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Tape Cuts Tape ’pagan recorder’ (jezus factory). There’s a strange sense of displacement about this - the debut release by trio Tape Cuts Tape - as it constantly seeks - whether by accident or design - to throw you off balance and reeling about your footing. It’s a displacement intensified by its wilful want to avoid categorization or at least settle to a given groove or style. Instead it flits almost apparition like fancifully drawing from this and that. Headed up by Ruby Trouve one time of deus fame and these days seemingly spreading himself thin by having a hand in almost anything of recorded relevance escaping the territory of Belgium, Tape Cuts Tape features long time friends Eric Thielemans and Lynn Cassiers - the fruits of whose first collaborative recordings are gathered into the 12 track set ’pagan recorder’. a quietly beguiling set it is to which applies a disarming scatterbrained brush to its realisation that equally guaranteed to puzzle and perplex as it reward and amaze. Here you’ll find fixed between the grooves elements of distressed post rock cues, subtle jazz montages, disturbed chamber folk interludes (‘vacuum’), shamanic folk blues (‘reckless’) and razored skull grinding kraut boogie (the locked grooved grizzle of the psyched out shimmer tone of ‘this red’ all gorgeously bathed and haloed by Cassiers almost celestial opine to which gathers in stature and density to tail off like a futuristic Jefferson Airplane - while we are here we may as well add to the list the stoner space psyche of ‘layers’ whose enjoyment suffered from the quality control issues present on the CD). From the art jazz blues tomfoolery of the parting ’exit’ shaped in the kind of schizoid no wave crookedness we’ve come to love and expect from Medicine and Duty to ‘petrol blue’ in many ways is the albums sore thumb - rudimentary and focused its longingly brushed with a numbing down tempo groove more prevalent of the 90’s Bristol scene upon which a curious dark seduction is weaved as though some tryst between Garbage, Portishead and the Sneaker Pimps had been hatched, ‘pagan recorder’ is one of those weirdly wonderful records that every so often arrive and depart and without so much as a by your leave have you jaw agape and in its absence has you struggling to nail exactly what it is about it that caused the hairs on your neck to go all a frenzy and your ears to tentively prick up to attention. Both cut from the same melodic cloth ‘heavy’ and ’choosen profession’ offer perhaps the sets most explicit pop moments - the former sounding not unlike the Delgados scratched and splintered by a laid back and chilled Flying Saucer Attack and then delicately detailed with a nimble finger plucked riff artistry more becoming of Vinni Reilly having been commissioned to score some bleakly beautiful retrace by David Lynch of ’twin peaks’ with the latter hollowed, spectral and decidedly hymnal in countenance grained with a deceptively dreamy in a gloom gathering way as it navigates between a choking sonic forest pitched with Artery on one side and the Virgin Passages all the time orchestrated by a brooding and bloodied Bang Bang Machine. All said best of what is a strangely beguiling release is the fleet of foot macabre minimalism of the unsettling and creepy ‘night passage’ which amid the chill toned freak folk atmospherics lurks what could easily be Bjork’s impish elfin alter ego.
sounds like Ecstasy Of Saint Theresa, back when they were brilliant (I still like their poppy trip-hop but for a second, or three songs, they were one of the best ambient shoegaze bands). Oh and Deus are bloody great, so will track this down for a listen.