Jonas Reinhardt Jonas Reinhardt

[Kranky; 2008]

Styles: old-timey synth adventure
Others: Matmos’ {Supreme Balloon}, Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Neu!

Jonas Reinhardt’s self-titled Kranky debut is a paean to the early age of synthesizer music, when Moogs were still a novelty and artists had only begun to explore the capabilities of electronic music devices. With these 14 tracks, Reinhardt renders a full-on homage to his forebears, relying on the sounds and effects that spawned entire careers for bands like Tangerine Dream. Here we find the same capacious bands of light, the shimmery phasers, and the motorik rhythms that dominated the electronic music of the ’70s and early ’80s.

“Modern by Nature’s Reward” sports an ascendant chord structure and watery beat, which is volleyed between channels throughout the length of the song. The song’s gritty rhythm and celestial overtones create an experience akin to riding a high-speed train while on psilocybin — hard, industrial reality gives the trip its forward thrust; the chemical overlay provides the magic. Other tunes like “Lord Sleep Monmouth” eschew the dependable pulse for astral gymnastics, allowing phased arpeggiators to climb while generous pads pool and sparkle. Reinhardt even throws in a few tracks that have a harder, clubby feel, flirting with the acidic squelch and zipping razors so familiar to fans of Aphex Twin (see: “Every Terminal Evening”). For the most part, Reinhardt maps out patterns in the first 30 seconds that reiterate for the rest of a given track, with the exception of “Crept Idea for Mom,” which shoots electric tentacles out in all directions, some of which wrap themselves around nasty clots of distortion.

The Kranky audience is likely to find the work here to be a charming retrospective. Newcomers should approach Reinhardt’s stuff as a pretty gateway to an era whose ideas continue to fertilize today’s pop.

1. Lyre of David
2. Modern by Nature’s Reward
3. Lord Sleep Monmouth
4. How to ADJust People
5. Fast Blot Declining
6. Tentshow
7. Every Terminal Evening
8. Worm Preach the Struggling Fire
9. Tandem Suns
10. Blue Cutaway / Tore Earth Clinker
11. An Upright Fortune
12. Crept Idea for Mom
13. Lucian Lift

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