We nearly didn’t make it here,” Telepathe team leader Busy Gangnes relates as they begin. “We got stopped at immigration. They wanted to deport us.” Looking around the room, it’s perfectly evident why. A headcount reveals that Britain has already filled its hipster quota; every Shoreditch vampire in the capital has descended on Catch’s tiny cavern tonight.
A week ago and four tube stops away, Amazing Baby were staging guitar solo duels in a desperate attempt to convince these same people to crown them kings of Brooklyn. But this Sitek-backed duo are way too laidback for that. In fact, most of their show is karaoke – a MacBook at the back provides the sonic meat’n’tatties, leaving Busy free to stand stock-still and offer up her couplets like an ME MC, while fellow Telepathic Melissa Livaudais dabs at some drum pads in time with their dense, tribal, rolling rhythms.
Pling-pling-ding-da-ding-dong-dang goes the MacBook, really getting into things now. “The hun…t” go the two, staring us down insouciantly. At their best, they’re hypnotic in the truest sense. While everyone else in Brooklyn dons bandanas and blathers about magic animals, these two understand that the only real psychedelia is in your head:
“It puts you in a trance and makes you wanna dance,” as Busy once described their sound. Their mesmeric power comes from infinite repetition, sparse instrumentation and cascading reverb all swelling together to blot out thought. You almost forget to breathe. When it clicks together it’s immense, a ghostly hip-hop Kraftwerk looming as clear as architecture.
When they choose to step it up a notch ‘So Fine’ spirals towards euphoria via a chant of “death is in this heart”, while the fantastic ‘Chrome’s On It’ confirms itself as their backwards-pop ace in the hole. At the end of the night, we’re still not quite sure what we’ve just seen, but we think we probably liked it.