Mixed Emotions

Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm fill their debut with jubilant dance clatter and interlocking synthesizer and guitar riffs – it’s a propulsive, polychromatic sound you might call Jewfro-beat. Cohen, on key boards and percussion, keeps the sounds surprising: chintzy faux steel drums here, moody Eighties synths there. The results, which flirt with kitsch but never succumb to it, can be unexpectedly poignant. Emm has a warm baritone as affecting as his lyrics are cryptic. "Tell everyone we haven't changed/Tell everyone we're not the same," he sings on the trance jam "Not the Same." That riddle reveals little, but Emm’s voice, a soulful sobsnarl, says tons.

Listen To Tanlines' "All of Me":

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Photos: Random Notes

From The Archives Issue 1154: April 12, 2012