Is Elephant Skeletons having some form of identity crisis? Maybe. He has recently released new music under the strange and poorly-presented guise of TAAPE. The album, called Real Cuts/Surreal Blood, was released September 6th. He claims it’s just a “place” to put the songs that haven’t found their spot on his album The Traveller, but why is it that they can’t co-exist under the same Bandcamp account? We think there’s more to it.
The best—or maybe most interesting—theory we’ve been able to come up with is that he’s managed to open a hole through space and time, allowing him to ‘travel’ to a parallel universe in which cassette tapes still rule the music industry.
We felt compelled to confront him about our theory, since it goes against the laws of physics. Doucette defended himself by saying that he had composed over three hours of music during his career under the name Elephant Skeletons, but that some of that music just “didn’t work in the Elephant Skeletons realm of sounds”.
He also argued that he believes we’re all time travelers, since we move towards the future with each passing moment and we dream about both things that have been and things that will be. He then abruptly ended the conversation, while mumbling something about not having enough gigawatts to get back.
The name TAAPE comes simply from his love for cassette and VHS tapes. These formats appeal to his inner child with their unique audio/visual texture, and he even uses cassettes to create and alter sounds in his studio.
We believe that Elephant Skeletons may have—inadvertently—left a trail of clues about this release in his previous album, The Traveller. If you look at the track list (and have a wild imagination), you’ll quickly see what we mean.
Although the new album doesn’t quite sound like the Elephant Skeletons we’re used to, it is no less a masterpiece and not just a kludge of tracks that have no direction. It seems to flow smoothly, like a Phenomenal Collision of experimental electronics and weird Marmalade that leaves you feeling stranded on Jupiter. Built on some traditional sax playing, there’s still an experimental feel to it: less ancient, more weird and somewhat familiar.
It’s almost like there’s another personality developing behind the scenes. That personality has been biding its time and leaking its essence into a few songs with the intention of having them collected separately.
The album is currently available for download on Bandcamp for a donation of $0.01 or more, which is quite a deal. You can also order a cassette tape if you’re feeling nostalgic—or want to stretch out the length of playback time. So go ahead and check it out; all you’ve got to lose is time, and maybe the tiny space it takes to store a cassette.