Monday, 19 March 2012


John Talabot's ƒIN is one of the most welcome releases I've heard this year so far. The whole album marks a darker detraction from his earlier, much lighter variant of house music, sitting as it is now in the pitch blackness of minor tones, minimalist beats, echoes, reverberting hand-claps and a spooky ambience that would do well to accompany the mood at a kind of Cafe del Mar at the end of the world.

But all that does by no means infer that ƒIN is bad. It is bad, as in good; it's good, as in great. Just be prepared for a darker outing: instead of a parasol, you'll need a torch.

Whilst I'd love to talk about the whole thing, let me just focus on one particiularly brilliant song from Talabot's latest effort. It's the wonderful 'So Will Be Now...' featuring fellow-Spanish outfit (and fellow Permanent Vacation label-mate), Pional.

It's the last track on the new album, and is almost like a study of how best to build up the atmosphere of a song. It's near-perfect, featuring light, mechanical hi-hats that flit above a low modulating bass, and a thin snare, accompanied every now and again by a hauntingly echoing clap that fits greatly with the synthesised sound flying in every now and again, a sound like striking an icicle with an electrolised tuning fork. There's this perfect breakdown in the middle of the song, where the beat disappears and all we hear is this vocal sample, gently dragged down an octave or so, to give it this androidiac sense of the middle of the night and loneliness.

The percussion in this, as to be expected of such a seasoned house producer as Talabot, is addictive, each different sound hitting a corresponding target in the brain. The samples. The gradual ascent of this fizzy, slightly saw-wave synth towards the end. The rise of sounds from that eerie minimal beginning to the finish, where it culminates in genuine dancefloor bliss before popping like some pleasure balloon into only a metronome of a beat and a hint of a sound, is genius and should not and cannot be disputed.

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Check out John Talabot on SoundCloud
• More of John Talbot's music on his Myspace page (more traffic is now had on Tagged than Myspace, fyi)
• Check out his Facebook page
• (Permanent Vacation's official site)
• (And here's their Facebook page)

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