by Ben Hogwood
What’s the story?
Kuedo, the pseudonym for Berlin-based producer Jamie Teasdale, moves to the Ninja Tune family for third album Infinite Window, the first since 2016’s Slow Knife.
In the interim Teasdale has been extremely busy, collaborating with Flying Lotus on the Blade Runner: Black Out 2022 OST and scoring two films.
This album explores Teasdale’s love of contrasting styles of music, principally spaced out ambient synths and the more rhythm-based work of producers like Frank Ocean and The Weeknd, and looks to bring them together in a wholly complementary way.
What’s the music like?
Excellent. Teasdale’s prowess as a film composer is immediately evident, as it is easy to picture scenes to go with his descriptive writing. He also masters the combination of R&B and more through-composed synth music, meaning that we get emotive pictures set to rhythms that vary between intricate and driven.
The sound picture is slightly glitchy, with the vast backdrops given small dots of detail in the foreground, a bit like looking at a scene from Stranger Things where those white dots swirl in close to the viewer.
Harlequin Hallway simmers nicely and drops the beats, one of many occasions where Kuedo really flexes his muscles and drives the music forward. The title track acts as a kind of opening credits montage. Positioned halfway through, it gets just the right blend of moody introspection and pure strength from the rhythm section, while the synths, initially bubbling under, surge to the surface with simmering energy.
Sliding Through Our Fingers is a great start, rippling synth lines spreading out in the manner of Tangerine Dream to fill a massive space. The fluttering rhythms on Shadow Dance are brilliantly done, while Skybleed Magic has a really impressive scope, and feels like a sci-fi theme in waiting
Does it all work?
Impressively so. The album is really well structured, telling a story of contrasting moods and colours, but staying very true to a single path. There is a lot of energy just beneath the surface, especially when Kuedo is spinning those intricate synth lines, but the big drum tracks ensure that it is released in a wholly satisfying way.
Is it recommended?
Definitely. You could approach this album from the direction of Vangelis or Burial – and either way you would fine plenty to enjoy. Deeply impressive and consistently rewarding.