By Jamie McNamara
Individually, John Talabot and Axel Boman are two of the most consistently tasteful producers in electronic music today. Talabot is a Spaniard that has a knack for discreetly-funky dance music that borders on Four Tet, but often verges into the territory of a more laidback Lindstrom. Boman is a Swede that is a Pampa records regular and one of the founding members of the label Studio Barnhus.
The Night Lands is the duo’s debut album as Talaboman and it manages to function as a brilliant showcase for the best aspects of both producers. It’s a rare collaborative album that sounds as if it was created by one person.
The duo themselves described making the album as “talking blip blop until we felt that we had something worth saying” and it’s evident in the patient production choices on the album.
The last time the duo collaborated as Talaboman was with the one-off track “Sideral” for John Talabot’s classic DJ-Kicks back in 2013. The Night Lands never quite lives up to the energy set by the duo on that restless, club-ready track, but instead their aim is set on a more cerebral version of house and techno, one that often adopts African percussion and whirring synthesizers.
Opening tracks “Midnattssol” and “Safe Changes” unfurl over 12 minutes of blissful, ambient haze. It’s not until the album-standout third track that the duo really lift the curtain on their floor-filling prowess. “Samsa,” a 10-minute house journey that blends the cosmic burbling of wandering synthesizers with a heads-up drumbeat, is a warehouse-ready adventure.
The rest of the almost hour-long eight-track album plays out with the same success. It’s paced perfectly and on-par with the quality the two producers are known for.Talaboman, The Night Lands