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

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Roger Chapman - The Legendary Funny Cider Sessions/Swag – Family’s Roger Chapman is somewhat of a workaholic. His departure from Family only saw him tirelessly fronting bands under a number of other names including his own. This package of two albums...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues