After hearing his contribution to Sober Rob's track, Realize, my curiosity lead me to discovering Blanda. This Minnesota-based producer stands out with the many elements he incorporates into his production. Rather than stacking saw synth presets, and having the same boring percussion pattern, you will find his sound constantly changing. One minute I would be listening to a wonky beat, then it would seamlessly transition into jazzy percussion with some of the most blissful keys I've ever listened to. Which makes sense, given his history with knowing piano and studying at Boston's own Berklee College of Music. After a while of teasing some of the tracks off his new EP, Blue Flannels, he finally released it mid-January. Following a listen through it became evident that Blanda is one of the most talented and boundary-pushing producers in the Soundcloud scene.
The beauty behind each song is how it can't be confined by a genre. You'll be hit with splashes of Future Bass, Jazz, R&B, Trap, and spritz of much more. This is the first time I found myself checking my phone to see if a new track had started throughout my initial listen. He squeezes so many ideas and different patterns into a song that it should come out sounding disjointed and messy, but somehow he pulls it off. We're brought into the EP with "Trust", a track that serves as a soothing introduction to the project. He makes a good impression by getting peer-musicians on the joint with him, DeCarlo Jackson on the trumpet, and Evan Slack on guitar. He then jumps in himself on the keys and adds his signature flare to this collaborative effort. Blanda killing it on the keys is something you should expect regularly, as he loves to show off his talent when closing out some of these pieces. His manipulation of vocals is also something that stood out to me. In "Sinquisitive" you hear a choppy rap acapella, which subtly fades out of the beat and is transitioned into Blanda going 100% banger mode. "Lawd" also has a vocal sample, however it's used more so as a percussive element rather than a central part of the song. The sample cuts away when the drums stop, and allows you to fully immerse yourself in the wavy outro. The next two songs are easier on the ears, and have a little more bounce to them-- especially "Adhesive", which incorporates some swing. The last track, "Für Audri", is without a doubt my favorite song off the album. It has a grand introduction with emphasis on higher pitched sounds, which then suddenly drop into the wonkiest beat I've heard in a long time. As if the first half of the song wasn't impressive enough, Blanda just had to go and do what he does best; add his heavenly melodic twist to things. I'll shamelessly say that I had this one on repeat for hours on end.
If you love more experimental music, this album is sure to be an interesting listen. You get the best of every world, in that you'll be hearing some unique patterns, textures, and mastery of instrumentation. If you're not as into electronic music, I would say give "Trust" a shot and work your way down from there. To say this project is fit for anyone would be cliché, but it's definitely one of the most varied and innovative to be released this year. Get more information about Blanda, his EP, and any updates on his official website here.