Even though I didn’t have a commute today, if I had, I would have been listening to this album…. again…so, having a freebie today didn’t change anything.
So, Django Django – a name which makes me, and probably many, conjure another name: Django Reinhardt the Jazz guitarist. I believe there is no further connection but I thought I would share anyway. They have apparently been in development as a band since 2009 but I heard them via their debut album which was only released at the start of this year. They have had a lot of buzz and good reviews, all reaching a peak with the album’s release. Hype of this type can sometimes be the end of a band, but it seems like this longer term development has seen them through. That and the fact that what they produce is excellent.
Hailing from Edinburgh, a lot has been made of the fact that one of the key members, David Maclean, is the younger brother of John Maclean who was Art Director, Programmer and Keyboardist for the Beta Band (I have read this but, to be honest, I don’t know which are true and I am too lazy to hunt around for my Beta Band cds etc to check). Now, I can see the connection: they kind of merge electronic/dance production with more traditional, song structures and psychedelic melodies. But for me the comparison is more around their similar mentality to mixing genres and experimentation. At times, I think they are closer to (but still a little way off) Hot Chip as many of the tracks are propelled by a higher tempo and repetition. Additionally, tracks like “Zumm Zumm” remind me of bands like Tanlines with their stripped back tropical percussiveness. But, really, they don’t sound like anyone and that is what makes them so interesting. In addition to the influences mentioned earlier there are flashes of glam and plenty of Beachboys/ CSN/The Byrds harmonies (see Waveforms as an example) but they blend them together effortlessly – its like no genre can contain or define them, grrrrrrr. I like it and it is a shame more are not as fearless.
In the end I have posted up ‘Hail Bop’ – it’s like a Michael Mann soundtrack meets surf guitar, battling it out with beach boys 3 part harmonies. Tremendous stuff and I think pretty much all I need to say on it, other than the fact that Hale Bop is a comet and Hail Bop was a film by British director Tony Palmer. I had to look the second one up….Actually, if you haven’t heard the Beta Band then they are well worth checking out along with Steve Mason from the bands solo stuff and his output as Kingbiscuit Time (later particularly recommended).
Playlist: Tuesday 27th March 2012
No playlist today