Blaine L. Reininger \ Biography
Leftfield American avant-garde band Tuxedomoon formed in San Francisco in June 1977, initially around a creative nucleus of multi-instrumentalists Steven Brown and Blaine L. Reininger. The duo were subsequently joined by bassist Peter 'Principle' Dachert, along with occasional vocalist Winston Tong.
After signing with the cryptic Ralph label, home to The Residents, Tuxedomoon recorded the seminal albums Half Mute (1980) and Desire (1981), before electing to relocate to Europe in order to pursue a more overtly avant-garde agenda.
Europe proved a creative but demanding environment for the group, who moved first to Rotterdam, then Brussels. From their hectic concert and recording schedule between March 1981 and April 1983, four key recordings emerged, beginning with Divine, the score for a Maurice Bejart ballet released in March 1982. The album Suite En Sous-Sol followed shortly after, as well as a trio of classic singles for Les Disques du Crépuscule: Ninotchka, Time To Lose and The Cage. The most ambitious band project from 1982, an 'opera without words' known as The Ghost Sonata, performed in Italy in July, remained unreleased until 1990.
Reininger elected to leave the band in April 1983, leaving Brown, Principle, Tong and scenarist Bruce Geduldig to plot their next move. Their album Holy Wars eventually emerged in 1985 via Crammed, followed by Ship of Fools (1986) and You (1987). This body of work was complemented by an ever-expanding catalogue of solo albums, notably by Brown and Reininger, who also continued to collaborate as a duo.
The core Tuxedomoon trio of Brown, Reininger and Principle reunited for a successful world tour in 1988, and continue to perform and record both solo and as Tuxedomoon. Ten Years In One Night (Live) (1990), Cabin in the Sky (2004), Bardo Hotel (2006) and Vapour Trails (2007) bring the TM story up to date.
Blaine L. Reininger solo
Born in Pueblo, Colorado, in 1953, Blaine L. Reininger was the first member of Tuxedomoon to record a solo album, with Broken Fingers appearing on Crépuscule in 1982. After leaving the band at the beginning of in 1983, Blaine collaborated with Sleepers guitarist and occasional TM member Michael Belfer on Night Air. Produced by Blaine with Gareth Jones, this masterful part-vocal, part-instrumental album proved a significant critical and commercial success on release on 1984.
After fruitful collaborations with Mikel Rouse and Vini Reilly of The Durutti Column (both featured on the album Instrumentals), Blaine released powerful in-concert set Live in Brussels in 1986, followed by a string of further studio albums, including Byzantium, Book of Hours, Songs From The Rain Palace and The More I Learn the Less I Know. His several film and theatre soundtracks include Radio Moscow, Manic Man and Elektra.
Blaine also continues his long-standing duo work with Steven Brown, a diverse catalogue which includes soundtracks as well as superlative piano/violin recitals typified by the CD Live in Lisbon. Currently Reininger resides in Athens, and pursues parallel careers as a solo artist, actor and Tuxedomoon member.
"Reininger is a consumate bricoleur, and even though they are usually anchored to an electronic beat, his Roma/jazz/cowboy/film noir themes are rooted in a mythical North America. It might almost be a drag act - Melville, Hemingway and Chandler all rolled into one. Perhaps the most important point of Reininger's work, though, is that it manages to be both humorous and beautiful at the same time." (The Wire, 08/2005)
Broken Fingers (Crépuscule album, 1982) (CD on LTM)
Night Air (Crépuscule album, 1984) (CD on LTM)
Colorado Suite (Crammed mini album, 1984)
Paris In Autumn (Crépuscule mini album, 1985)
Live in Brussels (Crépuscule album, 1986) (CD on LTM)
Byzantium (Crépuscule album, 1987) (CD on LTM)
Book of Hours (Crépuscule album, 1989) (CD on LTM)
Songs From the Rain Palace (Crépuscule, 1990)
Live in Lisbon (with Steven Brown) (Crépuscule, 1990)
Instrumentals (Crépuscule album, 1991) (CD on LTM)
Croatian Variations (with Steven Brown) (Maso, 1991)
Radio Moscow OST (Polygram Greece album, 1995)
Kingdom of Dreams (with Falling Infinities) (Sony album, 1996)
Manic Man OST (Ankh album, 1996)
The More I Learn the Less I Know (FM album, 1999)
Night Air 2 (LTM album, 2004)
Elektra/Radio Moscow (LTM album, 2007)
Commissions (Crépuscule album, 2014)
Photo by Stefan de Batselier