John Talabot – Voices
Oriol Riverola is a fascinating figure in the underground scene. Having entered the frame in 2009 with his afro-disco release My Old School EP, the Barcelona man is now best know under his John Talabot alias. His career includes releasing on the prized Indie label Young Turks, touring with The XX and establishing a well-respected label in Hivern Discs. Electronic Beats describe his production as “four/four electronic music [that is] emotional rather than [a] physical trigger”. More recently, his collaborative project Talaboman with Axel Boman has produced picturesque releases like ‘Loser’s Hymn‘ and ‘Dins el Llit‘. Talabot’s 2016 Permanent Vacation release ‘Voices’ encapsulates the Spaniard’s pursuit to make music that is about “creating an experience or recalling a [warm] memory“.
Hivern Discs releases are often characterised by their pitched percussion layers. Tracks such as JMII’s ‘Bailar‘ give the patterns their own identities. Similarly to Round’s “Glass“, at the core of ‘Voices’ stands its cadence. The modulation of the female voice samples pulsate at various tempos and sequences of notes. Halfway in, the breakdown of the track removes all but the visceral chantment which echoes with its accompanying reverb into the listener’s soul. The feeling is mutually chilling as it is stirring. Though the drum loop return to retain its position within the framework, it is the subtle bass stabs permeating around the 5 minute mark that give the ultimate climax of euphoria. Gerd Janson’s Version Conga edit adds more groove, arguably at the expense of the original’s emotion.
Parallels between the Catalonian producer and DJ Koze can be drawn. Both lean towards synth-sprinkled, relaxed tempo tracks that carry a minimal kick. Their albums have a high crossover-appeal, reaching reviewers outside of the electronic underground circles. While Kozalla’s 2018 album ‘Knock Knock‘ landed a spot on Pitchfork’s Best Albums of the year list, Talabot’s 2012 release ‘ƒIN’ received a ★★★★★ review from The Guardian. Nonetheless, while Koze brings a German-flavoured wintery approach that’s often frivolous, Talabot’s sound carries a Mediterranean soul that comes with its own collage of drum patterns. Ripples of such are present in ‘Voices’. In an interview with Bonafide Mag Riverola was asked whether music is his voice, the track in question is the answer.