Two words for you: Los Angeles.
It's not really the first place you'd look when seeking experimental and forward thinking music, is it?
Well, let's thank our lucky stars for labels like Plug Research who in a place as culturally suspect as the "City of Angels" (prove me wrong, please) are sticking their neck out to release some of the most thought provoking music being made in the US.
DNTEL is the moniker of one Jimmy Tamborello, an ex-member of cult indie band Strictly Ballroom, former KXLU DJ, one third of technopop band Figurine and responsible for several electronica releases on labels like Pthalo and 555.
Tambarello's background in writing traditional rock songs is evident on this new album, but there's a lot more to this ex-indie rocker than you might expect. Together with guests Chris Gunst, (Beachwood Sparks), Rachel Haden (That Dog) and Brian McMahan (ex-Slint), Tamborello has taken a cue from studio composers like Isan or Sybarite and has reversed the usual practice of spicing up his electronics with rock elements; instead Life Is Full of Possibilities is at its heart a collection of avant indie-pop songs that've been mutated into gorgeous abstractions, yet you'll be humming them for weeks on end.
Tracks like the stunning "Anytime Anywhere", with Mia Doi Todd singing over a huge mix of reversed synths and glockenspiels dripping in reverb, or the opening track "Umbrella" with its Mark Van Hoen inspired mix of layered organs will haunt you for months. Just listen to "The Dream Of Evan and Chan" and tell me that it's not easily indie single of the year!
Few electronic musicians out there have come close to the strength of the songwriting contained within this delicately produced CD. Tamborello has an incredible ear for crafting intricately accessible and credible pop songs from the most abstract of electronic music soups. I think there's little doubt we'll see his laptop wielding contemporaries emulating him in the year to come.
A new standard in the world of experimental indie music has just been set. Its name: DNTEL. Get this! --Olli Siebelt
Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window