The idea of "indie rock" musicians making dance music is rarely appealing to those who dabble in "real" dance music—whatever those vague notions of authenticity actually imply. Brooklyn duo Blondes have skirted the issue thus far by making groove-based synth music that satisfies opposing impulses, incorporating the stasis of drone as well as the inherent motion of dance. The third and final of a trilogy of singles exploring opposites and polarities on RVNG INTL, Wine / Water shows how far the duo have come in maturing a sound where rich texture finds itself on equal footing with rhythm.
"Wine" is pure silky finesse: combining bongos, lightly pumping synths and dramatic chords, it falls somewhere between the synth music revival and something you'd hear as part of a decadent breakdown at a club in Ibiza. As the name suggests, it's all pleasure and intoxication, suspending that heart-in-mouth breakdown feeling across seven minutes of gratuitous pleasure. If "Wine" is all breakdown then its flipside "Water" is the build-up taken from another portion of the same imaginary trance track: this time the synths are searching and piano floods the foreground, feeling much more grounded than the flighty "Wine." It plateaus with post-rock hi-hats and rushing synths but never quite climaxes. Here the duo sacrifice their tendency for blissful overflow for something more measured, careful and more than ever fascinated with the possibilities of repetition. Maybe they aren't so far off from "real" dance music after all.
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Tracklist: Blondes - Wine / Water A Wine