Black Tape For A Blue Girl
Remnants of a Deeper Purity (Projekt)
by Ewan Wadharmi
While Dead Can Dance utilized folk music to court Renaissance Goths, Sam Rosenthal and his posse went after young high-brow graphic designers by means of darkwave chamber music. While there’s a definite kinship between the two groups, one is after turkey-leg chomping record store clerks while the other wants to appeal to the symphony set. And yes, there is an overlap among the advertising execs and garden variety hippy poets. Since This Mortal Coil, all darkwave icons must be led by a record label owner, and institute the revolving door member policy.
The 10th Anniversary reissue provides even more remnants than before! Often cited by fans and critics as Black Tape For A Blue Girl‘s most solid and satisfying album. Minimal arrangements share time with thoughtful, complex musical banter, where each party seems to be performing an entirely different composition. Yet it somehow catches up and makes perfect sense. The lethargic pace creates an unexpected tension as the vocals attempt to push past the staunch phrases of the instruments. It’s sleepytime music, but certainly not restful sleep. Of course the flowery lyrics are all the poetic pretentiousness that make critics crank out two-page essays revealing more about themselves than the band.
The cohesiveness that made Remnants great initially is challenged with the seemingly tacked-on material on the second disc. Live renditions and variations on previous themes threaten to mar the reputation of the masterpiece. Ultimately, though, these additions lend life and insight to the sacred. Without studio trickery, we get a feel for just how talented the artists are. As well, we’re given a peek at where the static pieces have evolved in the last decade.