Multi-instrumentalist Aimée Portioli continues to create utterly unique music.
The eight tracks switch between glistening ambience and rhythmically complex pieces whose time-honored approach nods to minimalists like Manuel Göttsching. From the off, quivering Yamaha DX-7 notes and warm, heady atmospherics invite your mind to drift. The layers of acoustic and electronic melody synchronize in forward motion, converging in understated crescendos. Given Portioli is a sound designer and film composer, it's no surprise that the music is visually stimulating. A siren sets an eerie scene in "Equations For A Falling Body," cerebral patterns exude from the entrancing arpeggios of "Coordinate Redirects Here" and there are solemn moments like "Canopies." Whatever the mood, the sound design is distinctive and the way she realizes her ideas is captivating. It's the kind of record that you finish without having a favorite track, but you come back to in its entirety, over and over again.
As on Pineapple, it's only on the album's final stretch where a tempered kick drum is introduced. Portioli's voice then appears on closer "All There Now." It is new to the Grand River project, albeit here processed into obscurity. She makes sobering comments on mental health and happiness in modern society, building on the record's melancholic moments through a different medium. Portioli's music as Grand River occupies its own space in today's electronic landscape. It has an acute musicianship which is too often obscured. On Blink A Few Times To Clear Your Eyes, it's front and centre.