Teleman - Brilliant Sanity

Teleman – Brilliant Sanity

I remember watching Franz Ferdinand on the Jonathan Ross Show about seven years ago. I quite liked them, but I remember my Sister saying “Hum….they’re quite neat aren’t they?” not exactly a massive insult but still, a band being ‘neat’ seems somehow, a little, boring?

Why am I saying this? Well, in some respects neat is an adjective I would attach to Teleman and their new album Brilliant Sanity, largely because of their “dogged pursuit of the perfect Pop hook” which, while an honourable task, leads to a neat, sound which a lot of Indie or Rock bands seem to be aspiring to these days.

Since when did it become cool for Indie bands to say that they wanted to sound like a Pop group? Was it around the time baggy combat trousers stopped being cool? Or when Madonna and Britney had that snog? I’m struggling to find the root causes of it but it seems to have been going on a while.

Can you even be called an Indie band if you want to sound like polished Pop? An interesting case in point is American band We Are Scientists whose keyboard player left the band so he could go and join Katy Perry. When We Are Scientists recorded their new album they had the keyboard player back so he could produce it and they could access ‘the sweet Katy Perry syrup’ he was now an expert on. Ah that’s sweet isn’t it? Kind of, but it also makes me feel kind of, sick.

The irony of trying to be liked by a lot of people is that sometimes you end up being loved by no- one, catchy is cool, of course but where’s the soul and the spirit and the spontaneity that comes with a lot of good Rock or Indie? I think there’s a lot to be said for getting lost in music an opportunity which, Teleman rarely provide because everything is so well thought out and precise.

When they go off the Pop scent, it’s usually with the less up- beat tunes such as Melrose where the synths add layers of darkness, or Canvas Shoe where the lyrics are a little more reflective. I’m not saying Pop doesn’t have its place and everyone should pray at the altar of grunge and shoegaze because that’s more ‘real’ but the tracks where Teleman abandon the Pop box ticking exercise, are the ones that I enjoy the most.

Teleman are talented and can achieve a lot by the mere fact that they’re capable of turning out a perfect Pop hook, but once you know the conventions of something you can then subvert them and make something a little messier and a lot more interesting.

Release Date: 8th April 2016 (Moshi Moshi Records)

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When people ask me what music I am in to, I find it very hard to give a definitive answer because, throughout my life I have been in to all kinds of different music from House to Heavy Metal depending on how old I was, what I was doing at the time and the kind of people I was hanging out with. So I can safely say I am open to most things as long as it’s good but obviously that is entirely subjective and open to interpretation, which I guess is what Silent Radio is all about. However, I would say that overall my alliances lie with Electronic Music because it covers so many genres and is constantly developing and changing. Having just returned from Sonar I felt a warm glow being surrounded by so many people who appreciate Electronic Music but there were times when I became a little jaded and questioned its integrity especially after seeing Katy B perform for the 3RD TIME! Will Katy B still be remembered in six years? I doubt it. But I guess that is the nature of Pop Music in particular; some stand the test of time, some don't. I think having grown up and lived in Manchester my musical tastes have been influenced by the club scene post- hacienda and the music at nights like Electric Chair which encompasses the sounds of House, Detroit Techno, Disco, Soul, Funk and Hip Hop. Basically anything with a groove, I like. But this is not confined to Dance Music I particularly like bands that are melodic and have a hook such as Wild Beasts, music that captures an emotion and has a heart. While at University I was also listening to music that didn’t really have much of a heart but more of a pacemaker in terms of the emotion it conveyed and that was Electro-Clash, a completely non- sensical and at times ridiculous genre that borrowed elements from House, Italio Disco and Techno and re- formed them in to one fun, but ridiculous package. While at University, I had my own radio Show where I tried to convey some of my musical tastes acquired from up north and had guest DJ's from a night in New Cross called Zombie Disco, with Jamie from Zombie Disco now working with Lindstrom. We also borrowed the services of Rina from Ladytron who had a guest DJ slot. Anyhow, I think it is safe to say I like a wide range of music apart from Katy B, sorry Katy.