By Mary Chang
on Friday, 11th July 2014 at 4:00 pm
Last month, TGTF favourites Teleman (pictured at top) and Tom Vek appeared at a Sofar Sounds session in London and the fine folks from the living room gig organisers have released some great video from the night. Watch below as Teleman perform single ’23 Floors Up’ from their amazing debut album ‘Breakfast’ (reviewed here) and Vek breaks out ‘Trying to Do Better’ from his latest album ‘Luck’ (reviewed here).
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 9th June 2014 at 12:00 pm
Three years have passed since Tom Vek’s last album outing, 2011’s ‘Leisure Seizure’, and now he’s back to bring summer grooves to the dance-loving public with ‘Luck’. Is he patting himself on the back with the album’s title, or is he wishing for this release to do well? Let us be the judge of that after we have a listen.
‘Sherman (Animals in the Jungle)’ was our first taste of Vek’s latest material. With a driving rhythm, glitchy synth noises and Vek’s trademark droll, unemotional lyrics, I hoped it was a wonderful sign of all the good to come. I was beside myself upon hearing it for the first time. As should be expected from the talented multi-instrumentalist, no two tracks are the same sonically, with loads of layers to explore, which is what I’ve always loved best about his music. But initially, I had trouble getting into this album from the start. Album opening track ‘How Am I Meant to Know?’ sees Vek’s atonal voice bordering on Tibetan monk chanting. Eep.
Luckily (no pun intended), if you can get past the first track, there are much better moments to be had. The rhythmically catchy ‘Pushing Your Luck’ will get your head bopping and toes tapping, and the percussively shimmery start of ‘Trying to Do Better’ gives way to a song that begs for a pair of sunglasses, a sexy dress and dancing heels.
Vek also deserves bonus points for doing exactly what he’s not supposed to (or at least what the charts tell him). Quirky is the best way to describe ‘Ton of Bricks’, which I’m guessing is what Sting would sound like if he tried singing along to an electronic record; it’s a bit marmite though. ‘The Girl You Wouldn’t Leave for Any Other Girl’, an attempt at a ballad, is oddly sympathetic with the squeaking of guitar notes left in on purpose.
So what’s not good on this album? For all its positive robotic attributes, ‘Broke’ gets taken over by those very same robotic noises and wiggly, wiggy synth noises, and the song gets lost. There is a similar issue to ‘You’ll Stay’: it seems like Vek’s voice is fighting with too much instrumentation noise, and he’s losing. As a singer, I can’t help but feel a little sad. Maybe that was the whole point? But then you wonder if maybe he should have just left it as an instrumental.
What’s strange is next track and LP standout ‘The Tongue Avoids the Teeth’ doesn’t suffer from the same vocals vs. music disharmony. Instead, everything is where it should be, in the right volume and in perfect working order with one another, whether it’s the rapid beat that makes your pulse start racing at the half-minute mark, the ‘80s New Wave synth bridge or the way Vek holds his vocal notes to match what he’s hearing in his headphones.
Yes, if you live in a world of Ableton and sequencers, think Robert Moog was a god, etc., this is an exciting album to hear and probably to own. Overall, I liked this album and I’m not surprised that I do. But it still seems hardly accessible to the average music fan. And This seems perfectly fine to the man himself: he says of the album that it’s “garage rock for the ProTools generation”. But probably an even better way to describe the album comes directly from the press release for the album. “As ever, Vek delivers an album that defies straightforward definition.” What you make of that is up to your own musical tastes.
‘Luck’, Tom Vek’s highly anticipated third album, is out today on Moshi Moshi Records. He will be touring the UK in October. For more information on the artist, visit his official Web site.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 27th May 2014 at 9:00 am
Beat bringer Tom Vek will be touring the UK in June. Tickets to this tour are on sale now.
Vek’s new album ‘Luck’ is out on the 9th of June and features the wicked ‘Sherman (Animals in the Jungle)’, which we featured in early May here on TGTF.
Friday 3rd October 2014 – Falmouth Pavilions
Saturday 4th October 2014 – Oxford Art Bar
Monday 6th October 2014 – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Tuesday 7th October 2014 – Brighton Haunt
Wednesday 8th October 2014 – Manchester Gorilla
Thursday 9th October 2014 – Glasgow King Tut’s
Saturday 11th October 2014 – Leeds Cockpit
Sunday 12th October 2014 – Liverpool Kazimier
Tuesday 14th October 2014 – Nottingham Bodega
Wednesday 15th October 2014 – London Koko
Get your dancing shoes on, yo. Tom Vek is back with ‘Sherman (Animals in the Jungle)’, sprinkled with wonky shards of synthesiser sharp enough to poke your eye out, and of course a boss dance rhythm underneath it all. It’s the first taste of his upcoming album ‘Luck’, out on the 9th of June. The song is absolutely brilliant. Watch Vek do the robot in the promo below.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 15th May 2012 at 6:00 pm
He goes for years without releasing anything and drops ‘Leisure Seizure’. All of a sudden, Tom Vek has decided to be less of a recluse, releasing this new song ‘You’ll Stay’. The dream of every little boy is lived out in this promo. See what I mean by watching it below. You can buy the song on iTunes but true to form, we don’t know anything about the next album. (Rats.)
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 6th December 2011 at 6:00 pm
Tom Vek has released the new video for his new single ‘Someone Loves You’. The enigmatic dance music pioneer takes full advantage of his trademark – his spectacles – and the result is like a videoed version of a modern art installation. Watch it below.
Listen to and download the Teen Dream remix of this song from this previous MP3 of the Day post.