t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者 – 未来へ
未来へ1 2 is one of telepath’s3 earliest records, his fifth overall, and his first released in 2014; predating his activity with 2814 and the Virtual Dream Plaza project by several months. 未来へ demonstrates telepath’s early attempts to refine his now-signature phaser effect, whereby tracks sound as if they’ve been stuck in the VCR for one year too many or degraded in a manner not unlike William Basinski’s The Disintegration Loops4 or the outro to Radiohead’s “In Limbo” off of Kid A.5
Tracks don’t play so much as they flutter, often taking full use of stereo by panning from one side to the other. But unlike so many artists who use that effect, it’s not headache-inducing; it’s surreal, and telepath enraptures the listener in a cyberpunk wall-of-sound. 未来へ is a successful marriage of the hypnagogic drift and late night lo-fi subgenres, creating an atmosphere that is at once bluesy city-lights and narcotic. The best example of this is “あなたの愛,” which samples KC and the Sunshine Band to amazing effect, with the choral horns peaking through the fog like a distant memory of a former lover and a night on the town. It’s one of the best tracks on the album, if not telepath’s discography, and elicits a hint of the melancholy that comes with old memories.
There are a few songs that lose the flow and betray 未来へ as an early work: “フラミンゴマイアミ” and “ほのかな明かり” are a bit too close to standard vaporwave-muzak for comfort. “ランニング” isn’t bad, but it’s somewhat un-expansive in comparison to its immediate follow-up “長い別れ.” Yet, those blemishes are easily forgotten in the wake of stellar tracks such as “時間波,” which demonstrates telepath’s flirtations with long-form songs – a concept that would be further explored on 現実を超えて and developed to the extreme through the evolving 仮想夢プラザ6 project. “長い別れ” is similar, but has a bit less of the all-encompassing sound that makes its sister track such a star; that being said, its leisurely melodic lead is a great one.
未来へ may be a good start for those new to telepath’s extensive discography and wish to know where to start or are curious about the artist’s early work. There’s enough variety to give hints of where telepath would take his career further down the road, and there are plenty of excellent songs that work well in the context of the album and as single-track listens. Check it out, have fun going down the rabbit hole, and cheers to the future.
1. 新しい日 – (4:12)7
2. あなたの愛 – (5:20)8
3. フラミンゴマイアミ – (3:30)9
4. あなただけ – (6:41)10
5. 銀 – (5:11)11
6. 奥義 – (4:09)12
7. 時間波 – (9:38)13
8. ほのかな明かり – (3:07)14
9. 真夜中 – (4:59)15
10. ランニング – (4:25)16
11. 長い別れ – (10:33)17
1Japanese translation: “To the future”
2… but I just call it “yellow-orange city album.”
3Stylized as “t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者”; the Japanese text translates to “telepath” as well.
4Except without the soul-crushing ambiance.
5I can’t be the only one who hears this.
6Japanese translation: “Virtual Dreams Plaza.” Over thirty hours of long-form ambient and dreampunk music. It’s quite worth the exploration.
7Japanese translation: “New day”
8Japanese translation: “Your love”
9Japanese translation: “Flamingo Miami”
10Japanese translation: “You just”
11Japanese translation: “Silver”
12Japanese translation: “Mystery”
13Japanese translation: “Time wave”
14Japanese translation: “Dim light”
15Japanese translation: “Midnight”
16Japanese translation: “Running
17Japanese translation: “Long farewell”