The Hated Opinionated One

Archive for January 27th, 2009

Telefon Tel Aviv Gives Good Reason For You To Immolate Yourself

Posted by Scotio on January 27, 2009


This will actually be my first post in 2009. Crazy. And, I guess for my readers, I’m sorry I left you guys off for so long. Life is a crazy battle, man. Especially in these days and times . . . and in this sad economy. But, with the statement of life, it’s with a heavy heart that I write this review. That’s because it’s from my favorite Electronic group: Telefon Tel Aviv. And this afternoon I heard about the passing of Charlie Cooper. No, this isn’t some pity party review or anything of the sort. Sadly, I was planning on writing this and some other reviews and dropping them all this weekend. But, after learning of the passing, I felt obligated to start what I feel about their new record Immolate Yourself. So, please, take a moment with me as I journey through some of Charlie Cooper’s great, yet short, musical legacy.

The album opens up with the track “Birds.” Instantly, the listeners is treated to some Synth-Pop sounds. No, you read that right. Ttv has switched up their sound to a more dance welcoming one. Those of you whom are fans of this duo are probably shocked at this point. Me, oddly, I wasn’t. They’ve never been ones to settle for the cheap tricks and safe play. This song full of volume and layers, amazing execution and a pop sensibility that is shocking for the duo. It seems that it’s a good thing for them to encourage their fans to do more than just ponder the day, as they did with their first effort and half of their second. No, I can’t tell you the basis for them naming this track, but I can tell you that you will feel that you’ve taken flight towards somewhere new with some familiar friends when hearing this tune.

On the follow up song, “Your Mouth,” it comes on like a B-Side to Thom Yorke’s solo material. And, sonically, it’s not too far from it . . . originally. When the beat picks up, it goes into a sonic landscape that I haven’t beared witness towards since Moments In Love by Art of Noise. The vocals are digitized and “float” from above to below the sound of the music itself. Thus, making it more than just words to accompany the music, but even confusing the listener into believing that they aren’t vocals at some points. It’s like taking a peek inside of someone’s dream, but with your eyes closed and headphones on. It’s an awesome piece of music, and you’d be stone to not feel some type of movement from it. Be it physically or emotionally.

One of the most beautiful songs is “I Made A Tree On The World Wold.” No, it’s not a typo on my part. They spell the word “WOLD.” I, honestly, didn’t even know that wold was a word until stumbling upon this song. With the analog styled recording process, the song has a certain slight grain to it that seems to add quality to it than it does take away from it. The sound is serene and beautiful. My feelings of listening to this song is that of being in water and a wave washing over me. This track is closest to something that you’d almost expect from Boards of Canada. Eustis & Cooper seemed to have wanted more from themselves on this record, and wasn’t overly focusing on the “micro” as Josh put it. They were more in the moment, it feels. And, when you hear the song, whatever moment you’re experiencing will be THE moment.

“Stay Away From Being Maybe” should be featured in the supposed Footloose remake. It has all the qualities of a decent dance record, but also carries with it an air of innocence and freedom. It’s an exhilarating presence embedded into the melody and composure of the track. You can’t help but be undertaken by it’s Joie de Vivre aural message that it begins to sneak into your mind. The layers are almost contradicting of themselves, yet, for some reason, they all seem to work together dynamically.

Now, allow me to talk about my favorite track on this ten song epic journey. It’s simply just one letter: “M.” It comes in with an almost omniscent atmospheric presence. Then, after some heavily airy echoed vocals, the 808 sounding stomps make their moment known. The track itself, flips in and out of being an anthem for something larger than life, and a break dancer/pop locker’s wet dream. Having hard hits and perfectly structured digital glitches, it’s hard not to pull out your dancing shoes and begin moonwalking to the club on this one. With the repetitive “All I can see, All I can see, All I can see” chanting, you start to believe that what they are seeing is you killing it on the dancefloor.

With every track just as awesome as the one before it, it’s hard to find a problem with this release. In fact, I haven’t found one. I fell in love with this album upon the first listen, and even after the 39th listen, I love it just the same . . . if not more. I could go on about every single song on this record, including their lead single “Helen Of Troy.” With my newfound love for wanting Vinyl albums, I can only hope to obtain this masterpiece on Vinyl. I’d love to place it on a turntable and spend a full adventure with it. I feel the analog recording will only play a deeper role in the album’s enjoyment on that format. It’s almost depressing to know that Charlie Cooper isn’t with us anymore to team up with Joshua Eustis and bless us with great music. At 31 years of age, he was still a young man with a strong future of music ahead of him. Now, we’ll have to hold fast to what he did give, and hope that Josh carries the torch in honor of him. I always thought that they were both equally impressive individually, and their combination made for something that you’d only dare to dream for. I loved Ttv ever since I first heard Fahrenheit Far Enough, and adored Map Of What Is Effortless(though people have had their qualms with that release). I’ve talked about them to everyone I know, and even forced their music upon my misses(whom, I will say loved them, as well) and my musically explorative friends. As well as spoke of their wondrous music across many musical forums via the interweb. Please, I implore you, if you haven’t listened to them, do so. Not just for the fact of Cooper’s passing, but for the fact that their music is as good as I’ve pedestaled it to be. I do ask of you to allow your mind to remain open as you venture up(and hopefully back down) their discography.

R.I.P. Charles W. Cooper, III




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