„Music is the only realised Utopia!“



any thanks for your interest in clever music aside from the mainstream plastic. We welcome you to this explicit „non-encyclopedic“ information page about the several stages TAPE FIVE went through in about 20 years now. In short words: TAPE FIVE is a multi-national music project based in Germany, created by producer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, label owner and visual designer Martin Strathausen. Till now 8 albums, lots of singles and EPs, created millions of streams and been on thousands of compilations in those years, and been selected for TV/etc. ads all around the world.

Chapter 2024-06: 

Just releasing a “best of TAPE FIVE”…also as CD, as some wanted it that way 😉 There are so many tracks, that we decided to do a “Swing edition” now and maybe later a “Lounge edition” with slower tracks. And of course working on album number nine…while the world is going crazy. Isn’t it?

Chapter 2024-02: 

Politics? I quote Che Guevara: “If you demonstrate with the government, you are no freedom fighter, but an idiot!” But I prefer to stick with Frank Zappa with “Shut up and play your guitar!”…So, just working on album number nine and a “best of TAPE FIVE” CD for this year.

Chapter 2023-04: 

Working on new material. What else would you do as a creative?! But…it’s a crazy world. Where will “Artificial Stupidity” lead us to? Just think yourself…

Chapter 2022-10: 

Just released another Electroswing single (Spotify exclusive September 30 / all other shops October 14) called “The Hepcats Pyjamas”. Very charming hepcat Dr.Colleen Darnell alias “Vintage Egyptologist” on the cover and in our little video trailer…but we are already heading to release… yes – a Christmas single…why not? be prepared.

Chapter 2022-07: 

A new album release in July 2022, “Both Sides of the Moon”. Of course that means TAPE FIVE plays music for dancing, and music for sofa chillouts…or whatever. Where is the spirit of music going to, in times of plastic, radiation and stupidity? Tell us…

Chapter 2022-03: 

New single released with Ashley Slater, a great guy to work with, really like his powerful “male” baritone voice – also cool trombone playing! And we tried something different this time having some “country” influences in it, I really dig Western-Swing by the way. Check it out…”Jambalaya” feat. Ashley Slater. Inspired by the ole Hank Williams version from 1952. Yee-Haw!

Chapter 2021-12: 

New EP release on December 17. “Playing swing-music is an attitude to life!” Again, after the prophetic album title “The Roaring 2020s” (could not imagine how loud the “roar” would be) this title is also describing the Big Blues around…but anyway.

Back to our roots as the “pioneer of electroswing” with this release: “Big Blue Swing” – it’s that special colourful night on the town. Or maybe you’re running from the rough justice of the “Tommy Gun Shuffle”?!

Cover pic is done by mexican illustrator David Zaid. Nice guy, great job!

Chapter 2021-7: 

Released the single “A Lazy Summer Day” on July 16. This time a different style…but it really represents the summer laziness, especially in the past lockdown times, where this idea was born. Although the idea was born decades ago when I played similar R&B styles in my little roof top studio, which go out as “retro” styles today. Anyway, not feeling lazy at the moment, thinking about the next release…and it might be some uptempo electroswing…Cheers

Chapter 2021: 

Just released the wonderful “Vintage FM” EP, (April 2021) hope you like it, too. I guess I will release some EPs under a special “motto” from now on. Looks like people in these fast times have not enough attention to listen to a “long-player”. Crazy. By the way: “strange times”. Hard to find positive vibes for new material – but I will stay on the positive side. No deal with… “dont call his name”. Watch out what/whom you are following! Things are not what they seem to be…obviously not on the political side, and “green” is not what green pretends to be…

Chapter 2020: What a strange year…

December 2020, just released the new single with some food for “private” partying. And of course for shuffle dancing. An EP with five new tracks is ready but will be delayed for a hopefully better spring 2021! Stay safe and happy, folks.

Chapter 7.13: “seventh album – The Roaring 2020s”

Here we are (winter 2019). Lucky to present the meanwhile seventh album. To refer to our own press info: “TAPE FIVE was already looking forward to chilled sounds in a sunny future, but with the sign of our times pointing to either „dancing on the vulcano“ or the swansong of civilization as we know it – we decided it was better to deliver a rousing party album!” Cheers!

Chapter 6: “The sixth album – “Soiree Deluxe””

Finally (April 2017) the album “Soiree Deluxe” is finished. What can I say? People saying this – people saying that. I can only do what I feel – or at least I try to. And, “hindsight is easier than foresight”. So, step into Soiree Deluxe!


Chapter 16a: “state of the art vintage microphones”

…at the moment I´m writing, playing, recording, arranging and producing with passion and my favourite musicians and singers on new material… (July 2016)

May I introduce myself, I am Martin Strathausen,
creator, main songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer of TAPE FIVE.  And it’s not only about music. It’s always the mind behind it, the energy, the vibe and spirit – but also it’s fashion, „whole-art“, a way of thinking, eating… which all comes together in my specified field-theory… You’re probably asking yourself „why should this be of any interest?“  Well, you’re already right in the middle of it all and this parallel world is already emerging around you…
„I was born and bought a guitar“. But something happened in between…!

Chapter 5: “The fifth album CIRCUS MAXIMUS“

Fanfare and drum-rolls! …already 10 years of TAPE FIVE and just a 5th album! I could have produced more albums in that time – enough ideas – but as an independant artist there is much more stuff to do than sitting with your guitar at the dock of the bay and writing new songs. But hey, this sounds like an interesting matter. Read more?

Chapter 5c: “A Voodoo chile?“

There we go with the new Singer Dionne Wudu. Her parents came from Africa, and she stays with her soul performance of songs like Mad Dogs on the Scene or Swing with Bling on the new album “Circus Maximus”. What more can I say?

Chapter 1b: “When pictures started motion“ or “News from the Grammophone“

Of course everything we call TAPE FIVE was not possible, or at least would be dramatically different without the wonderful musicians and great friends around me! It started with Henrik Wager, the „Bad Boy Good Man“ , the seller of „Dixie Biscuits“, our „Mr.White Suit“ and the inventor of a „Geraldine’s Routine“. A singer from London, at that time being in Germany for some studio jobs…

(Thanks to Michael Kassner, Alex Haas-Guder at Conaha and Pete at Audiobuero)

Chapter 1a „Avenue du Gare“ (oui, that’s a wrong title!)

It was 1999, and I was sitting in a studio in Cologne, Germany where I had already produced a few thousand (!) jingles/audio design projects and all that shit and also made a gold-record with some comedy music. In between I worked on a track with trashy brass samples and a strange trombone, just for fun, I called it „Avenue du Gare“. Henrik Wager came over and wrote some lyrics and the song, in its tristesse, had to wait another 4 years for its release on a hard drive on a grey G3 computer! (thanks to Apple by the way)

I didn’t want to carry on doing commercials or being dependant on strange advice from A&R guys from the so called „major“ companies. I wanted my own thing. Of all those Millions of possibilities, as I had worked in lots of music styles before…there was one. But this time it’s not TAPE 7, 29 or 7334 – no, this was…

and take this Dadaism….


Chapter 2a  „The basic musicians and singers“

I was so tired of samples! Idea: I needed a trumpet player! Went to the local music academy (indeed a quite famous one, with lots of nerdy sweet Asian violin players) put a „wanted-sheet“ on the board and 2 days later I got the really fantastic trumpet player called Florian Esch who played all the great licks on the first TAPE FIVE albums. After the first album  SWINGFOOD MOOD I thought, hey, wouldn’t be great to have brass AND woodwind? so Florian recommended to me the Russian saxophone and clarinet player Dimitrij Markitantov. Fantastic choice! He played all the wonderful heart aching sax solos and with him I could experiment a bit in writing wood sections inspired by the Schillinger composition method, that Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman also used at the time… but that’s another story, just listen to „Slow Serenade“!

Crazy, also by chance I met Yuliet Topaz, originally from Siberia, and she was unbelievable 16 when we recorded the 1st album. All the facets from sweet to fragile, from funny to bossa in my strange ideas suddenly were possible with her wide-ranging voice. Basically I like chillout music, not the dull ones, but check out our „Longitude“ track, even the mix on Cafe del Mar.

Call it a cliché but I always wanted a good black female singer for my music, so I recorded with Brenda Boykin from California who I met at a label party. Great gal!
…and is she „A Cool Cat in Town“?

London, a rainy day in 2009. My friend Peter Wanders called and recommended a vocalist, another fine British Gentleman: Iain Mackenzie. We recorded songs like „The Sky is not The Limit“, several tracks for SWING PATROL  like „City of Lights“ and we even have material for a next TAPE FIVE album. A really great mate!

Chapter 1c or „What happened in between“

…of course I bought the guitar 10 years after my birth. I learned it with my vinyl player note by note from Jimi Hendrix records. If 6 was 9. Are you experienced?
I got myself one of the first consumer hardware sequencers and a tape machine in the 80ies, a Juno synth and a Simmons Drum in my living room. Really! Those were the days. Another great 80ies plus: my girlfriend had one of those fine neon pink bikinis. Funky!
After getting through all kinds of styles in playing and production from Rock to Reggae, to Black Music and Jazzy kind of things I found it’s cool to stay awhile in a clever style: The Swing.

Cause it don’t mean a thing…!

Chapter 2b  „ More musicians and singers“

Music is communication & I love(d) to experiment.
I had this track „Senorita Bonita“ which of course was inspired by Brazil’s urban street life. Some time later lascivious Gilda Rebello from the streets of Rio de Janeiro appeared in the band and alongside Henrik Wager our hot live animator  – Just a coincidence? Check our: „Love tonite“

Then there is the French Rap on a 127 bpm Swing track plus some Bob Marley-like messages performed by a guy from the Cameron? Why not! Check out „Peace Patrol“.
I could go on and on like this – but I don’t want to bore you even more. Also a track from 1957, covered in 2011 in the style of the 1947 Swing Bands? Yeah! Check out: „Tintarella di Luna“ done with the uplifting voice of Graziella, an artist formerly known as „Sha“ and also a real nice girl! Are musicians the better species?

There is the mysterious blind accordion player Mr.Siebenhaar. He played the French fried Musette licks on Tango for a spy, A Bossa Love or La Passifleur. Instant feeling, from the first note. He sees more than we do!

Chapter 3a „A Day in the Life of Mr. M.“

It was a trashy students flat as you might have seen a thousand times: hundreds of empty (or almost?)  bottles, pizza cartons, 27 trash bags (guess what was living inside those?)     I didn’t care. I myself lived for 3 years in an occupied house with garbage hills of about 5 meters in the garden and rats as big as weasels.  One day whilst visiting my dear saxophone player Dima (the one with the death metal T-shirt and a skin head) a strange guy with curly hair, glassy eyes and a mysterious red trumpet gave me his card: Jim Galakti!

Chapter 4 „Flotsom and jetsom“ or Small solutions for a big planet.

Globalisation is not everybody’s darling, for sure! But I must confess, that the internet made it possible to spread my material around the world as an independent artist – I never personally met my partners from the Japanese record company!  – all done from the little office in my small house on the banks of the river – thanks universe! It’s absolutely wonderful working like this and receiving mails from people around the world, who can feel this music. And as this is special music, I’m sure that you – as you read this, must be a special person, too. Nice to meet you!

Chapter 3b „The Baaaand!“ thanks, John Belushi*

Music should be played live, although I don’t want to do this, as I hate crowds and screaming people (remember I’m a German) but to resolve this conflict I needed a band! …and of course I wanted to reach peoples hearts!
I still had the contact card of that weird Mr.Galakti. So shortly after a meeting I found the missing musicians to make TAPE FIVE a „real“ live band. They were gathered on my terrazzo, willing to play their asses off and travel from Brazil to Novosibirsk via Cologne, Seoul  and Paris. Sounds like a fairy tale?

„The thought is the father of matter“.

(thanks to Marcel Richard, Nicolas Kozuschek, Jürgen Fassbender, Dimitrij Markitantov, Jim Galakti, Gunnar Nesterov, Gilda Rebello, Henrik Wager, Yuliet Topaz…)

Chapter 7 “The film in your head”

Filming is great! Movies are great! Music for us is often inspired by visual atmospheres. I don’t have the time to make TAPE FIVE videos as big as they are in my brain, but anyway, I do it just for fun!
Just like the music, the TAPE FIVE videos (e.g on our Youtube channel) are only tape number five in the millions of different possibilities of creating a film… but mainly I want to work on the music!
I also found out this has some therapeutic value in life, but I guess you already know that, and of course that is another story….