You lay by the swimming pool of a hotel in a mid-century modern resort in the middle of the Colorado desert while the cast of the OC cavort in the water, throwing margarita cocktails at each other. You arrived from Britain’s first pathetic attempts at a Spring a few days ago and the sun still burns, the heat still burns, the #FFFFFF smiles of the cast of the OC really really burn. You lay in a hallucinated haze, you feel your individuality dissolve, your soul stretch its amoebic tendrils into the water, ready to return to the source. You are not sure, in a British way. You gaze at the eye in the sky searing your everything, and for a moment you feel like a member of the stunned mob in JG Ballard’s The Reptile Enclosure, gazing at the sky, waiting for the signal which, with a galvanic surge, will send you into the water.
Your are experiencing these moments in a completely integrated fashion, stroboscopic blades of light and the murmur of your fellow swimming-poolers, a drone punctuated by shrieks when the margarita hits it target, the taste of a sour beer you sip from time to time, just because it’s fun to thicken the haze, make yourself more receptive to the signal.
And then it arrives, the music , a divine manifestation, the colossal foot of the desert god stepping through the burning hole in the sky to dip its pinkie in the cool pool water, it could crash the skull of that buff swimmer right there, turn you all into skeletal husks with a blaze of its might, but today it comes with a message of beauty, not death, and you are its recipient.
You thank every single decision, life-choice, coincidence and contingency that brought you here, to this crossroad of primal emotions where the vibes of an epic jam decide the way forward.
You get up from your chair, and slip into the water.
[The artists we are posting today were played by the Friends of Friends DJs at the ACE Hotel last weekend, while we monged out by the pool. Enjoy!]
Visible Cloaks are sorcerers of kinaesthesia and designers of mood. Each of the compositions in the amazing Reassemblage, recently released by RVNG, is a tour of the rooms and halls and galleries of imaginary houses perched in the hills of Elysium. You glide through each of them as in a dream, never wondering about how you got to your current position because the state of satori immanent to every step of the journey renders your consciousness transparent, and quiet.
We balk at the idea of summarising their music with crude comparisons, but if we had to, we would say that they sound like Oneohtrix Point Never if you replaced his penchant for prog with a 1980s japanese ambient obsession. If you know us at all, you know we’re so there.
The DJs who so delighted us at Palm Springs last week played Valve. Today we leave you with the Revisited version, featuring soothing vocals by Miyako Koda. It could be the lullaby with which a pacifist Artificial General Intelligence evolved from a William-Gibsonian virtual pop star bids farewell to humanity’s materialistic, aggressive, nasty side, setting us up for a new age of bliss right after the Singularity.
The second artist we wanted to mention is Talaboman (i.e. John Talabot + Axel Boman), whose recently released The Night Land is one of those rare things, a perfect, all killer no filler, seamless dance music album that could perfectly sit alongside Vitalic’s Ok Cowboy, Levon Vincent’s 2015 effort or Lindstrøm’s Where You Go I Go Too.
The connections with the former are particularly strong. Although both records draw on similar influences – Kosmische, minimal techno, even minimal composition – their demeanors couldn’t be more different. Where Lindstrøm is apollonian, Talaboman is dionysian. Where Lindstrøm soars into the sky like a metal angel designed by Steve Reich, Talaboman runs into a night of monginess and voodoo, looking for transcendence in dance, sex and repetition, repetition, repetition.
Safe Changes is perhaps the only exception to all the debauchery (leaving aside Japanese edition exclusives), a straight krautrock stomper full of synthesisers beautiful and grandiose like a new sun rising over Europe’s green vales and pleasingly rectilinear autobahns. Unrepresentative as it might be, we will post it because it is the one that got played during our Palm Springs adventures. For the rest, you will have to chase Talaboman into the muck, filth and mong of their Night Land.