Tuxedomoon Live at the Deaf Club, October 1979 Now Available

11 Mar 2018 07:18

Now available for download, this stunning collection of Tuxedomoon live from the charged atmosphere of the late 1970's San Francisco scene, at the very epicenter, The Deaf Club. Features several previously unknown and unreleased tracks as well as early versions of well-known classics. There is a bonus pdf booklet featuring posters and photos from the time.

Live at Deaf Club, 1979 by Tuxedomoon

Steven Brown's Cinema Domingo Orchestra Kickstarter Campaign

25 Feb 2018 11:12

CINEMA SUNDAY ORCHESTRA. New directions in music for silent films.

Pioneers in audio explorations with more than 20 years of work in resignifying classic films from the last century through live sound, Cinema Sunday Orchestra under the direction of renowned musician/composer Steven Brown has performed in Film Festivals and special events through-out Mexico.

On two different occasions, Cinema Domingo Orchestra has been commissioned by the Goethe Institute of Mexico to compose and perform original music for german silent films. In 2012 for the national premiere of the recently restored ALGOL The Tragedy of Power (1920) by Hans Werckmeister, and in 2016 for the newly restored DESTINY by Fritz Lang (1921).

Former director of the Institute Reinhard Maiworm has stated; “If anyone in Mexico is perfect for putting music to silent film, that would be Cinema Domingo Orchestra.”

Over 15 years Cinema Sunday Orchestra has positioned itself to be the most innovative and unique producer of audio accompaniment to silent (and sound) films, providing cinefiles and the public in general with a unique experience that inevitably leads to new interpretations and new ways of appreciating the seventh art.

This project began in Bruxelles Belgium at the end of the 80s when Steven Brown (founder of musical groups Tuxedomoon, Nine Rain and Kafka Ensamble) began to intervene in public forums projecting 16mm silent films. At the beginning of the new millennium Brown moves to Oaxaca Mexico where he renews the project, now with local musicians with whom together will compose and perform new musical accompaniments to silent films.

The Cinema Sunday Orchestra is: Steven Brown, clarinet, saxophone, piano and keyboards; Bruno Varela, Bass Guitar and curator; Julio García, Guitar, Jarana and Oud; Oxama, Percussion and electronics.

Tuxedomoon Archive Goes Live!

18 Feb 2018 15:37

Announcing the new Tuxedomoon archive page. We will begin posting live shows from Peter P's massive archive for your listening pleasure. Go check out our initial offering!

Tuxedomoon Archives

Tuxedomoon provide a selection of their private and live recordings, footnotes in the band's history and legacy. Some were previously shared by/with Peter Principle in online trading circles; others have never been heard before. These recordings are selected according to sound quality and/or historical relevance.

Tuxedomoon provide a selection of their private and live recordings, footnotes in the band's history and legacy. Some were previously shared by/with Peter Principle in online trading circles; others have never been heard before. These recordings are selected according to sound quality and/or historical relevance.

Blue Sleep First Review

15 Feb 2018 16:50

Here is the first review for BLR's new album "The Blue Sleep"

BLAINE L REININGER The Blue Sleep - The Electricity Club

As a cardinal of the European avant-garde and co-founder of TUXEDOMOON, Blaine L Reininger is both schooled and shrouded in mystery. He currently lives in Greece - ground zero for the continent's myths and a portal for all things Oriental. The influence can be seen on his new solo album 'The Blue Sleep'.

Blaine L. Reininger New Album, The Blue Sleep

24 Jan 2018 16:29

From March 28, 2018, Les Disques du Crepuscule will release a new studio album from Blaine Reininger called "The Blue Sleep".

The Blue Sleep [TWI 1237 CD] | Blaine L. Reininger | Crépuscule

The Blue Sleep is a 2018 album by Blaine L. Reininger of Tuxedomoon

The Blue Sleep is a brand new studio album by Blaine L. Reininger, the Colorado-born composer and founder member of avant-garde music group Tuxedomoon.

Written and recorded by Blaine in 2017, the album was mixed in his adopted hometown of Athens by noted electronic music producer Coti K. Like most of his previous solo projects, The Blue Sleep combines vocal songs with atmospheric instrumental tracks, three of which (Lost Ballroom, Jacob's Ladder and Odi et Amo) were written for Caligula, a theatre production.

"These days the music plays me," explains Blaine. "The unifying principle behind the songs on Blue Sleep is the method of composition. I apply fine old aleatory techniques - John Cage, William Burroughs, Tristan Tzara - and filter these through my instinctive knowledge of melody and harmony. Lyrics are generated algorithmically (I work with programs which assemble phrases according to mathematical rules) and then edited by me, with phrases suggested by the random output. That's pretty much my modus operandi in the 21st century."

10 track CD. Cover image by George Terzis.


1. Public Transformation
2. The Blue Sleep
3. Lost Ballroom
4. We're Tearing Out
5. Dry Food
6. Camminando Qui
7. Jacob's Ladder
8. The Dull Sea
9. Molecular Landscape
10. Odi et Amo

Available on CD and digital download. Mailorder copies are delivered in Crépuscule slipcase. To order CD please select correct shipping option and click on Add To Cart button below cover image, or else contact LDDC by email for other payment options. FOR RELEASE IN MARCH 2018.

Peter Principle's Birthday

5 Dec 2017 09:44


New York City Peter Principle Memorial

11 Aug 2017 18:38

There will be a memorial service for Peter at 23 windows in New York on August 19. Details in the post.

Livestream Video From Peter's Memorial 25/7/2017

27 Jul 2017 10:29

Here is a video derived from the livestream from Les Ateliers Claus, Brussels of Peter's Memorial Gathering, July 25, 2017.

Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate. Bodhi. Svaha!

Tuxedomoon Dates Cancelled

19 Jul 2017 09:04

It is with deepest regret and sorrow that Tuxedomoon must cancel all of the shows that had been booked for July and August 2017, due to the sudden death of our beloved brother and bandmate, Peter Principle Dachert. Watch this space for further news.

A Eulogy for Peter from Neil Martinson

18 Jul 2017 06:40

I was deeply saddened to hear that a dear friend of mine named Peter Principle (née Dachert) passed away today. Peter was a truly remarkable person, a brilliant musician, and an inspiring intelligence.
In 1990, I arranged to meet Peter for an interview which ended up being published in the first issue of my magazine Proof. We hit it off right away, and as it turned out, this first meeting would dramatically change the course of my life forever. Aside from being generally impressed with this tall, dignified, stentorian and highly articulate entity, during the course of this first conversation I was introduced to numerous things that would deeply influence my thinking, including Anthroposophy and a particularly profound Alchemical/Rosicrucian worldview. Those who know me well understand how significant all this is for me. Well, it was largely Peter's influence that set me on that path!
Over the years, we became pretty close and spent a lot of time together. He did the final mix of some recordings by my band Mercurians (some of which were released on a 45), and I was instrumental in arranging Tuxedomoon's last US appearance over a decade ago. In addition to being a warm and generous friend, he continued to introduce me to tons of amazing music, film, and esoteric knowledge; to say he was an influence seems a dramatic understatement. Getting to know Peter was absolutely revolutionary for my mind, and I was always proud and excited to introduce him to various friends of mine. Pretty much anyone who met him was equally astounded and transformed by him.
It must be noted that he had quite a temper and would occasionally explode about something seemingly small, like a book borrowed and not returned in a timely manner. Once during a heated phone call I told him to "stop yelling at me" and he immediately softened, gently explaining "well, if I don't yell it seems like nobody ever listens." He occasionally complained of people treating him poorly, condescending to him, insulting him and downright ripping him off. He was not shy about naming names, and many of his alleged detractors were people well-established in the avant garde music world. I sometimes wonder if he didn't imagine some of these slights, though I really have no way of knowing. Mostly, I found it hard to imagine anyone not liking him! It definitely conveyed a certain sense of loneliness and shyness, which I don't think most people who met him were aware of, as well as a generally well concealed class-conscious insecurity. He described his upbringing to me as quite rough and tumble and would joke about being "just a yobbo from Queens," although I gather his household prided itself as "enlightened proletariat." I suspect his bold demeanor and choleric temperament may have been offputting to some. In many ways he was a classic Sagittarian and definitely rode a pretty high horse! In any case, I felt honored that he was comfortable enough around me to reveal this vulnerable side of his complex personality.
The last time I saw him, he stormed up to me and griped about being "almost dead!" It was indeed quite offputting, but I do believe he was having a hard time financially and emotionally during his last few years in New York City. He had a wonderful girlfriend at the time and I gather they moved off to Kentucky or Tennessee or somewhere flabbergasting like that for several years … His landline was disconnected and we lost touch, and I regret not making more effort to reach out to him during these last few years. I had been hoping to arrange for Tuxedomoon to come back and play the United States again, and I just figured we'd be reunited some sunny day and pick up where we left off with some more wonderful conversations. Now it looks like I'll have to wait until some future incarnation!
Blessings on all your future endeavors, friend of ages.
Neil Martinson

Peter Principle Dead at 63

17 Jul 2017 16:11

Tuxedomoon's bassist and co-composer, Peter Principle Dachert, 63, has died. He was found in his room at Les Ateliers Claus in Brussels, where Tuxedomoon has been preparing a new tour and new music. He was the apparent victim of a heart attack or stroke.

We are all stunned. Words will come later.

Peter on the James River in Virginia, June, 2017

Tuxedomoon Summer Tour 2017

29 Jun 2017 15:57

Tuxedomoon's tour of Europe for Summer 2017 will begin with the arrival of the members in
Brussels July 3rd.

The following dates are planned

Jul 07 - Art'n'Music Festival - Lublin, Poland 
Jul 28 - festival Brindisi, Italy
Aug 03 - Tolhuistuin - Amsterdam, Netherlands 
Aug 04 - Jazz Cafe London, United Kingdom 
Aug 07 - Hafenklang - Hamburg, Germany 
Aug 08 - Lagerhaus - Bremen, Germany
Aug 09 - Day off Bremen
Aug 10 - Festsaal Kreuzberg - Berlin, Germany 
Aug 26 - Castelo de Leiria - Leiria, Portugal
Aug 28 - Magasin 4 Brussels, Belgium 
The setlist will feature previously unperformed music from Tuxedomoon albums, spanning the entire discography, with two tracks selected from each of the records.
tuxedomoon, December 2016.
from left, Luc van Lieshout, Blaine Reininger, David Haneke, Steven Brown, Peter Principle.

Half Mute Tour Finished

10 Jun 2016 10:38

Tuxedomoon's epic 2016 Half Mute Tour comes to a close tonight, June 10, here in Milano. It has been quite a ride. We thank all the fans, friends, and others who have come to these shows and made this the rich inspiring experience it has been. Much love to all and sundry.

Peter Principle and Dok Gregory's Zero Gravity Thinkers

9 May 2016 18:26

Peter Principle and Dok Gregory's Zero Gravity Thinkers' new CD is now released. It will be available at the Merch table for all of the dates on the tuxedomoon Half Mute tour.

Les Disque du Crepuscule Releases Steven Brown's Album of Music for Film and Theatre

11 Apr 2016 14:30

Announcing the release of Steven's album of Music for Film and Theatre 

Music For Film & Theatre | Steven Brown | Crépuscule

Music For Film & Theatre is a soundtrack anthology by Tuxedomoon member Steven Brown

David Haneke Joins the Tuxedomoon Tour on Visuals

9 Apr 2016 07:35

Due to the recent passing of our beloved friend and comrade, Bruce Geduldig, Tuxedomoon has recruited a new visual arts man for the upcoming Half-Mute tour. His name is David Haneke, an Austrian artist resident in Switzerland. We look forward to welcoming him into the fold.
 Here is an excerpt from his CV:

David Haneke, born 1965 in Vienna, Austria. Lived from 1985 - 2005 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Since 2005 in Switzerland. Studied “performing arts” at the National School of Arts in Amsterdam. In addition to acting in many Dutch theatre productions - including several years as performer with innovative site-specific theatre group BEWTH - he has directed and produced a number of independent films and video installations in the Netherlands, as well as creating pre-recorded and real-time video projections for theatre, opera and dance groups. His short film 'Humming Wires' won a special award at the Advanca Film Festival in Portugal in 1998. In 2000 founding Studio Ame and works additionally as Cameraman and Camera director for Events- and Television productions. From 2000-2004 worked as editor and cameraman for Postproduction Studio Vermaas, Amsterdam. 2001 Teaching Sound and Cinema in collaboration with Marco Vermaas at the Film festival Avanca- Portugal. 2000 MEMBER OF JURY at the Short film Festival Köln: Short cuts Cologne
1988 - 1992 PERFORMING ARTS at the Amsterdam School of the Arts (NL) AHK, De Theaterschool - Mimeopleiding*
Diploma 1992: Bachelor of Arts
1985 - 1987 MIME and Pantomime with E.J.Dijkstra & R.v.Rijn Studio A'dam
1974 - 1983 VIOLONCELLO with Professor Wolfgang Ebert. Vienna.

Relevant links:

Half Mute Re-Release Announced

22 Mar 2016 07:04

On the occasion of the Half-Mute tour, we are reissuing the album on CD,  in a special remastered and repackaged edition.

tuxedomoon half mute re-release package
The release includes a bonus album entitled GIVE ME NEW NOISE: Half-Mute Reflected. Thirteen artists have specially created covers of all the songs from Half-Mute and from the album's associated singles.

 The contributors include Foetus/Jim Thirlwell, Aksak Maboul, Simon Fisher Turner, DopplAr (feat. 2 members from Amatorski), Cult With No Name, Coti K., Georgio Valentino and others, with special appearances by the three makers of Half-Mute, Steven Brown, Peter Principle and Blaine Reininger.
Give Me New Noise will also be issued as a stand-alone vinyl LP and digital album.

Further information is available at Crammed Discs.

Bruce Geduldig Memorial

18 Mar 2016 09:33

Our friend Esmerelda Kay will hold a memorial service for Bruce at our old rehearsal space on Valencia in San Francisco.

BRUCE GEDULDIG MEMORIAL- SAT. March 19th 2:45-4:00pm POWA Buddhist ceremony with Bruce's family at 3324 17th St. (between Valencia & closer to Mission St. )4:30-6:00pm 992 Valencia St. ATA gallery (and the old Tuxedomoon/NohMercy rehearsal space )

Press Reaction to Bruce's Death

14 Mar 2016 07:22

There has been a tremendous outpouring of grief and condolences for our loss. Social media reaction has been especially large. Here is a collection of links to international press on Bruce's passing.
Le Monde obituary

RTBF (Belgian Francophone Television and Radio)

Panorama (Italy)

Rockol (Italy)

Rumoremag (Italy)
Dangerous minds USA
KQED San Francisco
Flanders Today (english edition)
The (Australia)

Photo archive of Bruce

Liberation (France) (Brussels)

R.I.P. Bruce Geduldig, 1953-2016

8 Mar 2016 09:11

Our erstwhile colleague and collaborator, Bruce Geduldig has died, on the occasion of his 63rd birthday, March 7, 2016. He departed from his home town, Sacramento, California, attended by his family and friends. He had been suffering for many years from liver complaints. We will miss him sorely.He joined Tuxedomoon around 1979. He had been working with Winston Tong in his theatre pieces, incorporating cinema and multi-media into their performances, and his orbit increasingly began to intersect that of Tuxedomoon. From then on, he was a constant feature in the live show, contributing to its unique gesamtkunst presentation.In the words of one our mutual friends, Jorge Socarras,

"The golden bad boy - that's what he had thought the first time he watched him walk into a room. All sharp angles he was, with a slight incline of the eyes suggesting migrations long lost under the adapted cover of blondness - invading Huns who, made docile by Teutonic magic, found themselves unable to leave the women they had raped. That fierceness and that seductiveness reconciled in their offspring's beauty, and displayed their genetic advantage when he smiled."

He had lived in Brussels, Belgium for many years, having moved there with the band in 1981. There, he met and married his beloved wife, Bernadette Martou, who died in April 2015.
In 2014, they moved to Sacramento, Bruce's home turf, having first lived for a time in Porto, Portugal.
Au revoir, dear friend. 
Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi, svaha!
the heart sutra*
some links: Bruce's youtube channel
.                  Bernadette's memorial page.
photo Saskia Lupini
*The Tuxedomoon Half Mute Tour will continue as planned. We shall dedicate it to his memory.

BLR inteviewed by Max Dax for Electronic Beats.

30 Nov 2015 07:06

An interesting interview with Blaine Reininger from a few years back. By Max Dax, for Electronic Beats. He also talked to him in Berlin recently, another interview not yet published.

An interesting interview from a few years back. By Max Dax, for Electronic Beats. I also talked to him in Berlin...

Posted by Blaine L. Reininger on Sunday, November 29, 2015


13 Nov 2015 11:19

With the proliferation of press on this release, we have been searching for a way to share these many reviews. Here it is, a press book. 


12 Nov 2015 16:19

The official release date of Tuxedomoon's career-spanning vinyl box is Friday, November 13th (tomorrow, or today, or yesterday, depending on your position in time relative to reading this post)
Follow the link and acquire your copy now!

TUXEDOMOON VINYL BOX OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE is November 13th! Follow the link and reserve your copy now!Over 3 kilograms of vinyl delight available now.
Posted by Tuxedomoon on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Unboxing "The Box" with Blaine

10 Oct 2015 18:01

Blaine L. Reininger discovers the new Tuxedomoon career-spanning box set at Crammed Discs' office in Brussel, October 9, 2015

An Interview with Blaine L. Reininger in "The Electric Club"

24 Sep 2015 16:01

An Interview with TUXEDOMOON’s Blaine L Reininger

Blaine L. Reininger thenBlaine L. Reininger’s roguish moustache and dinner jacket were a familiar sight in post-punk Brussels.
The American singer and multi-instrumentalist had crossed the Atlantic with TUXEDOMOON, the band he founded with Steven Brown in 1977, and become an exile of circumstance.
Unable to afford the return fare to San Francisco, Reininger became an accidental European, falling in with the Crépuscule and Crammed Discs sets and recording iconic albums of genre-crossing material, both as a solo artist and, despite a period of estrangement, with TUXEDOMOON.
We find Reininger based in Athens, shorn of his moustache and recently married to his long-time partner, Maria Panourgia. Green tea and cycling have replaced the fuels from his time in the Low Countries, and he’s been working on the stage and in film, but making and performing the music of TUXEDOMOON is his ever-fixed mark. Their latest release is the soundtrack for Peter Braatz’s documentary film, ‘Blue Velvet Revisited’, made as a collaboration with CULT WITH NO NAME.
Put together for the thirtieth anniversary of David Lynch’s ‘Blue Velvet’, the film features previously unseen footage taken on set by Braatz. The album, issued by Crammed as Vol. 42 of its respected Made to Measure series, also includes a contribution by John Foxx. We asked Reininger how the project came about.
TUXEDOMOON+CULTWITHNONAME The story of this project is down to Erik Stein [of CULT WITH NO NAME] and his connections and his doings. His group will often go and do artists’ support. They’ve done our support twice in Berlin. So, that’s what was happening. They were doing our support in Berlin. They introduced us to this film-maker guy who outlined the project. The motive force behind that was Erik. It was his connection. They outlined the project, and we settled on trying to do what we could when we could.
It’s always difficult for TUXEDOMOON to get further work, because we’re spread out all over the map, really. Steven Brown is in Mexico. You’ve got me here in Athens; Peter Principle on the East Coast, between Virginia and New York; Bruce Geduldig in California; Luc van Lieshout in Belgium – he’s the only one left in Brussels, even though Brussels is like our rolling headquarters. In order to work on the project, we had to steal the time from our tour itinerary. So, for instance, we were playing here in Athens, so I found a guy that had a rehearsal studio who is a TUXEDOMOON fan. We set up here in Athens and started to work in our usual fashion – we jam. We’re a jam band. We’ve been doing it for so long, it’s almost instinctive. We can do a lot in a short period of time.
TUXEDOMOON 2014-01We only actually played together for a couple of days. We had a couple of sessions – five or six hour sessions. We were working with tracks that Erik had already sent us, and we were just busting our faces off for two days. We took some of those recordings and sent them over to Erik. They had to exercise some editorial control, and they decided what they liked.
The next time we were able to do that was in Brussels, which was also on days off during the tour. It’s usually the only time we are able to all get together. Somebody has to pay for us to be together. We have to get rehearsal studios. If it takes any more, it’s us – we pay. It’s touring that funds the whole deal. So that’s what we did – we further refined our contributions to the project in Brussels.

The inclusion of a John Foxx track might be presumed to come from another of Erik Stein’s connections, but the links between Foxx and TUXEDOMOON go back a long way.
In the 80s – 80, 81 – both ULTRAVOX! and TUXEDOMOON were more in the media eye. We contacted each other by reading interviews with one another. We saw an interview with John Foxx in – I don’t know what – the NME, what have you, and they said, “What American bands do you find interesting?” He said, “This TUXEDOMOON I find very interesting.”
Photo by Gilles Martin
Photo by Gilles Martin
We said similar things. We liked what he was doing. We liked ULTRAVOX! I did, anyway. I was always a massive fan, when he was in the band, and I liked what he did after he left the band, as well.
There is a certain amount of influence – there are certain commonalities between, say, ‘Metal Beat’ and ‘Desire’. We were using the same gear, for that matter – the CR-78 village, in particular, causing a lot of these sounds.
So, when we started working with an English record company, Charisma, we wanted to contact John Foxx, and that’s what happened. As it turned out, he was not able to participate in the recording of ‘Desire’, except to put us together with Gareth Jones, of course, which was a big plus. Gareth was brilliant, fabulous. Of course, he went on to do a lot of work with DEPECHE MODE. He kind of defined their sound. Working with him was really marvellous. He was able to teach us; kind of organise us.
Of course, we always knew a lot about recording from the early outset – TUXEDOMOON was a studio group at the beginning. Stephen and I were both working in his rudimentary TEAC four track studio at school, and we continued to do that with his four track tape recorder. From the outset, TUXEDOMOON was a studio band, really. So, we already knew quite a bit about multitrack recordings. Desire was our first 24 track experience. That was mainly aided by Gareth’s input.

Recorded in a studio installed in a Surrey farmhouse, ‘Desire’ was TUXEDOMOON’s second album. Tracks like ‘Incubus (Blue Suit)’ capably channelled the coldness of Foxx’s ‘Metamatic’, while ‘Holiday for Plywood’ took Dave Rose’s ‘Holiday for Strings’ deep into quirk-funk terrain. ‘Desire’ demonstrated that the psychedelic world of TUXEDOMOON was capable of absorbing and processing incidental music and futuristic pop without being precious about the boundaries between them. Jones’ contributions led to further involvement in Reininger’s solo work.
Of course, we became friends. TUXEDOMOON would often become friendly with the people we work with; so, when I was doing my second solo record outside of TUXEDOMOON, I had to write to Gareth to come along. I asked him if he would do it, and that’s what happened. He came over to Brussels and we recorded ‘Night Air’ together, which was a marvellous experience.
Gareth had really excellent production ideas that I had never thought of. He would take an electronic rhythm machine out – by that time, I was using the TR-808 – he would take that, run it through a guitar amplifier in the studio and mic the bass kick through a bass amp. He would get a little bit of that overdrive in the package. He did things like wobble up the piano with this modulated echo sound – and that kind of stuff was all kind of new to me. We had a really good time making that record.
Night Air‘Night Air’ came out in 1984. It spawned the single, ‘Mystery & Confusion’, which was a nod to Ennio Morricone’s Spaghetti Western soundtracks but also steeped in synthesized sounds. How did Reininger, the classically-trained violinist, come to electronic music?
I have always been enamoured of electronics, and over the years with TUXEDOMOON, really. I started on a level with electronics very early on. I was – I don’t know, 12 – and my music teacher at school used to take the advanced students and he would have these morning sessions at the school. He would play records for us and talk to us. Among the things he played was Varèse. You know, he would play that guy Varèse, and I thought, “Wow!” ‘Déserts’ by Edgard Varèse – I thought this was fabulous.
Not long after that, Wendy Carlos’ version of the ‘Clockwork Orange’ soundtrack came out. Just hearing those sounds on the radio, hearing this Moog or maybe Keith Emerson’s solo on ‘Lucky Man’ – the sound of the Moog just blew my little mind, and I resolved that I wanted it – a piece of that. As soon as I was able, as soon as I could get together the resources, I wanted to play that thing. I went to the various colleges. I haunted the electronic music labs. This guy let me play on a Moog Sonic Six at one point, at one of my schools. It was a precursor to the Minimoog. It was the first suitcase synth.
Of course, another big influence on me was when Paul McCartney came out with his first solo record, where he played everything, and I had never considered that as a possibility. But the possibility that I wouldn’t have to work with all these morons that I had been working with – that I could just do it all myself – dispense with them – this was going to be my life’s work.
And it became my life’s work – as this poly-instrumentalist solo guy. The greater part of all my solo work is just me, really, and now it is entirely me. I rarely have the means or the desire to hire people in. I will play all the guitars and I will play the bass. I will play a bunch of violins and all the synths. That’s heaven to me. I love to sit here, at this very computer, amassing the sounds. It is in the process, more than the results, where I get lost.
BLAINE L REININGER Mystery and Confusion Unlike with other kind of work – where I’m working for somebody else, I get tired and want to go home – when I’m doing this, I’ll work twelve hours non-stop. I’ll forget to pee and everything – I’ll just get lost in the synthesis. I love the pieces.
With ‘Mystery & Confusion’, in particular, it was a great delight and a great challenge to make those sounds, but the gear that I had! I had this Roland SH-101 synth, and I was so proud of myself that I was able to get this French horn sound out of an SH-101. I used it for all of the bass sounds.
I was an early disciple of this Roland sync – a pre-MIDI Roland sync. So, I had the TB-303, the SH-101 and the TR-808 all running in sync with one-another. I took the Controlled Voltage out from the TB-303 and made my own cable – I also made my own Roland sync cable, which was a pre-MIDI 3-pin DIN – and I ran all that stuff. I slaved the SH-101 to the TB-303, and I used the layered sound of those two devices to get my bass sounds. So, on that record – also on ‘Mystery & Confusion’, of course – I had some good musicians with me. I had Michael Belfer, who worked with TUXEDOMOON, and I had Alain Goutier, who is a really fine bass player – he was playing fretless bass. I had Alain Lefebvre, who was playing an actual drum kit. Alain Lefebvre has his own label, called Off, in Belgium.
The 101/303/808 combination is a classic set-up for dance music. On reflection, Reininger may be the first person to put them together for a purpose other than creating acid house singles.
That’s what I could afford. Some of the other guys around had these Oberheim rigs and stuff, but I couldn’t afford that. When I was able to finagle a publishing advance from a guy who’s now the head of SABAM Belgium – he was my publisher – I got enough money from him, and Alain Goutier worked at a music store in Belgium, so I was able to get this Roland gear at a discount. It fit my budget.
The good thing about it was that it all worked together. You could sync several devices together before MIDI. It was also superior, because the DX7 came in later and emasculated everything: it whitewashed the whole deal, and everything started to sound like the soundtrack to ‘The Breakfast Club’. I am sure there are people who are nostalgic for that 80s DX7 heavy sound, but I am not one of them. It became less interesting.
Photo by Vic Vinson
Photo by Vic Vinson
Reininger was away from the United States from 1982 to 1999. We asked: How did it feel going back? Was it like going to a different place?
Absolutely. When I went in 1999, I had been away for the better part of 17 years. I had missed the 80s in America entirely, so many things were new to me.
I didn’t know what people made of me. I assumed they thought I’d been in jail, because it isn’t often that you see an old dude with grey hair who doesn’t know how to operate the microwave in the 7-11. Things like that. Some of the things that we take for granted: “What the hell is this thing?!” It was like this serious Rip Van Winkle effect. I figured they must assume I have been in the joint, which is why I don’t know anything. Then I saw the money: “Whoah! It’s all the same size and the same colour – how do they tell it apart?”
It’s a strange way to be. It’s a strange situation. It gives me this life that is in a constant state of ambivalence – of two hearts, as Goethe said. Two hearts beat in my breast. There is great longing to go home. Some of my solo work has this almost pathological nostalgia, this homesickness. I felt imprisoned. I was not able to find the means to leave Europe and go home. It was not necessarily a choice. It was that great longing to be there, and also this shock and kind of horror, and – I don’t know what – disgust – at things in America: what they did, how things had decayed under the conservatives and continue to do so.
Reininger’s presence in Athens has led to invitations to perform on stage. He has also appeared in a number of films by Nicholas Triandafyllidis. We wondered whether the roles called for performance in Greek.
Sometimes. It’s not all that easy. I did a big part in the National Theatre. I played a transvestite. That was all Greek – I did the whole thing in Greek. It was difficult – I don’t speak the language that well. A lot of times, I will do this musical actor thing – I’ll be performing and I will be doing the music as well. I’ll be on stage, incorporated into the action, but I will also be the music director or I’ll be performing the music live. A lot of times, I end up playing a foreigner. I did two movies last summer and I pretty much played a foreigner. In one of those movies, I played a banker who came to buy the prime minister. In another movie, I played a tourist. In a third movie, I played a member of the troika. So, I play these kinds of things, and I do that in English.
Should we expect to see the theatre competing for Reininger’s attention?
Blaine L. Reininger now To be honest, not really. I enjoy doing theatre work. It is something I can do competently – I am a theatrical kind of guy – but I don’t prefer it to music, by any means. What I rarely get to do is compose a big piece of music for theatre, give it to them, collect the money and that’s the end: that’s that; I don’t have to go to rehearsal; and I don’t have to go to any performances. That doesn’t happen all that often. Most of the time, they want me to perform – my physical presence. What I enjoy most is to sit here and fool with my computer. When it becomes necessary to get up and play my violin, I will, and I enjoy it because I can.

The Electricity Club gives it warmest thanks to Blaine L. Reininger
Special thanks to Erik Stein
blue-velvet-revisited-785x803 TUXEDOMOON & CULT WITH NO NAME ‘Blue Velvet Revisited’ is released by Crammed Discs in CD, vinyl LP and digital formats on 16th October 2015

Text and Interview by Simon Helm
24th September 2015
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