Jonas Reinhardt

Jonas Reinhardt

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Jonas Reinhardt's full solo debut for Kranky shows that the San Francisco-based composer -- like many musicians both of his age and, it seems, his label -- have a deep fondness for the steady, rich-sounding music made in the 1970s from musicians such as Klaus Schulze, Manuel Göttsching, and Jean-Michel Jarre, mixing serene electronics with rhythmic experimentation and guitar glaze in a variety of methods. In that regard, this self-titled effort is often a tribute rather than a new way forward, but Reinhardt's work is nonetheless very enjoyable, a way to regather these various strands from any number of limiting genre associations and reuse them in a new fashion. Instead of lengthy pieces, Reinhardt's work here consists of (comparatively) shorter songs, often built around a central motif or series of motifs either repeated or developed. The metronomic mantras that result can be quite lovely, as with "Modern by Nature's Reward," treated beats echoing up and down while synths rise and fall at a slower pace, or "How to Adjust People," as the electronics take the solo path over a similar rhythmic flow. The nervous pace of "Worm Preach the Struggling Fire" -- and it should be said here that Reinhardt really does have a good way with songtitles -- further demonstrates how he can vary his general approach while still holding to a basic core, not always an easy match. In contrast are songs both taking lower-key and more frenetic approaches, with the first half of "Blue Cutaway/Tore Earth Clinker" showcasing the former approach and "Tentshow" being a perfect example of the latter, thanks to a series of classic analog (or at least analog style) keyboard cascades over an initial opening section that later resolves into a more strident, bouncing beat.

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