- Who needs love in a high-tech world? Lifestyles Of The Laptop Café, The Other People Place's 2001 classic, seemed to pose this rhetorical question. Some songs alluded to romantic desire, but something obstructed the connection. James Stinson—AKA The Other People Place, and a founding member of Drexciya—narrated these stories from a distance. In several interviews, he described his studio as a refuge from the corrupting influence of the outside world and, more specifically, the music of his peers. "I love techno, I love electronic music, I love my friends," he said in 2002. "At certain times I have to take care of business and shut everyone out." But the music of The Other People Place reflected the isolation of other people, not Stinson's own.
"Sorrow & A Cup Of Joe" is the yearning cousin to "Eye Contact," the first track from Lifestyles Of The Laptop Café, where Stinson coldly recounts an amorous advance. ("So let me slide over / Transmission, communication sent.") Over a delicate chord progression, whistling harmonies and snare-cushioned 4/4, Stinson sings of being soothed by an almond mochaccino. "Telepathic Seduction," by Mystic Tribe A.I. (AKA DJ Stingray, real name Sherard Ingram), is the hazy counterpoint to "Sorrow & A Cup Of Joe." Itching hi-hats seem to convey, despite the music's introspective mood, a residual restlessness—the sort of overstimulation you get from one coffee too many. Both tracks mirror the low-key, melodic sensibility of Lifestyles Of The Laptop Café, though "Telepathic Seduction" seems to lend a new perspective to The Other People Place's concepts of technology and human connection. It's not so much an observation of people as an impression of a person's headspace. Smooth chords and humming synths convey a chemically induced comfort. The anxiety suggested on "Sorrow & A Cup Of Joe" lingers all the same.
A The Other People Place - Sorrow & A Cup Of Joe
B Mystic Tribe A.I. - Telepathic Seduction