Talaboman – The Night Land

Talaboman – The Night Land

‘The Night Land’ is a strange place. Full to the brim with synthesized, robotic and electronic sounds, yet somewhere we make some of our most human connections. It’s a place pair John Talabot and Axel Boman capture effortlessly with their debut Talaboman LP, jam-packed with bleeps, beeps and drum machines but also sounding extremely organic.

Much like how every night out clubbing inevitably does, the 68-minute-long debut both begins and ends with peaceful ambience in tracks ‘Midnattsol’ and ‘Decompression’, reminiscent of artists like Brian Eno and Aphex Twin in Richard D. James’s quieter moments circa Selected Ambient Works Volume II.

However, what we really remember (or perhaps not) of those long nights out between the speakers, is the terpsichorean moments of hedonism and euphoria. The same can be said about ‘The Night Land’ – climactic tracks like ‘Samsa’, ‘Dins el Lilt’ & ‘Loser’s Hymn’ will be best listened to at peak times in the clubs across Europe and beyond, and are all real highlights of the record.

Another highlight is lead single ‘Safe Changes’, which was released three weeks prior to the full-length album. It’s placed somewhere between the ambient and up-beat tracks, with the spiralling synths and chugging drum loops ambling along, until ending with an obscure sample from 1982 sci-fi film Android. “And you want to hook me up to this robot and stimulate me?” It sure does.

The organic integrity of the debut LP, out now on R&S Records, is partly down to the process Talabot and Boman used when recording. Last month, the duo told The Independent that the album took two years in the making due to them travelling between Stockholm, Gothenburg and Barcelona to work in the same room together, rather than over the internet.

Sideral, the first track the two label bosses produced together, appeared on Talabot’s DJ-Kicks compilation four years ago, Since then, the duo have explained how they make music together for the love of it and to have fun. That certainly can be heard within their debut. It’s a record that like the pairing is not taking itself too seriously – there are synths that sound like sirens and even occasional ‘drops’ – in instants it is perhaps cheesy. That’s not to say it isn’t a great record though, which, put simply, it inarguably is.

In 2017, a time of Brexit, Trump and heaven forbid 30p Freddo bars, what Talaboman have given us is a record which solely allows for a rare moment of pure enjoyment – that is refreshing. Talaboman say the message is clear: “Love is all this world needs. Loosen up those tight fists and give your sisters and brothers a helping hand and dance your anger away.” We could all benefit with a visit to ‘The Night Land’.

Release Date 03/03/2017 (R&S Records)

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James Power

When resisting the urge to put on the new Radiohead album for the one-billionth time, I try to keep my music listening as eclectic as possible.I was the clichéd skinny jeans & Strokes t-shirt clad indie kid in school clad and have never really grown out of that. Since starting university in 2012 I’ve got into lots of electronic, house, techno music and finding it very addicting. Favourites include Jon Hopkins, Todd Terje and Nicolas Jaar. Very recently I’ve been getting into old shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine, Ride & The Jesus and Mary Chain. I’ll have probably found something new by next week. Anything Thom Yorke puts his name to is one constant though.I’m a lover of CDs (probably because as a student I can’t quite afford vinyl) and my 250+ strong collection seems to be growing exponentially. If we discussed the pros and cons of physical music compared to streaming and how we consume music today, I could bore you for hours.Soup Kitchen is my spiritual home.I’ve pledged to take a review a month of an artist that I know nothing about, so sometimes I might sound like an idiot.