393372000 Bits

To purchase 393372000 Bits head over to Bandcamp. The cost is $7 which includes world wide postage plus an immediate download of the digital files. Or you can download individual tracks digitally.

released november 7, 2010

A limited edition, 3" CD-R released by the Sydney label Curt Recordings. The disc contains 3 tracks which were all begun earlier in 2010 when Adrian's laptop was in for repair. This meant that Bec's laptop was used for music making for a few weeks, but it initially lacked the ability to be able to record acoustic sounds. As a result, all these pieces started out very electronically, which is a slight jump away from other recent output by the band. The pieces were also a little more minimal and experimental.

Over the next few months, with original laptop back in action, the pieces were edited and overdubbed with more acoustic sounds, resulting in the finished pieces. '4/4 - 136' was originally modelled on the work of Robert Hood. The drum samples were all taken from Blake's ancient Yamaha PSR-150 keyboard and provide a gritty, lo-fi basis for the pushing rhythms and lead static swirls. '4/4 - 140 (6/8 - 105)' takes dubstep as its original template. The music was then sent to London where Marcella worked up a vocal to sing over the sounds. This was all then shipped back to Sydney where Blake and Adrian chopped, edited and manipulated Marcella's work back into the master recordings, creating a dark, polyrhythmic epic. '9/4 - 120' started life as a Public Enemy inspired rhythmic mess with samples stolen from EmptySet. A rough take was improvised in realtime, then Blake added some abstract cornet blasts and, in her first ever recorded instrumental work, 9 year old Imojjen laid down some abstract clarinet improvisation. These elements were then all taken and sculpted together into the finished form heard on the release.

The track titles all derive from the time signature and bpm of the relevant track, while the EP title is the number of digital bits found in the 18 1/2 minutes of music on the disc. The disc itself comes attached to an old 3 1/2" floppy disc and stored in an anonymous, hand numbered postage envelope.

1. 4/4 - 136 (purchase individual track)
2. 4/4 - 140 (6/8 - 105) (purchase individual track)
3. 9/4 - 120 (purchase individual track)


new gigs

we're going to be playing at the album launch for karoshi's new album. it will be on saturday, march 12, so write it on your brand new 2011 calenders.

secondly, chris hearn (alps) has invited us up to newcastle on march the 11th (yep, the night before - we can call it a tour). he's starting up a new monthly thing there called 'intellectronica' where a variety of electronic bands play from 8:30, but before that, there's a workshop on whatever topic can be covered by presenters from the bands that are playing. he's asked me to be part of a workshop on running an online label. karoshi will also be playing on the night, an official newcastle launch show for his album. who is in?



some side project videos

some nicely shot acoustic videos made on the afternoon that lessons in time played at the gate. one lessons in time track, plus a cameo by the band during a paper scissors track.

myrrh is mine

Myrrh Is Mine is available for free download. Click here.
Released December 8, 2010

The third annual installment of the extended Telafonica family Christmas compilation gets bigger this year, with Telafonica adding a new member (Cherry), Marcella phoning in a contribution from London, and an all new contributor who's not even in Telafonica, but is our good friend - Matt Wakeling of St Jambience fame. So, for the first time, it's officially become a '4-4-2 Music Compilation' instead of a Telafonica compilation. which just makes it even better.

Imojjen Elmer makes her first ever appearance as a music writer, with a little thing she whipped up in music lessons at school during the year. Lessons In Time plays the first of two very different readings of Silent Night, with StephenFox playing the other. LIT features backing vocals from Blake's mum and Jack Saltmiras from The Middle East. Marcella makes it two new Telafonica tracks for the year with her haunting 'Little Heart'. Eliza turns out one of the most ancient and beautiful of all carols, 'Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel' and almost everyone in Telafonica contributes to 'We Three Kings' (last minute schedule clashes ruling out some backing vocalists). Goldberry, otherwise known as Cherry, surprises everyone with her engineering skills and the melancholic beauty of 'I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day'. Lastly, Bec joins up with Imojjen and Æowyn for a partial rendition of U2's 'Yahweh', rounding out the best of the three Christmas compilations so far.

just like now - mars hill café - 5.1.11



sam's currently in the filming stages of a video clip for 'i can hear there's a peace in the dark' and will need to film us at some stage in the next few weeks. what are everyone's absence/presence plans over the next few weeks? we're aiming to have the video clip ready mid january. bec and i are unavailable until december 24.


the internet loves sam.

a few good blogs have started picking up on the cover video with some nice words being said...

polaroids of androids

who the hell?


cover loving

the ever wonderful everything is chemical blog has posted the cover video clip this week. eliza, you'll be delighted to know it comes in the same post as a coldplay christmas clip. i'm sure he was being ironic posting that one.



grant grant grant.

application for ozco grant for funds to make a film for the entire sleeping with the enemy album now lodged. if only the hours spent getting an application together could be spent on actually doing the work!

the christmas compilation is almost done as well - just working out some logistics to get cherry on there somehow within the maddening end of school year rush.


the gaelic

the guy who books the gaelic club sent an e-mail the other day asking if we'd be interested in playing at a midweek thing they have there during jan/feb. rattlesnakes and romance played there a few weeks ago (the booker asked both telafonica and lessons in time at the time, but it wasn't a good time) and isaac says it was reasonably good, the only drawback being not much of a walk in crowd, so you actually have to draw your own (along with the other bands). :)

would we be interested? it's on wednesday nights. if so, what dates are good?


TelafoniChristmas Invite

Dust Video

Dust from Telafonica on Vimeo.

Initially begun back in 2005, the original footage of Marcella was shot and edited with the intention that each frame would then be hand drawn in lead pencil, rephotographed, and put together as the final film clip, when the track was originally released as a single from the album, 'Morpheme'. About 10 seconds worth of frames were hand drawn before it became apparent that the task was way beyond the time and energy we had to put into it! So the film was put into the back of everyone's minds.

A few months ago, I got a new laptop and began transferring files across from my old one. I rediscovered the black and white film of Marcella singing and thought she looked great and that it was about time to use the footage so it wasn't wasted forever. So it was combined with some old hand drawn and scratched 8mm film that has been used in various guises in Telafonica's live projections for many many years to make a simple video clip. The song is now about 5 years old, so it's really just going to function as a nice curio, rather than for any real promotional value but, anyway, here it is.


November 2010


20th november 2010 - she's coming home

a bit of a strange one musically this month, in that i can't really pinpoint who i was trying to rip off! i kind of had a vague idea of making a lo-fi, psychedelic kind of groove thing (pocahaunted, sun araw, caught ship (who i've listened to a bit this week) etc) but, by the time it took shape, there wasn't much lo-fi and everything seems to get telafonicanised. which is ok, i guess. there were a few melodic things, like the last line, which was always the intention of bec's lyrics, referencing the beatles' 'she's leaving home'. the first vocal idea was a fairly monotone ian curtis type of thing, but that didn't work too well amidst the repetitive music. normally i need to de-melodicise my songs (david, marcella and bec have all independently suggested i do so at different times over the years), but this time, at bec's suggestion, it was decided it needed more melody, to counter the music. so i actually used the first little bit of melody from 'she's leaving home' as the starting point ("wednesday morning at..."). although being set against a minor key it probably isn't immediately obvious. but there it is.

As Adrian has just stated, I wanted to write a song that countered the Beatles' "She's Leaving Home". I wanted a prodigal song where home is a good place. I wrote it in phrases that kinda float and join with each other in different ways depending on how you say it/sing it. As usual, I wrote a complete whole and then Adrian said to write more so I had to undo some seams and "let it out" a bit more but I think it still works as a narrative arc. Was fun!

She's Coming Home

Wheels on the tarmac
Steaming horizon
The height and the distance
Once she was Wednesday
And choosing was leaving
The depth and the weight
And the distance between
The emptiness rising
Like endless destruction
Despair and the silence
The vanishing vision
The darkness consuming
Like cancer and coffee
Blame spreading out
Like blood in the water
The emptiness rising
And bringing her under
The mess and the media
Tedious beating
Of heart, mind and radio
In through the window
The ache of blank solitude
Squalor and servitude
The inner corrosive
The rust and the rubbish
Of madness and memory
Tedium timeless
The breathing monotonous
Breathing and absence
Of one Other breathing
The waiting for nothing
The lonely control
The choice and the keeping
The space and prediction
Of residence distant
Flat plain kilometres
Every direction
Every perspective
Is loss and the absence
Of goodness and grace
Grim face of honesty
Honesty speaking
Speaking her name
In the unlikely place
The sun and the exit
The exit quite open
The slope and the landslide
Of prodigal hearts
Wheels on the tarmac
Steaming horizon
The height and the distance
Now she is Sunday
And choosing returning
The high and the free
And the distance behind
She's coming home


mars hill & st jambience

matt has organised another midweek show at mars hill café and has asked telafonica along for the ride. it's on wednesday, jan 5. who's around and happy to play?


On This Day - 2010 - 4-4-2 Music Sampler

Free download only compilation available here via Bandcamp

On This Day is a collection of tracks which have been released on the 4-4-2 Music label over the past year, a snapshot of the label’s life in 2010. Featuring artists from around the globe, the music you find on this download compilation reflects the diversity to which the label is attracted, from abstract pop and electronica, to
lush atmospheres and sound improvisations.


Myrrh is Mine

Okay, the cover is well under way! Time to get your carols together Telafonicans! If you cannot record at home, book yourself into AJE's high tech studio!


track requests

any requests for our set on november 7th. it would be good if we could have a set list worked out before thursday's practice so that i can go through and make sure the tracks all work on the new computer. we have a 30 minute set to fill, and don't have any particular æsthetic to fit into (like we did with the last show), so can do whatever we like, really.


october 20, 2010 - sister zephyr

we missed the 20th last month due to all the stuff happening with louise. which turned into subject matter for bec for this much, without wishing to be too prescriptive and confining the lyrics to one specific interpretation. musically, it sits somewhere between the twin peaks of underworld and lcd soundsystem. bec also pointed out a vague melodic rip from the flaming lips. there's still plenty of space for room to grow. band.

needless to say it sounds best when played immersively loud. with good bottom end.

Sister Zephyr

She has forgotten herself

This is the time to cry
When the darkness is at the window
When the breathing is slow
And the time hovers over your head

This is the time to cry
When your heart has slipped down to the floor
When the sleeping is over
And you know you can't stay in your bed

This is the time to weep
When the morning moves past you
When light cannot touch you
And the words that you hear don't make sense

This is the time to weep
When the darkness comes back through your door
When the striving is over
And you know you must sleep once again

She has forgotten herself

She holds His eyes and His heart
He still remembers her name


cover video clip

Cover from Samantha Lee on Vimeo.

created by samantha lee.

video videos

i've been thinking lots about video clips lately because i'd like to have some. sam has completed cover, which i'm greatly looking forward to seeing (we'll organise a premiere at our place with dinner etc). and the belafonte clip is about 3/4 done, just needs a few more drawings to fill out some blank spaces. i also have an idea for a clip for i can hear there's a peace in the dark, which i'm going to sort of steal from steve's horizon shift film - the idea is to film a sunset over the suburbs and then project it upside-down onto our nice suburban house and refilm it. i also found an old thing we did of marcella singing dust - the intention then was to redraw each frame by hand in lead pencil. from memory i did about 10seconds worth and then got subsumed by the enormity of the project. but i still have the edited footage that i was copying, so i'm going to throw some on 8mm scratch film over it or something and put it online somewhere soon.

in that slight vein (redrawing a filmed thing) i came across this the other day, which telafonicans should hopefully find interesting on both an æsthetic/conceptual level and a subject matter level. it's a nice concept where anyone can contibute, so if you actually go to the website, you can watch multiple versions based on different copies different people have contributed. this is the 'director curated version'. the idea is that you go to the site, can be given a random frame which you redraw yourself (digitally, mostly) and then upload so that it joins the database of frames. www.thejohnnycashproject.com


new weird australia

in order to help promo the just like now show, we're going to go onto stu buchanan's new weird australia radio show on thursday the 4th of november. the show goes from 9-11, so it will be in there somewhere. we're going to talk about the gig to promo it and the new ep that markus is releasing on curt for us. we're also going to perform something live. being new weird australia, i was thinking maybe something a bit more freeform and improvised, and longer would be good. maybe the tail end of winter?

who's free and keen? are there any other suggestion of what we might do if tail end of winter is not an option?


Two Things

When is a band practice not a band practice? When Cherry, Blake and Ellie step into the breach and mind children while Adrian and Bec take Bec's mum to Emergency with a bout of Total Global Amnesia. No, Ladies and Gentlemen, never a dull moment at Telafoniland! So first of all I want to say a big thank you and I love you to C., B. and E. who showed us tremendous love and servanthood on Friday night!

Second, I want to announce that this year's long awaited Telafoni-Christmas CD is about to take shape. The title is going to be "Myrrh is Mine" - a phrase from "We Three Kings" which is going to be the song that AJE and I work on. I chose it because it tells a bigger picture about Christmas and I think it captures the difficult year that many of us have had and are still having.

SO, Ellie, Cherry, Blake, Steve, Dave, Celli and the Bells, it's time to whip out your offering for this year's effort! AND we still need to figure out when this year's Christmas party is going to happen - complete with sing-a-long around the old pianer!

Love to everyone! Looking forward to playing with you on Friday night. Let's hope our rescheduled rehearsal on Thursday will be perfect first go. :)


take two

so, now that the excitement has died down, when will we have a rescheduled rehearsal?!



from sam's blog again....

"Hello explorers, after much debate I’ve decided to upload an almost complete version of one of the scenes in Cover.
I think it’s finished.. we’ll see"


Karoshi / Ah! Pandita split 7"

7" split single from Karoshi and Ah! Pandita can be bought via Bandcamp. When you purchase the 7" vinyl, you also receive the tracks as digital downloads, plus 5 remixes, including one by Telafonica.

<a href="http://karoshi.bandcamp.com/album/sleepwalker-gone-missing-split-7-with-ah-pandita">Sleepwalker / Gone Missing - Split 7&quot; with Ah! Pandita by karoshi</a>

Split 7" release from Karoshi and Ah! Pandita, both coming from Canberra, Australia these days. Both sides could be considered dark lullabies, soothing and melodic on the surface with darker currents bubbling below.

The release is only available on glorious 7" vinyl. BUT, once you send your payment, you'll gain access to not just the physical release, but a mountain of digital goodies by way of the two original tracks plus 5 remixes from the likes of Telafonica, Vorad Fils, Loopsnake, StephenFox and Karoshi himself. These push the tracks into new vistas of ambience and abstract beats. These can be downloaded in your choice of MP3, lossless FLAC or any number of file formats to suit all tastes.

A. Karoshi - Sleepwalker feat. PJ Wolf
B. Ah! Pandita - Gone Missing

bonus downloads
3. Ah! Pandita - Gone Missing (Loopsnake's Delicate Mess)
4. Ah! Pandita - Gone Missing (Karoshi Remix)
5. Karoshi - Sleepwalker feat. PJ Wolf (Vorad Fils Remix)
6. Karoshi - Sleepwalker feat. PJ Wolf (StephenFox Remix)
7. Karoshi - Sleepwalker feat. PJ Wolf (Telafonica Remix)

The Telafonica remix basically keeps the structure of the song as is, just flying some of the later backing vocals in as a hook up front. All the original instrumentation has been removed apart from a synth bass line, which has then been processed, bit-crushed, distorted, pitch shifted and layered numerous times to provide the harmonic information, while a new drum beat was created which flits between straight and triplet timing from bar to bar.


just like now - nov 7, 2010

soundclash again

the soundclash grant is open again. which is good news as it means the australia council sees it has benefit. it was originally there as a kind of 'see how it goes' type thing, but it must have had positive feedback.

anyway, we should apply. remembering that you can't apply for money for equipment! and the project is for march of next year on. which might tie in nicely with the timing for a new telafonica album or two. though you can't apply for money for cd pressing. but you can use it for things like vinyl pressing, or maybe packaging (i just got the deluxe edition of underworld's new album and it's truly beautiful). or touring costs. or something else more creative than the stock standard costs. like commissioning a dvd/film for a whole album (like anton cornijn's 'linear' for u2's last album). we've got a couple of months until the deadline in early december, but it would be good to have something definitive and concrete. and a bit ambitious, i think.


has something gone wrong around here?

no posts for far too long. it really must be a hiatus.

we have a gig in a few weeks time and if we'd like to get some new things ready, as blake said, we should have a few rehearsals. any preferences for times? i'm free most nights except every second wednesday (this week being one of those), and the next 2 fridays.

i have booked the red rattler theatre for sunday, november 7. telafonica, lessons in time (?), karoshi, st jambience will be playing, and hopefully andy rantzen will do something in some guise, as might andrew maxam/loopsnake. i've also been talking with marcus whale and we're thinking it might be a good opportunity to launch the 3" cd-r ep on his curt label at the event. i'm reviving the 'just like now' moniker for the thing.

the tibet benefit thing looks like it will include telafonica, that's on saturday, november 27.


the bon scotts

would we be interested in supporting the bon scotts. they're coming up from melbourne to launch their album at a venue called raval and the booker, leyne (ween keen/landsdowne/etc organiser) has asked us if we'd like to play. it's on friday, october 15.

bon scotts here.


ask me

ask me

the liquid fact
the literary fact
the literal fact
fact fact

the liquid real
the literary real
the literal real
real real

is not truth
the liquid truth
the literary truth
the literal truth

it's just not
and that's the way it is
not a simple head
but a simple heart


august 20th, 2010

another month, another couple of tracks.

bec and i did this one. i had heard a dj on fbi radio the night before playing some old-school house/acid bits, and that's where the music started - very simple and minimal with tiny bits of syncopation to make it swing. bec then gave me some words, and it immediately started to veer into territory reminiscent of some band we saw a few weeks ago. bec's had a dead throat for a few days and couldn't contribute the required female vocals, so i dragged imojjen out to the studio at quarter to nine to fill in...

the next piece is blake's. i do know it features the samples i made of his old yamaha keyboard. i don't know if it's telafonica or lessons in time, we'll have to wait for blake's input...


4-4-2 music mixtape vol. 1

4-4-2 Music Mixtape Vol. 1
August 2010
23mins 25secs

Download mp3 version here (31mb)
Download .wav version here (237mb)
Download flac version here (115mb)
Download ogg vorbis version here (15mb)
Download artwork jpg here (809kb)

A layered mix of demos, sketches and otherwise unreleased pieces of music. All music by Telafonica. Mixed by Telafonica.

Tracks (in vague order):

Elec 25.12
Near Foregone Conclusions
Does It Know
The Thickness Of White
Circumvent The Obvious
I Heard A Ring So I Buried
Home Song


demo mixtapes

i had an idea which i pitched to clan analogue. the response there has been a bit lukewarm, but it might get up and running. the idea was that people could upload bits of music in progress and then, every month or so, someone can come along and pick out different bits and make a 20-30 minute mixtape from any of the bits they's like to stick together. i was imagining that, because they were work in progress and might be reasonably minimal, they could be layered quite extensively to build up the sound. one of the places the idea came from is the oneofour collective, which some of the guys from seekae and ghoul, amongst others, are a part of. anyway, as i said, there's been a little bit of a response at clan analogue, so i'll probably get something up and running, but whether or not it progresses there is another story. however, after doing that, i figured that telafonica actually has lots of bits of music lying around in different stages of completion - some that may never go further, others that have already had lots more work done to them. but i thought we could use that idea just using our own bits of music. so i've done one to start it off, and i'll upload it soon. but i thought it might be nice, if we do it semi-regularly, to actually name the series and then just have each one as a volume.

so....the question is, does anyone have a name they think might work for the idea?


parramatta sun article

well, it didn't make it to print in the end, but here it is on the website. please note - the quotes are not verbatim!



the photographer at the parramatta paper wants to do their own photos for the article, because none of the types of things i sent them were suitable. it needs to happen by monday afternoon at the latest. so we're booked in to meet him/her at mars hill at 3:45 on monday afternoon. bec, i've told them we have a strict deadline of leaving at 4:15 so we can get imojjen. blake, i know you're not free but the only other possible time was today at 4, at which time bec and i were the only ones free, so monday is the best of two less than ideal options. but if there was any chance of being there, that would be excellent.


blog layout

p.s. blogger has some new layout settings which i'm playing around with. the original layout was a template imported into blogger which wasn't ideal. i like the layout of that template, but because it was a 3rd party template, it had a few glitches in trying to run it within blogger (like the title image which regularly disappeared, as you may have noticed in the last day or so). so i'm trying to recreate that setout within blogger's new template structures. i'm almost there, but if things look a little strange, that's just my experiments playing out in real time. my apologies.

everything is chemical virtual 7" single

raymond collins, who runs the excellent everything is chemical blog, is setting up a virtual 7" series (kind of like the 4-4-2 music e-single of the month club) and has asked us if we'd like to contribute a couple of tracks. here's the rundown...

"The virtual 7" idea is something I plan on starting this summer/fall. What I am asking from each artist is to really step out of their shell a little bit. I would prefer mostly chill/relaxing ambient tracks, but that doesn't mean no vocals or "peppy/upbeat" sounds. I would prefer to keep it a little more on the electronic side, but that doesn't mean I'm against "organic/natural sounds". Each track must be exclusive to the EICV7". At least one newly composed track (or two), and/or one cover."

any suggestions for tracks we can contribute? there's probably something from a 20th we can polish up. a cover would also be fun - are any of the covers we've worked on suitable (i don't think any are particularly laid back that i can recall)? if not, any suggestions for a track we can cover that would fit the bill? or, actually, just a track we could cover - if we start from scratch we can make it fit the bill no matter what the original sounds like.


july 20th, 2010

two tracks for this month, one i did late at night (hence its minimalism) and one blake did as lessons in time.

mars and venus is just a single bass drone which i repeated about 4 times, pitching each slightly differently (+/- about 10% of a tone overall) so they phase in and out, causing lots of random peaks and troughs. if you aren't listening with any bottom end on your playback system, the first half will probably sound like silence. it's actually relatively loud, but needs bass speakers to be present. the rest is one drum loop sped up and chopped up lots, then a little blippy arpeggio. that's about it.

blake - blunt and unreferenced versus new and black: i used an acoustic guitar recording, a couple of voice recordings, some straight percussion samples and delay on probably everything. the song is probably a little shorter than what i want it to be. it was originally a little longer but i didn't like it all, so i deleted some bits.


mars hill café

matt wakeling is playing a show at mars hill cafe on wednesday, august 11 as st jambience - his improvised soundscape music. he's asked us if we'd like to play. would we? other options might be for lessons in time to play a set as blake is keen to get that happening (but it might be too close, not sure - blake?). i've also been discussing an improvised ambient/noise thing with julian rojas which we could maybe do. my guess is it would be a bit more low-key on a wednesday than it would on a saturday. anyway, i'm keen to do something in whatever setup. what does everyone else think?


an update from sam

in sam's words...

"heres a still of how its going.. note: not complete............................."

(this is just a detail - if you click on the image it will take you to the full thing)


scissor lock

marcus whale, who runs curt who will put out our 3inch ep in a couple of months' time, is launching his own new scissor lock album tomorrow night (sunday) in a warehouse. i'm keen on going - anyone want to come with me? i'm doing sound between 4 and 6 and will head in after that if i can scrounge up any accomplices (sp?).


nothing ventured /an invitation

i made a bandcamp page for the nothing ventured/an invitation 7" so that people can buy it and then get a digital copy straight away as well. it's over here. (i also updated the page on the blog that has all the info for it, if you click on the little icon down the left.)

speaking of which, how about slipping nothing ventured back into the set list on friday? we haven't done it for a while. any other requests for the set list so i can start getting it ready? also, it seems that thursday evening is the only time everyone is free before friday, so that looks like it will be the date for rehearsal.


mr maps again

so mr maps is on our case again. which is highly complimentary indeed. they are planning to come to sydney again to launch a new work in early october. at this stage, they're thinking october 8 or 9. they've asked us if we'd like to play with them. i definitely would. in case anyone needs convincing, i've added a clip below of them playing live. let me know if we'd like to and i can let them know.

if anyone other than bec or i, who shall be in port macquarie next week, is looking for something to do next thursday night - might i suggest the excelsior in surry hills, where they'll be doing the original gig they asked us to do (which we're not, obviously, doing) alongside underlapper and a few others.



no one is safe. this one took a bit of work to find - there's lots of artists with rebecca in their name, but not too many songs called rebecca. this one is not technically just 'rebecca', it's 'här kommer rebecca', which is swedish, but it's the only thing i could find, and also turns out to be pretty great in that so-bad-it's-great way....



sorry, eliza. this is the only one i could find for you....


cherry cherry

thought this might lighten up an otherwise fairly heavy week on the cherry front...

future name-themed videos to no doubt follow.


Bandwidth at the Red Rattler

"Good mornin' Good mornin' We've danced the whole night through. Good mornin' Good mornin' to you!"
This was definitely a Telafonica record for a so-late-it's-early bed time. It was after 3.30am that I crawled into bed and Cherry and Blake had even further to go.
It is well known that Telafonica loves the cosy grandeur of the Red Rattler and that we love hanging out with Clan Analogue so it was going to be a success whichever path the evening took.
There was a moment when I was sitting in a deep red arm chair and I looked over to see the royals, Andy and Rachel Rantzen (forgive me Rachel if you didn't take Andy's name), surrounded by their courtiers and it felt incredibly grand to be at such a gathering.
It's always great for me to see Andy and Rachel, Ant and Maja, Mel, Nick, Andrew from Loopsnake...It really was a big night that I don't know how I can fit it all in here!
O.K. Here are Bec's highlights:
* Receiving a very cool Lunar Module badge from Ant. Am going to wear it everywhere.
* Bloodloss Vegas singing Pulp's "Disco 2000". I can imagine a sing-a-long in my future retirement village featuring that song.
* A T2 Earl Grey tea for only $2!!
* DJ Tigerlily's set - was very excited to hear a little tune from one of my favourite CDs - "G Swing".
* I quite liked the music of Swingin' Tasty Bag.
* I loved the drama of the Actual Russian Brides (and the huge Russian hat, and the tiny waste - how does Elle fit all her organs in there?).
* I got to hear Cherry playing the saxamaphone next to me on stage (although her brothers in the audience didn't).
* I always love Loopsnake's music and we got to see a shadow performance of him from behind the screen as we were packing up.
* Lunar Module was even greater than usual with Mel on keyboards. Always great to see women onstage. Especially when they dress like Mel - from purple-streaked hair bob to shoe buckles, Mel looked splendid! I love the rest of the band. Let's not be sexist here. Ant had a very nice jumper with a red cross and it was good to see Peter singing and Grant playing bass. Really liked it. "I wanna be on TV..."
* It was really nice to meet M.O.R. - Antonio - of whom I have been a fan ever since we played the same night at The Sly Fox and he wore his extremely realistic horse head.
* Watching Rachel dance is always a highlight. Others follow a repetitive loop of movement regardless of what song is playing (and that's fine - the collective movement works together like a visual orchestra). Rachel, however, doesn't just move, she dances. And the joy on her face is beauty itself. Not the self-conscious apology of a smile that the rest of us front when dancing with friends, but the pure delight of music and dance.
There are always downers and items for improvement.
* I lost one of my knitting needles and two pieces of dark chocolate, I know not where.
* The sound was very uneven in the foldback. We could only really hear the computer, Adrian's voice and Blake's guitar but we have had really positive feedback from a few people and a few CD sales so it must have sounded OK from the front.
* Also, our DVD that was projected onto us blinded me from the audience most of the time so it felt a bit cold and like singing without an audience. Less connection than our other previous gigs.
* My biggest disappointment was that by the time Andy got up, almost everyone had gone. His set last year was so wonderful and irresistible, I was sad for everyone who missed out. It was very late/early by then so AJE and I decided to quickly pack the car so we could dance and then leave but Andy's set finished just as we stepped onto the dance floor. There was a debrief afterwards between Andy, Nick and AJE and it sounded like there were some good ideas to try out for next time.
* Finally, we didn't get our dinner at all and were hanging out for Laziko's at 3am only to discover that all the World Cuppers were chowing down when we got there so we trundled off down the motorway back to the burbs with empty bellies.

We did have the privilege of Nick's company for a trip to Paddington which was a lovely surprise and, when we got home, Adrian cooked us a tomato, lentil and chorizo treat with a fried egg and toast and that smoothed out all the wrinkles of the evening.

All-in-all it was a wonderfully grand Ben Hur kind of evening celebrating the very special Clan Analogue and reuniting with friends from last year. A good time had by all. Many many thanks to Ant and Adrian!!!

P.S. Cherry, Blake and Adrian, please add your highlights in the comments box.

Set list:

I Can Hear there's a Peace in the Dark
Smells Like Rain
Your Hands
The Tail End of Winter
I Can't Make You Love Me

show offer

no doubt bec's review of the red rattler show last night will be posted soon (no chance of me having another go after the uproar following the last!). however, i received an e-mail today from a guy named ty who is organising a show at the excelsior on friday july 16. he was at the red rattler last night and said he was really impressed with our set and was wondering if we would be interested in playing the show (the other band at this stage is named svelt, who i haven't heard of but will google them very shortly). do we have enough yay-sayers to accept the offer? eliza, you back by then?


cover film

sam lee is currently making a film for us for cover. she's got some progress things up on her new blog over here - some quick trial animations and some character studies. below is one of the images of the main character (the girl) with a paper crane that also features. it's pretty great and i can't wait to see the finished thing.

(and bec - take a close look at the crane's tail.)


mr maps

would telafonica be interested in playing a show in support of mr maps at the excelsior on thursday, july 8? underlapper is also on the bill, as is a band i've not heard of before called the understudy. mr maps are releasing a new single and are touring in support of it (they're from brisbane).

i reviewed mr maps' double ep release last year on cyclic defrost (read it over here). as you could probably tell from my review, i'd be pretty keen to play with them. bec, you mightn't quite remember, but the ep was one of the things i've reviewed that you liked quite a bit as well.


roxbury review

firstly, miles is a master with the camera. there's some more shots over at his photoblog. (as an aside, blake, over on miles' page put your mouse on the close-up shot of me and leave it sitting there until the caption comes up)

secondly, bec was absent from this gig (many thanks to bec for doing all the babysitting that i was supposed to help with so that telafonica could play this gig), while blake and cherry were at pains to remove themselves from the responsibility of writing up the review, so it has fallen to me...

blake commented in the spacia on the way in that it was a rather quiet trip, since bec and eliza are the loud ones (his words, not mine). the roxbury was as red as we remembered and luchi were setting up as we got there. it was their second gig, and the sound guy, who was otherwise great, didn't seem to quite know what to do with a band with so much electronics and no drums! so they took a little while to sort that out, but got there in the end (which also made things relatively easy for us as later the sound guy now had his head around the whole concept!). anna chase set up once they were done and pretty much went straight into her set. she ran her guitar and an accordian through her loopstation, layered over some loops she had prepared at home, and made a really beautiful mix of drones and melodies. i enjoyed it greatly.

we then set up our stuff, though couldn't get the autoharp to register on the mixing desk, so that was a bit unfortunate, but anyway. we started with blending the edges in bec's absence, as blake loves it and bec doesn't. it went rather nicely, with some new additions from cherry's saxophone. the set, on the whole, was quite up and electronic. the rendition of i can hear there's a peace in the dark was the closest to fully satisfying that we have done so far - i think the gradual changes are getting it there and i'm nearly satisfied with it now - it doesn't just rest on it's chorus anymore. i also enjoyed smashing my drum stick on the very last bar of i can't make you love me - so rock and roll. it was a successful set, i thought. it also means there's another permutation of the line-up which we now know will work well!

luchi came on next. i commented to them afterwards that it was very rare that we got to play with a band who are actually doing something in a similar vein to what we do - mixing electronic beats with guitars, fx, melodies and harmonies. i thought they were great and i had a smile on my face for their whole set. they also did an excellent job of filling the room with an audience, for which we are very grateful.

after lugging our gear out through the fancy dress party taking place on the bottom floor, with the assistance of the very friendly older indian gentleman who was the venue's security guard for the evening, we drove off into the west.


I Can't Make You Love Me

Released as a free download via bandcamp (click to go there). you can download it as mp3, flac, ogg vorbis, aac etc. or stream the entire release here.

<a href="http://telafonica.bandcamp.com/album/i-cant-make-you-love-me-single">I Can't Make You Love Me (Radio Edit) by telafonica</a>

released may 19, 2010

The second single for the 'Love On The Second Stair' album. 'I Can't Make You Love Me' is the album's opening track. The edit here abbreviates the introduction but still has all the joyful racket that distorted kalimba, castañelas, floor tom, an Adam and the Ants drum sample, cowbells, phasing synth washes and 4-part vocals provide. 'Scarecrow In The Melon Patch' is the first of the B-sides, and was originally written with the idea of mixing the two great forms of garage - 60s garage rock and 90s garage house. 'Monday Wednesday Friday' is a low-key electronic pulse with bit crushed guitar and monotone/melodic vocal contrasts. 'The Quest For Love Aboard The Belafonte' was the first single from the album. This version was performed live to air on Sydney's FBi Radio in November of 2009. It features melodica, toy squeezebox, typewriter and floor tom - an acoustic version of sorts.

To download the entire release in mp3, flac, ogg vorbis, aac or alac, with artwork included, go here. The bandcamp pop-up menu will ask you to choose your desired format and the price you wish to pay. The release is free, so just type a '0' in for the price. Of course, you can choose to make a small donation to the Telafonica cause if you choose, but that's certainly not a requirement!

A. I Can't Make You Love Me (download)
B1. Scarecrow In The Melon Patch (download)
B2. Monday Wednesday Friday (download)
B3. The Quest For Love Aboard The Belafonte (Live on FBi Radio - Acoustic Version) (download)


The Gate, May 20th, 2010

Please pardon me for my late review. This past week has been rather busy with our youngest turning seven and the celebrations requiring sufficient preparation to make it a seven-year-old standard of success.
The Gate was a great place to play. Telafonica turned up in two contingents and then discovered that the all-important "Bag of Little Things" was totally and tragically missing. This resulted in some Telafonican girl bonding time for Cherry and me as we battled peak hour traffic between Ryde and Toongabbie to retrieve the bag and save the gig. We felt quite super in our heroic efforts.
I would have liked to stay and soak up the atmosphere at The Gate - I always feel more comfortable playing when I have been a part of the audience first - but Cherry's company and her chocolate chip cookies well and truly made up for it.
What were the male Telafonicans doing while we were gone? I suppose they were doing the peripheral business of "patching" and setting up and sound checking all the not-so-essential instruments - the computer, the keyboard and Blake's guitar.
We arrived back just in time like good superhero girls should, and not a moment too soon. It was fun fun fun to play in Joe and Carly's backyard! We had a great grassy stage that I could dance on without all our music stands swaying in a crazy rhythm, and we had heaps of room!
The audience were very supportive with their cheers and clapping. I think I saw a few of them move during the song, just a little to the left and right. It wasn't really a dance kind of event perhaps but we didn't mind. They may just be the first audience to actually listen to the lyrics!
Blake and AJE came away from it a little unsure about their performance, but I had a ball. I think I am finally learning to be happy to make mistakes and let it go. I make a few. On each song. Besides, perfection is not really a Telafonican ideal.
Adrian and I had to leave pretty soon after we played so I cannot report on Garage Hymnal. Perhaps Cherry and Blake could fill everyone in on that score in a comment.
I can't remember the set list and I am too comfortable on the lounge to go find out at this juncture but I do know that we roughly ordered our songs into a gospel of sorts for this event. We definitely started with "An Invitation" and finished with "I Can Hear There's a Peace in the Dark". Thanks Joe and Carly for having us!


what to do...

...with our set on saturday night? it will be the first one without bec in quite a while and so will necessarily be fairly different from what we've been doing over the last few months. how far into the deep end should we throw cherry? should we give things like time and distance another airing? it would be good to get some vague ideas so that i can get the tracks prepared to some degree on live before we rehearse.


may 20th, 2010

Hush, hush my son
Don't rattle the bars
Lay, lay down your head
On the pillow and sleep

Hush, hush my love
Don't, don't fight the sleep
Soon, soon you will rise
And play once more with me

Hush, hush my father
Don't rattle the bars
Lay, lay down your head
On the pillow and slip away

Hush, hush my love
Don't, don't fight the dying
Soon, soon we will rise
And we, we'll be together


20th on the bridge

tonight from 8pm sydney time, jeff, who runs the 20th project, will be on the bridge - justin zeltzer's show on fbi radio. it's the same show blake and i went on a couple of months back. so jeff will be programming the whole show and will be including the original 20th version of 'but i lose myself' - which used recorders instead of melodicas. i'm sure he'll also discuss the 20th project in some detail, as well as his own music with the desks and other sydney things he likes.

so tune - 94.5fm or http://www.fbiradio.com


Style Announcement Telafonifolks!

Have decided since Ellie is our firey red and Cherry has now filled the position of spectacular blonde, that I shall take on the mantle of the sultry brunette. Hope that agrees with everyone since the deed is already done.


telafonica @ deja, may 1, 2010

Deja was another one of those Telafonica adventures where you discover that great cultural experiences can (and most often do) happen in the most unexpected places. We love Marrickville. Where else can you play at midnight for an enthusiastically dancing crowd amidst the comforting smells of bonfire and baking bread? Definitely you cannot find anywhere else an MC with a swiss cheese cape, calling himself Dairy Mouse and quipping on current politics, expertly fending off hecklers and conducting a raffle for babybel cheese and homebrand butter.

It was Cherry's initiation into the band and she passed with supersonic purple colours. The audience loved her. And they told her so. No jealousy implied.
We enjoyed, as always, listening to Alps. Art Rush was..well..interesting. Memorable. The Fuji Collective were big, polished and impressive. Andy Golledge had a nice sound. And we... well we rocked! Well we must have if that means we had fun and and there were people dancing and that they begged us to keep playing at 1am! And the folk from Fuji Collective (who live where we played) and Emma, all of whom organised the gig - were exceptionally great to work with.

We also learned a great deal. Much of it was joyful. Some of it sad. There was one precious soul that didn't seem to have a very high opinion of herself and finished our set unconscious on the floor with an empty vodka bottle in her hand. It has affected me a great deal. I want to give her the hope I have been given but I don't know how.
I do know, though that there were others who were there for the music. Our most cherished meeting was with Colin - a new friend who greeted Adrian with a cup. (for context - colin e-mailed the telafonica e-mail address to find out what the address was. i sent the details and told him to come up and introduce himself if he made it. except, in my haste, i accidently wrote 'cup up' instead of 'come up' - which colin literally did (see photo) - adrian)

One miraculous occurrence was that even after the last piece of equipment was carried past the water heater and into the back of the Spacia and the four Telafonicans had looked longingly into the next door bakery and had taken one more whiff of its aroma; even when we were on the M4 and even in Prospect, Blake was still chatty and wide awake. A Telafonica first!

A surprisingly wonderful evening for which Telafonica are extremely thankful.

And the setlist:
Æowyn And The Absolute Truth
The Tail End Of Winter
Smells Like Rain
The Unravelling Man
This Is The New Thing
Your Hands
I Can Hear There's A Peace In The Dark
I Can't Make You Love Me


the woes/ the morning after effect of deja

i was still sleeping at home while church was on
my dog isn't happy with me
interesting show though

what's an autoharp? bec, you represent.


The Exoneration of Cherry

I have at long last found the blasted Animal Collective CD that Adrian lent to Blake, who lent to me, who thought she lent to Cherry but obviously did not. Unless Cherry snuck over here last night and framed me! It was behind a big canvas artwork of The Lady of Shalott, and I have no idea how it got there. I only put that canvas where it is now, a few weeks ago, and it certainly wasn't there then. So the mystery is somewhat solved. Cherry is innocent, I am guilty, Adrian's underlying suspicions were correct, yada yada yada. I'll bring it over sometime.


Ballad of the Drowning Landlord

She is the heart
and she stands with her hand
over the mouth of truth

He is the head
and he's handing out lies
and half-truths constantly

I am the landlord
and my problem is this
I believe every word that they say

They told me there was a fleet of arks
Coming to save my soul
The water is rising up past the windows
And the waves beginning to roll, roll over me


box-stomper wanted!

telafonica is putting out a call for someone(s) who is willing to tag along to gigs, add something (undefined, open to suggestion) to the stage presence, and most importantly, stomp on the distortion and delay and tremolo in between the verse and intro sections in 'i can hear there's a peace in the dark'. blake is quickly learning it is tough and he admits his need for a committed, seasoned campaigner at his side (or his feet).

bec thought she might be fit for the role but blake quickly shirked from the idea when bec started substituting the main role for washing his feet with water, expensive perfumes and oils. obviously this would make it harder for her to make the section breaks in the fast-moving song.


I Don't Buy Records In Your Shop Now I Tape Them All

This release is a free download mixtape available from the ever wonderful Discontent blog and can be found over here or via the download button below.

“In December of 2008, the Australian based members of Telafonica decided to specifically focus on the creation of a new album. They already had a handful of tracks in various stages of development that they had been playing in their live shows but were looking to see how to draw all these together, as well as create some new songs. One of the tactics used to give focus was the creation of half hour inspiration ‘mixtapes’ on CD to be shared around. In the end, only Blake and Adrian ended up compiling whole mixtapes, though Rebecca and Eliza contributed other tracks themselves as inspiration for specific Telafonica songs.

“The album was created and released in November of 2009 as ‘Love On The Second Stair’. This mixtape, developed especially for the Discontent blog, combines some of the tracks that were on the initial inspiration discs, along with other inspirations that came to the fore in the process of making the album, as well as some tracks from which samples were directly taken and used within the music that formed the finished album.

“There is obviously a wide range of things to be heard, from the most mainstream of mainstream to obscure side channels in the history of music. These reflect Telafonica’s bower bird approach to music construction, begging, borrowing and stealing from any and everywhere in order to compile their own postmodern, post-retro pop.

“In this mix, where a track appears in full, it has been either already made available by the original artists on the internet for free, or specific permission has been gained from the original artists to include their work. Obviously, a number of the tracks have not been made available for free and permission would be difficult (and costly) to secure. In those cases, the tracks have been used in a traditional sampling sense, with only very brief snippets occurring, and are generally processed in some manner.” Telafonica

DOWNLOAD: I Don’t Buy Records In Your Shop Now I Tape Them All | A Mixtape By Telafonica (69.7MB)

(nomo – all the stars)
(adam and the ants – kick)
(parts & labor – satellites)
(the martini bros – dance like it is o.k. (dj koze & the tease remix))
(the flying lizards – money (that’s what i want))
1. beem – RER
(the beatles – sgt pepper’s lonely hearts club band reprise)
2. balun – a surprise
3. whitewash – feather
(sigur ros – festival)
4. slareffenklang – you win
(bow wow wow – c30, c60, c90, go!)
(the jam – that’s entertainment)
5. ghoul – swimming pool
6. sufjan stevens – sister winter
7. hamilton yarns – newhaven to dieppe
8. go! team – junior kickstart
(the smashing pumpkins – tonight, tonight)
9. parades – exodus (telafonica treble remix)
10. underlapper – choking ibis

IMAGE: Cover Design by Telafonica




i guess it's probably a good idea to mention on our website that cherry has officially joined telafonica. not sure exactly what she'll do yet, but something will present itself, no doubt. we figured that since she follows us around everywhere anyway, we might as well put her to good use. and besides, she likes to dress up. and having a band where the females outnumber the males will be a somewhat unusual and nice happenstance in the rock and roll world we live in.


a new label etc

hopefully, i can get the belafonte video clip finished these holidays and then we can get it out then get out the free download single for i can;t make you love me. i've been thinking it best to hold that back until we get the video together just so things don't jump all over the place too much.

i've also been talking to marcus whale, who you may have noticed popping up commenting on the website a little over the last few weeks. he runs a 3" cd-r label called curt. you may have remembered the very electronic things i started in january when i didn't have my laptop and bec just got hers, but we didn't have an external soundcard so couldn't record acoustic noises, so i made electronic stuff for a few weeks. well, marcus has said he'd like to release it on curt, which i think would be a good way to get exposure to some slightly different people. so we're aiming for either late june or sometime in august. i've sent the files to marcella, who was keen to abstract some singing on some of them, but would also be keen to get more input in terms of our other usual esoteric array of instruments, so have a listen and see what it inspires.




music i played on 2rrr

the night before our last gig i went in to 2rrr radio to talk and play some music on mel's radio show - radio active. i don't think it was recorded, but i thought i'd make a quick file of the actual music i played. we talked between tracks on air, discussing telafonica, clan analogue, 4-4-2 music etc, so the songs are kind of picked around those general ideas. there's only a bit over 20 minutes of music (i was there for just over half an hour) so it's not lots, but i quite like the mix of stuff, so here it is...

if you really want to, you can across to http://www.archive.org/details/telafonica-on-2rrrfm and download it.


stop motion

i've been working fairly hard on the video for the belafonte and, as a result, have also become quite enamoured again of simple but clever stop motion animation. i'm pretty sure this is a mix of straight stop motion and computer emulated stop motion, but is pretty great nonetheless...


Lessons In Time - You Dance And You Dance Single

Just when you think you have heard it all before, there is an artist/band emerging from nowhere with a new, genre-defying, yet at the same time, accessible & sublime sound. Arcade Fire did it. Fleet Foxes did it. Bon Iver, Great Lake Swimmers, and so on, did it.

Blake Wassell AKA Lessons In Time is 19 and lives in Australia, he is fascinated by the capabilities of sound and music. Blake makes music, which is as beautiful as it is fascinating, made up with at-hand materials, field recordings, heartfelt and clever vocals and traditional instruments, using minimal recording equipment. His sound walks in the middle of electronic, experimental uniqueness and rustic, hillbilly folk, leaving you wondering how he at this young age is already creating music which falls in its own genre.

‘You Dance, And You Dance’ is out to download now, March 15th 2010 , and is taken from the forthcoming debut album by Lessons In Time out later this spring.


Get it now!



The Lansdowne Hotel, March 21, 2010

I have to say that last night's gig at the Lansdowne was my favourite one yet in all areas except that Ellie wasn't there.
First and always foremost was the very good park that King-of-Parking Adrian was able to find. It was the easiest load in yet.
Second was that we got to play with a whole bunch of good friends. For me it was the first time I have ever seen Rattlesnakes and Romance, We are Volcanoes and Sounds Like Sunset. All very fine bands, so a very nice evening on that score. For me personally, my favourite was We Are Volcanoes. Tim Engelbrecht radiates energy and is entertaining in the extreme. He has a voice like Robert Smith and moves like David Byrne and plays the guitar with as much effort as blinking.
When Telafonica played it felt really good in all directions. I think we played well and felt relaxed and had fun, even with the sweat dripping from Adrian and Blake and making their guitars soap-slippery!
We met a few really nice people who appreciated our sound - very encouraging! Two of the most delightful of these were Joe and Carly Hardy. Joe introduced himself in a very humble way and then when Blake and I realised that he was Joe Blog, there was a very big "Oh! You're Joe Blog!" moment. It was lovely to meet them and we are really excited to be playing in their very rock'n'roll backyard on May 20.
Last but in no way least was our "reunion" with "Stu" the sound guy we grew to know and love at the Excelsior! He is the nicest guy and his work is so clear that it makes it much easier to do our best performance!
It was a very easy and friendly night and I personally quite enjoyed watching the traffic go by out the wide open doors of the Lansdowne Hotel as we sang "I can hear there's a peace in the dark..."

Set List

The Tail End of Winter
Smells Like Rain
Your Hands
The Unravelling Man
This is the New Thing
I Can Hear There's a Peace in the Dark
I Can't Make You Love Me

You, Me and the Missionary Lyrics

You, Me and the Missionary
(These are the lyrics, scroll down to listen.)

I am a suburb.
I knew it before.
I so wanted to be
A small country town.
There's much to be said
For the small man standing.
But I know that it's fiction.
I know it's not me.
But I know that it's fiction.
I know it's not me.

I am a suburb.
You know that I know it.
I so wanted to be
The bright CBD.
There's much to be said
For unlimited action.
But I know there are limits.
I know one is me.
But I know there are limits.
I know one is me.

Across the street
Or across the sea.
On the way my heart
Is undone and remade.
Across the street
Or across the ocean.
The journey is mine
The destination is You.

I am a suburb.
I have always known.
All that I have wanted
Is paper and dust.
There is much to be said
For an old man kneeling.
There is much to be said
And so I begin.
There is much to be said
And so I begin.


march 20th, 2010

Lyrics by Bec inspired by Edith Schaeffer, Karen Pack, Sharon Wood and Chris Smith.
Music by Adrian inspired by Konono No. 1 and Paul Simon.


cyclic defrost review

it's taken a while, but there's finally a review on cyclic defrost. a couple of factual slips, but based on assumptions via listening so completely forgivable...

Telafonica – Love On The Second Stair (4-4-2 Music)

By Chris Downton March 17, 2010


In the twelve months that have passed since the release of Telafonica’s preceding mini-album I Saw This And Thought Of You, there have certainly been some substantial changes within the Sydney-based band. While founding member David Hughes is now based in the UK (though he’s still responsible for the album artwork here, three new members – Eliza Magill, Rebecca Elmer and Blake Wassell now augment original founder member Adrian Elmer. It’s a change that’s immediately apparent upon listening to this latest album. While I Saw This… saw Telafonica fashioning tracks still primarily geared around synths and electronics, Love On The Second Stair positively drips with increased sonic detail and live instrumentation, with glockenspiels, cornet and even curtain rods being pressed into service amongst the nine tracks collected here.

With all three new members contributing vocals and songwriting, there’s also more of a tangible ‘band’ atmosphere, as well as noticeably more stylistic variation. Opening track ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ manages to carry more than a stray hint of Animal Collective’s psychedelic rush as tumbling percussion and rattling textures give way to harmonised group vocals and the lush fusion of buzzing synths, rock guitars and tribal drumming, the latter element in particular calling to mind one of Caribou’s blissful wanders.

The electronics manage to rear their heads more on crisp electro-pop offering ‘Smells Like Rain’, with thick analogue synths and digitally-edited handclaps powering their way beneath Adrian Elmer’s slightly treated vocals, but in this case the more overtly synthetic elements are nicely counterbalanced by the crashing live cymbals and jangly guitar figures that play against them. The same is certainly true of ‘But I Lose Myself’ – with its insistent almost-house rhythm, sudden bursts of tripped-out synths and nagging melodic riff, it’s easily the most dancefloor-centred moment here; but in this case, the weary-sounding group harmonies and wheezing harmoniums manage to take it to a different place entirely. Elsewhere, the delicate ‘The Quest For Love Aboard The Belafonte’ sees typewriters providing an intriguingly effective rhythmic base for elegant piano keys and melancholic female vocals, while ‘Aeowyn And The Absolute Truth’, easily this record’s most stripped-back and direct moment, sees slow, rasping cello tones and swelling bass atmosphere forming an appropriately subtle backdrop for Elmer’s spiralling, delayed-out vocal harmonies. Love On The Second Stair manages to impress with both its level of ambition and diversity, making it easily the strongest release I’ve heard from Telafonica, as well as an intriguing new direction.

Chris Downton
Cyclic Defrost