Rheinzand`s debut LP opens with a muffled boom. Like one enormous party happening right in the next room. Walls vibrating, anticipation mounting, to the thud of filtered disco. The banging balanced by a soothing Hawaiian slide. A patter of percussion. To my ears, more sunset, than the sunrise that the title Break Of Dawn implies. It closes with a siren`s song. The Queen of said dawn. An ambience of operatic arias and crashing drums, in the place of waves and tides.
In between there`s all manner of “esta loca” electric oompah. From the techno-tinged, bionic batucada of the carnivalesque Kills And Kisses, to the buzzing and bumping synthetic boogie sleaze of Synti. Its leather-clad macho lead countered by a cute, child-like chorus. A lot like label-mates Laidback`s filthier moments. Fourteen Again is a low throb. Snapping snares doubling for Cosey Fanni Tutti`s dominatrix whip, hot on the 6-inch stiletto heels of love. Italo arpeggio, spanked, naughty, naughty bass. Sound shaken like an aural hallucination.
You Don’t Know Me surrounds Donna Summer Love To Love You orgasmic oohs and coos with shimmering sequences that shower like a beaded boudoir curtain in a hi-tech harem. Veiled in eastern mystery. Snake-charmed through deserts of echo. The more “balearic” Porque summons a sorta samba from tribal, stadium, tom toms. Running uphill with Kate Bush`s Burundi, and Talk Talk. Serenaded by a romantic Romany violin and spoken word observations on memory, that recall William Pitt getting misty-eyed on City Lights.
There’s a surprise, spaced-out, cover of Talking Heads` Slippery People – all b-line, bongos, and strings. Strange World starts with fireworks. Whistles, chimes and industrial clatter. Imagine The Sabres Of Paradise’s Clock Factory spun at 45. Its seconds racing. Obey updates classic Chic – putting modern underground production beneath sharply strung overground pop – while the trio`s previous single, Blind, bounces as if on a tightly coiled spring. Its glam stomp perhaps a riff on the RAH Band`s Electric Fling. Listen closely and you’ll hear Joe Meek`s new world. A little C Cat Trance*. Marimbas like Carl Orf via Hans Zimmer. These details thrown, phased and twisted into a rubber-band rock**.
Rheinzand is available digitally from Music For Dreams. Vinyl is due on May 8th.
*A reminder that Rheinzand member, sometime Glimmer, Mo Disko, cut his teeth as a new beat DJ.
**Potential festival favourites, I reckon live Rheinzand will do just that. Rock.