Magnetic Punk – The tape innovations of Open Reel Ensemble

Share

Share

The Japanese trio make analogue electronic music that stretches reel-to-reel tapes to the limit.

If you are in the business of inventing new instruments, then it follows that you’ll also need a whole set of new techniques. Whether “tape tapping” percussive techno rhythms (essentially playing an extended magnetic tape with a drum stick), or extracting arcs of sound using “spacey, magnetic, bamboo bowing” (a bamboo rod threaded with tape and fed back into the reel), Open Reel Ensemble are building a whole new lexicon for making music.

For Ei Wada, Haruka Yoshida and Masaru Yoshida, using reel-to-reel tape machines allows them to manipulate both recorded material and create new sounds from the same device, hooking analogue tape to Casio keyboards, scratching reels like turntables, or building their accordion-mimicking “tape recordion”. And while decks have a storied history in experimental music making, few have stretched the limits of the reel-to-reel quite like Open Reel Ensemble.

Describing the music as “magnetic punk”, the trio are on the cusp of releasing their latest album – a multi-media project with accompanying video that will be distributed outside of Japan for the first time.

We visited them in the studio just outside Tokyo to find out more about how these unique instruments work and what has inspired the band to take them to the next level. Spoiler: They don’t like Blade Runner.

You can find out more about Open Reel Ensemble on their website.


Credits:

Directed, shot and edited by Sam King
Produced by Mike Sunda
Music courtesy of Open Reel Ensemble

Latest Articles

Privacy Preference Center

Required Cookies & Technologies

Some of the technologies we use are necessary for critical functions like security and site integrity, account authentication, security and privacy preferences, internal site usage and maintenance data, and to make the site work correctly for browsing and transactions.

gdpr, woocommerce_cart_hash, woocommerce_items_in_cart, _wp_wocommerce_session, sucuri_cloudproxy_uuid_*

Site Customisation

Cookies and similar technologies are used to improve your experience, to do things like:

- remember your login, general, and regional preferences
- personalize content, search, recommendations, and offers

Without these technologies, things like personalised recommendations, your account preferences, or localisation may not work correctly.

wp-settings-*

Personalised Advertising

These technologies are used for things like:

- personalised ads
- to limit how many times you see an ad
- to understand usage via Google Analytics
- to understand how you got to our web properties
- to ensure that we understand the audience and can provide relevant ads

We do this with social media, marketing, and analytics partners (who may have their own information they’ve collected). Saying no will not stop you from seeing our ads, but it may make them less relevant or more repetitive.

_ga, _gid, gat,_gads,_fbp