24 Février 2022
From CANADA •
Following the release of the 'Falun Gong Dancer EP' with legendary post-punk bass maestro Jah Wobble (Public Image Limited, Invaders Of The Heart), electronic duo Telefís are gearing up for their debut album 'a hAon' (Number One), a highly unique collection of 13 tracks that will be released by Dimple Discs on March 4. Ahead of this, they present the track 'Ballytransnational'.
Telefís (the Irish Gaelic word for Television, pronounced Tele-feesh) is a collaboration between two acclaimed ex-pat Irish iconoclasts, in-demand composer/mixer/producer Garret "Jacknife" Lee (U2, R.E.M., Modest Mouse, The Killers, Snow Patrol, Crystal Castles, Editors) and singer-lyricist-composer Cathal Coughlan (Microdisney, Fatima Mansions and many acclaimed solo works). Having known each other vaguely in Ireland's early 80s post-punk scene, Jacknife is now based in L.A. and Cathal, a native of Cork, lives in London. A timely re-introduction by a mutual friend led to the two spending 2020 trading ideas and musical files during lockdown, hatching plans for a satirical, mischievous examination of Irish history and the pop culture of their lifetimes, which the two have labelled .."a corrosive nostalgia".
Cathal Coughlan comments on 'Ballytransnational': "A gaunt wooden rollercoaster overlooks the flatlands leading to a land border which, for many years until now, used to count for nothing. It used to be the topic of rueful recollections from decades past, but the received wisdom was that the bad old days were over, and seamless moving of fluid identities and capital now ruled the day. Public health concerns and political ferment have now given way to protectionism of many kinds. As the generation who understood the damage caused by that border passes away, the border's time has come again. And it says: you're never going back.'
A series of remarkable singles and remixes, starting with the electro-funk monster 'We Need' EP in mid-2021 and followed by 'Mister Imperator', see Coughlan and Lee de-construct the Ireland of their youth through the prism of politics, technology and religion. Complemented by arcane imagery and 60s/70s video footage that are both playfully ironic and endearingly melancholic, these singles have set the table for one of year’s most intriguing and adventurous debut albums.
"Collaborating in this way, with a dynamic and consummate artist, who has access to a wide range of skills which I don't have, but with whom I share many common interests and cultural/historical reference points, has been one of the highlights of my creative life. It's made me so glad that I've been able to remain active for long enough to see something like this happen. Easily as spontaneous and full of surprises as any in-person collaboration, it’s shaken loose many weird and hopefully wonderful things in my verbal workshop. And nobody has heard me use my voice in some of these ways before now, either,” says Cathal Coughlan.
Jacknife Lee adds: "I'd just finished mangling a Luke Haines and Peter Buck record. Luke knows Cathal and re-introduced us. On the first or second correspondence we thought we should make some music together. Music is probably the only way I can properly communicate with someone. I sent Cathal the backing track that would become "We Need" and he sent me back the vocal and we went back and forth from there. Lockdowns and travel restrictions forced us to work remotely, and I think helped us get to where we got so quickly. Cathal is without doubt one of the finest lyricists of our time and writes like no one else. Some of the vocals he sent over made me burst out laughing with giddiness and delight at the novelty of them. Mischievous, dark, arcane, crispy fresh, and always unexpected. Every song with a backstory that could be a novel. This is easily the most enjoyable and rewarding music that I've been involved with.”
Part celebration, part satire, Telefís is an exploration of nostalgia as experienced in the present day, by natives of what was formerly a culturally sealed-off small country on the very fringes of Europe. It also points a critical finger at today’s global hierarchies, an inspiration for the strange characters and caricatures that spring from Coughlan's fertile imagination. Stark forms of imagery, bizarre to the modern eye and ear but treated as routine in the pre-globalization world, are pushed at the listener and viewer. On the musical side, Jacknife Lee uses his extensive sonic palette to create an irresistible mix of cinematic instrumentals and electro-funk backdrops full of melodic, squelchy synths and thunderous bass-lines, often with a cheeky nod to electro-pop history.
On 📌 March 4, the 'a hAon' album will be released on CD and Vinyl, both with two-sided lyric sheet insert, as well as across digital platforms. Physical orders are available at https://ffm.to/telefisahaon an
"There’s something about the meeting of Jacknife Lee’s carefully constructed musical arrangements with Cathal Coughlan’s sonorous vocals that makes for one of the most potent listens my ears have heard for some time” - Electronic Sound
"Dense, acerbically observed lyrics are delivered in Coughlan’s distinctive baritone over Lee’s backdrops, from sparsely atmospheric synths to bass-driven electro-funk" - The Irish Times
“…an enthralling, entertaining union of skillful retro-electro and cuttingly cynical, mischievous surreal declarations” - MOJO
“Telefís blend cultural celebration, satire, the splintered identity of the Irish diaspora, and historical introspection to – what else? Electronic dance music!” - Post-Punk
"As stunning as the best of Talking Heads and LCD Soundsystem... big sound and vision" ~ The Spill Magazine
Dimple Discs (preview 'Ballytransnational' ahead of the full LP release)
📌 4 March 2022
01. Seo É Glór Na Teilifíse
02. Mister Imperator
03. We Need *
04. Falun Gong Dancer
05. The Symphonies Of Danny La Rue
06. Archbishop Beardmouth At The ChemOlympics
07. The Imperial Angelus
08. Sex Bunting
10. There Goes Waterface
13. Stop The Lights
© Telefis photos by Telefís
DIFFUSION FEBRUARY, 24, 2022