Noise meets rock, they shake hands and arm wrestle to a standoff. They’re evenly matched – crisp drum thwack and buzzy synth, marching music and analog freakout in equal parts. That’s what you get with a producer who’s got a knack for melody and a confident touch behind the controls. Telvisio’s new double EP, ‘Til Deaf/Fuck the ‘80s, blends the best parts of the electronic underground with a punchy sense of drive.
Telvisio’s Jim Tinsley played the Oakland warehouse scene for years, blasting out pirate radio and releasing tapes before they became hip again. Now in Pittsburgh, he draws a connection between the two cities, the creative freedom available in areas where artists can afford to live and work. That’s evident in his sound. You catch traces of Silver Apples and Chrome’s exploratory structures, and the sonic terrorism of Big Black, but tempered with the playfulness of Wolf Eyes and Fuck Buttons.
‘Til Deaf features Tinsley’s newest and most exuberant work. Overcaffeinated, drunk, but possessed of a sober control, these tunes take you on a journey but never overstay their welcome. Telvisio’s analog roots are in strong display, evident in the messy pedal mixing and the resounding crack of his drum tracks. There’s a hint of chiptune’s sonic outlaws and the pummel of drill and bass, but Telvisio gives you more than cartoon caricature. It’s pure instrumental, no vocals, in line with Tinsley’s tendency for playing offstage and letting the music tell the tale.
Fuck the ‘80s showcases Telvisio’s darker, more aggressive side. Comprising older songs remastered to spit and spark, this EP harkens back to the punk attitude of tape trading – more against a corrupt, nostalgia-driven culture than the decade in music per se. Fuck the ‘80s is rough around the edges in all the right ways, from Tinsley’s garbled vocals to the Pollock splotches of sound. Tracks like “Prove How to Move” capture that moment at a basement show when everyone goes from laughing at the guy wigging out in front of the PA to pumping their fists in time with him.
Tinsley's list of influences runs wide, and Telvisio ranges across a number of styles. But regardless of his current muse, he creates infectious electronic anthems that throttle into overdrive. His songs pick you up by both arms and carry you along in their enthusiasm. You can picture Philip Glass humming these spastic melodies when he’s had too much coffee. Telvisio takes the squall of the noise scene and hews from it the forgotten art of tunefulness.
- Christopher Dare