Back in 2010, Brooklyn duo Blondes – Zach Steinman and Sam Haar – released Touched, a mini-album of blissed-out, slow-motion cosmic disco that served as a perfect soundtrack to a few lazy afternoons spent chilling poolside on my honeymoon; fast forward 18 months and the Oberlin graduates are releasing their eponymous full-length debut on the ultra-hip RVNG INTL label. Blondes – split into four pairs of “opposing” tracks (“Lover” and “Hater”, “Water” and “Wine” etc.) – sees Steinman and Haar exploring a slightly harder-edged sound, with throbbing 4/4 pulses and stuttering, piston-powered beats and analogue keyboard arpeggios recalling the early, ecstatic days of Chicago house and Detroit techno, but as with like-minded contemporaries like DFA/ Italians Do It Better alumni Invisible Conga People these tunes are the product of live jamming and improvisation; riffs and rhythms are repeated and filtered, billowing synth clouds layered to create a gently trippy atmosphere. As a bonus, a second disc of remixes is included, offering interesting variations of each track courtesy of Andy Stott, Teengirl Fantasy, Optimo’s JD Twitch and Laurel Halo among others, but even in such esteemed company Blondes hold their own admirably. Listen to the original version of “Wine” here, and the Teengirl Fantasy remix here.
Blondes is out February 7 on RVNG INTL