Over a decade after its creation, the album “Immolate Yourself” by Telefon Tel Aviv is still one of my favourite records. Its dark aesthetics and brooding analogue synth lines pack an emotional punch that still holds up to this day.
This is an analogue electronic record through and through. This is not just in choice of instruments, but in how they were recorded and processed. You can almost hear the clunk and whir of the tape machines; the electricity passing though the very circuitry itself.
Through its warbling synth lines and softer aesthetics you can really feel the tactility of the instruments and equipment used. No better is this exemplified than in my track of the week ” I Made A Tree on the World.”
Melodically, its structures are rather simplistic, but its the way they drift through the piece, building in power as filters are slowly opened up to create underlying drive and aggression. This aggression is then released in the final third of the track with a raise in octaves and looping vocals that merge into each other creating a wide sonic landscape that slowly fades away into the distance.
Although its more of an “album track” and provides a link between more traditionally constructed tracks on the album “I Made A Tree on the World” is still my favorite from an impressive bunch. It manages to create a world that I have enjoyed returning to countless times over the past twelve years:
Telefon Tel Aviv’s album “Immolate yourself” has both haunted and compelled me since its release in 2009. Its understated songs always downplay the heady heights synth pop usually aims for. It leaves the album with a macabre aesthetic that really grows on you with repeat listens.
The Birds starts the album and although rather simple in its arrangement and composition, every instrument is driving the track forward. Creating a constant crescendo for the first half of the track, only to drop off briefly before a distorted synth semi-solo that falls apart as soon as it begins. Back into the sounds of arpeggiated synths and repetitive electronic drums.
In a modern EDM world with humongous FM synth leads and all consuming Kick drums. The birds in a masterwork in understatement, achieving the same results emotionally without ever pushing for it.
All these years later on and with repeat listens, its subtlety’s still grow on me. Its a track that has and will always stick around:
Telefon Tel Aviv were one of the first artists I ever featured on my Track Of The Week segment of this blog. Promoting music I love that is often on the fringes of most listeners is the reason this segment exists and they’re certainly fit into that category. Looking back I noticed that I never included a track from their album Immolate Yourself. The last album made before Charles Coopers accidental death in 2009 and it is time I rectified the situation.
The album took the group away from their computer heavy compositional style to analogue synths and a tape machines for recording and its shows in the work. As the glitch style percussion gives way to more organic textures their experimentation still remained.
On You are The Worst Thing In the World percussive tape loops and a hi-hat pattern drift in and out of sync with each other to give elements of randomness that are then cemented by the rigid arpeggiated analogue synth line and more driving elements of percussion. Its this blend of the more experimental elements from the history of electronic production mixed with strong melodies that keep me coming back to their work and this album time and time again:
This is the first and probably the last time I will make a Track My Track Of the Week for the Second time.
Fahrenheit Fair Enough was one of the first Tracks I made a Track of the week. At the time it was already a bit of a curiosity with a low quality stream on youtube the only way to access the track to share on my blog.
However 5 years later the Track finally gets a Reissue as a precursor to the release of their album of the same name and i can finally offer it as a track to listen to on multiple streams and in better quality. The fact that I am still so fond of this track 5 years since making it my TOTW indicates the powerful affect it has on me.
The mix of Glitch percussion with strong chord structured pads make remind me of another favourite IDM track Flim by Aphex Twin. Its this mix of the Harsh Complexity of the percussion with the softness of the instrumentation that make the track not only hugely enjoyable but also highly influential:
I’m shocked that in searching through my track of the week history. No work by Telefon Tel Aviv has been mentioned, especially the track fahrenheit fair enough.
To call this a track of the week feels more of a copout then what this track deserves. For me It’s up there as one of my favourite tracks of all time, Its Jazz Chords collide with some of the finest glitch percussion ever processed and create a track that I haven’t got tired of for the past ten years. A truly remarkable piece of work:
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