Boman and Talabot seem to have enjoyed themselves coming up with these gritty, off-the-cuff tracks, and The Night Land is easily enjoyable without being too safe or conventional.
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.
“Safe Changes” has a simple kick-snare beat over grainy synth arpeggios, and as the track progresses, adding echo, reverb, and the faintest hint of a melody, the duo seem to get a lot of mileage out of such limited elements. Then they end it with a bizarre, cheeky sample of movie dialogue, where a woman confirms with a man that he wants to sexually stimulate her using an android. The tempo picks up for “Samsa,” which features a sparse, airy beat and dubby chords, and is in no rush to wind up at a melody, which appears only during the last few of the track’s 11 minutes.
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. Opening track “Midnattssol” is a calm, peaceful collage of bird calls, rainstick, and African drumming atop slightly eerie ambient synths.
“Loser’s Hymn” is more immediate, with a captivating fuzzy bassline and a nice melody, not to mention the presence of understated cymbal hits, which end up being crucial to the track. “Brutal Chugga-Chugga” is a bit more primitive and industrial-sounding, but not as nihilistic or dark as it might seem — think Throbbing Gristle’s “Hot on the Heels of Love” after a yoga session or two. The final two tracks continue the duo’s blend of bumping lo-fi house with subtle African drums and trippy effects.