More than a decade ago, Jimmy Tamborello made a song with Ben Gibbard called “(This Is) the Dream of Evan and Chan.” Pop culture still hasn’t fully digested its effects. From Tamborello’s recently reissued 2001 album as Dntel, Life Is Full of Possibilities, the song’s hybrid between computer-generated electronics and heart-on-cardigan lyricism predicted Tamborello and the Death Cab for Cutie frontman’s better-known collaboration as the Postal Service. And though the duo’s silence since 2004’s Give Up left a space in the mainstream for one-hit wonder Owl City, the intersection between pure melody and digital exploration has continued to play out on many levels.
Germany’s DJ Koze — who just released Dntel’s new album, Aimlessness, on his own Pampa Records — is one who clearly noticed the common threads between Tamborello’s work as Dntel, the Postal Service, and Figurine and his own pop-ambient constructions for the Kompakt label. Others who appear on the album include electro-funk singer-songwriter Nite Jewel, one-man electro-pop band Baths, Baths’ side project Geotic, and no less than krautrock pathfinders Popol Vuh. Who knows what ever happened to Evan and Chan, but this album sounds like a dream: densely layered electronic music with a surface-level loveliness that still catches the ear like good pop.
Hear Aimlessness in its entirety: