The Blue Tapes House Band vol. 5


The Blue Tapes House Band is an occasional supergroup that unites musicians across the label’s varied output into a single musical proposition. We’re kind of the This Mortal Coil of the tape scene.

For the House Band’s fifth adventure, Toronto-based producer Matt Collins – who composed Blue Tapes’ first-ever release back in 2012 – once again helms the project. Here, Matt takes raw musical doodles from Blue Tapes founder David McNamee and snippets of vocals from Map 71 frontperson Lisa Jayne and assembles them into two sides of weaving, wavering transcendentalism.

Words are rendered into pure, abstract tones. Rattles of tabla and scrapes of violin become complex rhythmical figures. A million things that shouldn’t work together somehow…. BREATHE as one.

A strange, pulsing mass that tugs at your soul and points to the stars. It’s not gentle – it’s often abrasive, with weird electronic squiggles replicating over and under the fabric of the compositions like viruses. But it is hypnotic. And where there is hypnosis, often there is healing.

Praise for The Blue Tapes House Band

"For nearly an hour, pure white noise rolls out of the speakers like the sound of surf amplified to shocking levels, while Map 71‘s Lisa Jayne and Oxbow‘s Eugene S Robinson deliver drifting lines that sound as they are being uttered by apocalypse survivors. Their voices are the antithesis of the roiling soundscape; they sound shell-shocked, deadpan, stunned, while the whole time around them the sound is harsh and relentless. It drones over everything in its path like some sort of metallicised steamroller." - Freq

"Around 32 minutes in, harmonic sounds start to grow out of the metallic grey of the noise, interwoven with disturbing industrial noises, resembling nothing so much as a score to a ‘60s science fiction movie. The most constant notes begin to sound like alarms, varied not in themselves but by the backdrop against which they’re placed. Further along, around the 41-minute mark, the sounds turn symphonic, this time made to sound more melodic because of the contrast with all that has come before. The music reaches a fevered urgency around 46 minutes in; alarm bells sound again a few minutes later. In the final minutes, one senses creatures swooping in onto a fully realized dark landscape. And then it is over. And it is very, very quiet in your room. Too quiet. You hit rewind." - Echoes & Dust