Martin Strathausen is deeply into
organic vegetarian food, in a
In The Swingfood Mood with Tape Five
You cannot touch music, but you are getting touched by it” – Martin Strathausen
Tape Five, a multi-national nu-jazz act based in Germany, will touch you all over. It will become the soundtrack to a movie in your head. Conjured images of rumpled linen, big bands, the Las Vegas Flamingo Hotel sign in the 60’s and 007.
You can’t talk about Tape Five without talking about Martin Strathausen. Martin is the creator, producer, promoter, and a musician of the group. He breathed life into Tape Five by digging up a track called “Avenue du Gare”, and building an album around that story. “After some strange adventures, the album Swingfood Mood was released in 2006,” says Martin. Bossa for a Coup was released in 2007 and 2008 saw the re-release of the 2nd Edition of Swingfood Mood. “First we only wanted to re-press Swingfood Mood because it was sold out. But I The concept was to sit on your sofa and let the film in your head beginthought if it was going to go out into the world again, why not make a new pack. So I put four remixes on it, and remixed all tracks. Then there is our new single the cover to the Bond theme “View to a Kill in a swing style”.
“Tape Five is an expression of the music in my head,” says Martin. “I’m very happy that my ideas are going around the world, thanks for that.”
A revolving roster of musicians contribute what Martin cannot, to the jazzy-retro, bossa-swing, lounge sound, that has left its’ mark on over 80 compilations heard all over the world. Albums like Café del Mar, Jazz Lounge 3, Cigar Lounge 5, to single out a few.
The retro martini feel of Tape Five is intended,” says
When asked what inspired the concept of Tape Five, Martin replies, The retro aspect, noises, old songs, jazz, bossanova, swing, but when you say concept, it reminds me of listening to Frank Zappa: the concept was to sit on your sofa and let the film in your head begin.” Looking to the past jazz era to carve out his sound, Martin explains what he likes about it. “I like the funny, dirty sound, sometimes recorded with one microphone, also the intensity of the compositions or the emotions inside.” Martin tells of a video that also illustrates the humor of the era. “Glenn Miller - there is a video where you see the brass in the Big Band playing very fast and breathtakingly, and then the strings appear playing one note, and then simultaneously wipe away the sweat from their foreheads. That’s great, and they did not forget the humour.”.
To capture the unique Tape Five sound, Martin straddles the best of both the digital and analog domains, using tube and vintage ribbon mics and a Mac computer and staying away from samples as much as possible because, he says, “there is not enough of your own soul using samples”.An Independent artist has to keep the control about his work and product in his own hands
Tape Five/Martin Strathausen is a successful independent artist with a view that is shared by many of his peers around the world. What is your opinion of the music industry today as it affects independent artists, he was asked. “The major company things are mostly mainstream shit, in my opinion, with some excepts,” he says. “So an independent artist has to keep the control about his work and product in his own hands. It’s of course more work, because you have to do lots of office stuff and promo work. It’s less time for making music. But in spite of that it’s better than to give into the hands of a firm and, maybe nothing happens. But how to proceed depends on the musician’s personality, and maybe the style. If a band is doing fast food pop-rock-hip-hop stuff, they might want to be part of that Babylon industry.”
The jazzy, bossa, lounge swing sound has
been remixed on the 2nd edition, along with
One thing is certain, Martin Strathausen is no Babylonian.
We all like to share and hear playlists from people. What would be on Strathausen’s list? He shared his play list with us:
Tape Five’s architect Martin Strathausen has looked to the past to create his present. When asked, “What would you like your future to look like?” He replied, “Always getting better like a good red wine, completing my own field theory of mind in general, and reaching more people with my music”.