Release Date: Sep 23, 2014
Record label: Leaving Records
Genre(s): Electronic, Trip-Hop, Techno, Downtempo, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Downbeat, Experimental Techno, Glitch
Multifaceted electronic musician Jimmy Tamborello crafted a visionary blend of technically proficient electronica and heart-on-the-sleeve indie rock with his Dntel project. Before sculpting the concept of blips and beats with wimpy emo vocals into perfection with the massively popular Postal Service, Tamborello offered up Dntel albums like 2001's groundbreaking Life Is Full of Possibilities, an electronic album heavy with vocal cameos by some of indie rock's most distinctive singers. Dntel laid the groundwork for an entire movement of future artists, and eventually the blurring of the lines between where tuneful, song-minded electronica ended and indie began.
Electronic musicians always seem fascinated by the humanity of music. Stilted drum machine rhythms and impossibly layered instruments read as cold, detached, and inhuman to plenty of outside observers, but the genre’s greatest auteurs make warm and intimate music, almost out of defiance. You can’t listen to Dntel and claim there is no human element, for instance.
It's probably time to stop measuring Jimmy Tamborello's work as Dntel against the meter of the Postal Service—not to mention Life Is Full of Possibilities, the LA-based producer's breakout solo record and catalyst for his auspicious team up with Ben Gibbard. Certainly, his subsequent output as Dntel reflects as much; 2007's Dumb Luck was an awkward shadow of Possibilities at best, and five years later, Aimlessness proved that Tamborello's interest in vocal-centric glitch-pop singles had all but given way to macro views of the drowsy electronics hiccuping inside them. His latest full-length continues to tread similar terrain while eschewing proper guest vocals altogether, and yet tethers its central theme to an evident misnomer in its title, Human Voice.