Category Archives: Telepathe

Missed Connections

Featuring : Telepathe

telepathe-destroyerIn this week of loss (that 20JFG is totally not ready to deal with just yet) we’d like to talk about a record that we missed in 2015.  Or indeed, to talk about a video we missed in 2014.  And a band we’ve missed a great deal.

Back before this particular writer joined with the hive mind, 20JFG helped produce a series of videos for Telepathe.  You can still read about them here (although the embedding got messed up with the redesign).  I made one.  I finally met the band when they played at a night curated by Dev Hynes back around the release of Dance Mother (2008) but was too drunk and too shy to mumble much more articulate than ‘that was awesome’ (which their show was).  The last time we saw them was when they swung through Brighton and played a set that sounded like all our Freestyle dreams wrapped in smoky red light.  It too, was awesome.

And then, to us, they disappeared.

You see, Dance Mother came out on a big grown up label and something happened that meant that its follow up didn’t.  Busy and Melissa moved to LA, got obsessed with Sci-Fi and cults (and basically lived the 20JFG dream) while recording the album that would become Destroyer.  And it’s great.  Really great.  But more on that later.  This was all back in 2012 and hell, they got a single out in 2012 so all should have been there for the taking…

But it wasn’t.  For whatever reason it wasn’t.

And it wasn’t until last year that Destroyer came out on their own label BZML for digital and Young Cubs for tape and vinyl.  A year before (in 2014) they produced a video for the track I’m going to cover today.   Here it is:

And this, this is why we missed Telepathe:


Telepathe – Drown Around Me

The thing about living in hauntology’s world: everything’s fucking timeless.  Drown Around Me’s beauty is not dulled by sitting on a hard drive for three years.  Nor is not dulled (in my ears) by the lateness of my discovery.  It has sat there, calm and patient, a crystalline ballad.  A moment of ecstasy perfectly preserved within layers of synths.  Every chord, every chorus, every wash of synths across the fragile drum loop calibrated to steal you away into the timelessness of the night.

What this accumulation of dates and performances and videos and music amounts to is that glimpse-behind-the-curtain feeling that the good ones can slip through the fingers of the hidden hand (totally murdering that metaphor).  Just making relentlessly good music isn’t enough.  Telepathe simply shouldn’t be exiled within a flickering netherworld, snatching back their music and fitfully shoving it through into our realm.  Without fanfare or acclaim.  We missed you and we’re sorry.

You can get Destroyer from Young Cubs here.


It came to the Sea

Your 20JFG dudes will be roaming around where the good stuff goes down at this week’s Great Escape Festival in Brighton, we would elaborate on the bands we are planning to see and whatnot, but hey, we are too busy with the preparations of our Shamanic prayers for a weekend of sun and joy, and anyway, you surely know the bands we really want to see, we already wrote about them here boyo. We leave you with two total tunes by outfits we shall of course be watching in the next couple of days, and a bonus just because it is fucking awesome and we wish the guy who came up with it was playing too, hopefully next year.


We have been banging on about Telepathe since they began on their path, crafting haunted noisecapes across the elegant halls of the Social Registry, tables have turned and these days they are on the way to global stardom on their own weird terms, mysterious hooded figures dancing up the baroque paths of nocturnal forests like a Liars Super-8 tribute to Don’t Look Now, you will know them by the trail of enigmatic dayglo glyphs splashed over the gnarly branches of millennial trees whose shadows make awful faces, you will find them by the echo of their phantasmagoria lullabies, which resonate from the left as their silhouettes vanish into the right, coyote magick tricks, sleight of hand dancehall mirages and lunar pop hooks that’s the trade they were born with, you can’t learn this stuff, or figure it out either, that’s why it rules so much.

Effi Briest- Chrome’s on it (Telepathe cover)

Here you have an awesome cover of Chrome’s on it by Effi Briest, who bumps up the mystery styles and ororo drone for awesome effect, find it in a split just about released by the good folks from Skinny Wolves.


And let us continue on the lovepath with mystique disco wonders Fan Death, as their demo of Jealously demonstrates they surely can get a good groove going. This infectiously metronomic jamboree sounds like Arthur Russell shuffling tarot cards in a studio of analogue delights as the girls unleash their vocal glamour into a space of shifting colours, we are once again blown into swirling smithereens by the perfect combination of 54 classy bang and quasi-religious exalt-exaltation, strings which are both chic honey and gypsy drama, that hint of nuyorican boogie that underscores it all shows an instinctive understanding of the secret kernel of longing for dance-induced ecstasy beating in the heart of all good disco, hear hear kids, this is only the end of the beginning.

Fan Death- Jealously (Demo with strings)


Smoothest Runes by Thick Business is a digital spell of African shades, loving barrage of percussion which strokes and smothers like shadows projected by a green canopy, thick curtain through which unknown birds of garish plumage peek, or the constant cycle of oars propelling you towards a heart of darkness which for once isn’t Joseph Conrad’s rotten and grim realisation, but the life-affirming sweat-shine covering smooth muscles as they flex upon resonant wood, natural sound of things growing and reaching their peak and eventually dying like an already perished star that glimmers aeons away in the perfect black of a tropical sky.

Thick Business- Smoothest Runes

– – – – – – –

We have our own little shindig going on as part of the whole Great Escape extravaganza, 13 Monsters, you know the score, and if you don’t- well, come down for a total blast.

20JFG Best of 2008: Daze

What links and binds all the music that’s dazzled and dazed us and forced us like an unseen entity to fall to our knees in wide eyed rapture like wailers in a temple, is that no matter how abstract and dizzying so much of this stuff appears to be on the surface of things, ultimately in one shape or another what all of it highlights so clearly is the pure and honest power of good, well made pop music that will always bring out in us the eternally awkward teenager forever fantasizing of a parallel universe edition of Top Of The Pops where the heroes we speak of on these pages are given free reign to do their thing and cause the girls to scream and the boys to dream.

One of this years highlights for us was being given the opportunity to work with so many great people on our Devil’s Trident video/remix project with Telepathe and it’s definitely been no secret that this year we’ve hearted those girls in an intense, some might say unhealthy way. We would say in response that it’s healthy to have a name or two carved into your arm from time to time- shows you have the all important capacity to love. Anyway we’re pretty confident everyone is going to rightfully flip their shit when they get to hear the spectral Cash Money haunted avant-pop that they’ve created for their forthcoming debut record Dance Mother.

Telepathe – Devil’s Trident (Rory Phillips Remix)

The Ghost Box label made us thankful for their existence with more phantasmagorical transmissions of an eerie half remembered childhood spent watching giant stones with eyes close in on helpless victims and truly terrifying public information films about cloaked figures that lurk near lakes to watch the misguided and the stupid breathe their last breath as they disappear beneath the dark water. The Advisory Circle created a paean to the suburban séance on an album of cold, decaying electronic collage and Belbury Poly hinted at an even more expansive cosmic horror sound for next years From An Ancient Star.

Kelley Polar armed with some of this years most spellbinding melodies and often evoking pitch perfectly the aching bliss-pop romanticism of The Stars We Are era Marc Almond and the avant disco leanings of Arthur Russell created a modern masterpiece of sorts, that veered from being blissfully absurd to insanely intelligent and in other moments eye wateringly beautiful, and sometimes all in the same song (A Dream In Three Parts (On Themes By Enesco.)) Similarly galloping across the Cosmos on pink ponies in disco ball armour Morgan Geist got around to releasing an album of majestically sad eyed love songs heartbroken and haunted by restless Italo apparitions that managed to be as great as everyone expected it to be, and Nite Jewel made us fall in love with her pastel shaded computer balladry that gave us the woozy feeling that we were dancing half asleep, half awake in the Lyncian discotheque of our dreams as visions of a decadent 1980s Milan that may have never existed unfolded before us.

Nite Jewel – Lover

Without resorting to quoting Edward Said and becoming overly preachy the concept of “world music” has always been a retarded and unarguably flawed one and in 2008 a number of artists did an amazing job at proving just why this is. Of course some, but definitely not all, did this with more panache than Paul Simon and resisted the easy temptation to spew forth his particular brand of see-thru, self satisfied Benetton soul to sound like the genuine real deal. Gang Gang Dance, who took the flame in their hands from well travelled sonic adventurers The Pop Group and ran with it to become the potential architects of this new sound returned in a kaleidoscopic shitstorm of Sublime Frequencies polyrhythm’s, obtuse techno and shamanic vocalisms, amazingly and quite unexpectedly whipping grime star Tinchy Stryder up into the mix with them, to create their best album to date. On a similar journey traversing Paper Rad deserts with post punk squall were Rainbow Arabia and Nomo gathered in a circle and pounded away on anything they could get their hands on in an evocation of Anansie inspired astral funk, hands deep in the dirt, eyes fixed at the stars. The Big Pink partied like it was the mid ’80s and they were signed to Creation Records – think not of Oasis but of Jesus & Mary Chain at their strung out and aimlessly noisy best. San Franciscans Mi Ami created a transcendental racket of broken bone psychedelia whilst their soul sister and purveyor of fine forestry funk 51717 was responsible for one of the more audacious covers to emerge in the last twelve months totally gutting out a silky disco soul classic by Barbara Mason to sound like pagan lo-fi.

Meanwhile listening to El Guincho was the sonic equivalent of watching a star explode, the glorious noise that’s made when a man’s brain spills out underneath the pressure of trying to capture and compute everything beautiful about sound into a few minutes of perfect pop music, making the Brian Wilson party record of the year in the process. His equally impressive  band, Coconot alongside art punks Abe Vigoda for once actually justified a term often made up by bored hacks and made angular guitar music that was positively bathed in tropic mists, the latter’s “Dead City/Waste Wilderness” tune becoming something of an anthem to flail limbs too without a shred of abandon in these parts this year.

High Places continued to soothe our battered psyches with the rattling hypnotics of their animalistic folk pop, Gyratory Systems astounded us with some ridiculously innovative synthetic gamelan that left us soul searching for right words that we have yet to find, Late Of The Pier splattered in a grisly neon mess came on strong and brought the fun like The Knife’s kid brother’s frenetic prog rock band and Teengirl Fantasy made the kind of cyborg dub that compelled us to sweat. A lot. Same for Ben Butler & Mousepad, who will be rocking our world with his further excursions into the 8-bit psychedelic polyhedron. And after a lengthy period away from things returning this year in a far quieter, but no less impressive fashion was Leila who blew us away with an album of creeping lullabies drowned in a queasy, disorientating ambience that aside from being brilliantly mesmeric, also heralded the welcome return of unsung hero Luca Santucci.

As usual a handful of R&B and pop artists rubbed dirt in the festering wounds of indie elitists still adamant of the necessity that music should always have a white boy with a guitar attached for it to be deemed inventive or credible, the fools. In 2008 though it was mostly the songs that for whatever reason you might not have heard that flew the flag for the Kiss F.M. avant gardists, and most of it sounded like the kind of amazing futuristic machine funk Prince would often have bestowed upon the world in the 80s with any one of his robo-divas.  Ciara lost her breath over rave synth click tracks with Windowlicker breakdowns and spazzy Knight Rider samples, but truly lost her mind in spectacular fashion when she decided to go operatic over the bone crunching tech-crunk of High Price. Meanwhile Cassie continued to create great frost bitten electro soul and simultaneously sound like the little girl ghost in the machine, her angel whip voice buried most evocatively in the chilly, groaning cybernetic atmospherics of My HouseBritney Spears, after having slithering in 2007 over one of the blackest of black, hole in the heart sex jams to ever so effectively put action into the erotically charged words “the smell of doom” (the wise musings of the Purple One’s malevolent alter ego Camille no less), re-emerged last month with another impressively odd club banger called Mannequin, a sonic juggernaut of wonky disembodied whines, thunderous bass and mind-boggling stream of conscious lyrics. Wynter Gordon made this years Umbrella and no one noticed, The Dream made a bunch of potentially drunk skanks called Electrik Red sound positively poisonous, Danja kept pumping out incredible space-hopper beats, and Ryan Leslie took an icy toned replicant for a delirious ride on his digitised chrome carousel.  No disclaimer necessary.

The bug-eyed talking in tongues weirdness of A Milli was everywhere and for good reason, because it was amazing no matter how many times you heard it (as was Beyonce’s wired retooling) Ignoring the wave of electro inspired naffness that followed on from the tsunami that was Wearing My Rolex, grime and dubstep continued to mutate and produce some arresting sounds. Y.D.O.T. channelled the obtuse electronics of Autechre to make some intensely exciting stuff that reminded these ears of the first time I Luv U and Pulse X made pirate radio sound like alien transmissions. Meanwhile Trim rode an awesome stuttering snake charmer rhythm that crawled under the skin like a bug, while Rustie, Joker and Ikonika plainly ignored all this New Rave rubbish and did it their own way.

Zomby shuffled into off-kilter consciousnesses with a flutter of 12″s before flooring all with “Where Were U In ’92?”, a mash-up of house piano, drum & bass skiffling beats and euphoric vocal cut-ups, with rave sirens covering up the selotaped seams. The LP felt so authentic it was like a lost cassette tape you found in a shoebox of teenage crap that you’d recorded off of pirate radio in that fateful year of the title. The Zomby EP leaned more on the psych-dubstep of the first few 12″s, with sliced up Prince shards projected onto phosphorous 8-bit backdrops, Crystal Castles melted down and microscopically viewed through a kaleidoscope.

Zomby – Aquafresh

Pavement to penthouse

Featuring : Allez Allez, Telepathe + trinity

Eskimo, in the bleary eyes of 20JFG and its cohorts, is leaping over many other labels in terms of quality and shear taste. Not only have they bought us the stratospherical pastel awesomeness of Aeroplane and the resonating obsidian pyramid stones of Simone Fedi, but now they collect together a Best Of from seminal Afro-Berlinian rhythm heirarchy known as Allez Allez. It hits in May and comes complete with Optimo’s riot-inducing remix of ‘She’s Stirring Up’, Quiet Village’s malevolent Victorian Mars expedition of ‘African Queen’ and Aeroplane’s staggered Herculean house remix of ‘Allez Allez’.

‘Wrap Your Legs (Around Your Head)’ features on the ‘Valley Of The Kings’ 12″ that hails from 1982’s ‘Promises’ album. It features vocals by Sarah Osbourne, the original vocalist who left, causing it to all go a bit pear shaped, and went on to provide the iconic vocals for Heaven 17’s ‘Temptation’.

Allez Allez – Wrap Your Legs (Around Your Head)

Allez Allez shoot forth from a shadowy Berlin basement and sear holes in the atmosphere of planet Disco, raining epic elasticated comet trails of funk based dance music all over, thus pre-empting chicago house and cementing themselves as main influences and much beloved favourites on Optimo’s playlists, Lindstrom’s alien-afro repetitive beat novels and virtually anyone associated with the DFA. Wrap Your Legs incorporates all the best parts of Ian Dury’s block-headed cockney wide-boy chant vocals, ESG’s angulated primary coloured wicker basket freak rhythms of ‘Come Away With…’ and James Chance’s symbiot brass horns, firing the resulting concoction out of a voodoo totem cannon from the mouth of Liquid Liquid’s Cavern. As with all these types of awesome early 80’s synth-shunning bands, its all about the drums and how they coil up and around the vibrating bass strings and run up and down the shimmering platform created by the constant hi-hat. They don’t make ’em like this anymore, they just re-release ’em.


What we do get is Joshua and Eric of production duo Brothers remix of Telepathe.

Telepathe – Chromes On It (Tan Lines rmx)

Like the world music setting on your casio with extra mobile phone interference Brothers do the opposite of DFA‘s mega MIA Paper Planes remix turning the lovely twee psyche Telepathe into your local bloc party garage band Althea and Donna. Can we get Brothers a production job on the next Tom Tom Club record please? And what is it with the casio keyboard horns these days?

While we are on the topic of Althea and Donna and legendary producer Joe Gibbs, it seems a perfect time to for the bonus track by that sharp dressed man, Trinity.


Trinity – Three piece suit

Derived from the Alton Ellis tune I’m Still In Love and using the time honoured tradition of a soundsystem riddim doing the rounds of various toasters this Joe Gibbs and Trinity version provided the basis for the unlikely uk number one by Althea and Donna, which i have in my head for some reason Pete Waterman was responsible for bringing to and releasing in the uk. If anyone can give us more information on this please do so in the comments box below.