Blondes album cover


RVNG Intl.

As dance music exploded in fragments in the early 10s — the relentless stimulation and blinding dayglo laser colours of EDM, US dubstep and future bass leaving us dazzled and baffled — a tendency arose that went back to basic values. It was about a never ending four-to-the-floor kick drum at the lower end of house’s tempo range — or even slower — with chugging percussion and riffs / arpeggios layered up with dubwise echo to create something gorgeously hypnotic and rewarding to the patient. It was most associated with the UK, with Andrew Weatherall and Sean Johnston’s A Love From Outer Space sessions the epicentre and names like Cottam and Tusk Wax prime proponents. But maybe the defining album of this style came from a duo who met in Ohio. The stark black and white artwork and single word tracks show just how about-their-business Sam Haar and Zach Steinman are: each time, the track begins, it chugs, it hypnotises, it stops. Yet they demonstrate each time just how much richness there is in the template — once you step into this world of dancefloor mesmerism, you realise it’s as many-splendoured and as colourful as any flashier style.

Joe Muggs

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