Bluefat Archive November 2009

ou Are the
Electronic Village

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Teleseen is a.k.a. Gabriel Cyr, a Brooklyn-based DJ-multi-instrumentalist who specializes in what one might call a field of sound remotely identifiable as, say, abstract dub, working an area of electronic-aligned music whose sheer "what do you call it" within the contemporary music dialogue is in fact one of its more thrilling facets. And if I say that his "soundscapes" bear a distinctly rigid formality in their investigations of strictly musical concerns ­­(time, space, dynamics, rhythms poly- and counter-), in this rare instance it's to be understood as a compliment. These profusely layered and intensely labored-over works reveal as much about the admirable focus and seriousness of purpose driving the artist as they do about their varied and plainly ambiguous subject matters.

While there's a pervasive cold sensuality to the pieces on Cyr's new Fear of the Forest (Percepts), that is somewhat paradoxically one of its strengths; you sense a yearning for human connection perhaps left unfulfilled by Teleseen's previous full-length, the critically acclaimed, industrial-strength dour War (2007). Fear of the Forest makes embracing moves in the direction of a kind of warmth, the success of which owes largely to a few very fine raps courtesy collaborators Jah Sight, Abena Koomson and Billy Woods, as well as Cyr's recent dives into the literature and music of Morocco, sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.

BLUEFAT: Well, Fear of the Forest is, among a lot of other things, very, very beautiful. Just washing one's self in this crystal-clear sound is oddly moving.

TELESEEN: I wanted to make it kind of emotional too, in an abstract way.

Fear of the Forest лл What's the title about?


Photo: Rhyne Piggott