One of my favourite releases of 2012 was the debut release by the British art rock band Django Django, simply entitled Django Django. An album of psychedelic rhythms and expert songwriting it would feature on many best of lists come the end of the year and marked the four piece out as one of the most exciting bands in English indie music at the time.
My first exposure came when I saw them perform the lead single from the album, Default, on Later… with Jools Holland in early May 2012. It was my standout performance from that particular episode. Default would go to be a regular song on TV advertisements across the summer which would see the profile of the band continue to grow.
From the very beginning of this album there is a sense that this is going to be an album that will challenge you sonically as the driving drums, computer synth sound effects, and cloudy vocals of opening track Introduction immediately identify the direction that the band is aiming for. This flows beautifully into the follow up track Hail Bop which for me is one of the stand out moments on this excellent album.
Across the album, Django Django demonstrate an ability to create audio landscapes with the instrumentation on their tracks and this is seen with great effect on the song Waveforms where, as the title would suggest, the rhythm provided by the synths seems to come through in waves beneath the vocals. This level of accomplishment is clear throughout the album and makes for a compelling listen.
There are also moments of proper subtlety to be found in the amongst the sonic experimentation, and this comes with melodic acoustic guitar based piece, Hand of Man.
The album concludes with a stream of tunes that bounce along towards their conclusion with funky rhythms and exciting drums, began by the excellent Wor.
Django Django succeeded with Django Django in making an album that stood out from its contemporaries while still remaining accessible to general music fans.