Simian Mobile Disco is Jas Shaw and James Ford, both part of the band Simian, and Ford also producer of best albums by Arctic Monkeys, Klaxons, and other bands too. Their latest release is the album Live, recorded during their 2012 tour around the States for their latest studio album Unpatterns, which was rated on second place as best of the year by XLR8R, they even called it the magnus opus of the duo.
Live was recorded in one take while one of the gigs they did in Philadelphia, fifteen tracks, no edits. Right as it was that night. Live was released on April this year, distributed by Kompakt records, labeled by Delicacies, Simian Mobile Disco’s own label.
Live starts with a game of multiphonic gentle sounds that light on the launch of techno beats and waves. Disco evolved cubically, multiple channels in multiple layers, it’s all about the equalization of the sounds they are using. As the tracks move on the evidence is more clear, Simian Mobile Disco enjoy to play with all through the range of the sound system. I was not there, but I imagine I would have been floating on the sound waves produced by these guys as if they could almost materialize them. Basically, it’s all about sound pleasure. So when it gets to “Supermoon” the buzz of the synth is electrifying, you know, sounds that shake your cells and make you fall in love with great speakers. And then by “Cerulean,” the sixth track, you are inevitably trapped in the net of sound waves.
Live goes back and forward on SMD’s story, and when it goes to their past it catches SMD’s hits like “Hustler” and “It’s The Beat” but of course totally intervened by a lot of playing with knobs and controls refreshing what you already know from them. That Live is divided by tracks is a status gesture to have it as an album and not confuse it as a set, but it is a set. It’s great to have it by tracks so it’s easy to move in the set, but then to listen the tracks individually it is not the same experience, still the music is there of course, but the sound ride along the set is the great thing of Live.
A couple of people comments on SMD’s live videos on Youtube talks about how the videos are fine but certainly is not as good as being there, that’s not difficult to believe, specially if you are a sound junkie with not enough big speakers at home. I don’t know James Ford and Jas Shaw, but I’m pretty sure they are evolved sound geeks… or maybe just resourceful boys with machines.
Simian Mobile Disco is on its way to China this week to play an S.T.D. gig at Arkham this Friday, see the details…. should I add that this gig is a must?