Telepathe
93 Feet East; London, UK

[05-11-2009]

While I should have been at 93 Feet East watching the support bands, I missed the opening acts because I was at an Indian restaurant eating Lamb Vindaloo. It was delicious, but probably not the most ideal pre-show bite given Telepathe's propensity for massively heavy bass. Sure, Dance Mother, their meticulously produced debut full-length, is big on the low-end as much as the high melodies and percussion, but live... good grief, I was certainly feeling the lamb in my tummy.

Telepathe's skewing of hip-hop sounds lets the bass propel their pop/dance ballads like a heartbeat, and although the sheen of Dance Mother was slightly lost in a live setting, the group's semi-detached fervor was in full force, with beats plodding and vocals soaring just slightly above. Their sound exudes a particularly sensual feeling, taking dance music's overt sexuality (that often ends up either cringe-worthy or kitschy) and subverting it, enjoying the small emotive flights and club aesthetics as much as the pop romanticism.

I was never sure how ‘danceable’ their stuff was, though, and this full-to-the-brim venue didn't make that any clearer: you could barely move, let alone flail. But the performance did shed light on their paradoxic bedroom vs. club dichotomy; it's a bit of both, deftly combining respective feelings for something warm and in between. Working on a couple of synths and samplers and playing pretty much all the songs from the album, there was always a distinct and audible passion. And even if, like these two, it's stylized, dressed up in white, and surrounded by smoke, the music resonated and felt especially real.