Review of Erased Tapes Collection VIII album by Various Artists

Initially founded by German-born Robert Raths in 2007, the London-based label has grown and extended across the world with satellite offices in Los Angeles and Berlin. Spanning over ten years, Erased Tapes has nurtured avant-garde artists from all around the world whilst remaining genre-defying and truly independent.

On February 5th 2017 Erased Tapes opened the doors to their new East London home, marking the 10th anniversary by introducing their fans and the public to the new Erased Tapes Sound Gallery. Coinciding with the launch of this new website where fans can also download a new gratis compilation, the label will be celebrating with many festival showcases and other events to be revealed throughout the year.

Commencing these celebrations with a compilation entitled Erased Tapes Collection VIII, they also welcome the iconic Penguin Cafe to the roster amongst tracks from new signing Daniel Brandt (of Brandt Brauer Frick) and Peter Broderick’s duo project Allred & Broderick. It also includes recent compositions by Rival Consoles, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Ben Lukas Boysen, Douglas Dare and Immix Ensemble & Vessel, as well as a previously unreleased Ryan Davis remix of Erased Tapes stalwarts Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm which was recently favoured by Aphex Twin and an exclusive edit of Woodkid & Nils Frahm’s score for JR’s Ellis, with spoken words by Robert De Niro.

This is a superb album and highlights the talent on show at Erased Tapes. There’s an excellent range of songs with ambient, cinematic and electronica often blending different styles with a modern classical element. The bandcamp link is embedded above, the album is also available as a free download with registration on the Erased Tapes website

Allred & Broderick – The Way
A purely vocal song, there’s great harmonies from the two voices and a feel somewhere between a protest song, bluegrass and barbershop. It’s a pertinent message too.

Penguin Cafe – Cantorum
A superbly crafted song, there’s an urgency to the fast violin riff, propelled by subtle drumming. The piano riff mirrors the urgency of the violin which contrasts with bass and slower piano. The slower violin is also a good contrast, creating a tension to the song with the development of a fuller orchestral sound.

Daniel Brandt – Kale Me
There’s an urgency to the piano which acts more like a percussive rhythm accompanying strummed guitar. Drumming is uptempo and adds a great momentum. There’s a great tension in the song with really well layered sounds. The bass is deep and is accompanied by uptempo drumming and piano arp.

Rival Consoles – Slow Song
A great opening from vocals, drone and percussive sounding synth which gives an almost future garage feel. Reversed strings add a great element. The drumming gives a momentum and bass presence. An excellent synth arp and background sounds too.

A Winged Victory for the Sullen – Galerie
An evolving opening with a bell / chime sound and emerging strings. Piano gives a strong bass presence and the song builds tension to a release.

Ben Lukas Boysen – Golden Times 1
Piano to open with a subtle plucked string sound which weaves around the piano becoming more pronounced at times. It’s a cinematic feel, bass enters to give an extra dimension and strings add a great element. Great evolution of the song. Distorted / bitcrushed synth adds a harsher contrasting element.

Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm – 00:26 (Ryan Davis Rethink)
A clicky percussive rhythm to open leads into emerging synths and a more defined groove. There’s an excellent range of percussive sounds, some are impact type sounds, others a bit glitchy. There’s great development of the song, subtle movement in synth sounds and an arp gives movement.

Douglas Dare – Rex
An excellent percussive rhythm to open from processed sounds which have a hint of saturation / distortion. These contrast superbly with the softer piano and smooth vocals. A subtle build and release of tension with a final crescendo.

Immex Ensemble and Visa Erased – Scope
Smooth jazz feel to the opening, it’s a superb arrangement of strings and an oboe sounding instrument which creates a flowing piece with a nice edge of tension.

Woodkid & Nils Frahm – Winter Morning 2 (with Robert De Niro) extract
A bell gives an ominous sounding opening, there’s a subtle drone and accordion which add a great tension. The song has a dark edge to it. The quote from Robert De Niro suits the song really well. It has a cinematic feel, it’s superbly arranged with a great flow and movement.

Peter Broderick – Eyes Closed and Traveling
This is a beautiful piano solo, the emerging piano has an urgency, a kind of contemplative feel. The arrangement is superb, really deep bass compliments the mid – toned riff and similarly complimented with higher notes.


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