SPOOKY TAVI “Tetragrammaton” (Doom Trip Records)


HOTT MT’s Spooky Tavi has a new tape coming out in 2021 on Doom Trip Records, but before that happens, DTR has somehow managed to wrangle 2016’s Tetragrammaton from Tavi’s hard drive and dub it to cassette tape, thereby releasing into the world a chunk of chillaxed electro pop so contagious that I wish it was Tetragrammaton that everyone was infected getting instead of the Covid. Not only would the world be in a much happier state, it would also be less sick in general. Maybe we could remedy that with a little Tetragrammaton, using it as a substitute for most medications in a general way, applying it liberally to the ear canals, and sitting back and watching in satisfaction as all our ills are cured. I say this as a hypothetical of course – don’t do anything without consulting your doctor or the CDC first, because the chances are that I don’t know what I’m talking about.
What I do know about is music. HOTT MT are a deliriously psych-drenched dream pop duo, and their name is actually an initialism that stands for Hour of the Time Majesty Twelve, as lysergic a concept as you’re likely to find among their Los Angeles contemporaries. Spooky Tavi branches off in a direction to showcase his pop chops and production skills, warping earworm after earworm through heavily reverbed programs. But he’s still working the leftfield angle, dripping trippiness as his melodies sweeten into syrup. Think Washed Out or Panda Bear or Beach House or my friend Josh’s Freak Owls project. (I like me some Freak Owls.) And to top it all off, Tetragrammaton, which is the four-letter transliteration of the Hebrew name for God (YHWH, JHVH), has a spiritual dimension – you just gotta hear it to feel it, let it tingle all up in your spinal column, get those chemicals bubbling in the supernatural part of your brain. Spooky Tavi is easy to love, and I easily succumb to catchy weirdos. This one’s a keeper.