Tag: Blaine L Reininger (Page 1 of 2)

A Beginner’s Guide To GARETH JONES

Gareth Jones was born in Lancashire and while he played a number of instruments as a youngster, his interest soon turned to music technology with the purchase of a tape recorder.

He gained his formal training at the BBC and began working as an engineer in various recording spaces including Pathway, a small 8 track studio in North London which was frequently used by Stiff Records and where THE DAMNED recorded ‘New Rose’ in 1976. It was there that he worked on MADNESS’ debut single ‘The Prince’ in 1979. But it was his work with former ULTRAVOX front man John Foxx and his 1980 long playing debut ‘Metamatic’ that was to be his breakthrough.

This led to work producing esoteric acts such as TUXEDOMOON and TAUCHEN-PROKOPETZ; it was while working with the latter on the 1983 ‘DÖF’ record in Vienna that it was suggested that Jones mix the album at Hansa Tonstudio in West Berlin. At the time, it was the most high-tech complex he had ever worked in and prompted to his relocation to die Mauerstadt.

Many British bands began recording and mixing in Berlin as the exchange rate made things highly cost effective. It was while Jones was engineering the recording of the third DEPECHE MODE album ‘Construction Time Again’ at John Foxx’s own studio The Garden in Shoreditch that he proposed mixing the record in Berlin. He had been initially reluctant to work with DEPECHE MODE who he considered lightweight but was eventually persuaded by Foxx to become their Tonmeister.

Gareth Jones was a pioneer in the use of state of art digital equipment including the NED Synclavier and AMS digital delays; among his techniques was using the big ballroom at Hansa to capture atmospheres created by sounds being played through large amplifiers which were then recorded with microphones, creating a huge cavernous sound.

Although chiefly known for his work with synths and sampling, Jones also worked with more guitar driven bands such as WIRE, THE HOUSE OF LOVE, INSPIRAL CARPETS and MOGWAI as well as dark lord Nick Cave. After the fall of The Iron Curtain, Jones later returned to London where he remains today at his current base theArtLab within The Strongroom complex in London.

Having fought cancer in 2008, he continues to produce, mix and compose with a third SUNROOF album with Daniel Miller currently in progress. Meanwhile Jones had also provided his expertise and guidance to emerging studio personnel via the Red Bull Academy.

With a restriction of one track per album project and in chronological order, here are 20 tracks which form ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK’s Beginner’s Guide to the innovative career of Gareth Jones.


JOHN FOXX Plaza (1980)

Having departed ULTRAVOX, when John Foxx recorded his debut solo record, Gareth Jones was the engineer at Pathway, a studio known for its reggae sessions. While the aim was a starker vision of electronic music, both Foxx and Jones absorbed dub influences where things would be stripped back but one sound given all the power. This aesthetic suited the dystopian ‘Metamatic’ opener ‘Plaza’.

Available on the JOHN FOXX album ‘Metamatic’ via Metamatic Records

http://www.metamatic.com/


TUXEDOMOON Incubus (1981)

Impressed with the sound of ‘Metamatic’, TUXEDOMOON had originally sought John Foxx to produce their next album ‘Desire’ but unavailable, he put the American art rockers in touch with Gareth Jones. “Gareth was brilliant, fabulous” said the band’s Blaine L Reininger, “He was able to teach us; kind of organise us”. On one of the highlights, ‘Incubus’, the same Roland CR-78 Compurhythm was used.

Available on the TUXEDOMOON album ‘Desire’ via Crammed Discs

https://www.tuxedomoon.co/


JOHN FOXX Dancing Like A Gun (1981)

With a second album and studio both named ‘The Garden’, Gareth Jones was again working with John Foxx realise both. After the colder overtures of ‘Metamatic’, traditional instrumentation returned. ‘Dancing Like A Gun’ contradicted its “Oppenheimer waltzing” line but blended synth with art rock to recall ‘Quiet Men’ from his ULTRAVOX days.

Available on the JOHN FOXX album ‘The Garden’ via Metamatic Records

https://www.facebook.com/johnfoxxmetamatic


DEPECHE MODE Two Minute Warning (1983)

Working alongside Daniel Miller who continued as producer, Gareth Jones had DEPECHE MODE sampling found sounds around the-then derelict surroundings of Shroreditch to create a new sonic template in pop. Many of the songs had socio-political themes as demonstrated by the Alan Wilder composed Cold War angst ditty ‘Two Minute Warning’.

Available on the DEPECHE MODE album ‘Construction Time Again’ via Sony Music

https://www.depechemode.com/


FAD GADGET Collapsing New People (1984)

Frank Tovey had been intrigued by German band EINSTÜRZENDE NEUBAUTEN whose name translated as “collapsing new buildings” and their use of industrial equipment and found objects. So while recording at Hansa, he got Gareth Jones to record a large printing press nearby as the basis for a loop rhythm that became ‘Collapsing New People’.

Available on the FAD GADGET album ‘Gag’ via Mute Records

https://www.instagram.com/fadgadgetofficial/


BLAINE L REININGER Mystery & Confusion (1984)

For his first second solo album, Blaine L Reininger was reunited with Gareth Jones at the production helm. Using Roland’s portable pre-MIDI holy trinity of the TB-303 Bassline, the SH-101 monosynth and the TR-808 Rhythm Composer synced via a customised cable, its highlight was the cinematic synthpop of ‘Mystery & Confusion’ which saw the TUXEDOMOON leader exude a distinct Eurocentric spirit.

Available on the BLAINE L REININGER album ‘Night Air’ via Les Disques du Crépuscule

https://lesdisquesducrepuscule.com/blaine_l_reininger.html


PALAIS SCHAUMBURG Beat Of 2 (1984)

An influential Neue Deutsche Welle band from Hamburg, PALAIS SCHAUMBURG were on the bill with DEPECHE MODE at the 1981 Mute Night at the London Lyceum. Their members included Thomas Fehlmann who went on to join THE ORB and experimental producer Holger Hiller. The percussive ‘Beat Of 2’ turned out to be their final single and was produced by Gareth Jones alongside Inga Humpe.

Available on the PALAIS SCHAUMBURG album ‘Parlez-Vous Schaumburg?’ via Mercury Records

http://palaisschaumburg.com/


HUMPE HUMPE Yama-ha (1985)

Quirky Neue Deutsche Welle from sisters Annette and Inga Humpe, ‘Yama-ha’ was produced by Roma Baran who had worked on Laurie Anderson’s ‘O Superman’. The “shopping list” synth and sample number listing a number of Japanese tech and vehicle manufacturers was remixed by Gareth Jones. The B-side ‘Memories’ was produced by Conny Plank.

Available on the HUMPE HUMPE album ‘The Platinum Collection’ via Warner Music Group Germany

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063561587623


EINSTURZEN NEUBAUTEN Yü-Gung (1985)

When Gareth Jones was brought in to work with EINSTURZEN NEUBAUTEN, it was to provide a sense of order to the West Berlin group’s experimental metal-bashing. Using sampling technology to provide an avant-dance palette to accompany Blixa Bargeld’s fierce chant of “FÜTTER MEIN EGO”, the sinister rhythm was inspired by the sound of chopping up speed!

Available on the EINSTURZEN NEUBAUTEN album ‘Halber Mensch’ via Potomak

https://neubauten.org/


BRONSKI BEAT Hit That Perfect Beat (1985)

Featuring new BRONSKI BEAT singer John Jøn Foster, ‘Hit That Perfect Beat’ was a frantically paced HI-NRG track helmed by Adam Williams of THE SELECTER who had been co-producer on EURYTHMICS’ singles ‘The Walk’ and ‘Love Is A Stranger’. Impressed by his work for DEPECHE MODE, Gareth Jones was brought in for the final mix which replicated the pumping presence of ‘Master & Servant’.

Available on the BRONSKI BEAT album ‘Truthdare Doubledare’ via London Records

https://www.facebook.com/bronskibeatband


DEPECHE MODE Stripped (1986)

Having risen to co-producer during ‘Some Great Reward’, Jones continued in the role for ‘Black Celebration’. Martin Gore’s songs had got bleaker and inspired by German film director Werner Herzog, Daniel Miller wanted a dystopian intensity, a feeling which ramped up when the band finished the album in Berlin. ‘Stripped’ was the “remarkable” single that heralded this darker direction.

Available on the DEPECHE MODE album ‘Black Celebration’ via Sony Music

https://www.facebook.com/depechemode


MINISTRY Just Like You (1986)

Having debuted with the synth-oriented ‘With Sympathy’ album in 1983, by 1986 MINISTRY had become more abrasive with industrial elements creeping into their sound. Engineered by Gareth Jones but produced by Adrian Sherwood of On-U Sound, the beat driven ‘Just Like You’ featured a Fairlight CMI which mainman Al Jourgensen had been able to acquire as a part of the deal with Sire Records.

Available on the MINISTRY album ‘Twitch’ via Rhino Records

https://ministryband.com/


NITZER EBB Let Your Body Learn (1987)

With their musical premise of “muscle and hate”, NITZER EBB took the seed of DAF to develop a danceable industrial finesse. While Phil Harding of PWL fame produced and mixed most of their debut long player released by Mute, Gareth Jones and Daniel Miller teamed up to remix their 1986 independently issued single ‘Let Your Body Learn’.

Available on the NITZER EBB album ‘That Total Age’ via Mute Records

https://www.nitzerebbprodukt.com/


ERASURE Blue Savannah (1989)

After his DEPECHE MODE Berlin trilogy, Gareth Jones remained in the Mute family to work with ERASURE. The concept of ‘Blue Savannah’ was Roy Orbison doing electronic pop. As co-producer with Mark Saunders, he provided an uncluttered backdrop to showcase the soaring optimism of what was to become one of the most universally loved songs by Andy Bell and Vince Clarke.

Available on the ERASURE album ‘Wild!’ via Mute Records

https://www.erasureinfo.com/


IRMIN SCHMIDT Gormenghast Drift (1991)

When Mute Records licensed the CAN back catalogue in 1990, there came the opportunity to work on new solo recordings with their keyboard virtuoso Irmin Schmidt. With Gareth Jones as co-producer, while there were vocals as well contributions from bandmates Jaki Liebezeit and Michael Karoli, the closing synth and piano instrumental ‘Gormenghast Drift’ was an atmospheric delight.

Available on the IRMIN SCHMIDT album ‘Impossible Holidays’ via Spoon Records

https://mutebank.co.uk/collections/irmin-schmidt


ERASURE Grace (1995)

An attempt at prog synth on the seventh ERASURE album saw Gareth Jones and Thomas Fehlmann of PALAIS SCHAUMBURG work together as producers on the ambitious if flawed self-titled opus. While there was the brilliant under rated single ‘Fingers and Thumbs (Cold Summer’s Day)’, there were also beautiful emotive neo-classical moments such as ‘Grace’ among the highlights.

Available on the ERASURE album ‘Erasure’ via Mute Records

https://www.facebook.com/erasureinfo


BOYTRONIC Living Without You (2002)

The 21st Century incarnation of BOYTRONIC saw the return of original frontman Holger Wobker. The anthemic ‘Living Without You’, which was one of two songs produced by Gareth Jones for the parent album ‘Autotunes’, utilised an impressive array of instrumentation including electronics, filmic orchestrations and rock guitars as well as Wobker’s impassioned vocals.

Available on the BOYTRONIC album ‘Autotunes’ via Strange Ways Records

https://www.facebook.com/BoytronicOriginal/


MESH No Place Like Home (2006)

When it suggested that MESH work with Gareth Jones, the band were initially reluctant because of the inevitable DEPECHE MODE comparisons. But Rich Silverthorn remembered “He was a really nice guy. We spent about 10 days locked in eating Chinese food, laughing and mixing ‘We Collide’”. Of the six tracks Jones mixed, ‘No Place Like Home’ proved to be one of the most poignant songs of MESH’s career.

Available on the MESH album ‘We Collide’ via Dependent Records

http://www.mesh.co.uk/


GARETH JONES Safe Travels (2020)

On the milestone of his 65th birthday, Gareth Jones’ released ‘ELECTROGENETIC‘, his first album under his own name. Most of the tracks began as improvisations around a modular patch, then crafted in a blend of humanity and electronics. While in Detroit, he developed the subtle rhythmic pulse and absorbing keyboard overtures of ‘Safe Travels’.

Available on the GARETH JONES album ‘ELECTROGENETIC‘ via Calm + Collect

https://www.instagram.com/garethgeniusjones/


SUNROOF 1.8 – 2.3.19 (2021)

A studio collaboration between Gareth Jones and Daniel Miller, while this project mostly produced covers such as ‘Hero’ for the tribute album ‘A Homage to NEU!’ in 1998 and assorted remixes, SUNROOF released a collection of improvised modular experiments recorded in 2019, of which the energetic ‘1.8 – 2.3.19’ was the most immediate.

Available on the SUNROOF album ‘Electronic Music Improvisations Vol1’ via Mute Artists

https://mute.com/artists/sunroof


Text by Chi Ming Lai
1 April 2024

ASPRA Presents: Play For Tomorrow Vol1

Best known as one half of the Greek synthpop duo MARSHEAUX, Sophia Sarigiannidou launched her solo project ASPRA in 2022

Her first single was ‘Velvet’, an electronic rework of the 4AD cult shoegaze duo THE BIG PINK while on the flip was another cover in ‘Anoint’, a song originally by John Peel favourites THE FIELD MICE. While these choices were unexpected, it did point to Sarigiannidou’s own leftfield tastes. There was also two fabulous collaborations with veteran electronic composer Lena Platonos, prosed unexpectedly en Français.

“I started going to the neighborhood record store and asking them to write me tapes. I bought the ‘Machines’ compilation LP. The disc starts with ‘Messages’ by OMD. What a shock that was… within 3 minutes so many different tunes alternated, one better than the other.” she said, “Through this record, I discovered Fad Gadget, Gary Numan and John Foxx! That afternoon the living room of the house in Thessaloniki was transformed into a window into a future era! It was written everywhere that ‘the synthesizer is the sound of the future’. Mine certainly was!”

Compiling a collection of rare and less obvious post-punk and synth tracks in the spirit of ‘Machines’ from 1977-1985, ‘ASPRA presents: Play For Tomorrow Vol.1’ sees Sarigiannidou offer a snapshot into her creative outlook with songs that four decades on have shown themselves to be “timeless jewels that you can play for today or play for tomorrow…”

While OMD are among the better known acts in the selection with the wistful ‘Of All The Things We’ve Made’ along with ULTRAVOX’s superb ‘Just For A Moment’, the others are more obscure but no less essential. Complimenting these two choices, ‘Karussell’ by Michael Rother of NEU! highlights the German musician’s influence on the aural aesthetics of both.

With wispy vocals and joyfully handled keys, Chris & Cosey’s wonderful ‘October (Love Song)’ was the antithesis of their parent group THROBBING GRISTLE and covered by MARSHEAUX in Greek for their debut album ‘E-Bay Queen’ in 2004. Another highlight is the TB303 driven cinematic synthpop of ‘Mystery & Confusion’ by TUXEDOMOON leader Blaine L Reininger which exudes a Eurocentric spirit as per its title and deserves wider recognition.

But the collection begins with the spacey avant folk of ‘UFO Report No.1’ by THE GADGETS, a track recorded in 1979 and featuring a very young pre-THE THE Matt Johnson. Despite its dour vocal delivery, 1982’s ‘Love Disgrace’ from Italian duo AMIN PECK is immensely catchy with its pulses, chops and glorious synth lines. Meanwhile New Zealand’s CAR CRASH SET earn their place with ‘Fall From Grace’ where deep sombre vocals contrast with a sparkling but gritty mechanical roll over 8 minutes.

Mute Records founder Daniel Miller finds two of his productions included; the dystopian minimal synth of ‘Music To Save The World By’ was the B-side from a one-off single on Cherry Red Records by the little known Alan Burnham while planting the seed of KOMPUTER, ‘Still Smiling’ by I START COUNTING has an innocent charm with those distinctive metallic tinges circa 1985. From that same year, French trio RUTH are eccentric but stylish on their debut single ‘Polaroïd/Roman/Photo’ crossing the detached with the playful while another curveball is thrown when the muted brass kicks in.

Α new wave duo with hints of THE VELVET UNDERGROUND but with a heated Italian vibe rather than the Götterdämmerung of Nico, CHRISMA’s ‘Black Silk Stocking’ was a 1978 single was produced and co-written by Vangelis’ brother, Nikko Papathanasiou. THE BUGGLES maybe best known for ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ but the duo of Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes actually made a second album ‘Adventures In Modern Recording’ in 1981; from it, ‘On TV’ is enjoyably oddball while employing exotic Eastern flavours not unlike LANDSCAPE.

Last but not least THE ELECTRONIC CIRCUS’ spirited anti-war anthem ‘Direct Lines’ is sadly still relevant 42 years after its release. In what turned out to be a one-off project led by Gary Numan keyboardist Chris Payne, the resigned hopelessness is captured by the vocals of Penny Heathcote, frontwoman of Brighton band CORVETTES who themselves only issued one single.

‘Play For Tomorrow Vol.1’ is a superb compilation that will appeal to long standing music fans who love discovering music from the imperial pioneering phase of electronic pop that may have fallen under the radar back in the day.

Sophia Sarigiannidou has done a fantastic curation job and it will be interesting to see how these influences might permeate into the soundscapes of the eventual debut ASPRA album.


‘Play For Tomorrow Vol.1’ is released as a CD, available from https://deejaydead.de/en/aspra-presents-play-for-tomorrow-vol-1-limited-cd-digipack-2022 and https://www.poponaut.de/various-artists-play-tomorrow-limited-edition-p-22006.html

https://www.instagram.com/thisisaspra/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
27th February 2023

POLYCHRON+ She’s Always Been There


POLYCHRON+ is the new electro-acoustic project by veteran Italian producer Gabriele Gai with songwriter, musician and vocalist Aurelio Menichi.

To say their debut album ‘She’s Always Been There’ is something a bit different and unusual would be an understatement.

Not only does it mix electronically derived Mediterranean dance music with Tuscan folk and classical forms, it has an impressive cast of guests including Anna Domino, Blaine L. Reininger and Luc Van Lieshout from TUXEDOMOON.

It is a cultured and sophisticated album that includes the synthetic torch cabaret of ‘Alaska Drive’ sung by NicoNote and the arty jazz-inflected Italo disco of ‘Twist The Knife’ featuring crooner Alex Spalck and Luc Van Lieshout on trumpet. Standing next to them is the brilliantly understated house of ‘Lighter Than The Blue’ which sees Blaine L. Reininger not only offer his pronounced Leonard Cohen-esque baritone but also bring a virtuoso violin performance to the party.

‘Yeh-Teh’ springs a surprise with some enjoyable avant garde rapping and a snarling sample from a BBC interview with John Lydon declares “I want everything in life to be transparent… let us as human beings determine our own journey in life!”

What is contained on ‘She’s Always Been There’ is nothing but diverse, with melancholic piano assisted instrumentals like ‘Morbid Love’ and the delicate Anna Domino voiced flutey guitar ballad ‘Pocketknife’ figuring. Meanwhile ‘Gum, Le Blue Jar’ could be a reggaefied YELLO while a cover of Italian post-punk band GAZNEVADA’s ‘Tij-U-Wan’ throws in spikey rock and the influence of DEVO halfway through!

Seeded by life, disappointments and grief with cinematic reference points to the Les Disques Du Crepuscule and Crammed Records catalogue as well as Italian New Wave, ‘She’s Always Been There’ will appeal to fans of the TUXEDOMOON axis with its refined electronic base embellished by a variety of traditional instrumentation.


‘She’s Always Been There’ is released in CD and digital formats by Totem Taboo and distributed by Materiali Sonori

https://www.facebook.com/polychronplus/

https://open.spotify.com/album/4FzDi2KbpvajkEmDZohmlL


Text by Chi Ming Lai
19th January 2022

BLAINE L REININGER Wounds & Blessings

Colorado-born Blaine L Reininger is best known as a member of TUXEDOMOON, a classically trained musician who embraced the European avant-garde and now lives in Greece.

Exponents of “cabaret no-wave”, TUXEDOMOON’s second album ‘Desire’ released in 1981 was co-produced by Gareth Jones after the band were impressed by his engineering skills on John Foxx’s ‘Metamatic’. Blaine L Reininger had a parallel solo career and continuing to work with Gareth Jones, released the acclaimed 1984 album ‘Night Air’ which featured the TB303 driven cinematic synthpop of ‘Mystery & Confusion’.

‘Wounds & Blessings’ is Reininger’s new studio double album featuring 28 new tracks organised into 4 themed suites of Songs, Bricolage, Sourced and Serene. Featuring TUXEDOMOON bandmates Steven Brown, Luc van Lieshout and Paul Zahl as well as Greek guitarist Tile-machos Moussas, Reininger additionally utilises computer plug-ins, samplers and AI-assisted lyrics alongside his trusty violin and guitar. The end result ranges from purely orchestral to entirely electronic compositions with everything in between.

With the world’s current state of flux, the subject of mortality heavily colours ‘Wounds & Blessings’. With an infectious electronic bass squelch, ringing keyboard signatures and a cacophony of swooping guitars, the Bowie-esque ‘100 Sad Fingers’ sees Reininger adopt baritone alongside an across a striking range of backing vocals. The art rock thrust of ‘I Inhabit The Dunes’ sounds like it could have come off ‘The Next Day’ or ‘Lodger’ for that matter while ‘Je Retournerai’ is more reminiscent of Iggy Pop.

Taking the pace down, ‘Chemise Grise’ is sung partly in French and recalls Leonard Cohen but ‘Trials & Tribulations’ springs a surprise at the start with dance beats and vocoder. ‘Roll Off The Edge’ is a crazy combination of tablas, jazz, funk, post-punk, chants and bursts of organ while ‘Occult Simplicities’ though could be best described as art school Lalo Schifrin!

The second half displays more of the considered classical and soundtrack styled compositions as featured on the ‘Commissions’ series with jazz inflections over drum loops as on ‘Newbs Descending A Staircase’ and the moodier instrumental territory of ‘Die Ferne Klang’ where Reininger’s sombre violin moods come to fore alongside percolating electronic vibes. ‘Sun Package’ combines rootsy slide guitar with a widescreen synthetic backdrop while the eerie ‘Unbirthday’ provides some nocturnal reflection. As the album progresses onto its home straight, the more traditional ‘Cahiers Noirs’ rings with the sadness of real and virtual violins before ‘Push’ presents sections of discordant ivory passages to close.

Blaine L Reininger is nothing but diverse and stylistically, he has never been able to be placed in a genre box. Fans will again relish the variation on offer with this ambitious work. Requiring more than a passing listen to be appreciated, casual observers may only find a quarter of the ‘Wounds & Blessings’ immediately appealing but that is already 3 or 4 tracks more than most albums offer on the quality front these days anyway.


‘Wounds & Blessings’ is released by Les Disques du Crépuscule as a 2CD set and download, available now direct from https://www.lesdisquesducrepuscule.com/wounds_and_blessings_twi1255.html and https://burningshed.com/store/les-disques-du-crepuscule_store/blaine-l-reininger_wounds-and-blessings_2cd

https://mundoblaineo.org/

https://www.facebook.com/Blaine-L-Reininger-157948817590987/

https://twitter.com/BlaineReininger

https://open.spotify.com/album/3smUBkXFkK6ZfgEbdVebKe


Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by George Geranios
2nd January 2021

BLAINE L REININGER Commissions 2

Blaine L Reininger is the noted American singer and multi-instrumentalist who crossed the Atlantic with TUXEDOMOON and eventually settled in Europe.

Initially finding a home in post-punk Brussels, he now happily resides in Athens, an environment that has provided him with the freedom to compose genre-crossing works, both solo and with his iconic band.

Casual music observers may know Blaine L Reininger for the TB303 driven cinematic synthpop of ‘Mystery & Confusion’ from 1984.

But his latest collection ‘Commissions 2’ released by Les Disques du Crépuscule gathers soundtrack music made for theatre and dance productions staged between 2015-2019. It follows-up his previous soundtrack anthology from 2014.

These include ‘Angels’, ‘Caligula’, ‘The Kindly Ones’, ‘Reigen’, ‘Master & Margarita’, ‘Picnic With the Devil’ and ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ with the pieces ultilising a variety of textures including synthesizers, piano, guitar, string bass, cimbalom, ukulele, choirs and Reininger’s ever faithful violin.

The works range from atmospheric and eerie to grand and gothic, but despite their experimental nature, are mostly highly listenable in their own right. Opening the package, ‘Im Eiswind’ from ‘The Kindly Ones’ manages to mix all of the attributes afore mentioned, with the violin working well alongside various Mellotron sounds.

‘Atomium Sunrise’ is more ambient in tone while ‘Cold Song’ is appropriately dominated by an ominous synthbass, as is the dramatic ‘Krakenangriff’ from ‘Master & Margarita’,

Meanwhile ‘Alter Ego’ also off ‘Master & Margarita’ unexpectedly brings in vocoder and apes classic DEPECHE MODE.

But ‘Petao, Petao’ plays with arpeggios and haunting choirs while ‘You People Amaze Me’ uses a lot of reverse treatments over a solemn repeated organ.

Beginning disc two which has a more arthouse approach, the Eno-esque ‘Because It’s Me’ from ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ pulses along with soothing understated electronics and vocoder treatments next to slightly detuned chimes which combine for a fabulously spacey effect.

Both ‘Betweenspace’ and ‘Mauthausen Girls’ offer a more acoustic outlook within a uneasy schizophrenic cocoon, but ‘Novvy Kover’ crosses accordion with synths in a manner that is more like an aural collage.

The accordion-laden Terrible Father’ from ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ springs a surprise with a spirited vocal from Reininger, while the self-explanatory ‘Rilke Elegy’ from Reigen’ sets the tone with thoughtful lyrics.

‘Where Did They Take Him?’ from ‘The Kindly Ones’ is understandably sombre in tone, highlighting the more traditional format that dominates disc two, although ‘Happy New Year, Dorothy’ is a lively rhythmic piece with a most beautiful fiddle hook.

A fine collection of accessible soundtrack works with disc two being of a more avant garde bent, those new to the work of Reininger will find a nice entry point in disc one, while TUXEDOMOON fans will relish what is presented on disc two.

‘Commissions 2’ is thus a win-win for anyone with an interest in quality soundtrack compositions.


‘Commissions 2’ is released by Les Disques du Crépuscule as a 2CD set and download, available now from https://lesdisquesducrepuscule.com/commissions_2_twi1246cd.html

https://mundoblaineo.org/

https://www.facebook.com/Blaine-L-Reininger-157948817590987/

https://twitter.com/BlaineReininger

https://tuxedomoonblr.bandcamp.com/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
18th November 2019

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