Album Review: Telefon Tel Aviv


Telefon Tel Aviv -‘Immolate Yourself’ (BPitch Control)

[OK, I am going to have to be honest here, and get one or two things out of the way.

First of all, Telefon Tel Aviv were one of those bands I had been aware of for some time but hadn’t bought any of their stuff until I read about this release. I had to buy it -and I’m glad I did so. Out of the thirty or so new albums I have heard this year, this is my favourite by a country mile. In any genre. Secondly, there is a possibility that this may be the group’s third and final album, after Joshua Eustis indicated on the group’s myspace that he isn’t sure he can go on after the death of Charles Cooper. My interest in this album isn’t shaped by this untimely death, nor is it born out of much knowledge of their previous works. It’s really based on a face value interest that’s developed into a real love.]

I would once have dismissed the idea of shoegazing music without guitars as being like a vegan omelette. That was before I heard Immolate Yourself. As a fresh convert to their music to me whilst, yes it is an electronica album you can dance to (and those two things are not always interchangeable), like shoegazing (or dream-pop, as it is sometimes referred to across the pond), this is a beautiful dreamy album that you can lose yourself in. Is it the missing link between the work of Boards of Canada and that of the Presets and Cut Copy? Maybe…yet the reality is that this album, with its textures, songs and atmosphere is one that stands all on its’ own.

So yes, I want to stick ‘The Birds’ and ‘Helen Of Troy’ on a party playlist or CD-R, but I also want to wander the hills of my adopted homeland, like something out of an Alan Warner novel to the sound of ‘Mostly Transluscent.’ And I want to do it frequently, and back-to-back. This album manages to pack a number of ‘dance-lectronica’ references into it, yet it flows into each other. I’m struggling to think of another comparison…Mylo’s Destroy Rock’n’Roll? No, it’s a ridiculous comparison, and it sounds nothing like that, yet at the same time, it’s the feeling that you genuinely cannot pigeonhole it in one particular area of the electronica scene. And it sounds all the better for it. Maybe there’s more in common with an album like John Foxx’s sophomore effort from 1981, The Garden. Oh heck…

Every so often, an album comes along that makes you want to go back and play it again, even before you’ve finished playing it. Very rarely in life, you feel the urge to start buying copies to send to people for fear that they won’t get to hear it and they’ll miss out.

This is one of those very rare but wonderful occasions. Because this is one of those very rare but wonderful albums.


Telefon Tel Aviv -‘The Birds.’ mp3

Telefon Tel Aviv -‘Stay Away From Being Maybe.’ mp3

Telefon Tel Aviv website/Telefon Tel Aviv