Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Reynols & Birchville Cat Motel Split LP! (Reverse Records) Edition of 208 on 180 g vinyl.

And here's another fruitful split LP--been hearing quite a few lately, getting further and further from any kind of 12 tone musicality, sinking deeper into the most primitive regions of the minimal droneisphere. These two abstract noise makers have achieved a modicum of cult world success while playing the game by their own rules. In case you couldn't tell, I respond to these types well, and none more so in recent months than Campbell Kneale's Birchville Cat Motel, a one man band that works relentlessly in a cluttered laboratory somewhere in Lower Hutt, NZ to conjure the kind of man-made divinity bridges that remind us that god can be known, even if only conceptually, through a bit of ye old sustained drone.

Argentina's Reynols enjoy a similar perspective of the spiral universe as well. The unconventional trio has made a clatterous, drone racket for damn near a decade at this point I'd guess. Maybe longer. They just seemed to burrow up from the Argentinean pampas one day howling and stumbling through the thick green mist about impending apocalypse and new cosmic order. Just what that order is, I can't exactly say, but I think head Reynols Miguel Tomas­n has it all mapped out in his bulbous head. I do know that, like BCM, these lads approach enlightenment and minimal restraint from a decidedly primitive and dilapidated angle. In their world trash compactors and streetcleaners can yield the aural ooze of a million years knowledge in just over say, 19 minutes. Music is everywhere you see, an instrument can be anything, and one merely need set his internal tuner to recieve to hear it all.

Both of these ensembles do it well across the span of this limited, pricey and ultimately quite gone (literally and metaphorically) audiophile LP on the Danish Reverse imprint. The label is blank, which seems only fitting since the listener can't so easily discern who's making what racket, and given both pieces of music build from a piercing, minimal, layered drone to something more imposing, the label ambiguity is probably intentional. Fans will be able to tell which is which though. Both bands are strong proponents of the so called life drone--that is the sustained harmonics that permeate all existence. John Cage might've called it indeterminism. These lads might just call it noise, but I'd rather think of as some sort of tonal portal to higher consciousness with no real beginning or end, just a constant room drowning aauumm to swim through and explore.

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