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John Talabot. (Courtesy of the artist)

The Drop: John Talabot Comes Back With More Blissful Reverb

by Sami Yenigun
Sep 20, 2012

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Sami Yenigun

When Spanish producer John Talabot put out ?in earlier this year, two tracks stood out immediately: "Destiny," a downtempo tune with a heavy pulse and seductive singing from Pional, and "So Will Be Now," a housier, more uptempo groover with forlorn vocals by, again, Pional. This week, Talabot posted YouTube videos for two tracks which didn't make the record, and both stand out without the singer's help.

Both songs have the same aesthetic as the rest of ?in: heavy on reverb, sunny melodies and beachy vibes. "Tragedial" opens with melodic percussion echoing through what sounds like the Grand Canyon. It's accompanied by a distant, drawn-out harmony from a female vocalist, bare drumming under active hi-hats and shakers, and a light phasing effect in the background.

Its counterpart, set to be pressed on a 7" that will be sold on tour, is called "Mai Mes." Though it captures the same energy, using vocals that sound far away to set a blissful yet queasy mood, the production feels busier, especially toward the track's end. A gauzy mid- to low-range synth drifts like an iceberg through the bottom of the mix. Atop that run looping samples pitched to chipmunk frequencies, which give the rest of the song a dash of frantic energy.

Though my two favorite tracks recorded for ?in feature Pional, my other two favorites didn't make the album in the first place.

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