A collection of reviews and photography by Madeleine O'Gorman
Published on Music Universe 17.04.12
Don’t you hate it when you just discover an amazing musician whose album you preach and shuffle day after day, only to have a friend smugly point out their Australian tour that you missed two months ago? I’m sure my conceited-assessment was a result of my own self-loathing at the time, but it doesn’t soften the blow. The artist in question is John Talabot, whose debut album ‘fIN’ draws on pop, house and worldly beats to expand the scope of dance music. No longer performing incognito, the Barcelonan producer has stepped forward to expose himself with one hell of a kaleidoscopic album.
Delving into the opening track ‘Depak Ine’ is like escaping to a mystic refuge. The subtle dance beat steadies amidst a backdrop of crickets and chirping birds, all the while adding layer upon layer. The thrilling addiction to most tracks lies in the mystery of the whole collection – like some sort of dark, concealed secret lacing its way through heavenly beats and sporadic vocals. The swiveling hook in ‘Destiny’ elicits powerful, evocative energy with airy harmonies placed rightfully behind the beat. ‘Journeys’ does much of the same, with the Moroccan-influenced beat forming the core of the melody whilst guest vocalist Ekhi is a mere cloud somewhere far beyond the hook.
Although lovers of euro-dance will embrace this body of work, virgins to the genre will find the transition an easy one. The songs aren’t hugely obtrusive, making it a good uplifting album to pop on in the background. ‘Last Land’ has a gaze-out-the window vibe, yet if you were to hear it in a cocktail bar, could be considered a glistening, city-sleek number. In saying that, if there’s any track to tune to the highest possible decibel, it’s ‘Oro Y Sangre’. The track is HUGE, and sounds strangely familiar in a haunting and perhaps nostalgic way. The drawing power lies in a mega hook that’s repeated along with spasmodic female screaming, a calculated bonus that can only be understood after listening. Like ‘Depak Ine’, ‘Estiu’ teleports you to that vague, cosmic realm that only 4am dance music can do, much like ‘H.O.R.S.E’. The closing ‘So Will Be Now’ is extremely experimental with a fragmental urgency adding to the overall eerie finality of the track. Fin left me feeling alive and ready, a rare feat that not many artists can achieve. It’s safe to say that this time, I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled and ears pricked for tour announcements.