While Jimmy Tamborello wasn’t exactly a household name a few years ago, chances are by now even your awkward kid brother knows who this guy is. This is mostly due to him being one half of the Postal Service—he’s the guy who’s not that dude from Death Cab—as well as his highly-regarded album Life is Full of Possibilities under the name Dntel. Tamborello is also 1/3 of the techno-pop group Figurine, which is where we get the James Figurine persona.
On Mistakes, Tamborello set out to make a very minimal techno record splattered with the odd vocal whisperings, but things didn’t really go according to plan. Instead, his pop tendencies got the better of him, leaving this sounding most like his work in Figurine, with some dancy-techno tracks in between. On the vocal front, Tamborello has thankfully broken his vow of silence and stepped up to the mic, lending some simple words on a few tracks.
Mistakes brings some star power with the vocal talents of old friends Jenny Lewis and Erlend Øye, with the latter featuring on the album’s best track, “All the Way to China.” Like Aphex Twin’s Analord series, this is a record that attempts to improve upon older formulas of electronic music, and Tamborello really does a decent job of it. While this may be no Life is Full of Possibilities, it’s not really that far off either. Mistakes is a tasty morsel to chew on while we await the next releases from Tamborello’s more high-profile projects.