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CD Feature/ Telepherique: "Slowmotion"

img  Tobias

It first seems like a contradiction in terms: “This CD is dedicated to all the people who try to simplify their life in modern times marked with materialism, business, stress and sickness”, the cover says, while the music captured inside is anything but “simple”. Not that we expected it to be. Over the course of a musical career which began at the end of the 80s and after uncountable collaborations and compilation appearances, Telepherique have made it a habbit defying expectations and delivering the “meat” the meagre sceleton of electronic music dearly needs. And yet, “Slowmotion” carries this constant bipolarity deep within – both on the level of its concept and in its musical structures.

Which means that the label as well as online publications have used the term “ambient” to describe an album which is full of disturbing textures, areas of conflict and contrasts and which uses percussive structures, often polyrhythmical and harshly distorted in nature, as a backbone to almost all tracks. Even considering there is no longer a dychotomy between Brian Eno’s original concept of this genre and its new-born spouses shooting from the artistic soil like fly agarics on a moistous moor, that may be overstretching things a little. On the other hand, it can not be denied that Telepherique’s finely whirring beats are not aimed at the listener’s feet. Rather, they unlock the creative cogwheels inside the mind’s machinery with metaphorical field recordings, infinitely held synthesizer pads and intermittent melodies with strangely alluring, erotic qualties. Sound plays an important part on “Slowmotion” - less in the sense of the timbral quality of individual elements, but of the overall surface area of musical development.

The entire record has a live feeling to it: On the one hand, there seems to be a physical distance between the microphone and the musicians, transmitting organic impurities and associations. On the other, the music peels itself off a steady beat, shifting its weight from one side to the other in a chameleon-like parade of disguises. In the end, it is the twenty-five minute long finale which takes the album to a higher plain. A hybrid between detroit house and warm washes of drones, dreams and chimes emerges from the void, it refuses to die down and extends into visionary patterns of mnemonic metaphors, a virtual bazaar with foreign voices and no single centre to retreat to anymore.

It is here that the plan behind “Slowmotion” reveals itself. To arrive at a state of relaxation, one can not simply close the blinds and pull a blanket over one’s head. Instead, it is a process of gradual ellimination of the parasitic outside influences which leads to the fountain of flow. Only after you’ve made your way through the the irritable temper of some tracks, their dark pulse and cross-bred grooves that you’ll find the simple state of mind telepherique talked about at the beginning. It is not a contradiction in terms, but rather an unavoidable fact, if that may seem like a pretty complicated process.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Telepherique
Homepage: Force of Nature Records

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