Invisible Threads – EP
Release date: Oct 21, 2016
Blank Blue is a band that began as a recording project between producer/DJ Nobody (Elvin Estela) and singer Niki Randa. In 2008, in order to promote their debut LP Western Water Music Vol. 2, the pair added drummer Andres Renteria and bass player/arranger Brian Akio Martinez into the mix. Initially using their instruments as reinforcement for Estela’s programmed beats, the band eventually decided to ditch electronics altogether and compose with just guitar, bass and drums, with Estela taking on guitar duties.
Blank Blue’s forthcoming EP, Invisible Threads, pulls together the best of the songs that the band wrote and performed at various shows from 2008 to 2011. Although technically the group’s second record, this release feels like the fresh debut of a fully realized band that is carving out its sound rather than a continuation of a previous incarnation.
Though only four songs, Invisible Threads feels more like a mini album. During the record’s 27 minutes, various tempos, rhythms and beats are explored - often within the same song. The title track “Invisible Threads” is a perfect example of this, and works as a powerful paradigm of what’s to come. Starting off with a dark and awkwardly timed riff, the song eventually hits with a sweeping chorus that leads to a jubilant vamp outro, featuring the awesome percussion of Andres Renteria against the wobbly bass effects of Brian Martinez.
Live favorite “Grey” comes off as half rigid beat music and half long lost Krautrock jam, all held together by the angelic melodies that Niki Randa weaves into the mix. Randa brought the band “Celestial Descent” as a rough home demo, and the result is the centerpiece of the record - a sprawling, eight and a half minute song that combines tough 70’s rock riffs with banging beats and even more tempo shifts.
“I think these songs are explorative by nature,” explains Randa. “When we were writing these songs we were really testing our abilities as musicians and as a band. We were writing eight-minute long songs on the regular. Our songs are narratives, nightmarish or apocalyptic in theme, but they always wake to somewhere gentle.”
Waking “somewhere gentle” is the perfect description for closer “Icaro,” named after the sacred invocation that is sung or whistled in shamanic ceremonies. The band presents their version of a musical sacrament while showing a softer, more delicate side to their sound as well. Invisible Threads is Blank Blue’s first release for Psychic Fortitude Records. The EP hits digital outlets on October 21st, with vinyl to follow later in 2016. Recorded by the band at various studios between 2008 and 2010, the band found a helpful ear in Casey Lewis, who recorded and co-produced the more ambitious songs at NRG Studios. Mixing and mastering was handled by Estela and Daddy Kev respectively at Cosmic Zoo.
Since these initial recordings, each member of Blank Blue has blossomed as individual musicians. Niki has featured and co-wrote with Flying Lotus, who remixed their first single coincidentally, on some of his most critically acclaimed tracks including “Getting There” and “Coronus, the Terminator”. Andres has been playing percussion and touring with Jose Gonzalez for the last six years, as well as providing percussion and drums on countless recordings. Brian has produced the Eagle Rock Music festival as well playing bass in the Gaslamp Killer Experience. Elvin continues to release music as Nobody and is a co-founder of weekly beat music mecca Low End Theory.
- 1. Invisible Threads
- 2. Grey
- 3. Celestial Descent
- 4. Icaro