James Ford and Jas Shaw, the brainboxes behind Simian Mobile Disco, are no strangers to being... well, strange. Always ones to push the envelope production-wise, in the past they’ve even limited themselves to just one synth and one sequencer each for a whole project (2014 album ‘Whorl’). Elsewhere, their Delicacies label originally put out releases named after exotic foods, and their albums often feature mind-bending artwork.
02. Steve Bicknell ‘The Moment I Stopped’
“This might seem like a slightly obtuse reference given how fierce it is but one of the things that we love about the choir is how they break up a chord or phrase and split it out to different groups, creating a kind of arpeggiation effect. This is something that we do with synths, and to see it done with people was strange but also familiar.”
03. Yaleesa Hall & Malin ‘Artin (Zenker Brothers Remix)’
04. Lee Gamble ‘A Tergo Real’
“This comes off as a cross between early Autechre and Vangelis, but with the fidgety oddness that Lee Gamble brings to things. It’s pretty and also noticeably menacing, and while I don’t think that we have injected anything like the same amount of menace into ‘Murmurations’, we were constantly looking for subtle ways to subvert the beauty of the choral recordings.”
05. Acronym ‘The Trains Kept Rolling’
“Dreamy, chilly, spacey; at one point when we couldn’t nd a way to make drums feel natural with the choir stuff, we did go down the road of making the whole record beatless.”
06. DJ Python ‘Las Palmas’
“I love how the drums seem like they ought to be super- frantic as they are a choppy break, but somehow the whole thing just drifts along in a daze.”
07. Grand River ‘All Playing In Jannah’
“A huge part of the recording process with the choir got assigned to doing non-song-based stuff like drones or swoops. The texture of a group of singers who are used to singing together just holding a chord is so complex and
so interesting that it seems like a waste of time to muck about changing notes — that’s not what you are locked into anyway. Similarly, this is just a chord but it ripples and mutates in a way that means that you never tire of it.”
08. I-iii ‘Bun So Nude’
“Everyone has had that queasy sensation when they see congas or bongos set up in a club, it’s always going to end in tears. Certainly this is predicated on a conga pattern but it’s just that, a pattern, it rolls around and drills into your mind like a techno track and never does an annoying syncopated fill to show off. It gave us confidence that, if you can cut the human out of the equation, acoustic drums can be ok.”
09. Easter ‘Champagne (Luke Abbott Remix)’
“Probably the most obviously related track in the list, there’s vocals and wayward drums and washed out synths. I love how the vocals sit in this strange space between singing and chanting. The whole thing has a really dissociated sway to it that I keep coming back to.”
10. Von Haze ‘Hara’
“Dense and involving and slowly changing but not actually changing. These were definitely things that we were going for and while we wanted to avoid making a record of just drones, we do love a good drone, and this is unquestionably a good drone.”
Polytik Synths are a new range of beautifully designed, hand-held modular synths from master synth builder John Richards (Dirty Electronics) and graphic designer Jack Featherstone. They are totally unique, and they look and sound amazing.
Polytik Synths look totally different to anything we've seen before — a series of high-spec objects in their own rights, these hybrid analogue/digital devices can produce a palette of sounds ranging from angular rhythmic sequences to abstract noise, pads and drones.
Simian Mobile Disco are streaming a continous mix of their whole new album.
Written earlier this year, 'Welcome To Sideways' marks the duo's sixth release, offering another twist on their previous work by delving deep into entrancing techno.
"Hopefully people who have stuck with us this long and appreciate the fact that we aren’t trying to repeat ourselves with every album, will enjoy another slight turn sideways," says SMD's Jas Shaw.
DJ Mag is teaming up with Oxjam to present a 24-hour DJ marathon live stream for charity, which runs from 2pm on Wednesday 12th October.
The main event is open to the public between 7pm and 3.30am, and features DJ sets from Blonde, Basement Jaxx, Matt Jam Lamont, Crazy P, Simian Mobile Disco, Eton Messy, Fabio & Grooverider, Abode DJs, Bugged Out! DJs and more. The line-up for the full 24 hours is below.
A 24-hour DJ marathon, featuring the likes of Basement Jaxx, Rob da Bank, Secretsundaze and Horse Meat Disco, will be taking place as part of Oxfam’s Oxjam Music Festival next week — and DJ Mag is on board to help out!
We'll be hosting an exclusive stream live and direct for 24 hours from our basement rave cave and cocktail bar, Work Bar in Islington, with the party set to kick off from 1pm on Wednesday 12th October running 'til 1pm on Thursday 13th October.
Simian Mobile Disco have announced their new album, ‘Welcome To Sideways’, will be released on Friday 11th November. You can listen to ‘Far Away From A Distance’ from it below.
Simian Mobile Disco are made up of James Ford and Jas Shaw and the nine-track album, which will land via their own Delicacies imprint, sits somewhere between a compilation and studio album. It features music from their string of EPs that have seen release through this year, alongside new music and an hour-long mix version of ‘Welcome To Sideways’.
Wave Week hits the Adriatic Sea next month as 40 yachts travel across five Croatian islands, sailing to a new destination and party each day and night from Saturday 13th to Saturday 20th August.
The event will see the likes of wAFF, Anja Schneider, Simian Mobile Disco, Soul Clap and Crazy P joined by Serge Devant, Clive Henry, Miguel Puente, Inxec, Krywald and Farrer, Robbie Akbal and many more.
Parties on the Wave Week route will be taken care of by Love Brunch, Percolate, Housekeeping, Cuckoo Club, Love Fever, Solomons Yard, Glam Clam and Deeplomatic.
Glastonbury has revealed the full plans for its Beat Hotel, which is now in its fifth year at the festival that runs next week from Wednesday 22nd to Sunday 26th June.
Seth Troxler’s Smokey Tails will return to provide the food, whilst Maceo Plex, DJ Tennis, Simian Mobile Disco and Mano Le Tough all headline the venue’s intimate setting.
Elsewhere Midland, Joy Orbison and Ben UFO spin a B2B2B set, Four Tet and Floating Points go B2B, whilst John Talabot, Tiga, Crazy P, Don Letts and Mike Skinner also all grace the decks over the weekend.