Release Date: Nov 11, 2008
Record label: Kranky
Genre(s): Rock, Dance, Alternative
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.
My iTunes genre tag for Jonas Reinhardt’s self-titled debut pompously insists on referring to the album as “Unclassifiable”, and you know what? I partially agree with it. Sure, there are plenty of points of reference that can be tossed around in a discussion of Reinhardt—ambient, Krautrock, Vangelis (try not to think of Blade Runner when you hear those distended synth leads)—but can this album comfortably share shelf space with any one in particular? No. Which isn’t to imply that Reinhardt is without debt to the past—it’s just that he fuses together his various influences so seamlessly that you end up with a refreshingly unique album.