Telepathe (4 stars)

This article is from 2009

Telepathe - Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, Wed 12 Aug

Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh, Wed 12 Aug

Just what, exactly, is affecting young female Brooklynites with such analog aplomb right now? Like fellow New Yorkers Au Revoir Simone, Telepathe’s duo of Melissa Livaudis and Busy Gangnes have picked up a swirl of old-school synths and applied some discrete artistry to their wares. Where Au Revoir Simone produce honey-coated pop, however, Livaudis and Gangnes look at the dark side of hip-hop by way of the drums and wires of the 80s electro outfits that inspired them.

Tucked behind a low wall of down-the-ages equipment, and with a backdrop of fast-moving video projections behind, with both clad in oversize t-shirts, Gangnes looks elfin to Livaudis street-smart attitude. Musically, Telepathe hark back to a time when synths had primitive four-square limits and a subversive aesthetic. Vocally, the twin little girl sing-songs sound ominously dispassionate. Live, with hi and low tech kit ballasted by Gangnes’ martial drum patterns rolled out on floor tom and snare, all this has a more panoramic thrust than on 2008’s ‘Dancemother’ album produced by TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek.

Think The B.52’s or The Frank Chickens on Mogodon and playing Suicide out-takes. The primal rhythmic hiss of Cabaret Voltaire is in the mix, as are occasional nods to The Cocteau Twins and, on ‘Lights Go Down', the brooding menace of The Passage. On ‘In Your Line’ there are even dance-floor shades of proto-disco-queen Madonna’s early years. Get into the groovy indeed.

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