Making Records Should Be Fun: a Guide to Telekinesis' New Album Dormarion
When Michael Benjamin Lerner -- aka Telekinesis --started seeding ideas for what would become the songs of his third record, he didn't know that Jim Eno of Spoon would play an integral part in the shaping of these songs by sharing exactly how he felt about Lerner's shuffles and bass beats. He didn't plan on working with Eno at Public Hi-Fi, the renowned producer's Austin studio, and he certainly didn't foresee naming the record Dormarion for the very street the studio sits on. He thought he'd be going it alone with this record, as usual, as a solitary way of songwriting has been the modus operandi for the drummer-gone-full-fledged-rocker since long before he self-released his first EP in 2008.
Kyle Johnson Michael Benjamin Lerner aka Telekinesis aka Likes to Do It Alone
"I was talking to Merge while I was on tour before the record and asked if it was okay to do it on my own, to just do the record at my house," says Lerner, who's currently playing out behind Dormarion and will swing through the Bowery Ballroom tonight. "They said, 'Absolutely! But aren't you going to get bored? And lonely?' Just them saying that, I needed to hear it -- it was totally true. I had been talking with Jim about getting together and trying to make a record, and the timing seemed to work out perfectly, so we went for it."
As Lerner and Eno are both known for their surgical precision at the drum kit, it's no shock that Dormarion, from start to finish, is a record that thumps with a heartbeat you can set a metronome to, one with celebratory cymbal splashes ("Emphatic People") and a pugilistic anchor of a strong backbeat ("Laissez-faire") alike. "He's not afraid to tell you how he feels, which I think is really helpful," says Lerner of Eno. "Ghosts and Creatures" is the song from the that Lerner uses to demonstrate the perks of their collaboration, as the drum part Lerner had written hit Eno's ear the wrong way -- so he suggested the addition of a drum machine, the two messed around with it and the result is something Lerner never would've arrived at otherwise. "When you're doing everything yourself you start to lose perspective on that stuff," says Lerner. "He basically came up with that drum machine part -- it made the song how it is today, and I'm really proud of how it is and I couldn't have done that without him. It's nice to know it's a true collaboration."