Exposé Online banner

Sam Rosenthal with Nick Shadow & Steve Roach — The Gesture of History
(Projekt 358, 2019, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-05-04

The Gesture of History Cover art

Sam Rosenthal is probably better known for his band Black Tape for a Blue Girl, who have been releasing albums since the mid-1980s, or his label Projekt Records specializing in gothic, neo-classical, floating ambient, and darkwave sounds, featuring a roster that includes Lycia, Unto Ashes, Erik Wøllo, Faith and Disease, Autumn’s Gray Solace, Steve Roach, Forrest Fang, and many others. Throughout the years he has released music under his own name, and ‘As Lonely as Dave Bowman,’ plus collaborations with Mark Seelig and VidnaObmana. The Gesture of History came to life via a crowdfunding campaign, but copies are still available as of this writing on Projekt’s Bandcamp page, and I would expect downloads to be available for a long time to come. The idea began with a track from Black Tape’s Blood on the Snow EP from 2017, featuring Nick Shadow, a Portland, Oregon based violist who has played on the last few Black Tape releases. The piece was expanded to two lengthy parts, and features additional processing and ‘special enhancement’ by Steve Roach, covering a total length of 25 minutes, expanding out into a beautiful shimmering panoramic soundfield, with Shadow’s viola being the only immediately recognizable instrument, enveloped in warm synth textures, occasionally rising up through the fabric to provide colorful dreamy melodics and intense highlights. The shorter track that follows “…and Watch the Galaxy Turning” was an idea seeded from the opening track on Black Tape’s To Touch the Milky Way album, and leads into the sixteen-plus minute title track, again another floating ambient epic featuring synthesizers, viola, and harmonium, the latter giving the sound a slightly darker texture, with the wandering viola snaking through the shimmering and ever-shifting continuum. In summary, the feeling throughout the four tracks offers a somewhat more restless and energized approach to the ambient electronic sound, and the viola in the mix is vaguely reminiscent of the early Bernard Xolotl releases with Daniel Kobialka. Haunting, beautiful and dreamlike.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Roach, Sam Rosenthal / As Lonely as Dave Bowman

More info
http://blacktapeforabluegirl.bandcamp.com/album/the-gesture-of-history

Latest news

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Five-O-One AM - 21st Century Dream – Somewhere between Marillion (Season's End) and the SI label bands Lies Five-O-One AM. That is, song oriented pop with elements of prog. Combine that with WMMS's reputation and Five-O-One AM...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues