2020 in Review // Mix by Blue Tapes
2020 in Review // Mix by Blue Tapes

2020 in Review // Mix by Blue Tapes

Blue Tapes Record Label Logo

We do love a cassette here at R$N. UK-based Blue Tapes are a label who’ve embraced the medium since starting life in 2012, putting out a wide breadth of music from experimental and drone to lo-fi noise pop and improvised jazz.

Label boss David McNamee AKA Cut A Lonely Figure takes care of the aesthetic too, with each release paired with a bespoke artwork that extends to a cohesive overall visual for the imprint. – Ransom Note


Hey String – Firefly (from blue thirty-seven, Blue Tapes)

With just six hands and two instruments – glockenspiel and gayageum, a traditional Korean zither – Jihyeon Oh, Jihyo Kim and Jihyun Park create an expansive, rippling sound that is bursting with intricacies and detail.

Okkyung Lee – one bright lazy sunday afternoon (you whispered that name) (from Yeo-Neun, Shelter Press)

On “in stardust (for kang kyung-ok)”, the creaking and squeaking of the bows, reminiscent of a ghostly sailboat, creates a spatial perspective effect that enhances the dark and desolate character of the melody played on the piano. Superb! Her compositions are also sometimes inspired by pop or folk ballads from her childhood, so we find subtle Asian harmonies, which add to their charm. – PAN M 360

Anna Homler and Elizabeth Falconer – Sisu (from blue thirty-seven, Blue Tapes)

We are proud to present here two short haiku-like collaborations by Anna and acclaimed composer and koto player Elizabeth Falconer. Anna and Liz’s contributions are clearly breathing in the same cosmos as Hey String’s work. Here the sound is more instinctive and fluid though, delighting in the abstraction and texture of its own language.

Louise Bock – Actinic Ray (from Sketch for Winter VII – Abyss: For Cello, Geographic North)

Louise Bock is the nom de guerre of Taralie Peterson, a venerable veteran of the American avant-garde. Whether solo or together with Ka Baird as Spires that in the Sunset Rise, Peterson has spent nearly two decades exploring the outermost limits of ecstatic, free jazz-influenced improvisation. The sonic range of Peterson’s opulent oeuvre is matched only by the variety of instruments she employed, including but not limited to voice, saxophone, clarinet, guitar, banjo, lap harps, mbira, spike fiddle, and so on

See also – Oddly Enough

Laura Cannell – Waters Deep Cathedral (from The Earth With Her Crowns, Brawl Records)

Our latest commission by composer and performer Laura Cannell a music album The Earth With Her Crowns is out now, marking five years since the passing of our founder and director Jules Wright.

The Earth With Her Crowns is a set of ten tracks improvised and recorded in single takes in our former home, Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, London, over two days in February and March 2019. This is our final project in response to the iconic building that defined our commissioning for over two decades. Laura’s music captures the building’s unique resonance. – Wapping Project

Cut A Lonely Figure – Day one: Sunset (from Rothko Horizons, Bloxham Tapes)

Magnificent – Warren Ellis

At the centre of ‘Rothko Horizons’ is a church organ that dreamed it was a synthesiser. Each side of this cassette is a figurative depiction of a sunrise and sunset, rendered in live improvised church organ fired through a forcefield of FX.

This is organ music for astral projection. Ancient drones, wheezes and groans seep out of its hulking physical form in The Old Church, Stoke Newington and become… abstracted. The sound of the seasons solidifying. “Narcissus in metamorphosis.”

The Blue Tapes House Band – Earthtone (from vol. 4, Blue Tapes)
The Begotten – side A (from blue thirty-three, Blue Tapes)
Stuart Chalmers and Claus Poulsen – Iceworld (from blue thirty-six, Blue Tapes)
Stuart Chalmers and Claus Poulsen – Sky Rivers (from Fictions In The Age of Reason, Aphelion Editions)
Suren Seneviratne – MU15_SQ1_Minor_2V String (from blue thirty-five, Blue Tapes)
Dane Law – Delph Reprise (from Algorithmic Music for Synthesised Strings, Astral Plane Recordings)
Aksak Maboul – Formerly Known As Défilé (from Figures, Crammed Discs)
Youngstar – Soldiers (from Dropping Bombs, DDJs Productions)
Cadu Tenório – The samurai who smells of sunflowers (from blue thirty-four, Blue Tapes)
Sewerslvt – Lexapro Delirium (from This Draining Love Story, self-released)
Biga Yut – Walah (from Walah, Hakuna Kulala)
Oranssi Pazuzu – Kuulen ääniä maan alta (from Mestarin kynsi, Nuclear Blast)


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