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John Talabot – “Journeys (Ft. Ekhi)” February 23, 2012

Posted by gwyoung in Music, Track Reviews.
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Back in 2009, Spanish dance-rock crew Delorean released their breakthrough EP, Ayrton Senna. The expanded edition of that EP contained a John Talabot remix of “Seasun”, expanding the beachy pop song into a swirling haze of sunny psychedelia. Delorean returned the favor by remixing John Talabot’s similarly-titled “Sunshine”, and ever since then the two Spanish electronic acts have been frequently grouped together, despite their drastically different approaches. While Delorean’s sound is more pop-rock friendly and immediately pleasing, Talabot’s ambient-leaning house pieces require a lot more patience.

Most of Talabot’s debut album, fin, suffers from bloated build with a less-than-worthwhile payoff. However, nestled in the middle of the sprawl is the collaborative effort, “Journeys”, featuring vocal contributions from Delorean frontman, Ekhi. This stunning track captures the best of both worlds, serving as a wonderful culmination of the back-and-forth remixing relationship the artists have developed over the past few years. Talabot crafts a subtly repetitive motif of light, bubbly synths and tropical drumbeats that warps and pulses around Ekhi’s ethereal vocals, which emerge just as inconspicuously as the beat as the musicians strike the perfect dynamic balance such that neither part dominates over the other. Delorean’s influence is also felt in the sampling choices: if you listen closely, you can hear faint traces of the angelic “oohs” and “ahhs” that riddle 2010’s masterpiece, Subiza. The artists have a clear musical chemistry, as they combine their unique strengths to create something that’s equal parts Talabot and Ekhi rather than just tacking on a verse to an existing composition, and the outcome is pretty breathtaking.

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