Former Disney star enlists The Flaming Lips and Ariel Pink on a thrillingly weird surprise album
London Highbury Upstairs At The Garage
He presents himself as a mixing-desk operative whose tools of the trade are electronic bleeps, burps, squiggles, explosions, and haunting orchestral refrains. ..
If pop music were akin to a well-adjusted man in a corporate suit, Fenn's music would be the radiation-burned, mutated cousin kept locked in the basement. And scarily enough, as part of a West Midlands underground that includes Broadcast, Pram and Surgeon, he actuallly commands an audience.
Taken on its own terms, Tele:Funken's work can exhilarate or depress in equal measure: exhilarate because tunes this far out can be joyous and humorous; and depress because the boundaries of alternative taste still haven't shifted from the merely confrontational.
An impromptu burst of Harold Faltemeyer's 'Axel F' has the man himself in stitches, and the demented fairground melodies, sarcastic attempts at trance, and derivatives of soundtrack music from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining are notable in their own right.
Tele:Funken needs to get even stranger, though, to avoid Fenn being perceived as a dilettante.
At the moment, he's lost in
a self-contained world of like minds, drawn together by mutual alienation.
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