Reynols: Minecxio Emanations

Navel-Gazers #37 is an interview with the Argentinian band Reynols who are going to talk to us about their Minecxio Emanations box set on Pica Disk. Containing 52 tracks, 90 minutes of video, and 2 booklets of liner notes and visuals, this exhaustive anthology spans the many phases and eras of Reynols from their origins in 1993 as “Burt Reynols Ensamble”, to their Eiffel Tower concert, to the notorious 10,000 chickens symphony to their collaborations with the likes of Acid Mothers Temple and Pauline Oliveros and beyond. I’ve just got done listening to the whole thing and it’s left me with more questions than could possibly fit into a single interview but what I really want to understand is… what makes this band tick? It’s clearly much to do with the extraordinary Miguel Tomasín, Renyols’ drummer/vocalist and - per liner notes - spiritual architect, whose unique voice and vision have characterised this music from its inception through the various incarnations over the years. They’re a band who routinely defy the odds, defy expectation, defy normality... they’re absolutely relentless and their emanations don’t end here: next on rotation are their latest album Tolin Asumer + a 500-page “Minecxiology” book, both of which I want to talk about as well. Let’s dig in and dig it!

AC: Thanks for joining me on Navel-Gazers! So firstly in terms of who’s involved here, it seems after all the years as a trio you added a 4th member (Pacu Conlazo) listed on ‘Tolin Asumer’. Percussion violin and flutes… cool! Any relation to Roberto?

Reynols: Yes, it’s Roberto’s brother. Actually Pacu has been playing with us for more than 20 years. For instance he was part of our first US tour playing a bombo legüero in our perfomance for Pauline Oliveros’ Lunar Opera at Lincoln Center in 2000 and also in the live album we played with her at Rosendale Café. But Pacu is living now at El Bolsón, which is in Patagonia quite far away from Buenos Aires. So because of this distance it’s difficult for him to play fulltime with us but when he can make it up to Buenos Aires we usually play with him. Then our line-up can change from the basic trio to a quartet.

AC: Are you guys now playing these ‘Tolin Asumer’ songs live or were they improvised?

Reynols: Never! We play something different each time. We cannot play the same tune twice. We just give all in each second and we’ll never know exactly what will happen in the next second. So it’s something new each time. It’s a bit like the trips of Rick and Morty but somehow translated into music.

AC: Roberto plays “marmonio” on ‘Tolin Asumer’. I know harmonium, I know marmite, what’s a marmonio?

Roberto Conlazo: It's a design pedal but the inventor doesn't want to reveal how it works.

AC: Looking back… Reynols was formed in 1993. What was Buenos Aires like at that time?

Reynols: Well it was a small experimental music scene in Argentina but nothing like the things we were trying to do at that time. And then when Miguel came, everything fractalized to unthinkable levels. He helped us to awake a part of our brains that normally remains asleep and well there is no way back from that.

AC: Tell us about the first time everyone played together - Alan, Miguel, Roberto. What was it like? Did you record it?

Reynols: It was an unforgettable catharsis. We remember that Miguel constantly said three words: "Yes! Why not?"; over the time these words became a kind of manifesto. In that embryonic stage it was also Christian Dergarabedian playing bass, who stayed until early 1995.

And well we are digitizing the archives so will search if there’s any recording of that first meeting with Miguel, it would be amazing if that survived on tape...

AC: Alan you run workshops and teach music to people with disabilities. Did you start that before Reynols, or did Reynols come first? Could you say a little bit about your practice?

Alan Courtis: Yes, I’ve been running different workshops. The ones for people with “disabilities” came after several years working with Reynols. The workshops are always different since they change with every group but they are normally very exciting and inspiring. We’ve been also running workshops with Roberto for people with and without “disabilities” lately and Pacu is also running some in different locations in Patagonia.

AC: This box set ‘Minecxio Emanations’ contains many hours of unreleased material, including unreleased albums. Where was all this audio stored? Was it on tapes, digitised? Does someone in the band look after all the archives?

Reynols: Luckily we were always very obsessive about recording what we played. So the audio and video archive in all qualities and formats is really huge. Thanks to Lasse Marhaug we started this digitization and cataloging process in our archives that was used firstly for the box set.

But it’s a never ending work that will continue for many years with more surprises to come.

AC: I did a web search for the word “Minecxio” and all I get is Reynols. What the heck is Minecxio??

Reynols: Words are not good enough to talk about Minecxio but let’s say it is the thin line that connects what exists and does not exist at the same time.

AC: More questions about words.. I don’t speak Spanish but I’m pretty sure some of these titles are in some other language… Pawe Recy Catu, Novi Ormigas Tomica… ?

Reynols: Those are words of course invented by Miguel. Some of them might have possible translations but some of them definitely not.

AC: Do you sing in Spanish or in another language?

Miguel Tomasín: Sometimes not. Sometimes neither.

AC: What are the weird springy sounds on Tribute To Al Jolson?

Reynols: Those are sounds of an old synthesizer processed by the rovelio and marmonio at its best.

AC: Can you tell us about Sounds Of The Argentinian Cooking Pot Revolution? I was in Santiago Chile in 2019 where something like this was happening, people banging pots and pans out the window…what happened in Argentina, when was it?

Reynols: This was recorded in Buenos Aires in December 2001 during one of the biggest crisis that ever happened down here. It was a spontaneous demonstration on the city streets without a leader: thousands of cooking pots playing a symphony without any director, it was a metallic procession with unthinkable noise levels.

AC: I know all about your collaborations with Pauline Oliveros and Acid Mothers Temple, it’s great to hear those.

I’m curious about some of the others: what can you tell us about your collabs with the composer Nelson Gastadi, the Uruguayan rapper Jazzy Mel, and one of the more mysterious tracks here, with someone named.. Dr. Socolinsky?

Reynols: Nelson Gastaldi was an outsider composer who appeared in the music academy we were working around 2000. He used to compose “psychocosmic symphonies” but playing Casio keyboards as mainly sound source. We did an interview with him for Bananafish with a track which was the only thing he released during life, and there’s a proper LP but it was released after he sadly passed away.

Jazzy Mel had a mainstream rap hit mainly for teenagers during early 90s before disappearing, and what he played with us were strictly experimental synthesizers: there’s a track with him on the box set.

Mario Socolinsky was a TV Star Doctor who started in the 60s. He invited us to play as oficial band for his Medical TV show during a whole year: there we played 30-second-songs live from Monday to Friday 3pm to 4pm on National TV. Later we played some intense studio jams but most of them are still unreleased. We also recorded a quite hilarious video with him writing medical prescriptions for LPs of The Residents and Faust!

AC: Why are you guys always in sunglasses, is it bright in Argentina?

Reynols: Yes, Argentina is quite bright, specially during the night, when everybody is asleep.

AC: Miguel is it true that you lived in England years ago? What do you remember? Was it cold and rainy?

Miguel Tomasín: Yeees, I remember. I like. The Punks. And their hairstyle too. Like antennas.

AC: Do you remember when you first played the drums?

Miguel Tomasín: Three years old.

Like Gene Krupa.

AC: Your mum is often mentioned in interviews. What does she think about Reynols music? Does she come to shows?

Miguel Tomasín: Mom came to the shows. A bit noisy. But she loved it all.

AC: My mum is very lovely, but she’s not really into rock and roll.

...what kind of music is Reynols… is it Rock? Jazz? Argentinian Tango?

Miguel Tomasín: ehh Jerz!

AC: I knew it!

Alan this is tangential but I loved hearing your recent album Redwoods Interpretive with Thomas Dimuzio and Jon Leidecker.

Alan Courtis: That was a nice collaboration album we recorded in San Francisco last time I was there. It’s always challenging to work with other people in different locations but it’s immensely rewarding.

AC: Please tell us all about the new “Minecxiology” book you guys have been promoting on social media. What’s in this book? Where do we order it from? Should it go on the shelf next to ‘Minecxio Emanations’?

Reynols: We used the pandemic years to work in this book. It has over 500 pages and more than 300 photos. Until now it’s only in Spanish but we expect to have an English version at some point. There are special texts by Pauline Oliveros and Marc Masters plus appearances by notable artists like Henry Rollins, Mitsuru Tabata, Thurston Moore, Rick Ocasek, Damo Suzuki, etc. Not sure about overseas distribution but you can try to find it at the Dobra Robota website:

AC: What’s next for Reynols? Anything interesting coming up? Will you just keep on forever and ever?

Reynols: We have some upcoming records: the LP Peloto Cabras Mulusa Olve on Calar Music (San Francisco), a double 7” set called Corulu Flatdas Gasigo on Artsy Records (Helsinki) and also a collaboration album with a Norweigian inclusive group and one of the legendary founder members of Einstürzende Neubauten: DNA?AND? + N U UNRUH + REYNOLS, which is coming on Hærverk Industrier (Oslo). Also for next year we’ll have some more releases on labels from Greece, Spain and USA plus exhibitions in Belgium, Finland, Canada and who knows what more…

AC: Lastly...

....Moncho or Roberto?

Roberto Conlazo: Moncho only with black leather gloves, if not Roberto.

AC: Alan or Anla?

Alan Courtis: Both (depending on the weather).

AC: Beatles or Stones?

Miguel Tomasín: Boney M. and Messi.

Reynols can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Ubuweb.


Video of “Manorla Acuplemo” (from Tolin Asumer, LP, Carbon Records & Feeding Tube, US):

Live at Argentine National TV (Canal 7):

Video of “Lintiri Teperoli” (from Gona Rubian Ranesa, LP Outliers Communications, Canada):

Popular posts from this blog

Bablicon: A Flat Inside A Fog, The Cat That Was A Dog

Zhu Wenbo, Li Song, Yan Jun: There Is No Music From China (compilation)

Matmos: The West