Review

Blank Gloss

Cornered

Kompakt • 2023

With »Cornered«, the Californian duo Blank Gloss mislabel their third album to the maximum. For the nine pieces from Patrick Hills and Morgan Fox open up entire landscapes with greatly reduced and simple means, all in the familiar border area between ambient and modern composition. Often only an implied piano melody holds everything together, while the guitar dreams in the background. On »Crossing«, the sounds from the keys reverberate for a long time, a synthesiser amplifies the echo across a wide expanse, and far, far away, the sounds produced by the strings of the electric guitar descend. 

The amazing thing is that Blank Gloss manage to create a highly distinctive, extremely individual sound with these very simple means. And what’s even more astounding is that the pieces usually don’t last any longer than an average pop song and yet have an effect on your subconscious. In the last four minutes of »Dressed Alike« alone, Blank Gloss accommodate so many emotions and associations onto one album like hardly any other artist. Cornerstones of this sound and references include Max Würden, Hammock and A Winged Victory for the Sullen – but these are merely brief thoughts that arise and the sound of Blank Gloss instantly carries them away again. For »Cornered« is a wide, beautiful and unagitated world made up of one of the most interesting ambient sounds of the day.