Django Django – Glowing In The Dark

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Long term listeners to BBC 6music will no doubt recall when no name (or should that be twice named?) act Django Django seemingly out of nowhere nine years ago, dropped their infectious indie pop single “Default” which tapped into a similar new wave/pop subversion vein as Talking Heads or Orange Juice. 

Since then, the London based band have released three albums including their eponymous debut, second LP Born Under Saturn and, until now, their latest LP Marble Skies. All been garnished with critical praise and seen some minor commercial success, leading to their following swell as they played to packed out crowds and continue to rise ever higher on festival line ups. But despite the catchy tunes, their huge appeal and electrifying performances, Django Django have never quite managed to make a real dent on the mainstream.

This month sees the release of their fourth record Glowing In The Dark which, with its luminous shine and seriously amazing titular single, has all the right ingredients to finally see Django Django rightly recognised as one of Britain’s best bands.

Nice and lengthy, the thirteen tracks show an abundance of ideas and plenty of big bangers. Just listen to title track Glowing In The Dark, an ingenious deconstruction of a spoken word track by their singer Dave Maclean, sampled and put to pulsing beats which now glides to become a brand-new classic dancefloor filler. Spirals starts with rapidly accelerating arpeggio synths before blasting off into interstellar splendour where we can enjoy the cosmic bliss of being Free From Gravity.

Also, do not miss gloriously sultry song Waking Up which, with its vocal accompaniment from none other than Charlotte Gainsbourg, has got sophisti-pop class written all over it. Plus Kick The Devil Out is a funky fresh fusion of disco, dub, and acid house – think Combat Rock meets Screamadelica.

But Glowing In The Dark is not just a collection of killer songs and singles and deserves to be listened to as an entire record which continually dares to experiment and blend genres. Night Of The Buffalo recalls the Spaghetti Western sound of early single Default before breaking out into a strangely sumptuous classical music ending. The World Will Turn is a short acoustic, campfire singalong that aches with Brain Wilson-esque nostalgia. Even short instrumental song The Ark, creates a fascinating sparce electronica atmosphere that keeps your attention.

With their combination of indie electronica and pop rave feel, Django Django occupy a similar sound to Hot Chip who, despite their huge hits and mandatory use at any reputable indie disko, seem to never quite get the recognition they deserve. Perhaps it is both a sign and symptom of flawless song writing, to be so seamless that it goes almost unnoticed. 

Glowing In The Dark has all the radiant joy and shining anthems to see the art-pop band finally breakthrough into the mainstream and get the time in the sun they truly deserve. It is also a reminder that often true greatness needs time to mature and develop, which is a commodity sadly far too few acts are afforded and are dropped if their first LP fails to make a massive profit – and we are all the worse off for it.

Glowing In The Dark is released on February 12th via Because Music.


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Jimi Arundell

Journalist and blogger specialising in music and politics from Hull, UK (currently residing in Nottingham). DJ, socialist and Manic Street Preachers obsessive who is excited by anything nasty, loud and intelligent.

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