Notes and Editorial Reviews
Anla Courtis continues to produce music and was even quite prolific during his time in Reynols. It goes without saying that Courtis learned a thing or two from his experience in Reynols; and there's a fundamental constant to all of his work: the cassette. One of Reynols' most infamous albums Blank Tapes was pieced together from the endemic hiss from, you guessed it, blank tapes. Far from being an empty album of silences, Blank Tapes is extraordinarily dynamic, amplifying the magnetic energy of the tape hiss into undulating fluctuations that mirror the somatic patterns of the human body. Reynols' tapes have a heart beat, blood pumping through their veins, and oxygen rushing through their lungs.
This crudely built
anthropomorphism continues in Courtis' work today, as the cassette and the tape deck remain primary tools in his compositional sensibility. Courtis himself explains: "Well to be honest for many years the cassette was the only medium I had to record music. Maybe this is because Argentina is always a bit behind in technology, or because I was never interested in having "the new thing." It might sound ridiculous but mainly my overdubbing work until now has been basically in a Portastudio. Maybe, this is just an old friend I don't think is necessary to leave; but on the other hand, there is a lot you can do with 4 channels... I mean there is no sense to discard old technology because you have a new one. A pen is technology; you don't need to kill the pen because now you have a mouse! In fact there are some things you can do with my old reel-to-reel that you cannot do with a disk drive, I mean pushing the tape, changing the aleatory speed... there are a bunch of unpredictable irregular things you can do with this old machine. In this sense, I think we should find a way to make different technologies live somehow together."
It is in this context that Anla Courtis presents Tape Works, a collection of material that dates back to the early '90s. Here, Courtis splatters dense slabs of petrified tones with spasmodic algorithms, dissembodied vocal samples that spiral into a electric chorale, and hot-wired musique concrete techniques, all buried under the weight of the mighty distortion pedal. Once again, all things are possible for Anla Courtis.
-- Jim Haynes (from the liner notes)
Works on This Recording
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