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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Blondes March 26, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Music functions on a nostalgic level much of the time and for obvious reasons. When listening there’s the inevitable effort to put shape on a piece, to cross reference it as it were, to seek similarities with previous music that we’ve heard, or to find differences. It’s pattern recognition, but of course it’s more than that, otherwise we’d find the efforts to rework three chords, or whatever, near unlistenable in its predictability when it seems there’s always something new to be found.

Electronica has had to face this problem too with varying degrees of success, taking a variety of paths from rigid formalism to more expansive material.

Touched, released last Summer, by New York based electronic duo Blondes is, on first listen a curious blend of the simple and chaotic. There are obvious reference points. I think I hear a lot of Boards of Canada in there and given that they remixed a Harald Grosskopf track from Synthesist they’re not unaware of their history. But even to make those connections is to do the music an injustice because it’s considerably more than that.

Touched is meant to be an EP, there’s only five tracks, but when one of them, ‘Moondance’, stretches 11 minutes long and the total running time tops 40 minutes this is effectively a mini-album.

‘You Mean So Much to Me’ starts of the EP with a mid-tempo subtle sound, vocal samples phasing in and out of hearing set against hand claps. And here’s where nostalgia comes into effect, you’ve heard this or something like this before, but somehow it sounds quite different. Perhaps it’s just the sheer weight of layers that this music is made up of. And while it is melodic, hugely so, the droning sound at the end of the track tips the listener out of it unceremoniously. ‘Moondance’ must be a tip of the hat to Klaus Schulze, and why not?

‘Virgin Pacific’ finishes the EP off in a celebratory mode, a sort of skew ways blend of a w that shifts tone half way through from one form to another.

You’ll find the rest of the EP on YouTube, I’m not going to do all the work on this, but this is one I’d strongly recommend you go out and listen to it in its original format.

You Mean So Much to Me

Moondance [excerpt]

Virgin Pacific

Synthesist (remix of Harald Grosskopf).

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