Häpna H.9, CD (sold out)
10 tracks, 48 minutes
Listen to: “Bell mountain”, “Radiolaria”
Reviews of “Opera”
Release date: November 2002

Beetles rattled and whispered encrypted truths while hovering over the garden paths of the doctor’s mansion. Specimen found on the journey that don’t fit the theory haunts you, but be calm, we will quietly discuss them later. Impressions found in corallic limestone; you have rocks large as fists with you in the luggage, fine we will examine them tonight in the umbrageous light on the porch. You have rowan-tree here, he said. Old thyme, medicinal herbs, minfoil, a scrubby bush of some kind. Yes... was there anything curious about that? Was it criticism that the old friend uttered? Certainly, he was more incalculable than ever; I also read in the local paper about his infamous outbursts after he came home from his journey, but I must not think about it too much.

The temperature dropped. Night spiders and dragonflies flew in from the pond, in over the gates and through the iron fence. Spirals of cobweb was caught in the woodwork as we sat on the porch after our walk in the garden. Anomalies, tiny crooked bone pipes, notes cut out of malajic travel journals and pieces of wood, that to me at least seemed insignificant and not quite relevant to the subject; all this was presented on the table cloth under flickering kerosene light that somtimes widened our world and invited plants and moths to our conversations, sometimes shrunk it to a world of shadows with room just for the two of us. It was a strange collection of objects. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with a feeling that everything was possible; the evolution had proceeded in radically different directions on various places on Earth; the world was open, it could bring forth every living being and object imaginable. From afar, the noise of thunder could be heard, and shivering I was reminded of that in noise every sound is present even if one can’t hear them, as every conceivable form thrive in chaos during a inhumanly absurd time scale. (from the Xesmarism, in Swedish)

Personnel: Andreas Berthling / Johan Berthling / Tomas Hallonsten
guitars, laptop, pedals, synthesizers, harmonium, melodica, field recordings, percussion, harmonica, zither, piano, flute, bells, glockenspiel, accordion, trumpet, paper, styrofoam, yongmei

Tracks: 1. Bell Mountain, 2. Fire made of bones, 3. Feeler, 4. Summa, 5. Radiolaria, 6. Longitude, 7. Noises from a hill, 8. Return to ship, 9. Terraces, 10. Rut


“I can't claim any prior knowledge of Tape before an earful of Opera knocked me for a loop. Drawing equally from the kitchen-sink aesthetic of Richard Youngs and Simon Wickham-Smith's low-fi multi-instrumental acoustic drone-adelia and the high-end soundhacking of Fennesz and friends, Tape—Berthling brothers Andreas and Johan and Tomas Hallonsten—has synthesized an enormously appealing electro-acoustic variant. [...] Opera is enigmatic and extraordinary, sustaining a casual, intimate gathered-'round-the-campfire atmosphere in spite of the assiduous care apparently taken in programming and arrangement. I've never heard anything else quite like it.”
Rated 12/12, Gil Gershman, Fakejazz

“Opera is an incredibly fine first album from this unique trio. Tape’s approach to making music is all too rare these days, as they comfortably - and seemingly effortlessly – straddle the barbed fence between the accessible and the avant-garde. Opera’s multi-layered sonic collages are forged from the absolute cutting edge of electro-acoustic music, at times calling to mind the rattle-and-drone of the Erstwhile catalogue or the chiming laptop compositions of Kim Hiorthoy. And yet Tape is also entirely their own entity, drawing inspiration and techniques from all quarters and blending them into a melodic, accessible, mellow sound that’s all them. That this album can be so lovely and seductive and charming on its surface is one thing; that it can be all that and still reveal such depth and complexity going on underneath is another, and that’s what makes it so worthwhile.”
Rated 8.4/10, Ed Howard, Stylus magazine

“Namnet Opera är stort. Men det är rimligt. [...] Det är makabert vackert...”
Rated 9/10, Kjell Alinge, Dagens skiva

“En av årets bästa svenska skivor.”
PM Jönsson, Göteborgs-Posten (2002)

“...krokigt, ambient och jättevackert.”
Rated 5/6, Dan Backman, voted 4th best album of 2002, Svenska dagbladet