Telefon Tel Aviv was Joshua Eustis and Charlie Cooper. Today, they are without Cooper. He would die too soon, just early last year. Cooper leaves Eustis behind to recollect on a collaboration he must greatly miss. Charles Cooper III, will not likely be forgotten by fans for a very long time. I still play the 3 albums I own and think about him. All I ever had to go by was a spotlight article I once read in Keyboard magazine. It’s the music that keeps us wanting to know more about this group though. I purchased their first LP Fahrenheit Fair Enough (FFE) for starters. They made great tracks together. I played Fahrenheit for several weeks straight.
This New Orleans duo released remixes for labels and artists from all around the globe, including, Nine Inch Nails, Bebel Gilberto and Puscifer. They also produced a handful of LP’s that deserve critical acclaim, if they haven’t already received it. Their discography includes the LP’s Immolate Yourself, Map Of What Is Effortless and FFE. All of these albums deserve further exploration for their sublime use of electric pianos, synthesizer textures, and angelic melodies over dissonant sounds.
Telefon Tel Aviv gave armchair DJ’s like me, and others all over, hope. Hope that good electronic music was possible and need not follow a trend or revival, especially during a time period when Fruity Loops, Recycle beats, and Ableton Live users were starting to churn out music by the bucket loads. I mean, if I never hear a Soul record “chipmunk sample,” triggered by pads on an Akai MPC, it will be too soon.
Telefon Tel Aviv were torch bearers for micro-editing with Mac laptops. They relied on audio applications like Ableton Live and Reaktor. They would even create samples for audio software developer Native Instruments for their Synthetic Drums 2. Like many digital musicians, Telefon Tel Aviv would rekindle their relationship with analog tape and analog synthesizers for their last album, Immolate Yourself. Cooper left behind further evidence that perhaps there is value in analog saturation and voltage controlled oscillators.
Today, Eustis delivers a strong, haunting track entitled Lengthening Shadows. It leaves an impression and hint of what Eustis and Cooper once were. It also makes one wonder what he has gone through, and where he is today, both in mind and spirit. It seems fair to deduce that grief and the other stages of loss played some role in his latest offering. The music has a melancholy slant. Still, it’s the tracks ethereal elegance that becomes equally evident and desirable. The song easily paints a picture, that although its creator is mourning, the music might still be conducive to catharsis and his artistic expression. This is his first release since Charlie Cooper’s death. It is reassuring that Eustis has decided to keep the Telefon Tel Aviv moniker.
Last month, DJ/producer Sascha Ring (a.k.a. Apparat) released his own installment of !K7’s ongoing DJ-Kicks series. He asked Eustis if he could include a track of his in the compilation. Eustis gave Ring Lengthening Shadows. It’s worth many listens. So here it is for you, if you haven’t already heard it.
You can also get a nice quality 320Kps Mp3 for free. To download the track go to XLR8R and read the words of Patric Fallon and his write-up too.
R.I.P. Charles Wesley Cooper, III