Blå, Oslo on 18 August, 2006
Reviewed by Andreas on 21st August 2006
Every August Oslo hosts an event many might consider a bit of an abomination; a jazz festival. I used to be one of those people, but in recent years the promoters have branched out to include some interesting names. Swedish experimentalists Tape are one of them.
On record Tape are somewhat understated, minimalistic post-rocky, elegant melodies backed by harmonies and organs. It's all very nice and pleasant. However, as time would tell, this doesn't really transfer into a live setting.
Tape's laptop wizard guy is wearing a t-shirt that has "IT'S JUST NOISE" printed on it. This is quite apt, as the man proceeds to squeeze some horrific white noise out of the macbook he's using. This noise blurs everything out for the first ten minutes, as the trio get down to some serious (experimental) business.
The set lasts a mere 40 minutes, and for most of it, they proceed to make some loud noise, a few smatterings of a guitar and some hooting from an electric organ. I am standing there, in searing heat, and I am bored. So very bored. The woman next to me yawns loudly. She is bored too. Where some experimental bands have build-ups, melodies, and such fancy things in their music, Tape have monotonous noise that makes your ear drums crackle. For 40 minutes.
Tape released an album some time ago called "Rideau". On it, they create some rather interesting bits of music, using all sorts of sounds and crescendos. In a live setting they come across as overly pretentious art students (god forbid you should communicate). Art students with matching glasses, at that. Maybe I am just missing the trick, but I believe live music should be open to everyone who has the curiosity to show up. It should be about a shared experience between audience and performer, in a space where exactly what is being played is somewhat irrelevant. It is about emotion, and the conveying of such. Tape did not convey a single emotion apart from separation.
We never bothered finding out who played after Tape, and most of the audience left, half asleep and hard of hearing. Tape receives the rating 1 because their guitarist at least bowed.
For a conclusion, I'd like to warn everyone about jazz festivals. BEWARE.
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