Gona Rubian Ranesa: going on a mystical psychedelic space rock journey with Argentina’s finest foursome

Reynols, Gona Rubian Ranesa, Canada, Outlier Communications, OCOMM2 vinyl LP (2020)

After 17 years away from Planet Earth, Argentina’s unique contribution to world civilisation known as Reynols is back in its classic line-up of Anla Courtis, Paco Conlazo, Robert Conlazo and wonderfully mysterious front-man Miguel Tomasin, presenting reunion studio album “Gona Rubian Ranesa”. Four tracks of batshit psychedelic space rock noise sludge heave onto the scene, chugging away at whatever speeds take the quartet’s fancy, while Tomasin holds court and intones messages with hidden meanings that will take earnest scholars decades to puzzle over. At the same time this recording is easy to follow – well, for me at least – and seems quite accessible to a larger audience: while it’s noisy, it is noisy in a pleasant way, not at all confrontational, but instead in an inviting, convivial way.

The fun starts with “Cameso Cator Sitero”, a bouncy track with boing-boing percussion rhythms jumping along its path in the space-time continuum and Tomasin presiding over this lively sound universe like a serene deity. The amiable droning noise, sometimes excitable, always energetic and effervescent, shambles along at a brisk pace with maybe no clear goal in sight – but then, the goal of this music is just TO BE, and not necessarily reach any particular point in the intersection of space and time.

“Linitri Teperoli” creeps along like a mini-soundtrack to a short horror film with Tomasin dispensing whispered warnings and warblings over a deranged organ melody, background chants and a gentle jungle-drum rhythm. The whole thing sounds very dream-like and I’m not sure if I’ll awake with a sudden jolt once it ends … or stay asleep because my brain is already hooked onto this weird piece. I pity the people who might actually be tempted to make a film to fit – they are going to have an uphill battle just working out what Tomasin intends. “Acotan Silago Foli” continues Tomasin’s reveries over an equally trance-like soundtrack of discombobulating beats, guitar melody fragments and floating space ambient effects.

Closing track “Corlo Saturu” takes up where “Cameso …” leaves off earlier in a shambolic cosmic train journey with developing guitar noise froth, a shrill flute melody and percussion that never settles into definite patterns that culminate in joyful rollicking lead guitar break-out. The whole track has a gentle and buoyant air as it takes listeners deep into its cosmic embrace. Again the track just IS, and listeners are invited to be in the here and now.

This album is so fresh and joyful that it really doesn’t matter that 17 years have passed – it’s as if those 17 years haven’t even passed! – the main thing is that Reynols are back and they’re still as enigmatic, eccentric and apt to wander off on their own path of musical mystery and discovery as they’ve ever been. The added bonus is that the music is easy to follow with a cheerful attitude inviting any and all to follow.