Partial Arts have now made two dance singles for Kompakt that aren't very danceable, each time backed with a more floor-friendly remix. Obviously Al Usher and Ewan Pearson have little interest in club bangers, but it’s the way Partial Arts skews dance conventions with unusual combinations that makes the project intriguing. For their Kompakt debut, ‘Trauermusik,’ the polar opposites—pensive "funeral music" vs. exploding drums, slow-motion minor keys vs. a squiggly-funk bassline—sounded particularly friendly, but this time the combination—equal parts krautrock and Balearic vibes—is not so successful.
Sure, ‘Telescope’ might have an ear for a laidback and juicy melody, but it also sacrifices the best part of the motorik rhythm: a taut velocity. Instead of sounding epic, it is distinctly lacking in tension, stumbling through its eleven-minute running time with its head cocked backwards. Usher and Pearson do know how to make a hook burrow, but with ‘Telescope’ they’ve top-loaded the track—the weave of melodies in ‘Trauermusik’ have been replaced with a tangle.
In the end, the strengths of Partial Arts don’t hit quite as hard the second time around. You could say it’s a track that’d make a great opening to an album but framed all wrong for a single (Perhaps Partial Arts would be most comfortable as an album project?) Oh, and the less said about the Radio Slave remix the better, sadly.
Buy Partial Arts - Telescope at
Tracklist: Partial Arts - TelescopeA1 Telescope
B1 Telescope (Radio Slave's Prenzlauer Blur Remix)