This album has a very generic electronica feel.
That is, it is very typical of 2002, blending sounds from The
Orb, The Thievery Corporation, and Moby. In fact, it really
sounds a lot like what The Thievery Corporation do, only with
a few nods towards Moby's mega-smash Play.
Not that this is a bad thing. I mean, i really enjoy The Thievery
Corporation. Their brand of groovey downtempo electronica with
a hint of dub thrown in is just the thing for late night listening.
Telefuzz also fits nicely into that time frame.
However, i can't help but wondering if three years from now
i'll look back on this disc as being wholely derivative. Kind
of like i now look back on those Olive and Amalgation of Soundz
(both generic trip-hop from about 3 years ago, riding the wave
that started with Portishead) albums i own with a modicum of
embarrasment. Are Telefuzz the same?
I suspect so, but only time will tell. And truth be told, there
are a couple of really nice moments on the disc.
I particularly like Chariots For Hire (And before you
ask, yes, most of the song titles are puns.) This song is a
nice, almost ambient piece built of synth drones that remind
me of something off of a Nova special about the Mayans: that
low droning flute sound. This is coupled with some really spacey
computer noises that sort of float by hazily. In addition, One
Hundred Light Years of Solitude has a lovely horn sample
and a great head-bopping beat. It does break into a really cheesey
guitar bit (sampled from some 80's hair metal band perhaps),
but otherwise is pretty cool.
Those are the standout moments in the general flow of the album.
On the whole it really makes one long continuous mix, and does
it quite well. It generates a holistic mellow feel, which is part
of what makes it good background listening.
Three tracks stand out from the flow, mostly due to the prominant
use of vocal samples. The first of these is The Needle and
the Homage Done (ouch! Neil Young is rolling in his grave
over that pun!). It starts off with a longer bit of Sam Kennison
talking about John Belushi's death. That uplifting moment fades
out into a funky groove that reminds me of a sped-up Heights
Of Abraham, complete with shapeless female vocal and funky piano.
Two other tunes use prominant vocal samples: Voyage of The
Dawn Wigger and If The Vice Is Right.... These are
the two tunes that most show Telefuzz's Moby influence. Voyage
of The Dawn Wigger is based around a vocal sample that could
have been taken from the Oh Brother Where Art Thou
soundtrack. Or maybe that song off of Play that
you heard constantly last year. I never learned the title (not
a big Moby fan personally), but you know the one: it sounds
like an old african-american spiritual set to a slow dance beat.
This song sounds just like that.
If The Vice Is Right... has samples that are taken from,
i think, the Comedy Central show Dr. Katz. At
any rate, it is a whole bunch of little stand-up pieces tied
together with a blurrly drum loop and some wandering synths.
It's a nice enough tune. However, it's towards the end of the
album, and i find that i kind of zone out to the album, and
then the comedy samples shock me awake. Additionally, in the
last three minutes of the song, there is a really annoying,
poorly cropped sample of some old jazz singer repeating "Till
you know you've been abused, you ain't never had the blues"
surrounded by early 60's TV-style horns (think the Batman TV
show). This sample keeps looping at a seemingly random interval,
and quite frankly gets really really annoying after the first
3 seconds. Urgh.
Otherwise, Telefuzz have done a nice job of creating a fun
chill out disc. The thing is, it really sounds like a melange
of all sorts of other things i like with a bunch of random vocal
samples thrown in. And that makes me wonder if it will age nicely.
I kind of doubt it.
So, if what i have described above appeals to you (that is,
you are familiar with the acts i mention) this is a pretty good
(if not very creative) disc in that same vein. If you have no
idea what i am talking about, then chances are this disc isn't