John Talabot - Oro y Sangre (Off 'ƒin', forthcoming on Permanent Vacation) by Diffusiontunes
John Talabot - ƒin by cooldizzang
Fin is a fantastic album. It is melancholic, incredibly well produced and boundary pushing insofar as it's rhythmically house-indebted, but sonically delves into unexplored territory. In this way producers like Four Tet, Floating Points or Ital spring to mind, although Talabot approaches his genre in a far more subdued and yearning manner (the album is, after all, called Fin, or the end). Fin is drenched in echoes and delays - its timbres are cavernous, its textures sometimes harsh. What permeates throughout the album is a sky high production value, as exemplified by the laser-cut drum programming and subtle synth work. 'Oro Y Sangre' sounds like what Four Tet's take on witch-haus would be, with buzzing, distorted synths, eery screams and a beautifully intricate and masterfully executed drum line. Conversely, the album will take a turn for the poppy, as 'Journeys' and 'Destiny' demonstrate. In some ways these two songs remind me of Animal Collective's masterpiece Merriweather Post Pavilion, however, if MPP was an electronic album made by a pop band, this is certainly pop music made by an electronic producer. The distinction is vital, as Talabot works around his own sounds with grace and finesse. 'Last Land' features a fantastic string sample, moody bass and suspended vocals. At 3:20, Talabot further explores his sample and, in so doing, musically and structurally resolves the song - the tension built by the strings is subtley released. 'When The Past Was Present' is the most housey song on the album, with a pounding 4-to-da-floor, intermittent 'yeah' samples, and stabbing synths that shape and morph into grooves and climaxes. The song is impeccably arranged, Talabot appears well aware of the effect of extra distortion on the vocal sample, or slight modifications on his synth work. 'So Will Be Now' features a bouncing bassline (which is eventually overtaken by sub drones), echoing claps and looped and depitched vocals that break out into their orignal pitch during the song's climax, in which the metallic, Actress-y hihats and surging synths prove that this is an outstanding end to an outstanding album. Link forthcoming.