The Great Electronica Swindle
Here’s the pink elephant in the room: Telepopmusik are part of America’s musical consciousness because of… One. Television. Commercial. Remember the man driving a Mitsubishi SUV as his life (friends, wedding, pregnant wife, young kids) passes before our eyes in the seats around him? “Just breathe / Just believe / Another day” — “Breathe” is an instant classic, and Genetic World inexplicably a must-own.
By removing the liveliness that redeemed parts of their debut, Telepopmusik deliver no potential hits on their second long-player, Angel Milk. Instead, they parrot spy-movie music so songs like “Swamp” seem stolen from a dozen different soundtracks. They also fail to find the next “Breathe”-like diva; torch-song acid jazz such as “Nothing’s Burning” ends up sounding like Billie Holiday assimilated by the Borg, and about as warm and engaging.
Worst of all, aside from a few lines of spoken nonsense against synthesized rainforest backdrops, the lion’s share of the last two tracks — 15 of the final 21 minutes — is completely silent. Adding a whole lotta nothing (literally) to mediocrity, expecting the end result to suddenly become high art, is a comic miscalculation. Maybe Telepopmusik believed that if you can’t beat Everything But The Girl, join John Cage.
Of course, that quack philosophizing at the end of Angel Milk could be introducing the quiet periods as time to contemplate what you just heard. That’s how I used it: pondering a world where anybody could sign Telepopmusik, let alone release their sorry excuses for electronica.