On its first tour of the U.S., the Argentine group Reynols comes out of the John Cage-inspired school of composition; everything from silence to random noises can be considered music in the hands of innovative composers. How else to explain the band's tendency to put on concerts for plants and play music with toothbrushes? Its latest effort, Blank Tapes, which was released this year only in Germany on the experimental Trente Oiseaux label, was recorded in Buenos Aires and consists of, to quote the liner notes, "analog and digital processings over selected blank tapes dating from 1978 to 1999." High-pitched hiss and muffled percussion characterize most of the six unnamed tracks, which seldom develop into anything resembling songs. While some of the tracks feature the soft sounds of humming and are barely audible, others explode with crackling distortion and resemble long-winded, electronic belches. After performing a seven-hour opera at the Lincoln Center in New York with avant- garde composer Pauline Oliveros at the start of this tour (the band and Oliveros collaborated last year for a transcontinental concert that was broadcast via the Internet), Reynols, led by Miguel Tomasin, who has Down's syndrome, will be playing everywhere from small indie rock clubs to art festivals and pirate radio stations. And while translating tape hiss into a live setting won't be an easy task to pull off, the band, which formed seven years ago, will have both novelty and adventurousness working in its favor.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.