Ramona Falls

Intuit (Barsuk)

There's a staccato rhythm surging throughout Intuit, the debut release by Ramona Falls. Which makes sense: The electro-indie project is a solo record by Brent Knopf, the multi-instrumentalist best known as one-third of Portland experimental darlings Menomena. And while there are plenty of comparisons to be made here—both bands feature looping beats and songs with trance-inducing instrumental interludes—Knopf takes steady, deliberate steps to distance Intuit from Menomena's most recent album, Friend or Foe.

The first is the album's pulse, created by drumbeats, repeated acoustic guitar chords and a piano. The repetition of single piano notes—just one key being struck forcefully—appears periodically on the album. It's most obvious on "I Say Fever," where that beat pattern is partnered with Knopf's breathy falsetto. There's also a notable sense of urgency on Intuit, as if Knopf feels he's got a point to make and can't make it fast enough.

Plenty will be made of the fact that Ramona Falls includes 35 different musicians on its debut recording, most of them from Portland. But, ultimately, Intuit is about the weight of a solo project and enacting a single musical vision.

 
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