly in order to see what the result would be. Instead of recording in rural Sweden, the group moved base to Cologne, Germany, where they worked with Markus Schmickler (aka Pluramon).
The overall result of this slight change in writing and recording their album isn't a large one, but it pushes the group in just enough of a different enough direction to make the release sound unlike either of their either releases and make you feel like continuing to follow their movements. "Sunrefrain" opens the release and finds the group mixing subtle organ melodies while found sound recordings scatter random noises. The track builds and releases in ever-louder ways with some electronic blips and electric guitar, eventually letting loose with a wash of noise, horns, guitar, and repetitive organ.
The louder moments in the aforementioned track and the release in general make it clear that Tape are unafraid to be a little louder on this release, and it pays off greatly for them. Their tracks still rely on delicate moments to really make their point, but with louder passages, they're able to accomplish even more in terms of dynamics and shifts. "A Spire" mixes chimes, guitar, electronic processing, and piano over the course of almost twelve minutes and through some instrumental slight of hand, the track doesn't sound repetitive in the slightest. It's easily one of their best tracks to date, and the standout of the album.
After the two long opening tracks, the group tosses in two shorter pieces, and while "Sand Dunes" oozes with warmth and charm, "Exuma" feels far too long at over six minutes, with only shakers and drones wobbling on and on. Fortunately, the group closes things out nicely with another long-form piece in "Long Lost Engine," a tick-tocking organ and guitar (and electronics and effects) track that burns slowly like a melting sunset on a late summer night. Once again, the trio of Tape has proven that sometimes a little is just as good as a lot with Rideau.”
Rated 7.75/10, Almostcool

“Until now I'd have called Tape's music seasonally or temperamentally effective, but Rideau arrives as a near-reinvention of the trio's sound, their most fully-realized and best record yet. Tape has clearly taken a chance with this one and I'm glad.
I enjoyed Tape's first two records as perfect manifestations of a familiar aesthetic. Opera and Mileau worked in glitchist blurrings of chamber room noise: small machines, gauzy strings plucked, harmoniums and harpsichords swelled and disassembled in a humble and über-patient way. These early works are ephemeral in the slow-swarming of their construction, to the point where any poignancy or nostalgia grasped, seems to refract through an autumnal filter, as the aging discolorations and thick air of an attic might transform a life's old memorials into one of the same sad substance. More than mood music, these first two releases support tableaux of wintry decay that feel many times too total, too sunken into their scene. I am reminded both of the music of Piano Magic and the self-deprecating title to their retrospective: Seasonally Effective.
They've shifted glitch processing away from being the force that acted upon or moved each piece forward. Instead the computer plays itself and plays with beautiful restraint, briefly augmenting and blending with significantly pared-down, close to crystalline melodic foregrounds, these played with the same ephemeral palette of strings and bellows that, without the shimmering digital action, warp cyclically and stone solid.
Rideau is five tracks, each longer, more repetitious and also simpler than the Tape that came before, though the moods and access points within the work appear immediately more various and numerous. The same instruments are both more distinct and codependent within a rigid structure, placing many sections into what feels at first like a drum-less post-rock archetype, like the most determined (not "studied") moments of a late Gastr or early Tortoise record. Taken for the duration, though, waving with their stoic parts and dusted with microcosmic variations, these tracks take on the consecrated air of high minimalism.
The last two songs, "Exuma" and "Long Lost Engine", project this mantra with two-note guitar and keyboard swells that expand and contract along motorized routes, windows back into the antique mood of the first two records, before, in their persistence, opening onto sparkling clear, monolithic vistas: holy shit. The pristine weightiness of this recording almost makes me hope for a remix version, something like Stephan Mathieu's reworkings for On Tape, something that would glimpse these proud forms in a kind of dissolution.”
Andrew Culler, Brainwashed

“Finally the third studio CD by Tape (their fourth release if you count the live album ‘Mort Aux Vaches’), the trio of the brothers Andreas and Johan Berthling and Tomas Hallonsten. They play acoustic guitars, samples, computer, field recordings and maybe even an electric guitar. The previous two studio CDs were recorded in rural parts of Sweden, but for ‘Rideau’ they went to Cologne to recorded under supervision of Marcus Schmickler. I can't say it helped, but it certainly changed the sound of Tape. It seems as if musical events are more present in the mix, without being ‘harsh’, more clearer and apparent. Without losing their sense for experiments, nor the wish to make it more poppy, Tape is still on the edge of experimental music meeting pop, or vice versa. They don't use vocals, or even samples from vocals, which makes this still far away from the world of real popmusic, but Tape crafts minimal tunes, walking the thin line between acoustic guitar playing, drone pieces of their melodica and bon tempi organs and computer processed field recordings. The addition of horns in ‘Sunrefrain’ and violins in ‘A Spire’ make their marks for an even extended sound in the future. Can't wait for the next one. Slow, peaceful and pastoral: Tape is simply beautiful music.”
Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

“Första spåret på Tapes nya album "Rideau" börjar som en surrealistisk bilfärd i en mörk skog, med oanade ljud som tränger sig på från vägkanten. Tills man plötsligt inser att, herregud!, det sitter någon på sätet bredvid. Alldeles intill en. Och då lyfter bilen, högt över skogen - mot en rymd som ekar av lika främmande som välbekanta signaler. Av ekot från avlägsna skolavslutningar, bröllop eller dopkalas, men i ett ljus som blir alltmer bländande. Resan heter "Sunrefrain". Men åk även med i låtar som "A spire", "Sand dunes" och "Long lost engine". Tape rattas av Tomas Hallonsten, Johan och Andreas Berthling. Sveriges äventyrligaste körskola!”
Martin Nyström, Dagens Nyheter

“Jag förstår ingenting av Tapes teoretiska bas. När jag recenserade deras förra album ‘Milieu’ i Sonic nummer fjorton blev det en hel del naturromantik med lummighet och daggdroppar. Det var befogat då, där fanns fågelkvitter och andra ljudbilder från skog och mark. ‘Milieu’ liknade bilden av ett vetefält som under tystnad böljar i vinden.
Men det känns som att det krävs mer av mig än att plocka fram valfri Falu Rödfärg-doftande liknelse. Jag känner pressen att närma mig Tape från ett teoretiskt håll, praktiskt taget med ren musikvetenskap. Jag borde svänga mig med jazztermer, prata om ‘klangfärger’, dissekera improvisationen med kulturskribent-svenska, en hand på tangentbordet och den andra i skägget. Men jag kan inte. Jag har aldrig förstått vad Tape gör i teorin. Jag har bara älskat det i praktiken.
Andreas och Johan Berthling gör tillsammans med Tomas Hallonsten musik som tar över rummet den spelas i. ‘Rideau’ är fem spår lång men tre av dem klockar in på över elva minuter. De rör sig så lugnt och stilla men kräver ändå all uppmärksamhet. Tape tar över hela lyssnaren med deras karaktäristiska blandning av oskyldiga akustiska instrument och griniga laptops. Över kortslutna elektroniska drön och tjut ligger de organiska instrumenten och förför. Gitarrer, orglar, olika sorters blås och vibrafoner skapar någon slags liveframförd ambient som inte går att slita sig ifrån.
‘Liveframförd ambient’ låter förmodligen lika upphetsande som att titta på färg som torkar, men ingen fördom kunde vara mer fel. Tape är fantastiska musiker, i den positiva aspekten. De behandlar sina instrument med perfekt känsla, smeker fram tonerna så att man skäms om man hostar - trots att man sitter och lyssnar ensam hemma. När de i andraspåret ‘A Spire’ hänger monotont på ett och samma ackord i en evighet tänker jag ‘kom igen nu, sluta vara så arty’ men när sedan hypnotiserande melodier kommer igång och och låtens återstående nio minuter blir en gripande färd in i nattliga harmonier... Då sitter jag där. Dumstruten på huvudet. För jag förstår ingenting. Men man behöver inte alltid förstå. Det räcker med att håren på armarna reser sig , att hjärtat börjar klappa tyngre, att man tar sig en promenad på tysta gator, att man börjar skriva ett långt mail till någon man är kär i. Tape har gjort det vackra igen. Och den som kallar det här för ‘folktronica’ ska ha en smäll på käften.”
Rated 8/10, Billy Rimgard, Sonic Magazine

“Och så var ljudet av medelsvensk skogsdunge ett minne blott. Den elektroakustiska trion Berthling-Berthling-Hallonsten har besökt Köln där producenten Marcus Schmickler  – mest känd för samarbetet med sångerskan Julee Cruise i Pluramon – översett en subtil metamorfos från Slas till Ishiguro, från ursvenskt vemod till en geografiskt oidentifierbar popmusik som försiktigt – med silkesvantar – doppar tårna i både Sigur Rós epik och japansk nynaivism innan de till slut närmar sig en nästan ambient och egensinnig uppdatering av Chick Coreas drömmar om den slutgiltiga fusionen.”
Andres Lokko, Svenska Dagbladet