Open Reel Ensemble/YouTube

Have You Seen This? Drumming on magnetic tape

By Martha Ostergar, KSL.com Contributor | Posted - Dec 15th, 2018 @ 2:04pm



THE STUDIO — Creating a beat is the easiest way to play music.

Your body in and of itself turns into a percussive instrument with a single hand clap, foot stomp, leg slap or tongue click.

There’s also almost always an object within reach of any given human that can turn into an impromptu percussion, from tabletops to pool noodles.

Some unique percussions even make it into professional shows and recordings, especially if you delve into Americana: You’ve got your tin basins, washboards and spoons, to name a few.

But for one group, that’s all a little too rustic. Let’s discover what making a beat means to a trio of musicians called Open Reel Ensemble.

This Japanese artists have created their unique sounds “playing” magnetic tape used in reel-to-reel machines. Now, when I say “play,” I don’t mean they’re pushing a play button: I mean that they literally are playing on and with the tape itself to create unique eletronica sounds.

In this video, one of the group’s members surrounds himself with crisscrossed tape and uses drumsticks to whack the tape to create a percussive sound. The sound that results is an interesting mix of traditional drums, electric drums and turntable scratching.

All their videos are fascinating experiments on how they can manipulate the tape to create different sounds. For example, check out the spacey sound made when the tape is attached to a bamboo rod, or perhaps you’d prefer the sound of a part accordion, part reel tape frankenstein machine.

All of it is pretty neat.

This featured video is a few months old, but it’s just now making its way into the internet spotlight. You can watch more videos and learn more about Open Reel Ensemble on their website.


Martha Ostergar

About the Author: Martha Ostergar

Martha Ostergar is a writer who delights in the ridiculous that internet serves up, which means she's more than grateful that she gets to cruise the web for amazing videos to write about. Follow her on Twitter @monstergar.

Martha Ostergar

KSL Weather Forecast