Tuesday, 12 February 2008


Here is an interview I did with the ace New York girl/girl duo Telepathe for Vice.

Telepathe have OCD just like me!

Bands tend to treat the ‘Influences’ column of their MySpace page like their own personal peacock parade ground. A chance to puff up their feathers and try to cook up a list that’s simultaneously more eclectic, obscure and populist than is feasibly possible. Nine times out of ten it’s best to just skip the whole thing altogether and actually listen to the MP3’s. A list that includes Three 6 Mafia, DJ Assault and Digital Mystikz to describe what has affected the sound of a Brooklyn two-piece electronics outfit on Social Registry does not bode well…were it not totally representative of the paradoxes that make Telepathe boner-inducingly great. They sound so refreshingly unlike almost everything else going on right now that they might as well be a called First Sip Of Ice Cold Lager On A Global Warmingly Hot Day In London Fields. Busy Gagnes and Melissa Livaudais create music as in thrall to the Hip Hop hooks of Hot 97’s daytime playlist as it is the loops and drones of Charalambides or Growing. They fuse primitive, repetitive chanting and electronic feedback with skippy drums you can actually dance to and moments of vocal melody that make you feel like Weiss sisters might be singing in the wings. While their early releases saw the girls exploring fuzz and drone it was with the “Farwell Forest” EP that they found their girl group meets Gang Gang with DJ Paul on the buttons middle ground. That record bought them to the attention of NY avant-overlord guy David Sitek who was so excited that he offered the girls a month is his studio to create a record. Out popped the perfect ‘Chromes On It’ and cue me not listening to anything else for three weeks.

VICE: You have referred to your music before as ‘process orientated’. What does that mean? Am I an idiot for not knowing?
Busy Gagnes (voice and effects): Maybe. It’s just the way we write. The process changes all the time. We continually change the instruments we use, our roles in the band, and the people we collaborate with. We place a lot of importance on how we make the music and not just the finished product. This takes the weight and pressure off of the final thing being ‘good’. I guess it's more of an ideal than a reality though because we definitely end up stressing out over recordings. We never release anything we don't fully believe in.

It sounds like you have case of ‘output OCD’. I have that with a lot of stuff. Like I can only use Pilot V5 Rollerball pens.
Melissa Livaudais (voice and effects): Erm, well, everything is very well calculated yes but not always well executed. No space for playing is ever the same and even if it is the same space there is no way we could have the same exact experience twice but improv does not appeal to me at all so I guess that is kind of OCD yes.

Is there a hot New York boy-boy duo who could be your avant-garde mirror image?
Busy: Stay High
Melissa: Stay High is for real. Some hot ass, cute little boys that make some fly music.

I hear wedding bells. Who are your favourite telepaths of all time?
Busy: Carrie White.
Melissa: Maybe Darth Vader but we are telepathic in the sense that all life on Earth is telepathic, we the same as you.

The “Dance Mother” LP is forthcoming on Social Registry.


Avant Yams

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