Following the acclaimed release of “Fahrenheit Fair Enough” saw the duo score a Hollywood film as well as remix for a few mainstream artist like NIN and A Perfect Circle to name a few. Everything that had made the first album and essentially hit with fans before, has now grown into a modern day symphony. “Map of What is Effortless” is Eustis and Cooper’s broadening into more stylistic palettes. A fusion of classical and electronic soundscapes mixed with deep R&B grooves that flow with the pars first outing of vocals. This release also is accompanied by vocals: nine tracks filled with the soulful vocals of L’Altra’s Lindsay Anderson and newcomer Damon Aaron. The other beauties are lush orchestration from the help of The Loyola University Chamber Orchestra. All these elements have aided to their ambitious growth that has dramatically expanded their electronic style of music.
The tracks are carefully crafted and sequenced. From the beginning with “When It Happens It Moves All By Itself” drives the listener into sweeping strings over soft rumblings of a drum pattern as the opener that moves into the Motown inspired “I Lied.” The track is one of the two gorgeous ballads that are apart of the album. Heavier bass kicks and tearful strings beat the heart early on. Next comes the first single of the album, “My Week Beats Your Year.” A massive boiling pot of funky grooves layered over Anderson’s speaking voice. *note, the song is not sung, nor rapped. It’s just spoken. “Bubble and Spike” is the other balled and is sweet and poetic. Anderson’s vocal are warm, yet melancholy. From there, the boys keep the slow soundtrack, as the title track to the album braces in. “Map Of What Is Effortless” is by far my favorite and the most emotional piece of music I’ve heard in a longtime. Listen to it and you’ll understand (nuff said). “Nothing Is Worth Losing That” and “What It Is Without The Hand That Wields It” are tracks that contrasting styles that alternate tempos. One R&B filled vocal and one experimental Drum and Bass piece that work very well back-to-back. “What It Was Will Never Again” is a slow ambient builder that eclipses with Anderson’s vocals to express Eustis and Cooper’s appreciation with the words “the pleasures mine” repeated over and over as the final track commences the ending piece to bring back the listener to the living world. “At The Edge Of The World You Will Still Float” ends it all with another vocal track with the help of Aaron that closes with an epic note.
“Map of What is Effortless” is a seductive and intoxicating recording with emotional peaks that leaves you breathless. Cooper and Eustis’ flirtation of big-room audiences and angelic soundscapes are engrossed in this 9-track album that is destined to be embraced by the mainstream audience. As like Ulrich Schnauss went beyond his ambient electronic debut album into more developing textures in his sophomore album, Telefon Tel Aviv has grown by leaps and bounds. Emotional Technology done right - The Higher Ground will welcome once again The Under Ground.
1. When It Happens It Moves All By Itself
2. I Lied
3. My Week Beats Your Year
4. Bubble And Spike
5. Map Of What Is Effortless
6. Nothing Is Worth Losing That
7. What It Is Without The Hand That Wields It
8. What It Was Will Never Again
9. At The Edge Of The World You Will Still Float
Sun / 8 Feb 2004