Friday, November 30, 2012

Black Marble, Telefon Tel Aviv, and Mortality

With it's minimal-synth/coldwave sound, the music of Black Marble is pretty catchy. What hooked me initially was some similarity between his track "A Great Design", and Telefon Tel Aviv's "Your Mouth.

"Your Mouth", and the 9 other tracks on "Telefon Tel Aviv's "Immolate Yourself" were so very different from their previous IDM-ish tunes. This was the final album by TTV, as Charles Cooper (who did the vocals, and mixing, if I remember correctly), died in 2009.

Music, and people's attachment to particular songs or albums are often keyed to specific events, sights, and feelings, anchored in time. In January 2009, I was working in a seaside town in South Korea. I would finish work each night around 11pm. During the walk home, the streets were empty, and my mind filled with uncertain feelings about decisions I'd made, and the path forward. Listening to the tracks on 'Immolate Yourself' gave me a great sense of peace during that time, reminding me of how much I loved my life. At the same time, the somber, dream-like nature of TTV's tracks made me feel nostalgic for the present - a reminder that nothing lasts forever. 

I found out about Cooper's death while listening to this track, standing in an empty street, staring at my phone. It was an odd experience - a reminder of my own mortality, certainly - but it reinforced my desire to treasure the present, rather than preemptively mourn it's passing.

I listened to TTV's final album, (and the remixes they released during that time) consistently throughout my time overseas. For this reason, I'm always excited to come across new music that carries certain similarities to the tracks on "Immolate Yourself". While Black Marble is far more minimal wave, with harsh, highly sequenced '80s synth, I really appreciate the vocals and mixing style.


Another track that trips similar somber newwave sentiments with me is Belong's "Perfect Life". It holds hands with English Shoegaze & ambient, evoking bits of New Order's "Elegia", or Joy Division's "Atmosphere".

Belong @ SoundCloud:

Black Marble @ SoundCloud:

Telefon Tel Aviv's Immolate Yourself @

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