When listening to the D.C. electronica group Les Rhinoceros, one is struck by the sheer variety of sounds on their first album, Rhinoceros. The first song on the album, "Intro/Whispering," has a jazzy feel with a saxophone, while "Beeps and Boops" features a distinct Eastern influence. Overall, the album is a collection of psychedelic, minimalist songs that are surprisingly unique and lively. Les Rhinoceros was founded in 2008 in Washington, D.C. by high schoolers Michael Coltun and Kenny Congmon. Originally, the ensemble consisted of Coltun playing a variety of electronic instruments and Congmon on saxophone, but it has since grown to include drums, percussion, trombone, piano, bass, and many sampling toys. The group signed with the Tzadik label in 2012, which specializes in avant-garde and experimental music. Beyond the sheer variety on the album, each song is beautifully and expertly crafted. "Scenic 1" begins with chanting in a foreign language, accompanied by a very percussive drum set. The track then veers into a video game soundtrack-sounding dance beat, then heads back to the darker chanting. The dichotomy of sounds epitomizes Les Rhinoceros' creativity and impulsiveness; there is never a dull moment on the album, with new instruments introduced every few bars. Overall, Les Rhinoceros shows tremendous potential on their first studio album.
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AllMusic Review by Hannah Epstein