Rural Tapes shares ‘Waltz for the living dead’

Rural Tapes, Kraftwerk and Serge Gainsbourg
Rural Tapes, Kraftwerk and Serge Gainsbourg

Image credit: Knut André Dale

Rural Tapes has released the brand new single ‘Waltz for the living dead’, taken from his forthcoming second album Inner Space Music out November 18th via Smuggler Music. The album is available to pre-order here.

‘Waltz for the living dead’ is a darkly curious instrumental track. It evokes the sense of a noir film score with its wide sweeping strings, warm yet cavernous brass and solemn percussion, all amongst the trippy mellotron and reverberating synths.

Rural Tapes is the moniker of the Norwegian producer and multi-instrumentalist Arne Kjelsrud Mathisen. Regarding the single he says, “I think this tune holds a clear Rural Tapes DNA, the moods and the melodies continue some of the filmatic aesthetics from my debut. Some would probably say it’s a nod back to the 70s and I can’t disagree on that.”

‘Waltz for the living dead’ follows the recent release of lead single ‘Arkestra piece for hard-working ants’. Coming in at just under eight minutes, the instrumental aural delight is a blend of krautrock, jazz and ambient soundscapes. The ingenious odyssey is a beautiful intense mix of horns, psych mellotron and brisk percussion.

Inner Space Music follows the release of his hugely acclaimed self-titled debut in 2021. Rural Tapes crossed sounds and influences between Kraftwerk, Air, Tortoise and Serge Gainsbourg in masterful fashion capturing the hearts of the likes of GQ, MOJO, Uncut, Shindig, Prog, The Independent, Electronic Sound, Computer Music and more. This time on Inner Space Music references can also be found in the realms of Can, Raymond Scott, far out George Harrison and Joe Meek in a grandiose collection of 10 tracks.

On the new album Arne plays organs, synthesizers, mellotron, drums, percussion, gamelan, trombone, and tuba. As a member of The No Ones, Arne has played alongside R.E.M. members Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck for years. Having joined him on Rural Tapes, the pair once again bring their esteemed musicianship to Inner Space Music, with Peter Buck playing bass, and Scott McCaughey on piano.

The new album features a number of further high-profile musicians to build the sonic tapestry including The Dream Syndicate frontman Steve Wynn, The Ladybug Transistor’s Gary Olson on trumpet as well as PJ Harvey saxophonist Terry Edwards who also performed on Rural Tapes.

They are also joined by Kristine Tjøgersen (clarinet, bass clarinet), Lars Løberg Tofte (bass), Marin Stallemo Bakke (violins), Sigurd Thomassen (acoustic guitar) and Øystein Braut (electric guitar).

While the debut album Rural Tapes was created over a period of almost 10 years, the music on Inner Space Music has been composed and recorded during one intense month in January 2022 in Mathisen’s own studio Nygrenda Vev & Dur in Norway.

A special Rural Tapes live stream performance has been announced to be beamed straight from Nygrenda Vev & Dur, where Arne will perform tracks from the new album live for the first time alongside Lars Løberg Tofte, Sigurd Thomassen and Øystein Braut. The performance will happen at 7pm GMT on December 7th and access can be purchased here.

Rural Tapes has also announced Scandinavian live dates for 2022 and 2023. Full dates are listed below.


23.11 – Vegabryggeriet, Gøteborg

24.11 – Blå, Oslo

25.11 – Vaktbua, Kristiansand

01.12 – Tou Scene, Stavanger

02.12 – Munkehaugen, Arendal

03.12 – Banken, Lillesand 

07.12 – Nygrenda Vev & Dur, Grimstad


10.03 – Raw Ocean Lodge, Karmøy

11.03 – Ogna Scene, Ogna

17.03 – Dølen Scene, Evje

18.03 – Risør Jazzklubb, Risør

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