BioOne great thing about artists – real ones, not pop frauds - is their inherent desire to escape the safety of established territories and seek out the uncharted. Map of What is Effortless, the second album by Telefon Tel Aviv is a prime example of this. Two musicians locked up inside a computer labyrinth, looking for a new musical language to access their pleasure and pain, as Marvin Gaye and Björk records rock that labyrinth's PA. In creating their album, multi-instrumentalists Joshua Eustis and Charlie Cooper, both 26, emptied their tanks running that muse down. The result is one of the most surprising electronic records in recent memory. Wanna call it Laptop Soul? Well, go right ahead.
Better yet: How about "gnarly hot bedroom R&B kind-of stuff, on a super-dark, dingy tip," which is what Eustis, the music school–educated, bedroom beats wiz calls it. The new album arrives on the heels of their playful 2001 debut Fahrenheit Fair Enough, and acts as a marker of their substantial artistic growth, showing just how far the two had traveled since their mid-'90s days as harbingers of thrash in the New Orleans industrial and punk circles.