|MH-296 Teeel - Hydrostatic
Hydrostatic is the third, and most polished album by New Jersey electronic mastermind, Teeel. With nods to giants like New Order and Daft Punk and modern critic darlings Washed Out and Toro Y Moi, Hydrostatic has all the makings of a synth-pop breakthrough. "Temple Of The Sun" kicks the album off with a perfect piece of songcraft. Intricate synth and guitar work dance around a bouncing bass line, laying the foundation for the first of an album full of vocal hooks. "Disc Go" is a clear standout with equal parts Chromeo style playfulness, Tom Tom Club rubbery bass, and a repetitive synth line that harkens to filter-based Frech house music. With standouts like "You're Mine" and "Runners" anchoring the album, Teeel switches up styles from track to track delivering dancefloor ready grooves, dark washes of synthesized brooding, and pop hook after pop hook.
|For some artists, such as Jim Smith (AKA synth-pop and electronic peddler Teeel), the challenge isn't in getting people to listen—his large fan base has already been built on the backs of his previous records. The trick is getting people to realize the difference between carefully thought out synthetic structures and those that seem to roll off the end of some mainstream synth assembly line. By incorporating and realigning the sounds of artists associated with the new wave movement of the '80s, Smith has continually evolved his electronic sound to the point where his influences have fallen back and given his own musical identity breathing room.
On his latest record, "Hydrostatic," he picks up where artists like Toro Y Moi and Washed Out have left off and proceeds to dive even further into these kinds of rhythmic electronic extrapolations. Veering between dance floor intimations and a darker, more pop-oriented aesthetic, these songs careen from one tone to the next in a cyclical loop of repeating patterns and alternating melodies. Intricate synth lines converge with amorphous guitar rhythms and thudding bass lines in a coagulated mass of artificial and organic instrumentation. But there is a weightlessness and spatial awareness that infiltrates his music—a sense that the space between the notes is just as important as their tangible connective tissue. - Nooga