21/02/2024Belgrade’s Lenhart Tapes Weaves Another Dense Tape-stry Of Wonderfully Energising Ethno-Noise

Retracing our steps, we recently delved into the 2023 sophomore full-length by Belgrade-based project Lenhart Tapes. Released back in November on Glitterbeat Records, the hard-to-wrap-your-head-around aural patchwork of this multi-layered tour de force is nothing short of a revelation. Lenhart Tapes is a musical venture conducted by – excuse the platitude – mad scientist, tape lover and downright walkman virtuoso Vladimir Lenhart, who has been honing his skill set for "re-tooling [...] submerged Balkan musics" for quite some time now. Turning to the cassette medium as his weapon of choice, Lenhart has an audible penchant for "[...] interrogating the folk and the national songbook" of his Balkan heritage in general and a predilection for channelling "the ghosts of the Yugoslav punk and industrial scenes" in particular. And, having found his partner in crime in singer, classically trained violinist, ethnomusicologist and Radio Belgrade music editor Tijana Stanković, Lenhart has succeeded in taking his analogue prowess to a whole new level.

"Vladimir’s grandfather Ján was a popular interpreter of Slovak folk song in the 1950s, and the careful marshalling of national minority cultures in Yugoslavia produced a musical heritage that continues to resonate for those that have come after. Being younger, however, means that they have their own musical stories to tell and influences to work round. Vladimir’s tapes-by-the-kilo, car-boot-sale approach is something familiar to turntablists and hip-hop artists, but it’s his love of industrial sound that’s key, producing a magical, beauty-and-the-beast encounter of dirty noise, improvised violin and righteous folk." As such, their latest album "Dens" represents the next chapter to this project's thrilling 'ethno-noise' saga. The eight-track epic, as its title may or may not be alluding to, is delectably dense, marked by an "uncompromising sonic stance" brilliantly meshing Balkan traditions with inherently modern, raw, somewhat dark yet wonderfully energising experimental soundscapes. Lenhart Tapes is back, delivering another rich tape-stry to dance to. 

You can now stream the full release below and listen to their extensive back catalogue here. машала!

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom