Somnambule - Writing About Music

.Tape. ~ Rideau

.Tape. are a Swedish trio that, on the evidence of this release, are intent on exploring slowly-evolving forms using electronic and acoustic instruments. Rideau is their third full-length after debut Opera and sophomore release, Milieu. To those unacquainted with the group, one possible hook may be the involvement of one Markus Schmickler – aka Pluramon - on production, recording and mixing duties. Rideau’s electro-acoustic loveliness is reminiscent of Japan’s Minamo. The mixture is seamless, sometimes to the extent of confusing the ear as to the origins of what is heard.

Rideau arrives clothed in a lovely card sleeve, decorated with a variety of etchings and drawings. The subject matter is a mixture of the natural (leaves, flowers, wood) and the man-made (a tiny harmonium, a coffee grinder, a hairbrush). A hint as to the soundworld of the group lies nn the familiar domesticity of these objects. The final track, Long Lost Engine, sounds initially as though it might be a mid-70s Popol Vuh piece. Wavering Mellotron-like tones are teased-out over long stretches of time, which are punctuated by the clink of percussion. Over the course of its 12 minute duration, the piece swells, very gradually breathing in and out. Along the way, it acquires the limpid strum of an electric guitar, the gentle hum of an organ, the distant, silver tenor of a trumpet until it expires upon a last dramatic guitar chord. It’s like one long, held breath, a brief suspension of time. Almost continually over the five tracks and 46 minutes of Rideau, .Tape. gently invite you to sink ever so slowly into the current moment.

Colin Buttimer
February 2006
Published by e/i Magazine