Fear of the Forest
Teleseen's second album Fear of The Forest takes the militant industrial greyscale constructions from 2007's WAR and smears them with neon green. The rhythmic grids of dancehall, ragga, two step, reggae and soul melt into each other forming a psychedelic lattice on which multivalent ambiences, melodies and vocals hang, splayed open like a tree that has been malformed by a vine grown around it for decades. Tightening to reveal hidden forms, creating a conglomerate from a singularity, a wilderness of one. The voice appears and reappears in this drama, first in the warbling intonations that close out the first track, "Prophecy is Fulfillment in The Mouth of The Land", speaking impassioned, just outside the range of intelligibility to the dissected disco of "All The Ash That Allowed", which gives way to "Black Monday"; a neo-classical one drop rhythm, ornamented with multiplying breakcore fragments, behind a robotic redemption song. The jungle is burning and we need a new place to live. As the album migrates on other voices appear, Afro-Soul singer Abena Koomson brings us two tales, one of love strengthening and another of love shattered, promising to be redeemed. Meanwhile someone has left a radio on in Kigali, another in Nablus, another in La Paz and the channels all bleed. Billy Woods first warns us of the drug of power, and then celebrates the power of drugs, over beats that are at turns mutant bhangra and the lurching, bouncing, bastard children of hip hop and reggae. Members of Brooklyn's Zozo Afro Beat Orchestra turn up for the party on "The Echo Will Triumph Over The Voice", a song that winces into the future with a vintage toughness hardly found on most recent new school dub. In the end, it all comes to a head; the revolution will be delayed, and the echo will triumph over the voice. If you are not working with people, you will not survive.