Orchestral Tape Studies II is an enthralling amalgam of orchestral textures carefully crafted by zakè. It is a continuation of its predecessor, Orchestral Tape Studies which was released to high acclaim in 2019.
Bringing forth pastoral meditations with becalmed, atmospheric intent, Orchestral Tape Studies II is a convincing display of beautiful scores primed for the self-reflective moments that are both contemplative and thought provoking. These delicate repetitions, reticent sound treatments, and recurrent tape-based loops demand focused listening in a quiet environment.
released June 13, 2023
Written, recorded, and produced by zakè
String accompaniments by Olivia May (cello), Charlotte Frizzell (viola),
and Damien Duque (guitar/bow)
Mixed at Kaleidoscope Tone Studio by zakè
Mastered at Ambient Mountain House by James Bernard
Design and layout by zakè
© 2023 Past Inside the Present
℗ Past Inside the Present Publishing (BMI)
This is PITP44
Marketed, distributed, and
Past Inside the Present
Matrix / Runout (Side A): PITP44-MMXXIII-A
Matrix / Runout (Side B): PITP44-MMXXIII-B
Cut at WMM
Pressed by GGR
Manufactured and assembled in USA
“It has been some five years since US ambient maestro zake dropped the first volume of his Orchestral Tape Studies. We're glad to finally have the second installment in the series available because there has rarely been music as cathartic and soothing as this on our shelves. It's made from drones, field recordings and richly layered movements of fragmented orchestral loops.
It is heavily inspired by the sound of the greatest minimalist symphonic composers and orchestras of the last 100 years. It is another adventurous and immersive listen from zakè.
zakè seems to drop something new almost every week. But you won't hear us complain because few have a breadth and depth of sound that matches his lo-fi and absorbing output on his home US label Past Inside the Present.”
“I’m always enthralled by the work of zakè. The ambient/new age composer has spent the last several years building a catalog of forward-thinking, thoughtful, and intellectual albums. Records that accumulate beautifully orchestrated sound collages and sonic realms that put you, the listener, in a state of contemplative and meditative bliss. Using electronics to create both a higher state of being as well as a sort of sonic therapy for the soul, zakè attempts to push the power of sound further with each release.
In 2019 zakè released Orchestral Tape Studies, “a group of richly layered movements of fragmented orchestral loops, paying homage to minimalist symphonic composers and orchestras.” It was an eye/ear/mind opening sound experience, creating a sort of zoned-out peace for 30 minutes. A deep space drift that felt as monolithic as it did micro.
zakè returns to that world with Orchestral Tape Studies II, a revisitation to that musical world. Orchestral loops, repetition, and a gauzy, overcast feeling overwhelm on this stunning new long player. Accompanied by real strings and guitar/bow, zakè connects to the listener on a spiritual and cosmic level.
Orchestral Tape Studies II extends 2019s sonic experience from 4 tracks to 9. The songs seem to melt into one another, creating a 40-minute sound excursion; an existential journey into a wordless existence, floating along that rainbow-hued slipstream life leaves behind. These songs seem to emanate from a metaphysical orchestra that exists in our minds. These are the sounds of sleep and dream; the soundtrack for the life we lead when we’re on the plane between here and there.
There are moments of joy and hope, like on “Lament For Strings I” and “Lament For Strings II”. They have symphonic weight, while still having a touch of hazy sonic indifference. It’s this engrossing coming together of organic and synthetic. Light and life in musical form. Likewise, “Hearken” begins as almost just a hint of something before blossoming into ambient bliss. Composers like Philip Glass and Steve Reich come to mind here.
“Silenzio” is darker and more mysterious. “Bestir Thyself” lays heavy with mournful strings and an overcast disposition and a monumental, cinematic presence. “Ashes Depart” has that cinematic heaviness as well, though it feels as if it’s leading us to lighter days. “Lament For Strings III” closes out this journey, lamenting in wavering strings and bringing up the spirit of Tangerine Dream’s Phaedra. The song ends in a fading, gauzy hiss.
zakè continues to evolve his art and compositional magic with the ethereal Orchestral Tape Studies II. Thinning the lines between ambient, new age, and classical, zakè works to bring them all together into something thought-provoking and viscerally and intellectually alive.”
-J. Hubner, Complex Distractions