Our encounter with The Eyes In The Heat (aka Oliver Ho and Zizi Kanaan) was not out of the ordinary. Ivan Smagghe was a fan of Oliver's other projects (Raudive and his label Wires, multiple releases on staples such as Klang, Cocoon, Pokerflat etc.) and he just let him know.The surprise came when Oliver mentioned that he was working on a 'rockier' project with a lebanese- american singer into 'cowboys and brutal poetics'. Red flag rose instantly. It did not take long to convince us of the exceptional quality and singularity of TEITH. The combination of Oliver's ultra crisp angular techno and Zizi's vocals, their swampy approach to our common post punk-heritage (being conscious of your influences without idolizing them), their lo-fi but intricate use of electronics , blues and acid house... Included in their first 12" AMATUER [out on march 2012] : a darkness that never is self-indulgent, grooves that lock you in but leave room to melodies, an ultra-tight production that manages to avoid feeling sanitized. 'Techno with guitars' is a tricky ball game but here's some club music that was not afraid to show its farm dog teeth. During their work on their first lp, Oliver's horizon continue to broaden. Do not get us wrong, one should not miss the importance of Oliver's musical past in TEITH: along Surgeon, Regis and Ben Simms, Oliver is a godfather of 'proper' hard minimal techno. You can feel this cold Berlin wind blowing in TEITH. Oliver's blood had been warming up. He brings a lot of his electronic techno influences into the band, but there is a wider vision here that explores the borders between the avant garde pop music of Laurie Anderson and the electronic experiments of Brian Eno. There is a desire to fuse the contrasting ideas of dark machine music, the lyrical presence of zizi as a singer and a writer and the live drums of Jerome Tcherneyan (long time drummer of Piano Magic). The result is a unique mix of both sonic ideas and human song writing. AND HERE' S NOTRE 'PROGRAMME'COMMUN'. ProgramME, is an ambitious record, multi-directionnal but its two feet standing firm in TEITH own backyard. Like in the eponymous Jackson Pollock painting, layers and drippings are a chaos making sense. The ProgramME is one, but, like all good manifestos, it will take its final meaning through your reading only. Nothing is imposed, all is superimposed. TEITH have a lot to say and they say it in many different ways. We've never put our words in the mouth of our artists. Take these as clues, not guidelines. After the non-innocent (openings and interludes never are) YELLOW WALLS and the first single AMATUER, THE UPPER LIMITS defies hasty categorization. This is intimate electronics projected on a very big screen, a mix (harmonica and an rnb tinge?) that works because it dares. THINK IN LOOPS and FLORIDA (their evidence blurred by the statics of SIGNAL) concentrate what first grabbed us in TEITH: machine rock, the eighties echoed in the moment, as they say 'ambiguity between real sounds and artificial ones', the harshness of love and happy memories in the distance. 2. Amateur 5. Signal 9. Next stop 10. Stare 3. The upper 6. FloridaIf there is existential pain in WATER, it comes with the brutalism of concrete. No self pity, but a rhythmic angst, analog drumming to an urban pulse. It may not seem obvious but there is some of the rawness of original hip hop in TEITH's manifesto. Only it is never used as an alibi. It is digested, renewed. As shows their impressive cover of Mc 900 ft Jesus' 'Dali's hangun' drawn as THE PERFECT GUN. When played by Ivan Smagghe on the Beats in Space radio show, it got stupendous reactions. Fully deserved but also gratifying for a version that proudly wears its gender and musical ambiguity. After a NEXT STOP that is not one, the road lays open for STARE. This is a drive that starts in a garage, grease and tight black leather, but will take us to wider spaces, through BLOOD, much more than a Suicide rip off, a motorik pulse of no beat, a trip curling up in its own 'chemical blanket'. TAKEN, included in Ivan's mix for french mag Tsugi, is a brilliant effort in computer psychobilly, epic in the best way. It ends up in the rubber burn of GOOD MORNING MIDNIGHT, reminding us that if Cramps are Gods, we still want to look ahead. Then the engines stop. We are LOST. Now this ProgramME is a real journey. Not for the faint hearted, the TEITH road is more than a speed highway, it is a rocky road through unknown landscapes. But in times of safe, by the mile, music, the reward comes to those who ride this train to nowhere, not to those who jump on the bandwagon.
(added: 2012-09-24 10:44:19 )