Tag Archives: goth

Black Tape For A Blue Girl: Remnants of a Deeper Purity On Vinyl

Black Tape For A Blue GirlFor decades, Projekt Records has been releasing dark music on vinyl, CD, and digitally. The label is home to a variety of artists including Black Tape For A Blue Girl, Steve Roach, Voltaire, Unto Ashes, Weep (Doc Hammer, co-writer of the Adult Swim show The Venture Bros.), and Love Spirals Downwards.

When vinyl hit that strange twilight zone era between CDs and digital, many record labels stopped paying to press LPs in favor of the digital option. Projekt Records vinyl is hard to come by (there’s one single, solitary Black Tape For A Blue Girl title on LP in the Turntabling Collection) but there’s a new title in the works–something darkwave fans are sure to love.

Patrick Ogle talked with Projekt’s Sam Rosenthal about a new vinyl release currently in the funding stage on Kickstarter. On the Projekt Kickstarter page, Rosenthal says, “People often ask if I am going to put out something from Black tape for a blue girl on vinyl. In fact, there was vinyl years ago for the first two albums. But that was a different era, and now it’s time for us to put out vinyl again. When I say “us,” I mean you and me; because together, we can make Remnants of a deeper purity exist on vinyl. It’s your support through the pledges (to the right) that will raise the money so this project can happen.”

Why vinyl? Why this release and why now?

It was really the fans on Facebook who inspired this. They’d been asking me about Blacktape on vinyl, and I’ve been sort of hemming and hawing: not sure if there really was a need for it. But they kept asking, and I figured, ‘why not!’ Remnants of a deeper purity was recently voted their favorite album, also on Facebook. So it seemed like the logical album to release.

Why do you think this is the best selling black tape release?

That’s a really hard one to answer. I’ve always felt that Remnants is one of the more ‘obscure’ Blacktape albums, in that it’s about forty percent instrumental and long violin/cello passages. It’s a lovely album, just not the most mainstream of my releases. It came out in 1996, which was really the peak of the darkwave scene. So it’s success might partially be due to ‘right album at the right time.’

If it were more economical would you do more releases on vinyl?

We’ll have to see about that. It’s really a question of demand. You know that people are rapidly abandoning physical formats. So this Kickstarter will help me understand the desire for my music on Vinyl. If people want it, I’ll certainly do more.

Do you think the audience for vinyl are as interested in the packaging as the sound quality?

I think so, yeah. That’s the big draw for me. I love the large format landscape of an album cover. Remnants is going to have an 8-page booklet. that’s going to be super lovely! And it’s going to include the names of everyone who pledged on Kickstarter. That’s a really nice thank you for people’s help making it happen.

Have you ever thought of doing a subscription service a la “Third Man” for Projekt?

I’ve been thinking about doing that for Black Tape For A Blue Girl, actually. With the diversity of the releases on Projekt, I don’t know if people would go for the subscription. Do the ambient fans want the Goth Rock releases? I dunno. Maybe that’s a question I should be discussing on Facebook, to see what people think.

Are you going to remaster this for vinyl? What are you listening for in a vinyl release versus mastering and mixing for CD?

I have a guy in Europe who is going to master the album for me. Anders Peterson at GS Mastering & Post is the guy Mannequin Records used to master the reissue of my 1985 minimal synth album TANZMUSIK. He did a fabulous job, so I’m asked him to do Remnants for me.

He really knows what to do, to make great sounding vinyl. What am I listening for? Well, the album was mastered in 1996. So I definitely think the technology has improved, to make it a much better sounding album. I am going back to the original DAT mixes, will transfer them to digital, and then listen for what I think needs improvement, and will send those notes along to Anders. It’s going to sound great.

The Black Tape For A Blue Girl Kickstarter to put Remnants Of A Deeper Purity on vinyl ends at Midnight on December 16th.

Sleep Chamber Vinyl LPs

by Joe Wallace

I was first intrigued by Sleep Chamber after reading a lengthy entry about the group in the Trouser Press Record Guide back in 1993. The Ira Robbins write up made this band seem naughty, daring and creepy. How right that impression turned out to be, and in all the best ways.

Sleep Chamber vinyl is rare–some feel it’s in the same rarified air as Coil vinyl, albums by Current 93 or Nurse With Wound. I’m partial to that way of thinking as it’s been difficult for me to find much to add to The Turntabling Collection and I would love to get my hands on some more.

Sleep Chamber founder John Zewizz seems like a kindred spirit with the likes of Coil, Current 93, TOPY and others…he’s got a penchant for sinister atmospheres, doomy sonic landscapes and even manages to evoke the Legendary Pink Dots at their darkest and most experimental. This is, of course, all complimentary.

To date, I’ve only managed to get my hands on two Sleep Chamber LPs. Sexmagick Ritual is exactly what you expect it to be–plenty of emphasis on the sex and the ritual make this a great mood record for lights-out time in more adventurous houses.

Sharp Spikes and Spurs is a bit more upbeat compared to Sexmagick Ritual and even includes a cover of The Light Pours Out Of Me, originally recorded by Magazine. Gotta love artists who pay tribute to Howard Devoto, one of the true geniuses of post-hippie music.

Again, fans of Coil, Current 93, and others in that musical zip code are sure to find something to love about Sleep Chamber. Those who don’t follow the 90s industrial/electronic genre but are curious will find a whole fascinating universe of discovery–the personalities from this era are every bit as interesting and colorful as the music, John Zewizz included.

John Zewizz has a Sleep Chamber channel on YouTube (these days the band seems to be presented as SleepChamber) and I’m including the video clip for Weapons Ov Magick from Sexmagic Ritual here as it’s a great introduction to the world of Sleep Chamber.

You can view these two Sleep Chamber vinyl LPs for sale as part of the Turntabling Collection via Discogs.com.



 

Philadelphia Pennsylvania Record Stores: Digital Ferret

I’ve known about the mailorder/online shop Isolation Tank for many years, but I have to confess I don’t know the back story of their bricks-n-mortar version at 732 S. 4th street in Philly called Digital Ferret CDs.

Multiple names aside, I found Digital Ferret to be an excellent specialty shop–like the mailorder operation, this Philadelphia record store focuses on gothic, industrial and related genres. Looking for a record shop that specializes in the dark side? This is the one.

There is just enough vinyl to make it worth the trip for a collector, and the CDs¬† on sale here include some rarities that I couldn’t resist. I scored two Coil discs and even found a compilation featuring Coil in the track listing–anything to do with Coil on vinyl has my undivided attention. The vinyl selections here overall were tempting and I do plan on returning to score more of them.

I’ve got a soft spot for the old goth/industrial scene, so I was naturally inclined to browse…and contrary to at least one report I read on Yelp, the person running the shop was friendly and talkative. Of course, I know when people are busy and don’t waste precious time yammering away–perhaps someone with few social skills would find someone actually trying to do their job a bit bothersome. But I digress.

Apparently this shop is the “new” location, extracted from an older and more cramped version elsewhere in Philly. I found this shop to be quite easy to navigate and the layout was customer friendly, especially since I had a backpack stuffed with vinyl from other conquests…it was easy to navigate which I greatly appreciate.

Digital Ferret carries DVDs, some books and clothes, but the music is the main attraction here. It’s hard to believe that a goth/industrial shop can survive as a bricks-n-mortar store these days, but Digital Ferret has carved out a pretty good niche from what I could see—kudos for staying true to their chosen musical obsessions and making it work.


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