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Concert Tue Apr 22 2014
NYC's Blondes make blissfully distorted chill out electronica. Signed to the tastemaker label, RVNG Intl, Sam Haar and Zach Steinman have crafting beats since the early 2010's, releasing a steady amount of DJ mixes, EPs, and remixes to ever increasing notoriety. Their single, "Wine," with it's classic house arpeggio synth and hypnotically warbled vocals evoke a manic sensation which commands the listener's attention and compels that person to move and react. They're reminiscent of acts such as Teengirl Fantasy, Mount Kimbie and Laurel Halo. With this in mind, I went to see them a few days ago at Smartbar.
Cloaked in smoke and light, Blondes opened their set with a prolonged burst of shoegaze-esque disarray before delving into a set of deep house grooves and Kraftwerk inspired techno beats. Over the course of their set, the room became a patchwork of vastly diverse styles of dance. There was the woman who pranced throughout the dancefloor, often intensely gazing directly into the eyes of people in the crowd, with this weird yet smoothly jagged interpretive dance that looked like something Marina Abramović would do at MoMA in a Jay-Z video. There was the sharply dressed man who pop and locked with style and expert skill. There were the people who stood in the back near the speakers, minimalistically moving their bodies, getting a physical sensation from the bass. One of the things that I absolutely love about Smartbar is now unpretentious it is, how everyone is welcome and made to feel accepted. This past Friday at Smartbar was no exception, as Blondes pulsing beats kept the crowd moving deep into the night.
Opening and closing the night for Blondes were Smartbar affiliates, Kiddo and Antiphase, who played fervent sets of dark and decadent techno. Below is a recent mix by Kiddo which is somewhat similar to her set from a few days ago that's totally worth checking out.