Dntel aka Jimmy Tamborello Announces New Album Aimlessness for June 5th Release on Pampa Records
New Album Guests Include Baths, Nite Jewel, Geotic
Pop and electronica eye each with mutual curiosity: the latter longs to get stuck in a listener’s head like a pop song, the former longs to incorporate the exuberant sonic richness of electronic sounds. From his home base in Los Angeles, Jimmy Tamborello — aka Dntel, one half of The Postal Service as well as the band Figurine– has transformed this mutual desire into an inexhaustible love affair. The magical, unforgettable melodies and strange, outlandish sounds of his music generate an intimate, unique universe. This is the backdrop for his forthcoming new album Aimlessness, out June 5th on Pampa Records. Pitchfork premiered the upbeat new track “Bright Night,” and the album itself features guests Baths, Nite Jewel, and Geotic (side project of Baths’ Will Wisenfeld).
With the 2001 album Life is Full of Possibilities (released by Plug Research in 2001 and re-issued by Sub Pop in 2011), Tamborello established himself as one of the most important figures in the glitch scene, which has infused electronic music with new dynamism and complexity. Since then, Dntel has explored many different moods and worlds of emotion in numerous releases. As much as a certain degree of solitude and perhaps even isolation is a condition of his music, he has never been satisfied sitting alone in the blue glow of his laptop. As part of the band Figurine, he developed an at times charmingly bewitching, at times absurdly silly electropop sound. Together with Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, he started The Postal Service, whose song “Such Great Heights” was named of one Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Songs of the Past Decade. It caused a small sensation when Sup Pop signed Tamborello as its sole electronic act at the time, but it also took the artist somewhat out of sight of his European fans. Not so for Pampa founder DJ Koze, who met Tamborello after playing a gig in Los Angeles. Together, they decided to release Dntel’s fascinating Enya remixes on Pampa, but legal issues intervened and Tamborello released the tracks online instead. Nevertheless, they stayed in touch. As Tamborello began recording Aimlessness, Koze assumed the role of transatlantic counterpart, helping the artist mold the exuberant flow of ideas into tracks and the tracks into an album.
From its earliest moments, Aimlessness transports the listener to the middle of the Dntel universe. The opening song, “waitingfortherest II” is Dntel’s foam birth: inexorable electronic sounds breathe life into a body, an emotional world. “Still” featuring Baths, is a pop monument whose haunting vocals are ripped from the noisy electronic sounds like the gusts of a storm. “My Orphaned Son” evokes distant memories; a gentle house groove anchors the track in the here and now. In “Bright Night” a surprising effervescence bursts forth from beneath Dntel’s habitual shyness, its groove transforming itself into a rhythmic buzz. With “Santa Ana Winds,” Nite Jewel’s voice shines like a glacier in the winter sun. As the album concludes, the album’s finale “Paper Landscape” contains sublime fanfare sounds sampled from krautrock heroes Popol Vuh, which are interwoven with playful analog synth beeps.
One wonders how this so very otherworldly music fits into one’s idea of Los Angeles. Tamborello’s home base in LA is the public radio station dublab, where he produces the weekly Dying Songs broadcast. His roots run even deeper though, as one time Music Director of KXLU in Los Angeles, where he occasionally djs still today. LA, it turns out, is not just about endless freeways, perpetually good weather and, lately, heavy bass. From Van Dyke Parks to Pavement, from the Dead Kennedys to Dr. Dre, California pop music has long fascinated listeners with its emotional depth. In much the same way, Dntel pulls us into an improbable maelstrom of beautiful iridescent melodies and never before heard electronic sounds.
Out June 5th 2012 on Pampa Records
Still (feat. Baths)
My Orphaned Son
Santa Ana Winds
Jitters (Geotic Mix)
Doc (Dntel Mix)