Telafonica: Sleeping With The Fishermen

- Telefonica's roiling, boiling little collective of talent: audio, visiual and otherwise (I hear they make a mean paella) leads to quite unexpected things when a new album proper rolls out the door of their little workshop, or you're otherwise blindsided by a stray INXS cover or Christmas album. Indeed, what was once a duo, many years ago, has expanded to such voluminous, even global proportions that their latest release is less of an album and more of a small multimedia library. Don't believe me? The 7 tracks and 49 minutes of music is accompanied by 7 freely downloadable remix EPs, 7 art films and a collection of fan mixes, the sources of which can still be downloaded freely from the band's website. Jebus! What are you waiting for? Join the collective. For those of you who want to know what you're going to become apart of, I can at least give you an idea of what this album is about. Up till now the group have been engaged in a variety of electronic noodlings that, over the course of several albums have been becoming increasingly supplemented with percussive and live elements that have taken what started as 'tronic experimentation and subtly but surely rolled ever further into those territorries inhabited by bands. You've got to go through several minutes of warm, bass drone, an enigmatic shuddering of tribal drums and maracas and a seductive, slightly processed female vocal assuring us that 'my heart is your viceroy' over the album's fifteen opening minutes, which is quite pleasant, really but not at all indicative of the pop warmth that is about to leap out and embrace you on the blink-and-you-miss-it The Unravelling Man. With it's punchy rhythm, fuzzy synth and cute girl, stacatto vocal fronting I thought I was listening to Deerhoof, and that is rarely a bad thing, especially in small doses. That's all you get too, because although Heartbeatings For Those With Heartbeats is still definitely in the realm of art-pop, it's a much more of a lyrical and fully-voiced song. Urrg, everbody says Bjork when they hear something like this, but listen to those very mannered vocal inflections and I think you'll find the comparison is good in this case. Then it's an 8 minute epic of electronic rock in the longing, driving duet I Can Hear There's A Peace In The Dark. The variety continues with the deceptively energetic whirl of dance beats that accompanies the world-weary repetition of the line "Can We Leave It At That?" on There's Something About Your Face. It's difficult to pick a single for Sleeping With Fishermen - it'd be The Unravelling Man, but at 1:19 it's a little short. The return of the fuzzy synth and the pop euphoria of To Me has to run a close second. Then it's off to an epic, dancey finish on The Tail End of Winter, which juxtaposes a pumping house beat with a cold, obscured male vocal and an occasional saxaphone hidden in the ethereal production - the end result of this combination of elements being something at the dancier end of kraut-rock. I hope this wide-ranging collective are having fun, because it sure sounds like they are. For an experimental, electronic bunch of folks they are suprisingly in touch with their pop roots and in a way that leverages both their pop and their experimentality. I've just got to imagine this is going to be a lot of fun for anyone involved.

Album Review Type: 
short
Album Title: 
Sleeping With The Fishermen
Artist: 
Telafonica
Record Label: 
(442 Music)