Sordid neon signs flash briefly past the window. The steady pulse of the synths throb out of the vehicle’s speakers as we cruise down the main drag. The city could be anywhere: Europe, USA, Asia. The tunes are universal. The duo collaboration Talaboman, which consists of John Talabot and Axel Boman, make cruising music á la Giorgio Moroder or Kraftwerk.
Their debut full-length record, The Night Land, manages to capture that wondrous hour around midnight where anything is possible and the night is still young. The songs on the record are the perfect music to lose yourself in, and the perfect soundtrack for late night drives on an empty road. While we found the record to be stunning in its ability to capture emotion, the record is indeed better for the pre-party festivities than for the later hours of the night.
Opening track "Midnattsol" manages to capture sounds of mere self-indulgence. With a synthesised percussion groove that should have exited the premises about five minutes ago, it unfortunately didn’t set the bar high in its opening.
While the first track was slightly disappointing, the second track immediately shined another light. Three minutes into second song "Safe Changes," we felt comparisons to Kraftwerk that have been made to them in the past were appropriately well-deserved.
Things transition appropriately until "Brutal Chugga-Chugga," a track that is neither brutal nor chugging. Its offbeat clave rhythm infected us with some kind of electronic superbug and before we knew it our head’s bobbing along and our feet were tapping. The record ends with the same power and gusto, and the resulting work overall had us stunned.
Like Kraftwerk, Talaboman have managed to create something genuinely exciting. The project overall gets under the listener's skin and into minds in a really beautiful way. The subtle shifts in dynamics and the layers of synths provide ear-catching material a plenty. This duo, like the garage rock duos of the genre’s mid 2000s boom, know how to craft a tune.
Electronic music is without a shadow of a doubt the dominant musical force of the 21st century. While some of the more hardcore genres have yet to receive much radio exposure, it’s refreshing to hear a duo as great as Talaboman, who haven’t forgotten the electronic music scene's roots in its endless quest to be the “future of music.”
Talaboman have crafted in The Night Land a stellar record. It’s music that a person can drift off into a world all their own with, while simultaneously enjoying the dancey nature of some of these tracks. In another world, The Night Land as the perfect soundtrack to a sleeper film, and considering both Talabot and Boman's capability in telling a story through their sets and production, their record is yet another chapter in their endless tale.
Written by James Fleming.