If the first phase of Blue Tapes was occult little objects (unusual sounds on tapes stashed inside books and miniature treasure chests), home-dubbed and released in micro-editions, and the second was to branch out into other formats and release music that was just drop-dead cool (Katie Gately, Plains Druid, Tashi Dorji, Threes and Will, Henry Plotnick etc, etc.), then the third phase of the label gestures towards reconciling those histories while laying track for the future.
The Blue Tapes House Band isn’t a band as such, rather it’s the codename for an ongoing project, which - with each iteration - showcases a different permutation of Blue Tapes artists producing new music in collaboration with each other and the label itself.
Each release will see the musicians generating new sounds in accordance with strategies and structures provided by the label. For Vol. 1 - the first release in the series - the remit was fairly simple. Each musician was asked to remix an existing piece of music from the Blue Tapes back catalogue. While the tape features all the remixes collaged into a continuous piece of music, the remixes are provided as discrete files in the accompanying download.
For this incarnation of The Blue Tapes House Band, the line-up is as follows:
Matt Collins (blue one)
Hitoshi Asaumi (Leedian; blue two)
Teruyuki Kurihara (Cherry; blue three)
Laurent Chambert (blue four)
Robin Wilks (Bobby Whirlwind; blue six)
Andy Pyne (Kellar/Map 71; blues six and sixteen)
Alex Photaki (Kurosounds; blue seven)
Katie Gately (blue eight)
Joe Houpert (Prayer/We Are Bright & Broken; blue book one)
EyeSea (blue ten)
Jon McIntosh (Plains Druid; blue eleven)
Tashi Dorji (blue twelve)
Threes and Will (blue thirteen)
Huerequeque (blue thirteen)
Henry Plotnick (blue fourteen)
Rev. Freddie (Father Murphy; blue fifteen)
C. Lee (Father Murphy; blue fifteen)
Lisa Jayne (Map 71; blue sixteen)
Patrick G (Pour Le Plaisir; x-ray two)
Benjamin Finger (x-ray three)
Shaman B (sonic blue three)
We’re already working on the second and third volumes - one of which is a composition assembled out of tape loops created by Blue Tapes musicians, while the other will be a group improvisation.
While some have described the label’s output as “eclectic”, in truth to us, all of the releases just sounded like different spokes of the same wheel. The Blue Tapes House Band is what happens when you spin the wheel.
Praise for The Blue Tapes House Band: vol. 1
"The kosmische disco jam that opens the tape is almost a red herring, as most of the tracks here are freeform rambles in texture, gaseous pulse and wispy half-song spectres. The most substantial moments involve the reworking of Tashi Dorji's solo guitar improvisations, as they get expanded into various echo-laden astral zones and augmented with percussive elements. Along with being a lot of fun, this is messy, border-melting stuff." - The Wire
"The impressive group of artists infect the tape with their individual personality in the context of the label’s perspective on music, with a focus on experimentation at the very heart of the collection of songs. The music on the tape goes from wanton funked-up eighties percussion to toned down ambient compositions just in the space of the first two tracks. Venturing further into the tape more contrasting elements join forces, going from serene landscapes to beautiful nightmares, shouting at each other from their dissonant locations as they mould into the curious universe that make up the mixtape. " - The Formant