Album Review

Hinde EP

Hinde EP

by Groeni

8.5 / 10
12th November 2015

Reviewed by Kaupapa Taurima

Hinde is the third release from Groeni, an atmospheric-electronic trio hailing from Wellington. The three-piece occupy a rather barren niche in the New Zealand music scene and have a noted reputation for hypnotic, immersive live performances. These quality performances, coupled with the exceptional production value of the groupís 2014 EP Hewn, have landed them a coveted timeslot at 2016ís St Jerome's Laneway Festival.

Groeniís first two EPs were written by the groupís founder, Alexander Green. But since its inception, the project has expanded to include Wellington musicians Mike Isaacs and James Paul. Hinde is another step in the evolution of Groeni, with all three band members contributing to the EPís composition. The shift towards a more collaborative process sees the deeply introspective tone of the first two EPs give way to a more free-flowing and distinctly approachable style of music.

Opening with ĎHedreí, the four-song offering starts with the groupís trademark barren beatscape, giving way to Greenís unique, otherworldly vocals. As the track progresses, Greenís voice is warped and sampled over a beat that evolves into something unexpectedly catchy. The level of production skill exhibited in ĎHedreí (not to mention EPís other three tracks) is so seamless that itís hard not draw comparisons to the music of Burial and Four Tet.

The second song ĎTruceí conjures the same kind of dystopian vibe that Thom Yorke harnessed in his 2006 masterpiece The Eraser. The album closes with the 8-minute instrumental track ĎIdí. All too often lengthy instrumentals can feel out of place on EPs, however ĎIdí compliments Hindeís more upbeat tracks and reinforces the group's high level of musicianship.

Hinde grows with each listen and is ultimately a demonstration of the potential of Groeni, and their evolving, maturing sound. This type of quality New Zealand release demands attention and should serve to build the momentum Groeni needs to create a solid debut album.

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