For well over thirty years, the evocatively named Black Tape For A Blue Girl project, helmed by Projekt label owner, Sam Rosenthal, has produced strong and ethereally beautiful songs and albums to match them to. To date, there are twelve albums including the timeless 1996 classic, Remnants Of A Deeper Purity. (If you haven’t heard this album, it’s highly suggested that you attend to that soon!)
Black Tape For A Blue Girl has produced an unusual blend of neo-classicism, rock, and ambience, liberally sprinkled with melancholy, and labeled darkwave. (I find the designation of Dark Wave too restricting for Black Tape For A Blue Girl releases. I do understand finding the proper niche for this band is difficult…so DarkWave it is.)
Over the decades, Rosenthal’s vision for this band has gone through a healthy selection of interested styles that include footprints through classical, a foray through darker cabaret, ambient texture experiments, and later minimalism and drone. With a wide variety of input, Sam Rosenthal has kept Black Tape For A Blue Girl as fresh a listening experience as can be expected.
With the release of his latest project, To touch the milky way has assembled a qualified moment of Black Tape For A Blue Girl with the talents of Brian Viglione (The Dresden Dolls), Nick Shadow (providing a fine mist of viola) for the collection, Chase Dobson, alongside vocal beauty from both Danielle Herrera, and Michael Plaster, both who imbue this new album with pondering dreaminess. Of course, Sam Rosenthal accentuates the album with his searching lyrics and his display of instruments (piano, electronics, acoustic guitar). The music on To touch the milky way is startling, fresh, heartbreaking, sad, evocative, and memorable.
All of To touch the milky way brilliantly incorporates the heady sound textures of early Black Tape For A Blue Girl albums leading up to and including the masterpiece, Remnants Of A Deeper Purity. But it goes beyond with incorporation of drone, implemented perfectly amid the pathways of some of the songs. The curtain of the minimalistic music form the school of Fripp, Glass, the highly underrated Geoff Smith, and several others who liberally explore this intoxicating style, is evident and beautifully enhance the experience of listening to To touch the milky way. With seven highly emotional compositions, Sam Rosenthal has delivered a new experience that can only be enjoyed via Black Tape For A Blue Girl‘s latest gem.