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Telefon Tel Aviv

Posted in music by heliopath on April 9, 2009

So for a while now I have been listening to Telefon Tel Aviv. I discovered them in the most random way, on a trip to UNH to visit natalie magnatta and chris ives. during a One AM Radio concert that chris was organizing, someone played telefon tel aviv from an ipod in between sets. As soon as i heard the spacey laid back electronic sounds trickle through the speakers I knew I had to find out who it was and write it down.

I acquired Fahrenheit Fair Enough(2001) and Map Of What Is Effortless(2004) and listened to them both constantly. The two albums float around the same territory as each other, and that is somewhere between Apparat, Ulrich Schnauss and The Cinematic Orchestra (to my subjective ears and my frame of reference). Dreamy experimental electronic soundscapes with plenty of stutters, swirls, glitches and flips without being too beaty or glitchy, the tracks are anchored in with some emotional, reflective, substance and intent on top of a slow thoughtful beat. Map of what is effortless particularly has more vocals than its predecessor. They are fantastic for writing papers and generally being reflective. I personally have ascertained that these go well with late night hours, dark rooms and headphones.

What’s The Use Of Feet If We Haven’t Got Legs? (4:16)
When It Happens It Moves All By Itself (3:28)

Also to my delight, Apparat and Telefon are musically intertwined and have remixed each other.
Apparat – Arcadia (Telefon Tel Aviv Remix)(7:45)

Telefon Tel Aviv’s third album Immolate Yourself, released earlier this year, is a fantastic album. It truly marks a change in direction from the other two and shows that they have been paying close attention to where this type of music is headed. Flirting with sounds taken from more indie and electro scenes that has so big in the past year or two. I hate to use a pretentious cliches like “their sound has really matured on this album” but as painful as that is to read it is entirely true. They have always had a very delicate, not overly complex approach to their songs but here on immolate yourself right from the beginning “The Birds” fills your ears up with so much going on. The music is a lot more proactive and as a result a lot more engaging. There is something about it that feels very current, something about it that reminds me of the latest Animal Collective and TV on the Radio. Some of it even sounds a bit neo-80s like where M83 has been going lately. a reinvention of those old Cure like muffled sounds? particularly the song M is a bit like that.

Stand out tracks for me are
1. The Birds
2. Your Mouth
6. Stay Away From Being Maybe



On january 20th 2009, Telefon Tel Aviv released their third album Immolate Yourself. On january 21st 2009, Charles Cooper (pictured right) went missing and on the 22nd he was found dead. News articles speculate that he had a fight with his girlfriend before going off missing and that it might have been some sort of suicide. Quite creepy considering the title of the album. Such a tragic death indeed, according to the band’s myspace the other half, Josh Eustis, says he has endured the worst week of his life, that all shows are canceled and the future of the band is entirely uncertain.

really sad and shocking end to a really interesting duo that were going to go new and interesting places. I’m writing about them because I really enjoy their music, I have listened to it many times and to appreciate them for all they did. I wish Josh Eustis well and hope he will still make music for us to all enjoy. (perhaps he should join up with the better half of m83).

Sad story, but really check out the album if you were a fan of the last two or any of the other artists mentioned above.