Exposé Online banner

Jorge Reyes — Ek-Tunkul
(Spalax 14977, 1987/1997, CD)

by Mike Ezzo, Published 1999-01-01

Ek-Tunkul Cover art

I must have been sleeping at Best-of-'97 voting time as this old favorite managed to slip right out from under my nose. Ek-Tunkul was Jorge Reyes' very first (and best) solo recording from back in 1987, three albums before he went native. Ten years later it gets digital release. Liner notes on the reissue are extensive, containing historical information, examples of poetry and songs, precise instrumentation for each track, a bio of Reyes, even a glossary of terms concerning the music and the indigenous instruments used. There are even three bonuses. So far so good. Where I get confused however is in the cover presentation: gone is the colorful exotic painting depicting an ancient Aztec landscape. In its place is a monochromatic design featuring a portrait of an unidentified Hispanic woman, with the title in bold letters "Authentic Precolombian Music - Ek Tunkul." Nowhere (except in micro-print at the bottom of the back cover) does Reyes' name even appear! Why the deception, Spalax? When I first saw it I thought the dealer from whom I purchased it had made a mistake. Furthermore, even a non-expert could soon figure that this is not authentic pre-Columbian music at all, but rather a fascinating amalgam of mid-70's Tangerine Dream, with native Mexican percussion, electric guitar, and a vocal treatment that echoes classic Popul Vuh, forming a sound that is totally original and unprecedented. Neither overtly technofied, nor verbatim ethnic, this work traverses that bridge between the traditional and modern - a testament to the man's talents that while a kajillion people occupy a similar genre, no one sounds remotely like Jorge. What a treat to finally have this on CD. Just be careful if you see it in person; you wont find the composer's name. It's a long way from Chac Mool, and I give it an unhesitating seal of approval.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 16, 1997 releases, 1987 recordings

Related artist(s): Jorge Reyes

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Colour Haze - All – Colour Haze is a German band that is new to me, though they have been recording since 1995. You can pretty much trust any Elektrohasch release to be great, and All, Colour Haze’s seventh release, is...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues