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Reynols, "Minecxio Emanations 1993-2018"

cover image Argentinian trio Reynols are perhaps one of the most baffling and unabashedly unique artists to arise from the tape/noise underground scene of the past 20 years. Their recorded output has run the gamut of psychedelic rock, pure noise, heavily conceptual works (such as a processed field recording of chickens), and so much more. With the bulk of their work confined to ultra limited cassettes and CDRs, this beautiful collection of six CDs and a DVD, along with extensive liner notes makes for a perfect starting point of collaborations, two unreleased albums, and a slew of unreleased and rare songs.

Pica Disk

For better or worse, one of the elements of Reynols that has garnered the most attention is drummer/vocalist/"spiritual leader" Miguel Tomasín, who has Down syndrome.On the surface, this could come across as a gimmick at best, and exploitation at worst.However, it is clear that the other two members, Anla Courtis and Roberto Conlazo are guided by Tomasín’s unconventional artistic outlook and conceptual ideas for music and sound art, making him truly the leader of the band.Reynols could also be pigeonholed into the realm of "outsider art" for their unconventional approach, but that also does them a significant injustice as they are true artists in their own right.

The first disc captures Reynols at their earliest, between 1993 and 1994 and makes it abundantly clear that even from the onset they were a band like no other.From their first tape, "3/7" (from when they were still the Burt Reynols Ensemble) is a ramshackle collage of feedback and distortion, while both "Paleolithic Tango" and "Yuczapoll Suite" are sprawling space rock freak-outs of the highest caliber.On the other side of the spectrum are the experimental treated horns of "Port√°til" and the understated electronic tones of "Pre-Pankow".

Disc four, Conceptual Mogal, compiles a selection of previously unreleased conceptual works from throughout their career.This includes the third part to "10,000 Chickens' Symphony," which comes across more as a mass of chirpy almost-synth sounds constructing a harsh noise wall.The churning, bassy noise that makes up "Reynols Plays the Eiffel Tower" is constructed by Courtis and Conlazo literally using the sounds of the tower to make up a classically noise textured piece."Live at NASA" is a lengthy live performance from Houston, Texas in 2000 that covers all the bases:hissing tapes, buzzing synths, monolithic reverbs, and so forth.

Two unreleased albums from the first half of the 2000s are also included, and both feature Reynols in more traditionally musical territories."Adeos Pebro" from Roniles Dasa Selebro makes for an excellent mid-paced post rock number, with Tomasín’s drumming and vocals at the forefront, while the other two flesh out the mix with infrequent noise outbursts and effects.There is an industrial punk edge to "Loh Vijitanos Cuvana", but by the end of the song there’s a ton of distortion and jazz horn outbursts.Of course there are a few curveballs to be had, such as the twangy folk ballads "123051 Caduelo Ridos" and "Un Dama Niticas."

The other unreleased album, Vedeosmas Tecretre, features a similar combination of off-kilter musical styles.On "Pawe Recy Catu (Gradero)" and "Un Mastro Cademia," Tomasín leads the band with his vocals, culminating in some rather light, pleasantly bent pop songs, while the latter does drift into harsh guitar squall later on.There is an almost pop-punk sound to "Los Cara Utica" that is undeniably catchy, even through its intensely low fidelity production.For "Ruavas Ruman Macia" the band goes full on into Latin disco mode for an even more out there song.Reynols’ traditional noise tendencies shine through on here as well, especially on the distorted loops of "Catuneru Rinti Domati" and the distorted synth throb of "Novi Ormigas Tomica."

Reynols have also taken part in a multitude of diverse collaborations that are captured on Disc six.There are two collaborations with Dr. Socolinksy, a famous Argentinean television personality, both of which feature the band embracing an almost jazzy lounge sound that does not appear much on the other recordings.There is also a collaboration with legendary composer Pauline Oliveros, "El Pajaro Mixto Returns" that is clearly in line with her body of work, consisting largely of spacious, meditative tones and rumbles.At the other end there is their collaboration with Acid Mothers Temple, "Burning the Sun, Gently," which is a slowly unfolding psychedelic mass of sound that peaks in a gloriously overdriven climax.

Perhaps the most striking—and I would argue important—facet of Reynols is that there is an undeniable sense of true joy and fun to their work.The concepts that the trio work with potentially could come across as beard stroking pretense, framed by self-felliating artist statements and unnecessary verbiage, but there is none of that here.Instead, Reynols are motivated by the simple pleasure of creating sounds from a wide array of methodologies, for their own enjoyment as well as anyone who decides to listen.As always with Pica Disk, Lasse Marhaug’s work on curating and the presentation of this material deserves recognition as well.Lavishly presented with individual photo sleeves for the discs and two substantial booklets, one of essays and another of photos, it is another labor of love that truly makes for a complete package.With so much material and so many different styles to be had, Minecxio Emanations 1993​-​2018 is an infinitely engaging collection of heady, yet entirely enjoyable art.

Samples available here.