Sub Pop While electronic artist Jimmy Tamborello has received acclaim for his…
- Posted on Nov 26th 2010 3:00PM by Gregory Adams
"I'm usually tired by that point -- after-parties start too late," he tells Spinner, adding that he finds his role as DJ a little disconcerting. "I get really stressed out DJing anything where I have to keep people dancing -- I'm not good at it. It's a weird thing because I always assume that no one's enjoying it when I'm playing; any good response I get is just people being nice."
That being said, the 'After Parties' series is a return to form for Tamborello. Though he began his career in the mid-90s as a glitchy, IDM-inspired artist, the last decade saw him focus on pop music. Tamborello hit it big in 2003 after pairing with Death Cab for Cutie singer Ben Gibbard to form the Postal Service -- the emo-electronica duo went gold with their album 'Give Up.'
Following that success, Tamborello released another Dntel record, 2007's 'Dumb Luck,' which paired the musician with folky notables Jenny Lewis and Mia Doi Todd, among others. As enjoyable as that process was, Tamborello felt he needed to bring his longtime project back to his dance club roots for 'After Parties.'
"It started heading in a direction that I didn't really mean for it to go in, with the poppy stuff," he says of 'Dumb Luck.' "I wanted to redirect a little bit back towards where it started with Dntel -- maybe a little bit moodier stuff and not so focused on the vocals."
The two EPs succeed in stripping Dntel songs of sweetly-sung vocals. The track 'After Parties' kicks off the first collection with brassy synth blasts and the sound of a flash bulb charging before building into a chaotically clicky beat. Playing like a sultry French House classic, the track settles into an extended eight-minute groove of chilled keyboard lines and pulsating hi-hat hits. The more obtuse 'Aimless,' (off 'After Parties 2') is a disorienting dance number that woozily bounces a sun-warped keyboard melody back and forth between the speakers before introducing some cutesy oscillated electronics. Slow-drip number 'Peepsie,' however, takes a more minimalist approach, with its fidgety white noise squeals and dubstep-indebted bass drops. All in all, the number of club styles explored, points to Tamborello taking in a lot less rock music these days.
But even though he's submerged himself back into club culture -- "I've been a lot more interested in instrumental electronic music the last couple of years," he says -- Tamborello still thinks of himself as an outsider on the circuit. He may get you moving on the floor, but don't be surprised if he balks at your invitation to head to the next bumpin' party.
"I don't feel super social when I'm at clubs. It's hard to feel that connected to it. I wish I was more -- so maybe I'm just trying to get out there a little bit. I'm still working on just trying to get things sounding right."