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Before The Buildings Fell

by Sam Rosenthal

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kathryn 08:59
diversion 06:12
resolution 01:48
the room 02:35
jane 03:39


Projekt and Black tape for a blue girl's founder Sam Rosenthal had his musical beginnings in electronic music. Back in 1986 -- without sequencers, samplers, or MIDI for stringing together computers and keyboards -- Rosenthal was experimenting with the creation of instrumental music synchronously warm and ominous. Playing with the shape of sounds in a totally "hands-on" manner, Rosenthal pioneered a style close to the post-prog work of Tangerine Dream and Brian Eno.

A review from allmusic.com:
Previously only available in a limited-release cassette, Black Tape for a Blue Girl's Before the Buildings Fell is a collection of Sam Rosenthal's electronic recordings. Songs like "Kathryn," "Fragments of Benediction," and "The Amber Girl" are elongated, atmospheric pieces that predate genre titles like electronica or darkwave, but still sound fresh and surprisingly warm over a decade later. Shorter pieces like "Resolution," "Leading to the Edge," and the title track keep the album's pacing interesting. A must for Black Tape for a Blue Girl fans, and worthwhile for fans of ambient, electronic soundscapes. - Heather Phares

A review from Alternative Press Magazine #143:
June 2000 4 of 5 stars (Outstanding). Re-release of a dream diary filled with achingly blissful memories. Sam Rosenthal's work as Black Tape For A Blue Girl has always resonated from the caverns of his heart and soul, as both the music and the liner notes for this re-release from 1986 attest. Recorded concurrently with The Rope (Black Tape's first album), Before the buildings fell is a shining example of post-prog / pre-electronica electronics, and Rosenthal's underappreciated ambient efforts. Without sequencers and samplers to simplify the process, Rosenthal and his contemporaries labored in a profoundly hands-on environment, proving that, even in this age of machines, art remains in the hands of the artists. Sounding rather like Steve Roach's earliest work, Before suggests a photo album of memories before the bombs fell, an apt metaphor for the demise of a relationship. Artists enjoy the rare opportunity to purge their pain through their art, and the majority of the tracks here apparently went a long way toward bridging the gap between suffering and healing. "The Room" is a more eerie and ghostly track, but melancholy and longing are the dominant themes here and Rosenthal's gift for bringing this to bear makes for a work of lasting quality.
-Mark Burbey


released July 8, 1986


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Projekt Records Portland, Oregon

Projekt is America's premier independent label specializing in passionately intense introspective music in the ambient, electronic, ethereal & darkwave genres.

39-year-old Projekt is home to Steve Roach, Erik Wøllo, Michael Stearns, Black Tape For A Blue Girl, Aurelio Voltaire and many others. The label continues to nurture the careers of its select roster of artists.
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