Digital Tape Machine: Be Here Now Review + Exclusive Premiere
Published: April 23, 2013
By: Chris Schwarzkopf
A short little video was made of Digital Tape Machine showing the band at work in the studio assembling its long-awaited debut, Be Here Now. At a bit over ten minutes in length, such a video can only provide the briefest glimpse into the massive amount of work that went into making the album, as with the creation of any album.
Viewers get to see how some of the drum patterns and guitar and keyboard licks are produced and altered, as they become part of songs. It’s a fascinating look at DTM’s process and it could even be taken as a metaphor for the genesis of the band itself.
Digital Tape Machine is comprised of members from, among others, Umphrey’s McGee, Land of Atlantis, Strange Arrangement, and The Hue. Each of these acts is a powerhouse in its own right; progressive rock, jazz, fusion and experimental groups known for their complex musical compositions and high-energy live shows.
With this sort of parentage, DTM seems like the next logical step—a natural outgrowth. Just as one can see aspects of each parent in the child, so too, can one follow the lines of influence back to each member’s original project. But a child grows and becomes an individual. DTM is something wholly unlike each of the parts that came together to give it life.
Given this, I find that I’m unsure how to go about describing, or even explaining, what the band has going on with Be Here Now. Technical guitarwork blends seamlessly with electronic atmospherics, all the while propelled ceaselessly by rock-solid work behind the drum kit. Digital and analog elements exist symbiotically, darting between dub, downtempo, ambient, and electric. Honestly, it seems best to let the music speak for itself.
Even the band’s name indicates the merging of disparate elements: things that, at first, don’t seem like they should work together. But current technology can allow for a bridge between analog and digital. And it’s the best of old and new coming together to produce something wholly unique. Find out for yourself on May 7th, when the full album is released.