Friday, March 13, 2009

Sébastian Tellier - Sexuality (Record Makers)

Sebastian Tellier's genre hopping ways has found him here, at erotic, sleazy synth pop. I say sleazy, but in truth the album contains just as much dignity, emotion, and creativity to render this much more than a gimmick of any kind. The album (produced by one half of Daft Punk) kicks off slow and sexy, and doesn't let up from there. Tracks like Kilometer and Pomme take the erotica one step further even, fashioning choruses or background out of female moans, caught in the middle of some sonic orgasm. Changes in the album occur infrequently, but when the do, as with the longer, more dance oriented number Sexual Sportswear, it is quite noticable. This is most obvious with the final beatless piano piece L'Amour Et La Violence, that starts out innocently enough with a meandering almost tunless piano, which quickly evolves into a heartbreaking melody that comes to ground Tellier's sweeping vocal that slowly builds and builds until you find yourself suddenly looking up to the speakers out of curiosity to what has made these tears well in your eyes so unexpectedly. Tellier sings of his passion for both love and violence in our modern world, perhaps a commentary for our violent, yet peace obsessed world, but this particular album, it's all love.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ricardo Villalobos - Vasco EP (Perlon)

What aching brilliance is this? The ultimate in minimal techno, Ricardo Villalobos yet again blasted expectations and the walls of techno for his lone release in 2008. The two part Vasco EP was released with 3 original songs, and a remix for each. The CD version collects the three originals and an extra track, minus the remixes. While the release is flubbed, the art itself is stunning. We open with Minimoonstar, appearing here in it's complete 32-minute glory. It begins with strange patterns of ethnic drums and synth trickery and eventually these ambient electronic choirs come in and every five minutes it never sounds like the last five minutes, actually, these songs are almost impossible to describe due to their abstract nature. Just know that Minimoonstar is a work of stunning artistic brilliance and beauty, with Electronic Water not falling too far behind. Amazordum is a more straightforward affair, and is therefore the least interesting of the tracks. Bonus track Skinfummel however is also hypnotic, due mostly to its vocal sample. The remixes are unavailable to the mp3 world due to Perlon's beliefs, but one is widely found in illegal format, and luckily it is the important one. Shackleton's remix of Minimoonstar is from another world. It sweeps the already brilliant tracks out of the way and is the star of the show. It is one of the best remixes I have ever heard. You would be forgiven for believing that the apocalypse was upon you as you listened to its percussive workouts, doom and gloom ambience, creepy vocals, and goddam massive kickdrum in the latter half. Anyone who appreciates electronic music in any form deserves to hear this masterpiece of modern music. So what are you waiting for?