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dr lopez

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Well every year Eurovision rolls around I always think about one of my favorite groups: Telex. I've made no secret of my Kraftwerk obsession, but Telex occupy almost as much of my head space.     


How do we all feel about Telex, WATMM


Take Kraftwerk, crank down the teutonic emotional repression, and dial up the gallic romantic froth and boom: Telex. We all know Moscow Diskow was a big dancefloor hit in '78 (and better than 5/6 tracks on Man-Machine, released the same year) but I think their two albums after their debut, Neurovision and Sex, released 80 and 81, are their best works and actual bona fide electronic music classics. 


Now that time period is filled with excellent italo-disco tracks from all over Europe, and of course giorgio was doing his thang with donna in LA, but Telex weren't out to make dancefloor singles - they really created a series of great concept albums that almost act as a sort of french/belgian reflection of kraftwerk's own thoughts about post-war europe. 


Telex's best tracks are these hilarious tati-esque set pieces on the alienation of the modern european way of life, while never fully rejecting it technological benefits. "clocks never go wrong / just have to look at the battery" - they remark in We Are All Getting Old, with its exacting but funky synth groove; precise to a fault. The bridge is this hilarious call-response with the lead vocal and the vocoder - even with technology's temporal precision, the two "voices" are still charmingly an eighth-note out of sync. 


The video is also excellent. Three belgian hipsters from 1980 laconically mouthing the lyrics with bare minimum of dance moves. but of course with tongue firmly in cheek. perfect.



Drama, Drama from Sex (1981) sounds like a perfect mix of Computer World and Speaking in Tongues, with Michel Moers doing an almost flawless David Byrne impression. Sex came out 6 months after computer world and speaking in tongues was still two years away. zeitgeist!!




OK i'll wrap it up but I could go on about telex for hours. One of my favorites. They are obviously living in Kraftwerk's gigantic shadow but there is a more overt playfulness to their music and demeanor. It's charming but there some seriously great synth work and production underneath the frothy facade.


Some other favs






oh yeah and when telex trolled eurovision 1980 by writing a dumb as shit song about how stupid the competition was





who else here loves telex as much as me?????

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