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John Talabot – Families EP review

Young Turks continue their assault on releasing good music, paying no heed to genre politics in securing some all too rarely seen original material from Barcelona resident John Talabot. Part of the Hivern Disc family that resides in the beautiful Spanish city, Talabot’s obvious talent for crafting house music has been seen on just a handful of EPs. The clamour and critical acclaim surrounding him has been embellished by the raft of inventive remixes Talabot has submitted – most recently a delightful take on Teengirl Fantasy’s signature track and a EP stealing appearance on the Mario & Vidis EP on Future Classic (no mean feat when Soul Clap and Andre Lodemann are also involved).

The tracks on Families really provide further evidence of the somewhat mysterious producer’s endless progression into a musician of real talent, perhaps most notably on the title track collaboration with Glasser’s Cameron Mesirow. The comfort her distinctive, haunting voice shows surrounded by the shuffle of syncopated programming has been demonstrated plenty of times since Glasser broke through on the True Panther imprint in 2009, the most recent example being Lindstrom’s superlative remix of “Mirrorage” released earlier this year.

Whilst Talabot is no stranger to utilising vocal samples on his tracks – see the vaguely orgasmic cooing that permeates through the lower reaches of his most recent Permanent Vacation release – he seems to revel in the opportunity to craft his trademark rough edged drum tracks around Mesirow’s voice. “Families” is in a word sublime, a perfect melding of pop sensibility and glorious electronic production. It’s obviously going to add to the reputation Talabot has amongst the music press glitterati, but crucially could see him gain wider appreciation.

This is not a one track EP though, with Talabot indulging in some crazed digi horrorcore boombap business on “Lamento”, all jagged vocal edits stretched over a sea of white noise and click clacking percussion. “Lovers Tradition” occupies similar territory, aping the hip-hop trend for chipmunk vocals and sinking them deep beneath twisting Eastern melodies that worm their way into your cerebral cortex with far too much ease. The final track sees Lonely Club rework “Families” – adding more club meat to the beat and laying down some hypnotic melodic qualities before slowly bringing in the vocal refrain. It’s a perfect end to an excellent release.

Tony Poland