Respawn finds longtime collaborators Child Actor and Televangel teaming up for their first proper full-length release, a partnership that makes perfect sense given both artists’ penchant for crafting music that’s rooted in hip-hop but pushed into dreamy, psychedelic directions.
For those unfamiliar, Child Actor is a Connecticut-based duo comprised of Max Heath and Natalie Plaza while Televangel (Ian Taggart) is a Portland, Oregon-based producer and former member of acclaimed duo Blue Sky Black Death. Child Actor have contributed production for boundary-pushing rap artists like Armand Hammer and Moor Mother, while their solo work is lush, hip-hop tinged dream pop in the vein of bands like Purity Ring and Phantogram.
Televangel’s discography includes a who’s-who of underground rap’s elite, working with rappers ranging from Jean Grae to Deniro Farrar in addition to four acclaimed BSBD albums that rank among the best instrumental works ever produced. Since disbanding from BSBD in 2017, Televangel has steadily crafted a production identity of his own, releasing a string of solo albums that combine rap production sensibilities with intricate, sprawling soundscapes.
Along the way, Child Actor and Televangel have worked together on occasion, including the stellar track “Step In 2 Tha Water” off a Televangel-produced collaboration with Bay Area cloud rap duo Main Attrakionz, and on BSBD’s 2014 album, Glaciers. Respawn finds the Child Actor/Televangel partnership going deeper, combining the best of their respective styles into a cohesive whole. The album slowly builds and unwinds, ebbing and flowing over nine tracks that are continuously shimmering and emotive. Shades of similarly grand acts like Sigur Ros permeate throughout, albeit filtered through a hip-hop / electronic lens.
It’s ambitious, cinematic stuff, music that’s sure to please fans of Child Actor and Televangel’s previous work and dream pop fans alike.