Denver’s own Ableminds have been crafting improvised, Funky Electronica since their inception in 2011. The creation of Jordan Linit (of Kinetix) on Guitar and Synthesizer and Charlie Mertens on Bass and Synthesizer, Ableminds have slowly been gaining recognition in the Denver music scene and their debut EP, Faces, charts a serious path to success.
The past year has seen them traverse the Front Range, scoring opening spots for Bonobo and Signal Path as well as a set beside David Murphy of STS9 at Sonic Blossom. With George Horn on live drums, this Denver crew is beginning to craft a unique and sweeping sound which is no easy task in the world of improvised electronic music.
Faces opens strongly with “Crusaders,” a groovy Guitar and Synth laden jam that calls to mind Big Gigantic while remaining unique. “Let It All Go” incorporates Hip-Hop elements, laid back beats, and funky synths before “Get A Thrill” moves further into the world of electronic music with a glitchy Dub riff and a female presence lurking ethereally in the background. I hear elements of Lotus, Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, and Griz in Ableminds’ production, so it will be important for them to nail down what sound they want to run with as they progress.
The tracks “Air Portal,” “NYC” and “September 2nd” most closely resemble Lotus, a band whose success has been contingent upon improvisation and an act that Ableminds would be wise to emulate. I can hear their potential, it’s just a matter of which direction they want to take it.
On “NYC,” the longest track on the EP, Horn’s steady drumbeat dives beneath a crunchy guitar that erupts into a subtle peak. This is easily the strongest song on the record and one that demonstrates their ability to manifest a sonic adventure with a clear beginning, middle and end.
It’s difficult to become a successful half producer, half live act. You have to excel at live instrumentation but also be aware enough to drop clever beats that complement the live playing. If Faces is any indication, Ableminds have this concept down to a science. I can’t wait to catch them live and watch their progression in the Colorado music scene.