For their third opus, the three guys from Tape wanted to think differently and so hired noted computer artist Marcus Schmickler (of the electro-improv supergroup M.I.M.E.O.) to record, mix, and produce the album. The result actually comes pretty close to the previous two offerings, with two main differences. First of all, the music proceeds from a fuller, tighter integration of acoustic instruments and digital manipulations. Computer textures are not added to or happening behind the instruments anymore; they become one with them. The second difference is the temporal dimension: Rideau is longer (45 minutes -- that's almost 50 percent more material than on Milieu) and presents fewer pieces that have a longer average duration. Out of five tracks, three clock in over 11 minutes. Basically, Tomas Hallonsten, Johan Berthling, and Andreas Berthling are stretching out their beautiful themes. "Sun Refrain" and "A Spire" each present a single melody that is iterated regularly over the course of their ten minutes, with textural interludes interspersed between repetitions. Some listeners will interpret this m.o. as a way to fill some minutes; others will appreciate the chance to revel in the subtle variations and simply inhabit Tape's universe for longer stretches of time. One thing is sure: Rideau takes the group's sound much closer to the post-rock ethos than it ever was. The Scandinavian folk references are all but gone ("A Spire" and "Sand Dunes" being exceptions) and the quiet brass choruses in "Sun Refrain" and "Long Lost Engine" evoke a slowed-down, ballad mood Jaga Jazzist. A slightly different yet still very strong effort.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by François Couture