high places // telepathe

High Places // Telepathe

“Oh-oh-oh ohh-oh.” That’s what I sing out loud sometimes when I’m walking down the street, and it’s because of Telepathe. I’ve been listening to “Chrome’s On It” for days now, the oh’s are unstoppable. It’s too hooky. They’re hookers, I read that somewhere. They want to be the ultimate pop band, an extravaganza; they told me that. I wish Cafe OTO were more suited to a pop outfit, tonight. With a stage and a bolder sound system, that could make you swoon with its sheer intensity. Or with a crowd that like to dance with more lust, focus and loose limbs. That’s what Telepathe require.

Not that it’s not nice; it’s really nice, everyone will tell you so. This place is tucked around the corner from Dalston Junction, and it’s quiet. Quite serene. It feels like it is the shape of a square, and has large windows letting all the light inside that it can. This is how it could be an art gallery - all that light, after so many basements. The light and the fashion in which people are milling around, drinking from a range of organic beers. It’s quite new, and OTOprojects is something they’ve set up; an international residency programme with some Japanese musicians are coming over soon. Perhaps it’s more suited for the quiet stuff. It’s frustrating, because ordinarily Telepathe should sound huge, and yet they do, in a way. So casual is this trio, transforming their ableton-live-electronic-drone-pop into a live set so smoothly. I guess this is the 19th time they’ve done it in as many days. What makes me happy, is the drifty sexiness of their songs. It’s the passive-aggressive hip-hop and bassy instrumentals mixed with Khaela-ish vocals and a certain dramatic darkness that lends itself to a girl gang mentality raised on Kate Bush. That is a sort of perfection.

So, it’s sold out tonight; we can’t go outside with our organic beers. Why is everyone here? Perhaps these two Brooklyn bands are doing something new and exciting, but the atmosphere is underwhelming. When the bands come on, everyone squishes together so tight that you’re lucky if you’re at the front and can see, and even luckier if you can stand to hear the songs mulched through the sound system. All the layers are condensed into one, and my friend describes it as being like cotton wool.

But High Places are all about rhythms, and these emerge through the fluffiness; polynesian beats, steel drum beats, shaky stick beats. I heard them first on a mixtape made by YACHT, so in my mind they’re married to Dirty Projectors and Lucky Dragons and The Blow and all that. Their music wanders more than Telepathe; endless, light-hearded grooves that merge into each other. They use so many found sounds, in the sense that there are hints that they’ve travelled all over. They’re nostalgic for every trip, as if they have come back to sing around a campfire about their dalliances with the time machine, and we’re here to indulge them.


The text above might be in Plan B, if they don't mind that I wrote it in a couple of hours very overdeadline.


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