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Video of the Moment #2798: Simian Mobile Disco

By on Wednesday, 28th February 2018 at 6:00 pm

Simian Mobile Disco (much aged compared to the photo I have on the top of this post) will be releasing a new album this spring. James Ford and Jas Shaw will debut LP ‘Murmurations’, their fifth, on the 11th of May on Wichita Recordings. The lead single from the upcoming record is ‘Caught in a Wave’. For a song with a name like this, it’s suitably ephemeral and floaty at its start before the driving beat sets in.

In terms of vocals, the pair enlisted the help of the all-female London collective Deep Throat Choir on this track and others on the LP, lending a decidedly different air to the proceedings than was present on their past studio albums. With lots of textural interest, ‘Caught in a Wave’ is a great track to get those of us who love dance music out of the winter doldrums and make us think of sunnier days and sultrier nights we’ll be spending (hopefully, anyway) in a discotheque. Watch the video for ‘Caught in a Wave’ below. We haven’t written much lately about Simian Mobile Disco, but all of our past coverage on the duo is through here.


Video of the Moment #1579: Simian Mobile Disco

By on Sunday, 20th July 2014 at 10:00 am

It’s kind of a given that Simian Mobile Disco videos will be computer-generated images on a loop and therefore kind of clinical, yeah? So it should come as no surprise that the promo for ‘Tangents’ follows this rule. This song has been released ahead of the band’s forthcoming ‘Whorl’, out on the 9th of September on Anti Records.

Interestingly, we’ve heard that the electronic duo – James Ford and Jas Shaw – put limitations on themselves during the recording of the new LP, only allowing themselves only one rack of modular synth gear and one sequencer each to use. And no computers. At all. Hmm. Only time will tell what this will mean to SMD’s sound on the new release.



Video of the Moment #1217: Simian Mobile Disco and Bicep

By on Thursday, 30th May 2013 at 6:00 pm

Simian Mobile Disco (pictured above) have joined forces with like-minded electronic duo Bicep for this new single, ‘Sacrifice’. It will be available on vinyl the 10th of June and digitally on the 24th of June. The Hans Lo-designed video is a treat; as the house beats are pulsating, the greyscale animation keeps on rolling seamlessly, the way a proper cool video for a dance track should look like. Not showing naked behinds of women. (You all know which video I’m talking about…)



MP3 of the Day #745: Simian Mobile Disco

By on Friday, 22nd March 2013 at 10:00 am

During their last year’s tour date in Philadelphia, Simian Mobile Disco recorded their live show in one take, with no edits. This will be released for the fittingly but rather boringly titled ‘Live’ album, to be put out by seminal German techno label Kompakt on the 15th of April on Delicacies. As an offering ahead of the album’s release, James Ford and Jas Shaw are offering up this version of their track ‘Wooden’ done in a studio in January 2013 with the same live ethos as ‘Live’ but under more controlled conditions. Listen to and download it from the Soundcloud widget below.

The band stopped in DC on that last North American tour that included Philly, and you can read my review of that gig here.


Live Review: Simian Mobile Disco at Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel, Washington DC – 8th December 2012

By on Tuesday, 11th December 2012 at 2:00 pm

In 2009, I internally through a temper tantrum when I saw the line-up for Manchester Warehouse Project that autumn. My then biggest obsession, Friendly Fires, were playing and curating a night just days before my birthday. And the month before featured a night the first weekend of October starring Simian Mobile Disco, who were relishing in the popularity of ‘Temporary Pleasure’, released in August of that year. Such is the life of a music writer who lives a good 3,000 miles away from the land of music that she loves: I had to forgo both shows and always wondered when I’d get to see SMD live and not as DJs. Two years ago, they played a very late show at 9:30 Club on a Sunday night that I had to decline going to; you have to work to pay the bills (and pay for trips to music festivals abroad). So when I heard they were bringing a special tour to North America in late November into early December where they were playing live and not just DJaying, and there was a DC date on a Saturday night, I couldn’t have been more stoked. You see, DC isn’t known as the big dance city I wish it was, and many a dance act has passed over us in favour of the more traditional dance markets of New York, Miami and LA. So when opportunity knocks in the case of an electronic band I like, I take advantage whenever I can.

Starting the evening were two sets by DJs. The first was by Taxlo (Baltimore guys Simon Phoenix and Stereo Faith); the second was by JDH and Dave P, who have become famous for their Fixed dance night in New York City. While both sets brought heavy beats and there was plenty of bumping and grinding happening out on the dance floor and loads of people, straight and gay, were having a whale of a time even before the headline act, I couldn’t get past the use of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ being mixed and mashed up as dance music. Fleetwood Mac is one of those bands I hold very sacred and as much as I like dance music, it totally weirded me out. Just…don’t. I was also not impressed with the cans that the two sets of DJs had to share for the evening; was the sound really that bad, either through the headphones or through the club’s soundsystem that really required the DJ’s head to be so uncomfortably cocked to one side to hear properly? I’ve never DJayed myself so maybe this is just par for the course, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any one so uncomfortable with the gear being used.

Being winter, there were loads of people with their jackets and I know when most people dance, they need to get drunk first so they aren’t self-conscious with what they perceive as their less than great dance moves (you guys are all fine, I’m telling you! Let the music take your body where it wants to go!), but I didn’t appreciate getting bumped up against the wall by people making their way to the loo. And back. Watch where you’re going… But I stuck it out for Simian Mobile Disco.

To be honest, I hadn’t investigated what exactly “live” meant when it came to the SMD show, so when Cheryl asked me, I just said, “it’s got to be more than just turntables. I’m expecting at least a guitar.” Was a little disappointed to see a bunch of equipment cases stacked and opened out on stage? Yeah, I was some, even though I’m fully aware that SMD are an electronic act – I guess I was more thinking along the lines of Miike Snow, who are also electronic and play “live”. On the other hand, while James Ford and Jas Shaw did what they do best, you could see they were master technicians, knowing when and which buttons on sequencers to press, and whatever else they were doing to synths, dials and other magic boxes they had hidden in those equipment cases that we couldn’t see. They obviously had a lot of equipment, as they dabbled from case to case, sequencer to sequencer.

The complicated, multi-coloured lighting rig – which blinded poor Cheryl a number of times – reflected their higher stature on this visit to our country, as did their massive tour bus parked squarely in front of the club. (Which never happens, because the bands that do play RNR tend to be of the super indie variety, with insufficent funds to be driving around such a fancy vehicle around the States). While the light show wowed the crowd, I think we were too close to the stage to be able to really enjoy and take in the whole spectacle.

And then to the music. Love it or hate it, EDM (electronic dance music) is here to stay and judging from the inaugural Electronic Music Conference (EMC) 2012 that was taking place in Sydney during my time down under, everywhere – including the Asian-Pacific region – are looking to electronic music to be the next big thing in music. Until a brief slowdown in which Ford and Shaw regrouped and brought out the vocals of the Gossip‘s Beth Ditto from ‘Temporary Pleasure’ standout track ‘Cruel Intentions’ to massive crowd approval, for some odd reason I just wasn’t feeling the music as much as I thought I should have upon my first glimpse and listen to Simian Mobile Disco ‘live’. There was a high energy vibe to their whole show, but I guess because I was stuck on one side of the stage and pretty much had Ford’s back to me the entire time, and therefore never could see what Shaw was doing with his analogue modular synth, I missed out on that part of the action. Here’s a scary thought: I dunno, maybe I am growing up (and getting old) in my assessment of electronic music because I’ve heard so much different stuff in the last 3 years?


Video of the Moment #961: Simian Mobile Disco

By on Saturday, 8th September 2012 at 10:00 pm

The new video for Simian Mobile Disco‘s ‘A Species Out of Control’ isn’t visually much to look at. (It’s a hypnotic runway, then a parade of shiny, blinking shapes.) But it’s an ubercool track from ‘Unpatterns’, the duo’s latest album. Watch and listen below.



About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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