The late 1990s was a fertile time in the American electronic underground. A growing body of artists, spread around the nation, were engaging in the latest round of a decades-long transatlantic musical conversation. At the convergence of hip-hop, electronic, and soul music, these artists sought to carve out their own lane. In September 2001, New Orleans’ Telefon Tel Aviv, high school friends Joshua Eustis and the late Charles Cooper, joined the conversation with their debut album, Fahrenheit Fair Enough, released by Hefty Records. A labour of love, Fahrenheit was an attempt by the pair “to contribute something meaningful” Eustis says today, “something definitely American, and kinda southern too.” On the fifteenth anniversary of its release, Ghostly International is reissuing Fahrenheit Fair Enough with a vinyl edition and bonus digital material.
Living in New Orleans in the late 1990s, Eustis and Cooper were in the thrall of two musical orbits: black America – New Orleans’ bounce, Detroit’s techno, Chicago’s house – and British electronica – Autechre, Aphex Twin, Jega. Recorded over the course of a year in Eustis’ childhood bedroom in the Riverbend neighborhood of New Orleans, Fahrenheit mapped out a potential for American electronic music in a time of hope. The music features delicate Rhodes and guitar instrumentation wrapped in a southern bounce shell, smothered in r&b, and cut up by digital rhythm programming. The tracks were meant to be “constantly, evolving sculptures.” Fascinated by IDM, the pair sought to inject “some swagger into it, loosen it up a little but also make it hyper romantic.”
Discover TELEFON TEL AVIV | Fahrenheit Fair Enough (Limited Edition)