Clean Cuts, the debut lo-fi release from ambient electro-trio, House of Blondes, is a hypnotically minimal album, filled with light, airy vocals, analog chords, and solid drums. Inspired by Wolfgang Voit’s ’90s techno project, Gas, House of Blondes recorded all of their tracks in one or two takes, using pre-existing sounds to create new ones. Don’t, however, think that the band’s improvisatory method is indicative of a half-hearted effort: “There’s an enormous amount of preparation leading to that free moment,” says band member John Blonde.
THE VIDEOS: [Blonde:] Obsession is one of the most fascinating things you can film. Our videos are like that: the music points to something that might seem casual to one person, but is actually an entire world for somebody else. “Do It Yourself (Landscape)” was an homage to Luke Smalley, a photographer that took kids from high schools and photographed them in old-fashioned uniforms inside gyms and on old exercise equipment. All of his stuff has a haunted quality— [it’s] from the past, but filmed in contemporary life. When he died, I wanted to pay tribute to him, so I came up with the idea of doing a video with a bunch of boys working out. There is this underlying homoeroticism to it, but there’s also a nice elegance. I’m not afraid to say it’s “erotic,” but that was not my intention. (Check out the full interview at Interview Magazine; photo by Kurt W. Sawilla)