Martin Tielli Operation Infinite Joy

Sprawling, schizophrenic and beautiful, Operation Infinite Joy may be Martin Tielli’s finest work to date. The first release in his subscription series (three more will follow within the year), the album operates on shards of thought as it darts from calm to manic at a whiplash pace. Sounding like a top form Super Furry Animals after living through one too many winters, the album sees Tielli explore ideas of all shapes and manners. "Beauty On” begins with the snarling lyric "I hate you all, you smell like borrowed ideas,” Tielli then goes on to do anything but. From second track "OK By Me” through "The Temperance Society Choir,” "Sergeant Kraulis” and "Andy by the Lake,” he delivers four consecutive numbers of truly remarkable peyote pop. These four tracks alone prove that Tielli is one of the great creative forces currently on the scene. The album continues on with a cover of Smog’s "Cold Blooded Old Times.” The song feels oddly at home on the disc with Tielli’s almost groovy reworking. The rest of the second half of the album delves into darker more introspective songs. From the prairie life snapshot of "Winnipeg” to the subdued reflection of "Kathleen,” it doesn’t quite continue with the same feeling of creative intensity as the first half, but its beauty holds it on level. On a whole, Operation Infinite Joy is truly a classic. Can you take me through the process of making Operation Infinite Joy? I haven’t thought about it yet. I’ll try and figure out how the hell it happened. I had a huge pile of songs I looked at and tried with different configurations and different people and it just expanded into what I ended up with. I guess it was all worked up on tour [for Tielli’s first solo outing We Didn’t Even Suspect That He Was the Poppy Salesman]. With the writing of the album, did a lot of the songs come from the 70-song splurge you had before recording Poppy Salesman? Yeah, or out of it and working on trying to finish all those songs. Some of them are ancient, like "Ship of Fire,” I probably wrote that in ’85. How did you go through and pick the specific songs for the album? We were pretty worried when we looked at the body of work, cause it seemed like an impossible record to sequence. The songs are all about different things, there wasn’t really a movement. I think we hit on one that did eventually make sense by pulling the names out of a hat. That worked for about 80 percent of the record. (Six Shooter)