Tin Men and the Telephone – World Domination, Part One: FURIE (Federal Union for Restoring Intergalactic Equilibrium)

The Music

The Words

Aliens have been watching us. They have been for a long time, and they now feel like they have to intervene in order to counter the global rise of populism and demagogy in politics. This extraterrestrial commando is called FURIE (Federal Union for Restoring Intergalactic Equilibrium), and their modus operandi is to come and abduct world leaders that fall into this category. You can command the operation yourself by going to this interactive website!

This is the story behind the newest album from Amsterdam’s modern jazz band Tin Men and the Telephone. The trio plays a contemporary style of jazz blended with hip-hop and electronic music that, on top of all, includes a thorough use of speech mimesis. Indeed, a considerable portion of this album’s music is based on loops of vocal excerpts from the targeted politicians and other related people. From the rhythmic synchronization in “Autonomous Weapons” to the melodic approximation of “Kim Jong-un”, FURIE is mainly centred on these excerpts.

The album is therefore quite a musical challenge in itself, but it is pure joy from the listener’s perspective. By looping and manipulating these samples, Tin Men and the Telephone can freely create compositions that feel coherent, like actual songs, rather than being completely parallel to real-life speech, which would be a linear and non repeating progression of odd times and weird melodies. I have to admit that the sole description of it makes me drool in anticipation, but FURIE isn’t about that, and their take on jazz, speech mimesis, and politically engaged music is unique and highly enjoyable.

The Links

Interactive website

The Recs

John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble
Quantum Trio
Mammal Hands