Release Date: Mar 3, 2017
Record label: R&S
Genre(s): Electronic, House, Club/Dance, Left-Field House
Catalan John Talabot and his Swedish friend Axel Boman have a lot in common as DJs and producers: both are masters of deferred gratification, using the subtlest of blend techniques to allow slow accumulation of detail, but ultimately delivering big kicks. Their first collab in 2014, 'Sideral', proved they could find a coherent voice in the studio together, but it was just one track - and despite many b2b DJ sets since, it's taken them until now to cement the Talaboman identity. What's most wonderful here is that they've brought their differences as well as their similarities into play: Boman's laid-back sunshiney funkiness and Talabot's much sharper-edged intensities could in theory be hard to reconcile, but it's done so naturally over these eight long tracks that a separate musical identity emerges.
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.
Making electronic music is often a solitary endeavor, and sometimes, after enough lonely all-nighters in the studio, its practitioners find themselves craving company. The annals of electronica are peppered with what we might call "superduos," pairings where both members first made their names as solo artists. Sometimes these are one-offs, like Mike & Rich (the early-'90s collaboration between µ-Ziq and Aphex Twin ) and Supermayer ( Superpitcher and Michael Mayer ).
House producers Axel Boman and John Talabot initiated their Talaboman collaboration with "Sideral," a buoyant track that first appeared on Talabot's 2013 DJ-Kicks mix before being released as a single in 2014. The two kept plenty busy with their respective solo careers, so it took until 2017 for a Talaboman full-length to appear. The Night Land is appropriately casual and unhurried, with track times stretching well past the five-minute mark, and each song seeming like a document of an extended late-night session.
Having first met in the midst of the hectic club and festival DJing circuit, John Talabot and Axel Boman soon discovered they were kindred musical spirits. Each producer had already carved out a niche of their own; Talabot with his electronica-infused house, featured on his stand-out LP 'Fin', and Boman with his nocturnal club meditations, emotively present on his LP 'Family Vacation'. Yet, 2014's debut 'Sidereal' EP saw both producers come together in a truly collaborative fashion, producing a percussive, dance floor-ready selection that highlighted previously untapped elements of each artist's musical arsenal.