Telepathe—the duo of Busy Gangnes and Melissa Livaudais—has from its inception been a means for taking risks in pursuit of new sounds. Pronounced telepathy, the project was born in New York during the summer of 2004, when both women grew tired of live “rock” guitars and drums, decided to quit experimental rock band Wiikid, and began playing effected, improvisational ‘shoe gazey’ music that would soon be recorded with Allie Alvarado on their debut EP “Farewell Forest,” released on Brooklyn label The Social Registry in 2006. That year Busy and Melissa moved into a warehouse in Bushwick, where they created a home studio and live rehearsal space perfect for continuing to improvise with vocals and instruments, while honing their programming and digital production skills and exploring their mutual love for hip hop music, UK garage, dubstep, and all that was rhythmically syncopated. 2007’sSinister Militia, Telepathe’s next EP on The Social Registry, included remixes by !!!’s Tyler Pope and Matmos’s Drew Daniel, which set the tone for the heavier bass and layered production that would characterize the group’s evolving sound.
The band’s early releases and constant gigging grew their reputation in New York, with performances across the city in warehouses and art galleries, including Brooklyn clubs and the New Museum for Contemporary Art in Manhattan. In 2008, Telepathe fan Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio reached out to Busy and Melissa to offer them a month of studio time to make a full-length album under his production. The duo’s home recordings from the previous year were the foundation for the critically acclaimed Dance Mother album produced by Sitek and released in the US on IAMSOUND early in 2009. Building off love for the album’s singles “Devil’s Trident” (2008) and “Chromes On It” (2009), the band hit the road following Dance Mother’s release, supporting Julian Casablancas, Diplo and Vampire Weekend before headlining their own world tour.
Gangnes and Livaudais, who have produced remixes for TV on the Radio, Planningtorock and others, took a break from both touring and the Brooklyn winter at the end of 2010 to begin work on their sophomore album in Busy’s hometown of Los Angeles. The pair returned to LA the following summer, where they recorded Destroyer in Echo Park with the help of Lewis Pesacov, who gets co-producer credit on the album. Inspired by the California Sci-Fi of Philip K. Dick, and mixed by Ken Thomas (M83, Sigur Ros), Destroyer continues Telepathe’s experiments with complex rhythms and layered vocals.
Still a Telepathe fan, Dave Sitek remixed the title track and released it as the first single for his new Federal Prism label, with a b-side remix by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.