Tyondai Braxton – Telekinesis

Former BATTLES frontman cranks up the weirdness for a mind-bending orchestral adventure

Album Review by Ryan Drever | 09 Nov 2022
  • Tyondai Braxton - Telekinesis
Album title: Telekinesis
Artist: Tyondai Braxton
Label: New Amsterdam & Nonesuch Records
Release date: 11 Nov

Tyondai Braxton is perhaps best known for his time fronting US math-rock consortium BATTLES, with whom his tendency towards pitch-shifting vocal acrobatics, robotised guitar tones and general electronic weirdness became an instant hit with a global indie/rock audience looking for something cosmic. Since leaving the band, Braxton has been busy further exploring the reaches of his musical imagination as an accomplished experimental composer. It's in this vein that he brings us Telekinesis, an 87-piece work for electric guitars, orchestra, choir and electronics.

Loosely inspired by the 80s manga classic Akira, the work takes us on an epic journey through the discovery of telekinetic power, the destruction of wielding it without control and the ultimate path to self-destruction. Originally commissioned for live performance in 2018, this full studio recording of the work featuring The Metropolis Ensemble conducted by Andrew Cyr, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and chamber choir The Crossing is not only an expertly-crafted fusion of familiar Braxton-like electronic and organic textures, but is complete dream fodder for vintage horror/sci-fi soundtrack fanatics. Its exceptional use of Radio Serial-like synth wobbles and pulses paint a vivid vision of mind-bending power and the destruction left in its wake; amplified by gorgeously dramatic bursts of symphony and chorus. A real gem.

Listen to: TK1_Overshare, TK3_FloatingLake, TK4_Overgrowth