Nothing could have ever prepared me for the flood of emotion I would feel as Key4050 took me into their world with Tales From The Temple!
Unless you’re a trance family member who has been living under a rock then you already know that John O’Callaghan and Bryan Kearney have been making waves over the past few years with their project Key4050. And when two of the most influential and celebrated artists in the industry join forces to produce an album, you would expect amazing things to pour out from your speakers. So, with the release of Tales From The Temple, we ask, “did it live up to all of the hype?” Well, before we dig into my review let’s first explore a quick history lesson, and if you want even more check out their mini-doc at the end of the post.
It all began at the Temple Theatre in Dublin. Their experience here was easily the most influential time of John and Bryan’s lives as this marked the start of an 18-year journey that would lead to the present Key4050 era. Within The Temple Theatre, there were two rooms to party at. The Space was upstairs and The Crypt was downstairs and these names would ultimately represent the titles of each disc in Tales From The Temple. Another spot they would frequent was the Temple Bar Music Centre, a venue where they enjoyed the sounds of techno music, a key point when it comes to the Key4050 translation of sound.
That covers the sweet details about their early party days but what about the moment that they began to create music together? This fun fact is awesome! Key4050 is actually the code that they used to get into John’s apartment on Meath Street where they made their very first tracks together. Pretty cool, right?
So now that we have a solid basis to fuel our adventure, it’s time to dig into the beats! Stream Key4050 Tales From The Temple on Spotify below, grab it on your favorite platform, and read on for my full take on their release!
Stream Key4050 – Tales From The Temple on Spotify:
What better way to start our journey than with “Beetlejuice“, a track that defines the raw techy essence of Key4050. Staying on pace, the first three tracks play off one another in flawless fashion and I feel like I have a front row seat to something extremely forward thinking yet curiously classic all at the same time. It’s almost like I can envision the nights spent at the Temple Theatre.
Setting us on a quick trajectory change, “Utterly Butterly” flies in at just the right moment to remind us that these are two men who find so much success within the realm of uplifting melodies. While they may be few and far in-between (“Sweetest Road” being another stand out), I now realize that this is an album with a speckle of dynamic layers. But, as I close my eyes and get lost in the feel-good harmony, “Dinklebot” sneaks in like a thief in the night to set me straight. This was the first track they produced as Key4050 and definitely one of the highlights of the entire album.
From this moment on the energy explodes with a heavy essence made for the nights on the dance floor with nothing but a couple moving heads for light and the grinding of sweaty bodies. My friends, Key4050 is proving to be a project not for the faint of heart. If you are looking for something fluffy and mainstream you are not going to find it here.
And then “Squirrel” happens, confirming all of my preconceived notions about what I was getting into with this album. Bringing us back to the character of tracks like “Beetlejuice” and “Wendle“, I realize how much I love that robotic voice that chimes in every once in a while to remind us what track we are listening to. It is the small details that make each and every production so magnificent. It almost adds a touch of comedy to tracks that drip with tech-saturated grit.
I find that the best words to describe what the first disc has to offer is supreme consistency. Offerings like “Pikachu“, “Quadruplets“, “Meryl Beef“, and “Otter” lay a platform for fans to get swept away by a drive unrelenting and unapologetic. In my opinion, this is the key when it comes to keeping me locked in for the duration. This is dance music! No room for music that bores.
As I dive into the second disc, I enter with one question on my mind. How will it compete with the insanity of the first half? Well, “Irwin” gives me a quick knock to my eardrums as we drop even further into the underground. As we learn from the mini-doc, The Crypt was the room where revelers would go to hear the harder beats and so, I would like to believe that this disc will be fueled with the darkest of tech trance and techno offerings. So far so good.
As I let the sounds of “Schillachi“, “Laudrup“, and “The Truth” literally kidnap my soul, I come to the conclusion that these men are a cut above the rest as they flawlessly blur the lines between trance and techno in mic drop fashion. I guess it should go without saying when you literally have two of the most prolific men in the industry putting their heads together in the studio.
That being said, “Bortolottay” is easily one of my favorite techno inspired offerings of the lot as the crash of the cymbals bond flawlessly with a brooding melody that seems to be born straight from the depths of hell. And just when I think they can’t dig any deeper into their bag of tricks, enter in “Egon“, a track that throws me into a tailspin with its fantastic nod to the Ghostbusters, and “Retention“, a high-octane euphoric explosion of sound that titillates with its sultry vocal line.
It is time to hold onto your hats because just when you think it can’t get any darker, “Jalapeno” and “Megatron” offers us our final dive into the trenches before we slowly rise up to close out the album with a vivacious bang. Suddenly I realize how infectious this whole album truly is. There hasn’t been even one fleeting moment in which I felt like I needed something more. Every track playing off of the last, the tunes continue to fuel my need for unrelenting dance floor energy. And with “Ubuntu” waiting in the wings, its time to throw all caution to the wind and celebrate under a backdrop of festive kicks and tribal sound bytes.
In the mini-doc, the boys reveal that their favorite track title on the album is none other than “Dickie Tummay“. And I can understand why. A marriage of epic back story (watch the mini-doc for the hilarious inspiration behind the track) combined with the Key4050 flair of disc one, this track is the perfect way to tie things together and bring us to a close. With just one track remaining, “Alka” reminds us that this is a dream team with multiple layers of musical expertise, bowing out with an uplift that shoots me straight to the stars. As I wipe the sweat from my brow, I break into a round of applause for an album that truly swept me off of my feet.
Do you ever have those moments when the music connects with you so deeply that you feel like it was made specifically for you?
This is the best way to sum up my Tales From The Temple experience. As someone who lives for techno, trance, and anything with quirky out of this world character, I found myself fully invested. It is music like this that puts them up on a pedestal that most artists in the industry cannot even dream of touching. Album of the year? They have my vote!
Key4050 Tales From The Temple Tracklist:
Disc 1 (The Space).
- Beetlejuice (5:09)
- Wendle (4:16)
- Birch (5:39)
- Utterly Butterly (4:16)
- Dinklebot (5:13)
- Trevor (4:57)
- Pikachu (4:57)
- Settler (3:22)
- Squirrel (4:30)
- Quadruplets (4:16)
- Meryl Beef (5:52)
- Sweetest Road (4:24)
- Otter (4:53)
- Equinox (5:53)
- Altered Definition (5:11)
- Otterfly (4:09)
Disc 2 (The Crypt).
- Irwin (5:08)
- Donadoni (4:43)
- Schillachi (4:43)
- Laudrup (4:16)
- The Truth (4:31)
- Bortolottay (4:42)
- Egon (4:31)
- Take A Break (3:47)
- Retention (4:16)
- Jalapeno (4:05)
- Finkle und Einhorn (4:31)
- Intersect (4:30)
- Megatron (4:30)
- Ubuntu (4:17)
- Dickie Tummay (4:45)
- Alka (3:55)
For more history on Key4050, check out their Tales From The Temple Mini-Doc on YouTube: