Reynols - Blank Tapes Live in Malmö
I could write about this piece by pointing out musical systems or citing some philosophical precept to attempt to pull it back into what Anna Chave calls "the unfolding of a certain historical inevitability." I'd rather just present the facts, as it were, as Reynols points out how synthetic that sort of teleological thinking is.
Miguel Tomasin, the oracle of the band, directs their non-philosophy. When asked, "What's the most important thing in your life?" - having previously denied the existence of the universe, the band reynols, and the USA - he replies: "photocopies." Tomasin has Down's Syndrome, and it is my suspicion that the other two members of the group (Alan Courtis and Roberto Conlazo) realize the freedom of his no-logic to tap into practices of pure creation and to jump headfirst off the crushing timeline of historical propriety. They say Tomasin knows this goal better than they do.
It would be easy to claim that Courtis and Conlazo are "using" Tomasin - exploiting his condition for non-linear inspiration. I have no answer to that claim other than the relationship in Reynols seems to be more than equal, as Tomasin performs solo spoken word poems under the Reynols name, as well as performing with the group as a whole. In an interview one of the members states
Miguel [Tomasin] doesn't (only) have Down's Syndrome, he is just the messiah. He don't know it, and also he is not interested at all about it but he is the messiah of a new state of human mind and consciousness.. For Miguel the point on the "i" of his name is all the universe and the no-universed melted, shaping a little 3D black & camouflaged bird. [sic]Discussion of intent aside - as it really doesn't make much difference, other than to make clear the lack of intent, essentially; the position of the band as a mouthpiece for Tomasin's prescriptions - Reynols' Blank Tapes Live is quite beautiful in the increasingly conventional syntax of modern sound art.
The piece is a live realization of a work published under the same name on Bernhard Günter's Trente Oiseaux label. It pulls and releases, states and retracts, and does so with a delivery worthy of concrete sound artist Francisco Lopez's well-formed audio sculptures - and in a similar sonic language. There are patient moments of near-silence, periods of thundering noise and watery low-frequency drones. Tomasin probably is the Messiah. Fire up your mp3 player and peep some holy vibrations.