After making their debut at last year’s Sonar Festival HK, experimental trio Blood Wine or Honey have released their hotly anticipated debut album Fear & Celebration.
The title track opener, and drum-led Loosefoot capture the “celebration” side of the album’s theme, with intricate drum rhythms, saxophone flourishes and psychedelic twists marrying deep hazy synths with infectiously tribal-like grooves.
The “fear” element is most prominent in tracks such as The Undying Overrated and Orwellian Woman, which are both more sparse, and darker, swapping the hypnotic party aesthetic for contemplative and experimental jazz moments.
Peak Helium A is the standout track, and fits into neither camp, with its soft-synth soundscape echoing like a more optimistic Bjork or Kid A-era Radiohead. Its counterpart, Peak Helium IV, starts off in an almost identical nature, but soon develops into the textured polyrhythms that punctuate much of the record.
This is an album full of refreshing, sometimes challenging, but often forward-thinking ideas, which will create a thought-provoking companion once you’ve exhausted yourself from dancing.