Play: Django Django - Storm
Even in our digitised world there hasn't been much in the way of biographical backstory to be gleaned by typing Django Django into your search engine of choice, save for an art-filled MySpace page, a stated admiration of Joe Meek and a loose Scottish connection. It would seem 'the band so good they named themselves twice' prefer to lay low.
But when I get in touch with drummer Dave MacLean to try and find out more about this elusive quartet I learn that he can physically do little else right now. "2010 is off to false start because I've been in bed the whole year so far with swine flu! But when I get back to London it's going to be very busy."
Like countless bands before them, three quarters of Django Django met at art school - in Edinburgh, to be precise - but it wasn't until they hit the Big Smoke that it started happening for them as a band.
"Edinburgh was great, it's a great city to be a student in," says Dave (who also goes by the DJ moniker Hugo Paris. "I always knew we would do the band thing properly but it took us years to get round to it. Somehow we all ended up moving to London for different reasons and the band gradually came together, starting off with Vinnie (Neff] and myself recording songs in my flat after work. We brought in Tommy (Grace] and Jim (Dixon] to go live and become a real band."
Sourced from the Under the Radar music blog
Together, the four sound like what might happen if you took the seeds of pop music to another planet and let them grow independently for a decade or two. That's not to make the grandiloquent claim that it's like nothing else ever recorded; rather that it's wide-ranging, not a little skewed, and mostly ignorant of current trends or fads.
Take 'Storm', for instance. There's a hint of Spector Sound about the insistent, pitched drumbeat, a touch of 60s y-y in the jazzy guitars and a smidgen of the Beta Band's nonchalant croon in the vocals. Or 'Love's Dart', with its burnt wood guitar riff and clip-clop coconut rhythm, like the soundtrack to the weirdest western you've (n)ever seen. Or there's the thumping remix ('re-version' would be a better word) of Clock Opera's 'White Noise'.
But being hard to define, to sum up, is surely a good thing for a musician? "Yes I suppose it is," Dave says. "Again it's not something we've contrived, it's just that we're into loads of different styles of music so we draw influences from a pretty eclectic range of stuff. That tends to mean that each song sounds a bit different from the last but for us that's the fun of making music... seeing what you come up with next without worrying if it sounds like this or that."
Neither do they fret much about their identity, but despite the fact that they're now embedded in the east London scene, they still feel the pull of home. "My family are in Fife and Tommy's are in Edinburgh so we come back pretty regularly," Dave says. "London is great but for me and Tommy Scotland is our home and we'll end up back here. We've only done a couple of gigs north of the border but we're back up in March to play the Wee Red Bar in Edinburgh and Fence Homegame in Fife so we're looking forward to that."
First on Dave's to-do list for 2010 is shaking off his swine flu affliction, but looking farther ahead, he sees a busy agenda looming on the horizon. "First we're mastering the next single 'Wor' and getting that out," he says. "At the same time an American release of our first single is due out, then lots of gigs... we're off to SXSW which is great. Then when we're back we'll be concentrating on finishing the album. We also have some exciting remix projects on the go so we'll have to somehow find time for that... so it's shaping up to be a pretty busy year for us."
With the chatter about this eccentric act growing steadily, you might stumble across the words Django Django more and more. New bands take note: name yourself twice, and double the hype.
Django Django play the Fence Homegame and the Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh on 13 March.