Blondes - Rein

by Justin Pearson Rating:8 Release Date:2015-08-09

To coincide with the release of the Persuasion EP, Rein is a 50 minute tag-along piece in both a limited edition cassette and digital format. It's a collection from "a lost weekend studio binge preparing for the development and recording of Persuasion" according to their Bandcamp page. It's the sound of Sam Haar and Zach Steinman working together and playing off each other so as to offer a glimpse into their creative process.

The first five minutes sound like a cauldron bubbling and brewing with ideas - ostensibly a reining in of ideas as the title would imply. At the 4:45 mark there's a sound effect that can only be described as a roulette wheel. Although this might suggest chance along with the improvisational nature of the entire piece throughout, nothing feels truly accidental.

Everything about Rein feels intentional and entirely organic. The transitions are so seamless that it's difficult to pinpoint where or when you've entered new territory. It's to be listened closely to, otherwised it might become simply background noise. It's not so much ambient, but rather thoughtfully worked-through techno that's become carefully slowed down so as to find the sweet spots in the making. 

What sounds like flying, circling seagull-squawks at first turn into high-pitched, radio-tuned frequencies at around the 13:00 mark. Four minutes later into the journey and a sense of foreboding takes over before it kicks in and really hits its stride. The stars come out in the form of twinkling synth sparkles that eventually lead into a jungle-y, beat-heavy bliss. But of course, nothing lasts too long as textures continually morph and change shape.

Haar and Steinman take the listener along as they search together as a creative duo, finding what works and discarding what doesn't, easily moving on to more interesting soundscapes along the path they cut with exploratory precision. Rein lays bare Blondes' working method, while at the same time reminding one that truly innovative electronic music isn't just some rumoured, hoped-for notion, but an actual thing that's been happening and will likely continue to happen. Anyone closely or even remotely interested just has to take notice.

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