Fresh from their promotional appearance at Festival Number 6 in Portmeirion, London-based Django Django spoke to Matt Everitt of Menswear and The Montrose Avenue fame on BBC Radio 6, and name dropped our very own Gef as a potential source of inspiration for their next avant-garde venture!
Life has always had a funny way of serendipitously bringing together two fortuitous events that would seemingly never happen.
A girl once laughed at me in college for falling down a flight of stairs and then three years later whilst in New York I happened, by chance, to run into this same girl as she fell down the stairs in a Broadway bakery. It was a beautiful cycle of Mean Girls-esque acrimony.
Now life has worked its magic once more as one of my all time favourite bands fuse with my all time favourite Manx legend. Life, you fucking dream!
Django Django proved with their 2012 eponymous debut album that incisive psychedelia was the sound du jour. Jangling guitars and distorted vocals shimmered above propulsive drumscapes and glittering electronics, yet even with the heavy effects, the production was wonderfully sparse.
Fast forward six years, Django Django released their sophomore album, 2015’s Born Under Saturn, and Marble Skies dropped in January of this year. The band are now getting ready to launch their new EP titled Winter’s Beach, which is set for release on October 12th under the Because Music label, and is preceded by the track Swimming at Night, a feel-good hip-shaker redolent of the acme of 80’s pop with the familiar chord and vocal progressions of a typical Django Django production.
Winter’s Beach follows the same sonic footsteps as its predecessors, an aggregate of tribal electronica and organic sounds, but there’s a maturity concomitant with the band’s growth and surety, evolving the sound of their three previous albums into something more richly textured and honed.
The video for Swimming at Night dropped mid-September and it is a vibrant animation inspired by the band’s time in Palm Springs during the summer. It’s a nod to iconic graphic and video styles reminiscent of the 70s and 80s, utilising mixed media techniques and low frame rates.
Now for me, it’s always refreshingly baffling when a non-Manxie knows about the existence of our Island and doesn’t confuse us with our inferior cousin, the Isle of Wight, let alone has knowledge of Manx folklore.
Yet here were Django Django, name-checking Gef on arguably one of the most popular UK radio stations. Gef mate, you’re officially on the map!
The story behind a Gef inspired concept album came about after Django Django’s drummer and producer, Dave Maclean, read Christopher Josiffe’s Gef! The Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose. Having an interest in anomalies, ghosts and cryptozoology, the story of Gef pretty much ticked all the boxes, with Dave likening its comedy to an old Reeves and Mortimer or Monty Python sketch.
Yet even before Josiffe’s biography had permeated the band’s collective psyche, Gef had reared his head a few years earlier. Whilst conducting a Ouija board in the studio (as you do) Django Django had contacted a spirit named Gef.
Now whether this phantom was our very own Dalby Spirit or some other imposter trying to cash in on the mongoose’s notoriety, conjecture would suggest that Gef, with his infinite wisdom and cunning, had prophesised the band’s interest years later, and had materialised by way of an introduction.
Now whether this Gef-inspired concept album comes to fruition is another matter entirely, but until Tame Impala announce a concept album based on the Moddey Dhoo, or Jagwar Ma take a stab at a Buggane-inspired folk record, Django Django’s obsession with Gef is our greatest hope of seeing our favourite mongoose immortalised on a sonic scale.
Go ‘ed, Gef!