MADE OF STONE

Skit­tish free-rangers’ third al­bum comes in cold to the touch.

Q (UK) - - Q Review -

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?”

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