(True Panther Sounds)
Teengirl Fantasy’s name is
surprisingly safe to Google at work these days, thanks to the electronic duo’s
rising prominence based on the strength of its sophomore album, Tracer. Instead of porn sites, a search
will uncover glowing reviews and general accolades – either a welcome or
disappointing result, depending on one’s mood. All of this is well deserved,
though Nick Weiss and Logan Takahashi aren’t exactly making broken beat e-music
on the far-fetched, experimental end of the spectrum. Instead, the two Oberlin
alums are admittedly influenced more by classic house, techno, and ambient.
This definitely works in their favor, as Teengirl Fantasy’s music simultaneously
contains satisfying cues drawn from its predecessors as well as a distinctive
creative bent all its own.
The album opens with
“Orbit,” a dreamy track that would have fit right in on any ‘90s ambient compilation
featuring the work of groups like Higher Intelligence Agency. “Eternal” stays
in this vein but ups the ante with a driving, precise techno beat that avoids
becoming jarring with its soft kick and snare hits. “Vector Spray’s” drums
sound like they are awash in liquid as careening synth lines soar overhead. Several
guest vocalists appear throughout the album. Kelela shows up on “EFX,” an
r’n’b-infused number that floats along nicely. But it’s songs like “Pyjama,”
featuring the always interesting vocals of Panda Bear, and the exciting and
urgent “Do It,” featuring Romanthony (best known for Daft Punk’s “One More
Time”), that are most successful.
Simply put, Tracer is a lovely, melodious, engaging
work of electronic music that will play just as well in the bedroom as it will
on the dance floor. This collection of songs is sure to give birth to many
remixes, but, in this case, it seems difficult to improve on the original work.
“Do It,” “Eternal” JONAH FLICKER