TG Mauss – Dear Stranger

There’s  a lot of urban soul boy in this sound – it’s got an element of confession there that stops it from just being one of those electronica records that are initially ok but get slightly wearisome after a few spins.

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Now this is worth your time. An LP that brazenly worships at the altar of Eno; (check out Dear Stranger for example), and whilst that’s not uncommon, I can think of many others who don’t pull that sort of sound off with this sort of blasé panache.

The opener OMG is a gloopy sprawl of keyboard sounds and vocoder, the sounds spread unevenly, like jam on a cream cracker. It’s nice as it goes, but very neutral in that it still keeps you guessing as to what the main body of the LP has to offer.  Tuesday is incredibly reminiscent of something off Another Green World but then starts to become a darker affair, the synths adopting a very brooding, grey aspect, enveloping the listener in a sort of torpid, supine discomfort. I hope you know what I mean. Anyway, it’s all very John Foxx. Welcome is a more rhythmic thing: switching between minor chord post rock passages and the sort of meditative electronic work out heard on stuff by East India Youth – or imagine a straight sounding Art Zoid.

Another reason to link to East India Youth …. There’s  a lot of urban soul boy in this sound – it’s got an element of confession there that stops it from just being one of those electronica records that are initially ok but get slightly wearisome after a few spins. You can imagine lots of modern First World hang ups being discussed over wine in some downtown bar.  Tracks like Ghosts, Sun King and Don’t Argue are dark enough to get away with it, and it never feels a facile record; rather it seems to accept that this is the imaginary soundtrack in the back of people’s minds these days, slightly abstract, ill-defined feelings of angst, but all the more difficult to deal with because of that lack of definition and certainty.  

There are some fine tracks on here but mostly this is a record that works best as a whole, it’s one that needs you to stick it on and then effectively to ignore it, so it can weave its magic in the best way possible. There are some fine instrumental passages here in I’m A Child and Lover, which add to the hazy glow, and it’s certainly in danger of becoming one of those LPs that you play on rotation almost without realising it. In this house at least.