‘Spillin’ The Beans has been on holiday. I sorted out reviews to schedule while I was away but didn’t manage to get anything prepared for last week when I was actually back at home. Anyway, normal service is now resumed and this week I am looking at the latest EP “Hide“ by Albuquerque-based artist Brice Hample, who works under the name Reighnbeau.
The press release tells me that “REIGHNBEAU’s new EP, Hide, was created alongside Madeline Johnston, who has been a longtime collaborator for several years. In the past two years, Johnston and Hample have performed live and toured together as REIGHNBEAU. Johnson’s own project, Sister Grotto, has a new album coming out this year as well (Midwife). Her vocals feature throughout Hide, and the track “I Want Love” specifically is comprised almost entirely of her voice. The duo of REIGHNBEAU will be touring this fall.“
So, on to the music, which was actually released back in March, so apologies for my tardiness. We have some ambient electronica here, with lots of treated vocals, we have electronic beats and we have a shifting, amorphous series of musical layers. The standout tracks for me are the third track “I Don’t Want It” and the EP’s final track, “Both“. These tracks are easily the most accomplished ones on a set of pretty interesting electronic compositions. The opener, “Grey” is reminiscent of Boards Of Canada to my ears, but that isn’t a bad thing at all.
None of the tracks on the EP are particularly lengthy, which I think is a shame, because this reduces the possibility of developing ideas over a longer timeframe, which would allow for all manner of variations and the creation of more complexity. Having said that, there is a fair degree of complexity here. Each track is a small, shimmering soundscape, with Madeline Johnston’s voice being treated very much as an instrument in it’s own right. This, to my ears works brilliantly. There is a delicacy here, lots of atmosphere and a slippery, elusive quality to the music.
Oddly enough, the more I listen to this music, the more I keep on hearing “I’m Mandy, Fly Me” by 10cc. This is not meant in any way as a negative comment.
So, what do I think? Well, I am impressed, if not exactly moved emotionally. I have enjoyed listening to the music, and I am also listening to the older work, which is equally interesting. In fact, I’d recommend listening to the 10 track album “Blood“, which is well work your time. This is also very reminiscent of Boards Of Canada in places.
Right then, if your appetite has been whetted, take a listen. If you want more, please note that Brice Hample has also released six albums of ambient music under the name hedia.
There is a website, naturally, and you can also contact the band via an email address – firstname.lastname@example.org and they are on Soundcloud as well, where you can also listen to earlier releases from them.