Art school has produced such luminaries as John Lennon, Brian Eno, Keith Richards and Pete Townshend. Now we can add Scottish quartet, Django Django to that list. Their debut, eponymous album is such a sparkly fusion of ideas and mind-bending creativity, that it’s fair to say these guys paid attention during a class or two.
Listening to the thirteen tracks on this record is a lot like admiring an optical illusion. Is it psychedelia music? How about electro pop? Some garage-infused indie rock or Krautrock? The short answer is that it’s all this and much more. After all, it is one altogether eccentric and eclectic beast with so many inventive yet accessible swerves that you can lobby the record label for compensation from aural whiplash.
“Introduction” is like an aptly-named overture for the hodgepodge of noises that are to follow. It is one crazy storm that sounds like the soundtrack to a Spaghetti Western complete with nature sounds like birdsong and insect chirps interspersed with some retro, computer game bleeps. The latter sees us through into “Hail Bop” where you free-fall through space and time via futuristic synth like Kraftwerk-meets-New Order past some additional sixties pop full of harmony and melody.
Single, “Default” is bound to induce earworms of the most contagious variety. Its skittering beats whiz and stamp along at an almost hypnotic rate. The catchy pop feel is also found in “Firewater” but this one is soulful and folk-like, almost like the equivalent of crossing Canned Heat’s “On The Road Again” with America’s “Horse With No Name”.
Elsewhere we get “Skies Over Cairo” complete with snake-charming and Eastern flavours, while “WOR” boasts some rhythmic beats, skiffle and an obtuse, rebel rouser feel. “Storm” is like the Fleet Foxes’ harmonies mixed with BRMC’s crunchy guitars and “Hand Of Man” is some soft and tender balladry. The latter is also extremely catchy and at times the overall vibe is not dissimilar to Regurgitator’s “Superstraight” in that it makes you want to sit up with a big, dopey grin on your face.
Django Django is essentially the brainchild of front man, David Maclean. His brother is The Beta Band’s keyboardist, John Maclean; meaning comparison between the two acts is almost a foregone conclusion. David also doubles as Django Django’s drummer and producer and given the variety of the sounds the group have offered and sampled on this impressive debut, it makes me think of Gotye. The two artists obviously have large record collections, have chosen drums as their primary instrument of choice and also boast an obvious flair for crafting clever pop music with hooks, grooves and at times, a rather buoyant feel.
On their debut, Django Django have delivered on the hype with a cohesive set of experimental music that is colourful, hot and spicy. An extravagant affair of light and ambient energy, it is a trippy experience and one you could imagine providing the perfect soundtrack for dancing around in the desert or admiring the strange motifs in the deep haze of a mind-blowing dream. In a recent interview, Maclean said you should never be afraid to make a fool of yourself for art and while these jokers may have some people declaring them musical thieves, you cannot deny that these ambitious, creative types have delivered some crazed fun during their walk on the wild side.
Originally published on 30 April 2012 at the following website: http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/reviews/music/32382/Django-Django–Django-Django
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