Telefon Tel Aviv's 2001 era album Fahrenheit Fair Enough was to these ears one of the greatest electronic albums of the era. Two further albums followed but following the death of founder member Charlie Cooper in 2009 Telefon Tel Aviv ceased trading. Now over a decade later, surviving member Josh Eustis has re-ignited the project for a long awaited fourth album. If it's even half as good as that debut then we are all in for a treat.
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The first thing I would like to draw your attention to regarding Telefon Tel Aviv’s fourth album is that the track titles form a poem. I like this. I like it very much. In this age of scouring the major streaming services’ vast libraries to make a cheap joke using a playlist, this is something of a power play. You can recite the plot of Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Mother!’ using only Talking Heads lyrics all you like Demi Adejuyigbe, but will it ever be as hauntingly evocative as the titles on ‘Dreams Are Not Enough?’
It’s not just the song titles that are fractured. The sounds Josh Eustis has hewn are brittle and corrupt. They state their piece, but be careful. Any sudden movements could see them shatter into a thousand pieces. This all makes the music feel quite improbable; just how do the string sounds on ‘I dream of it often:’ hold together when it sounds like they’re being recorded in the midst of an earthquake?
The vocals too, are delicate. Eustis’ vocals bring to mind those of Hood or These New Puritans. Sickly sounding, but confident nonetheless. There’s a defiance about these singers, maybe they were told they shouldn’t quit their day jobs once upon a time. But they suit the music. They suit Telefon Tel Aviv’s patient ambient and angry drones and vicious techno. And they bolster it too.
4/10 dubbydubs 27th September 2019
I loved 'Immolate Yourself', it was such a complex, yet refined and meaningful record. Two different artists in perfect balance working towards the same goal.
This record is just shows off production techniques, of which there are plenty, but leaves me completely empty otherwise.
Gone are the memorable melodies of 'Immolate Yourself', the powerful yet delicate pads, the cleverly accessible drum programming.
What is left is half of what this project used to be, and it's puzzling why they would release it under the Telefon Tel Aviv name, aside from trying to take advantage of the clout surrounding the project, when for all intents and purposes this is a solo release by one members alone.
YOUR RECENTLY VIEWED ITEMS
- Dreams Are Not Enough by Telefon Tel Aviv
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