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Tanzmusik (1985)

by Sam Rosenthal

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feelflows108 thumbnail
feelflows108 Brilliant album. Electronic Ambient that is genuinely expressive all on it's own without needing vocals. Favorite track: The Sky and The Calendar.
Timequest Media UK
Timequest Media UK thumbnail
Timequest Media UK As a fan of Black Tape For A Blue Girl and Projekt it was interesting to hear about this release. An interesting and fascinating voyage back to the electronic 80's.
Alessandro thumbnail
Alessandro A masterpiece by a great artist. You can feel Sam's oniric power inside Tanzmusik, get lost between his landscapes, his small circuits, his nightmares, his electronic tales. Sam's music begins where it ends, like a cosmic loop. A shiny gem that you will listen again and again and again and again.... Favorite track: Out Of The Clouds.
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The Return 02:52
We Remember 01:49
Alone 02:55
Year 90-10 05:53


Originally released in March 1985, when Sam was 19 years old!

"Tanzmusik is therefore an excellent work that deserved to be torn from oblivion." - VerSacrum

On September 24 2012, Italy's Mannequin Records re-releases TANZMUSIK on Vinyl. I am told that it's a classic in the Minimal Synth genre. Who knew!!! :-)

Mannequin is proud to announce the reissue of one of the top minimal synth Holy Grails out of there. TANZMUSIK is the first LP from Sam Rosenthal, boss of the historic Projekt Records label and mind of one of the most influential dark wave acts coming out of the US, Black Tape For A Blue Girl. Originally released in March 1985 and completely recorded at home on a four-track TEAC-2340 with a super minimal setup (Korg Poly 61, Realistic Moog, Boss Dr-110 and some effects), the vinyl release was limited to 250 copies, with a tan card glued to a white LP jacket

The album continues in the “electronic mood-music” tradition established by Sam on the PROJEKT ELECTRONIC AMERIKA cassettes, with the added intriques of the drum-computer, exploring the realms of electronic music that the critics have compared to Tangerine Dream, O.M.D. and Brian Eno.

Sam Rosenthal is an American artist. He is the founder and leader of the band Black Tape For a Blue Girl and the record label Projekt Records (30th anniversary in 2013). He lives in Brooklyn with his son and cat. Black Tape for a Blue Girl, begin in 1986 after his move from Florida to California, serves as a vehicle for Rosenthal's musical vision. Its signature combination of gothic, ethereal, ambient and neo-classical elements has explored existential themes of loves lost and passions yet to come. After his early electronic work represented on Tanzmusik, his music has grown into a full-fledged band, whose members revolve around Rosenthal's subtle electronic foundation.
Sam writes:

Back in 1985, after three cassette-only releases of my solo electronic music, I released TANZMUSIK. It was my first and only solo vinyl release.

Well, fast forward about 25 years, and I was contacted by Alessandro Adriani at Italy’s Mannequin Records. He was telling me TANZMUSIK is a classic release in the Minimal Synth genre. And he wanted to reissue TANZMUSIK on vinyl.

Well wow, that sounded exciting!

I decided to remaster the album for this release. After getting the digitized reels back from my mastering guy in Canada, I discovered it wasn’t the 2-track mix, but the 4-track multi-track recording. Wow! I thought the multis were long gone, but here they were, in pristine digital form! I remixed the album in my studio, staying true to the original. Though, sonically, the new mixes sound even more incredible than back in 1984!


A review from The Big Takeover
by Joseph Kyle

Tanzmusik was one of the first releases by Sam Rosenthal, the long-running mastermind behind the esteemed label Projekt. Originally released in 1985, this was the first vinyl release by Rosenthal, (at the time credited to Projekt America). Released at a time shortly before the forming of his band, Black Tape for a Blue Girl, the listener might well be stunned by what they hear. Instead of the dark—some may call it “goth”—sounds that he would soon become famous for, Tanzmusik is a record that is oddly upbeat, somewhat poppy in nature, yet with a prog-rock heart that’s equally undeniable. It’s not quite New Wave, it’s not quite progressive, it’s not quite darkwave — but it is an interesting compilation of the ideas of a talented young man with numerous ideas in his head about directions he could go. Many of the songs found here are extremely short, with nearly half the songs barely breaking the one-minute mark* — indeed Tanzmusik feels more like a sketchbook than a cohesive album. Still, there are interesting glimpses of what would soon com e —turn down the happy on “Year 90-10” and you’ll find a cold, dark song. “Out of the Clouds” sounds like pure horror movie music, whereas “The Coming Fall” reminds greatly of the neo-classical/industrial hybrid of In The Nursery or even the 1980s work of Tangerine Dream. While on some level this reissue of Tanzmusik is for the collector and the serious fan—original copies of the highly limited edition album go for hundreds of dollars—it is still an interesting, intriguing portrait of the artist as a young man.

* Factually, 6 of the 14 tracks are under 2-minutes long.


A review from Ver Sacrum
(English Translation:) The Mannequin brings to light, in a limited edition of 250 copies, Tanzmusik , a jewel album by Sam Rosenthal buried in the temporal depths. Tanzmusik , originally recorded in 1985, was part of the “PROJEKT ELECTRONIC AMERIKA” series of cassettes, dedicated to the so-called “electronic mood music” created by the boss of the influential Projekt Records and leader of the legendary Black Tape of a Blue Girl. The music, after many years, has not aged and keeps all its charm out of time. It is a cosmic and obscure journey in the name of minimal electronics that owes much to the lessons of Brian Eno and the Cosmic Couriers; in particular one feels the influence of less radical Clusters, those of albums like Zuckerzeit and Sowiesoso. Another source of inspiration is the synth-pop of the first Human League. The disc is composed of short electronic sound frames that flow placidly creating a constant hypnotic flow: the atmospheres created are in some cases dark and shadowy as in the sidereal “Out of the Clouds” and in “Lookout Point”, a track that evokes extraterrestrial landscapes desolate lost in the depths of the Cosmos. “The Sky and the Calendar” recalls Tangerine Dream while “Desert Island” from the title pays tribute to Brian Eno. Tanzmusik is therefore an excellent work that deserved to be torn from oblivion. Later Sam Rosenthal will further develop his interest in ambient music as demonstrated by Terrace of Memories, the 1992 album in collaboration with the Belgian Vidna Obmana, one of the most influential names of the genre. The great importance accorded to Steve Roach within the Projekt catalog, an artist whose masterpieces continue to reprint, should also be emphasized.


released August 8, 1985


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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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