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The Loggia playlist: John Talabot – ƒIN (2012)

John Talabot – ƒIN (2012)
verdict: 3.5 out of 5 glow sticks

Fittingly released on the Spanish label “Permanent Vacation,” John Talabot’s ƒIN is a sun and ecstasy-drenched masterpiece from the same vein as DeLorean, jj, and other recent champions of “Balearic Beat.” A techno DJ by trade, Talabot excels at crafting elaborate and expansive soundscapes that draw the listener in with slow, building beats. He also makes great use of ambient sampling on tracks like “Depak Ine,” where birds, frogs, and other sounds of the night melt seamlessly into the background. If you’ve never heard of Talabot, you’re not alone. Unknown but well-connected, Talabot has operated under many aliases over the years—a sort of insider-outsider who rubs shoulders with Ekhi Lopetegi  (from Delorean), the xx, and other big-name electronic musicians while keeping one step ahead of the limelight. John Talabot isn’t even his real name—it’s the name of his old primary school. Whether or not this secrecy is intentional, most interviews I’ve read give me the impression that “John Talabot” is really more of an attitude than a name. In one interview with the The Independent this January, Talabot said that his music and image are purely defined by the things he likes at the moment—and are subject to as much change as that suggests.

Talabot’s current incarnation could be easily mistaken for a “Person Pitch” era Noah Lennox (better known as Panda Bear from Animal Collective)—especially on the reverb-heavy “Journeys.” While most of ƒIN could probably pass for B-sides on “Person Pitch”, the acoustic and stylistic similarities between these albums pay more of a debt to the Iberian House-Techno scene than anything else. Recorded in Lisbon and Barcelona respectively, both albums make liberal use of echoing, soft-spoken harmonies that float over you in waves. The perfect soundtrack for sunny days and warm nights, ƒIN could be best described as the happy marriage between a rave and a good night’s sleep.  Whether or not Talabot’s blissed-out honeymoon will survive repeated listening is another story. Either way, ƒIN makes a pleasant first impression for this latest incarnation of a talented, aspiring artist. No longer overshadowed and underappreciated, this time “Talabot” has finally nailed it.

The Highlights:

-Guaranteed to raise and lower your blood pressure at the same time
-Warm, trance-y music with an upbeat attitude
-“Journeys”, “Destiny,” and “Depak Ine”

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