- John Talabot and Axel Boman’s first track together, "Sideral," wasn't an obvious blend of their styles. It emerged on Talabot's 2013 mix for DJ Kicks, where its wobbly, Afrobeat funk stood in contrast to their solo contributions on that mix, Talabot's "Without You" and Boman's "Klinsmann." As much as both producers' tracks generally hit the dance floor's sweet spots, "Without You" and "Klinsmann" were examples of a shared love of a deeper side of house.
Talabot and Boman describe The Night Land as "an attempt to reach our subconscious and to document our dreams." "Midnattssol," the first track on the album, follows that astral path. It begins with a gong, then spins into a slow whirl of shamanic percussion. It evokes the same sort of krautrock and psilocybin-fried sounds of James Holden's 2013 album The Inheritors, which hang most heavily over the rattling rhythms and distorted synths of "Six Million Ways" and "The Ghosts Hood."
On the iridescent chords of "Safe Changes" and the celestial "Brutal Chugga-Chugga" (it's about as brutal as a back-rub) the vibe is more new age. But Talaboman give these tracks enough of a groove to keep the hips swaying softly. The rhythm and low bass rumble of "Loser's Hymn" keep the music—and your attention—from floating off into the firmament the track's kosmische-tinged keys seem to be contemplating.
The Night Land's loose arrangements convey the sense that Talabot and Boman are jamming around a campfire, only with analogue synths instead of acoustic guitars. Even DJ-friendly moments like "Samsa," where a dubby beat explodes in a melodic starburst, or the subtle techno pulse of "Dins El Llit," seem to wander on a path that sometimes happens to cross the dance floor. As the pair told Resident Advisor recently, they set out to make music with no ultimate goal in mind—in that spirit, The Night Land lands in beautiful and occasionally unexpected places.
02. Safe Changes
04. Six Million Ways
05. Loser's Hymn
06. Brutal Chugga-Chugga
07. The Ghosts Hood
08. Dins El Llit