.tape Flying over Banugues (loops and sketches) Review

BBC Review

A heady mixture of post rock and electronica from France's .tape...

Olli Siebelt 2002

Following the recent frenzy of commercially successful French talent (ie: Daft Punk, Air, Cassius, etc..), it seems a new wave of Gallic sound seems to be taking shape and this time, it's the experimental avant-garde who seem to have the upper hand.

From the streets of Paris to outlying towns like Larnod or Strasbourg, countless record labels and musicians are popping up releasing homespun glitchy bedroom techno. They can't seem to get enough of it, it seems.

On this release the newly combined force of Aspic and Optical Sound Records have embraced modern electronica, albeit with a unique twist that only the French seem to be able to pull off. Likening the band to "pop freak losers who don't have any money to buy equipment and who'd rather be making music without instruments", .tape come to the techno table with a press release that would make most PR people blush.

Thankfully though they've more in common with peers like Darky, Ultra Milkmaids, o.lamm and Rainier Lericolais, rather than certain aging rock bands who shall remain anonymous. Utilizing a wide range of instruments and sounds, .tape operate in a world of micro ideas, fragments and mini-songs. Found sounds, guitars, vibraphones, 8-bit synths and analogue drum machines are brushed vigorously with cut and paste pyrotechnics, exploding aurally with a pretty pop rather than colourful starburst.

The aptly named "My Life As Comedy" takes what sounds like an old-school 8-bit Nintendo game theme and re-structures it into something approaching manic Japanese techno pop. "Bm song preludic" is a damaged post-rock mix accentuated with acoustic guitar and cello. The opening "point" reminds one of Tortoise.There are also some lovely remixes included here by Missing Person, Sweet Trip and Kunstner5 as well, allowing for further exploration into .tape's sound.

Straddling the line between experimental laptop techno and good old fashioned indie-rock, .tape have come up with a debut CD that should win over fans of both camps. Theres some great melodies here and the promise of great things to come. If you're into Chicago post-rock or anything approaching it, Flying over Banugues should tickle your lo-fi aesthetics with a feather of abstract electronica. A very promising debut, indeed.

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