Telepopmusik first caught America’s attention in 2003 when a Mitsubishi Outlander ad started popping up on television. It featured the band’s single “Breathe” which grew to become an after hours and “chill” mix staple while affording Telepopmusik the exposure they needed to truly break out of overseas obscurity.
Telepopmusik’s second album, Angel Milk, plays like a greatest hits collection of trip hop acts. Taking parts of Zero 7, Massive Attack, Lamb, and Felt Mountain era Goldfrapp, the French trio (with guest vocalists Deborah Anderson, Angela McCluskey and Mau) have created an arresting ambience that tugs you in from the first track, “Don’t Look Back,” and refuses to let go until the last note bows out on “Another Day.”
Angel Milk is the result of more than a year locked away in a French recording studio, and Telepopmusik’s intimate and intricate attention to atmosphere is prevailing throughout. Light crackles, like a needle on vinyl, appear calculatedly, filling in the silent gaps and providing a constant serenity. The ante is occasionally raised, however. On “Love’s Almighty,” a spy soundtrack inspired ballad featuring McCluskey’s smoky voice, tension mounts with horns and strings, then falls apart beautifully only to rise again. “Swamp” and “Nothing Burning” follow this theme, building gracefully and then slinking back into the warm darkness.
Angel Milk’s peaceful composure is occasionally hindered by a small number of sporadic tracks that serve more as filler and detractors to the album’s real meat. “Last Train to Wherever” and “Hollywood On My Toothpaste,” the most Massive Attack influenced of the album’s content, would serve better had they been constructed as instrumentals and placed strategically to drive the album forward. Other works, specifically “15 Minutes” and the latter half of “Another Day,” seem to exist strictly as napping points. An album like Angel Milk will certainly be a favorite late night listen for many, and the sounds of nature leading into silence will be the last step needed before the lights go out.
Telepopmusik have crafted one of the best mellow listens of the year so far. Hopefully, this time, it doesn’t take a car commercial for people to notice it.
Be sure to check Telepopmusik's website for videos and info.