The first new album from Telefon Tel Aviv in ten years is a modern update to the sort of ghastly industrial folk music This Mortal Coil were doing 25 years ago. If you're familiar with the southern gothic cyborg beats of Map of What Is Effortless or Immolate Yourself, you know these nocturnal aesthetics aren’t unfamiliar to Telefon Tel Aviv, but they’ve never sounded as brutal or unrelenting as they do on Dreams Are Not Enough. Originally a duo comprised of Joshua Eustis and Charles Cooper, TTA effectively became a one-man operation after the sudden tragic death of Cooper just a week after the release of Immolate Yourself. In the time since Eustis has stayed busy taking turns as a touring member of Nine Inch Nails, playing in The Black Queen with Steven Alexander Ryan of Dillinger Escape Plan, Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan’s Puscifer project, abstract techno duo Second Woman and his own Sons Of Magdalene solo project, not to mention producing a string of immaculate and sonically inventive records by Drab Majesty, Tropic Of Cancer and more. Naturally, Dreams Are Not Enough sports some of the best production I’ve heard all year, with glacial soundscapes and taut synths serving as the murky pedestal for Eustis’ own sugary vocals drifting out of the swamp. “a younger version of myself” is a rare catchy refrain in a sea of unrelenting sound cascades; it’s the album’s most forward-facing *pop* number and, not coincidentally, the one I keep coming back to. The skeletal synthpop of “arms aloft” is the Ghostly-est track here, with bleep basslines and a faint techno pulse wrapped in washed out vocals and minor-key drones. Scorched electro cut “not breathing,” choral reverie “mouth agape” and the tempered trap cadences of “standing at the bottom of the ocean” are other high water marks. Limited edition clear & gold splatter edition cut nice and loud at 45rpm on double vinyl, includes download, recommended.
- clear & gold splatter colored double vinyl pressing
- housed in matte black jacket w/ gold foil accents
- die cut inner sleeves
- plays at 45 RPM
- digital download included
- limited to 2200 copies
- music label: Ghostly International 2019
reviewed by laughable butane bob 10/2019
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