Hello. We’re on a MySpace Wander – know what one of those is yet? We pick a new artist. Someone making new music that makes old music look bad. We go to their MySpace page, then we find someone alluring in their top friends to drop in on. We do this eight times, in total, passing comment on all the angst, ache, reverb, guile, gold, sex and death we find along the way.
This is John Talabot. There’s much about him that’s admirable – he’s from Barcelona, for one (‘John Talabot’ is a pseudonym, borrowed from a local college). Then there’s his remix of Aufgang‘s ‘Channel 7’, for instance, which percolates curiously for a while before collapsing into those piano chords and that kind of massive house glee that can only ever end in you gulping purple champagne from huge goblets shaped like weeping celestial beings and rimmed with new, so-potent, but harmless drugs at 5am in a strange and balmy tomorrow city. You’ll also want to check ‘Sunshine’, if you haven’t already – it was released through the champions at Hivern Discs and delivers all its title promises.
Talabot has the best friends – Ron Hardy, Invisible Conga People, Larry Levan, J Dilla, Arthur Russell – but that’d be too predictable, so it’s off to visit satisfyingly named Munich producer Bostro Pesopeo. Boh-STROH! Peeehhh-SO-PEOOOOOO! Yeah, that name fucking rules. It doesn’t sound too German. Too much flair. There are pictures of Bostro and his comrades with guns and booze bottles in the bath and his music follows up on what that image leaves in the mind; i.e. WTF luxury and sunglasses-at-night bro-venture. It’s house again, Dave – scroll down past the remixes for Sally Shapiro, James Yuill et cetera and try out ‘Communquis’, which locks house and disco together in a passionate kiss, light rain, streetlights starting to melt, that sort of thing.
From the best friends, to Worst Friends. New York duo John Paul Jones (another pseud?) and Ryan Cavanagh conjure up the cosmos in the faded disco-pysch of their ‘Pillows of Wind’. Sounds a bit like Lindstrom hooking up with Jan Hammer. You’re into that, right?
Things are going unsettlingly well so far ‘pon this MySpace Wander and Aarnio‘s no let down neither, even if Jakub Alexander’s wire-borne repetitions sound allergic to dancefloor sweat and lasers, preferring instead headphones and pensive staring into the near distance. Understated and elegant, tracks like ‘The Scenery From’ and ‘Sea Height Port Loop’ are most likely what’ll be filling your ears when you’re in the lift up to heaven praying the cables don’t snap. Also: Steve Reich, FaltyDL, and Efdemin, who also happens to be in Aarnio’s top friends.
Efdemin’s a guy from Berlin who, at his best, makes the simple contentment of glassy, minimal techno sound like angels sponge-bathing you in soapy bliss. You can see people responding joyously to a remix Martyn did of his ‘Acid Bells’ in the video below.
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Efdemin doesn’t leave us much choice – the next step from here’s either Hamburg label Dial Records, deceased Afrofuturist Sun Ra or bumbling genius Robert Wyatt, all of whom are pretty much revered already. So it’s to the producer’s collaboration with fellow Berliner RNDM. Pigon‘s pleasant, but a bit dull – you suspect it’s the sort of music that’s not really made for a fickle Wander. More likely to please through headphones over a number of hours, at home, with red eyes.
Lawrence is the same (and I speak from experience this time). His extended, spartan electronic suites offer up an insidious and weird unease, ‘Grey Light’ and ‘In Your Eyes’ at times so full of gaps they feel like vacuums swallowing up air. Feeling a bit like Michael Hutchence, choking on our own ecstasy, we shake ourselves out of it and run on over to this column’s final destination. The aptly named Until Then, Goodbye dreamt you listened to them once and died happy. ‘Sleepy’ is so lonely. Almost unbearably so. Light falters. Eyes lollop shut. We’re just gonna… lay here for a while ’til the time comes for another raiding rush.