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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 come—turn down the happy on “Year 90-20” 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.
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