MADE OF STONE
Skittish free-rangers’ third album comes in cold to the touch.
Bands traditionally bridle at the idea of being “put in a pigeonhole”, the very prospect not only denting their self-image as deathless originals but also threatening to trap them in a creative prison. Since the release of their self-titled debut in 2012, Django Django have tried hard to swerve easy categorisation, their music a free-spirited swiping at different genres: Krautrock, psychedelia, synth-pop. Their third album keeps up this brisk, choppy approach: Tic Tac Toe is a plaid-shirted dub hoedown; Champagne sounds like a garage-rock strut through Season Of The Witch; the wistful Ace Of Bass shuffle of Surface To Air even shakes up the very format of the band, featuring Slow Club’s Rebecca Taylor on vocals. In a real coup for connoisseurs of eclecticism, Sundials is built around a piano line by Czech-born composer Jan Hammer, the man behind the Miami Vice theme. Yet neatly executed as it all is, Marble Skies can start to sound like a stylistic sleight-of-hand, the hiccupping, yelping shifts and pitches a distraction that masks the lack of emotional core. It’s only past the halfway point, when they loosen up with the Numanoid electro-pop of Beam Me Up and the retro ’ 80s synths of Real Gone, that Marble Skies begins to feel more than an exercise in just being a very smart band. Django Django have proved they can blur the boundaries: now they need definition. ★★★ VICTORIA SEGAL Listen To: Beam Me Up | Real Gone | Sundials
NEATLY EXECUTED AS IT ALL IS, MARBLE SKIES CAN START TO SOUND LIKE A STYLISTIC SLEIGHT-OF-HAND.
Django Django: “We look cool in these, right guys?”