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Review: Telephones – Vibe Telemetry

Norways Telephones on Cone Magazine

With previously released disco grooves on Sex Tags UFO and Full Pupp Label, Henning Severud, better known as ‘Telephones’, issues his debut album ‘Vibe Telemetry’ on Gerd Janson’s Running Back record label.

According to the label, Telephones’ “Vibe Telemetry is inspired by the pure feeling of listening to house, disco and techno, prior to knowing what it actually was: ambiguous, euphoric, mystical and melancholic”. Listen to this LP taster and read on…

Originating from Bergen, it is clear that the Norwegian producer has drawn influences and inspiration from fellow producers such as Skatebård, Todd Terje and Bjørn Torske. Severud further explains his development “borrowed cassette tapes, music heard on the radio, and experiences in the Bergen club scene where I grew up are all influences together with time spent in the local musical library and record shops”. The nature of Bergen can be translated throughout, as Vibe Telemetry takes the listener on a joyous journey, effortlessly encompassing the oceanic ambience, beautiful hills and the summer sunshine.

‘147 Stars’ begins the 12 track album with a dream-like opening; starry and twinkling sounds makes a peaceful and inquisitive setting, one would think you are about to embark on a journey into a tropical paradise. The following track ‘Sierra’ picks up the momentum with its strong snare drums and chiming piano chords, with acute background sounds that are highly reminiscent of 808 States ‘Pacific State’. This is perhaps, the dancefloor rhythm of the album.

‘Tripping Beauty’ is mesmerising Balearic house at its finest, with the last minute being rather evocative of Skatebårds’ ‘The Bells of Mist’. ‘Sea, Hex & Moon’ features the twittering of birds and bugs, with an infectious kick and whistling that are similar to that of ‘Frankie Knuckles – The Whistle Song’; one can envisage this being the soundtrack of the 6am sunrises as the party draws to a close. Mixing the pace up appears with ‘Mezcal Eclipse’; frantic and tribal chills feature with a strong piano line. The album closes with ‘Flow System’ and ‘DTMF’: The Detroit influence is apparent here, as the sweet drums and melodies echo creating a hypnotising bliss.

Over the course of the album, multiple genres unfold; ambient house, Italo-disco, new age and Scandolearic. With various sounds and energy, the record offers a somewhat hazy and magical atmosphere, with Telephones’ own unique sense of ambience being paramount. By smoothly merging nature and organic matter, the listener gains a deeper understanding of Severuds’ roots – a country boy in an urban environment. The result, is a tremendously vibrant and colourful masterpiece that takes you on a journey through the Norwegian landscape. With this in mind, Severud’s ability to conjure such a picture makes Vibe Telemetry an engaging and playful listen.

Words by Matthew Barlow


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