White Hinterland

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On Kairos, we find White Hinterland exploring the edges of minimal pop, accomplishing a delicate but lively seduction through deep, patient bass throbs, prismatic synth textures, and direct, intimate songs sung with an empowered gravitas. Here Casey Dienel tailors the acrobatics of her former songwriting into a slender focus, folding it into deeper grooves. Beneath the baroque arrangements and intellectual lean of Dienel’s previous musical efforts was a sexiness that Kairos exposes, showing the artist for what she is: powerful and comfortable in her own skin, with a glittery voice weaned on pop R&B. With a sound so modern, so contemporary, Kairos fixes White Hinterland’s gaze firmly on the future. Using just one mic, electronics, programming and an arsenal of percussion and instruments, the minimal, washy “Art & B” of Kairos was born. Dienel compared making Kairos to swimming in a cave, trusting only the instinct to just keep swimming. This image perfectly embodies the enchanting and blue-lit atmosphere of the album. Sean Michaels of Said the Gramophone captured it well, after he witnessed a White Hinterland performance where they performed the bulk of Kairos live: “The jazz has been taken out, simply removed. And what is left is so, so, so much space; so much space in which she and Shawn add dark beats, deep bass, dubstep stuff. And she sings in looped curlicues, ivies and gold rings, sampling and re-sampling. They were all new songs and they were utterly astonishing. Here are some names of things it was & wasn’t merely: the dirty projectors, the xx, burial, tune-yards, school of seven bells, the neptunes, thom yorke, arthur russell, giovanni pierluigi da palestrina. Any half-samples so far do it no credit at all. What a rediscovery.”


Dead Oceans(2010)
Phylactery Factory
Dead Oceans(2008)