Published Oct 21, 2015Canadian expat duo Blond:ish have been releasing deep and tech-y house EPs on the Kompakt label since 2012. On their debut album, they slow the pace and embrace otherworldly atmospherics, crafting a collection of murky ambiance and dark, slow-burning house grooves.
Welcome To The Present starts with three nearly beatless numbers that ease you into the album's sonic jungle of eerily detuned synth, piano and vocal leads, folkloric field recordings, organic percussion and Eastern-inspired scales and samples. The album's first single, the excellent "Endless Nights," provides a brief respite from the sense of claustrophobia and uneasiness conjured by the first three tracks before the album closes in on you again, and settles into set of hallucinogenic house cuts.
The way Blond:ish incorporate traditional instruments and organic elements into their tech-house sound is deft, and rarely comes off as contrived or kitschy, though at times the duo focuses too much on creating exotic soundscapes, to the detriment of their tracks' compositional structure and logic. And while the second half of Welcome To The Present isn't as strong as the first, the whole record is worth a listen for fans of psychedelically tinged house and evocative sonic palettes. (Kompakt)