London art/indie/dance group, Django Django, have returned with a suave, danceable album. Django Django’s self-titled first LP introduced the world to the London group in 2012. The album mixed electric synths and electronic drum kits, with more conventional rock instruments. The band drew comparisons to fellow English groups such as Hot Chip, Badly Drawn Boy and The Beta Band.
This second Django Django release, Born Under Saturn, sees a more conventional dance sound. The dampened harmonies, seem almost secondary to the rhythmic bass and drum sequences. It is very hard not to fall into the groove of the complex percussion on this album. The percussion is, in my opinion the most likable feature of the album. I found myself bobbing my head and tapping my feet trying to pick out the rhythms. The percussion is incredibly complex, with very little being repeated; beats being built upon verse by verse.
There is a sense of tribalism; a kind of primitivism in the rhythms. The vocal style of lead singer Vincent Neff can sometimes be seen to be some kind of hypnotic chanting. Tracks such as Found You, Shot Down and High Moon, are prime examples of this. The rhythm is of the vocals are as rhythmic as the percussion and the bass. The harmonised vocals are complimenting the rhythms and vice versa. I feel the melodies are secondary to the rhythm. They exist, but are not as inventive or complex as the rhythms.
If you were a fan of tracks such as WOR on Django Django’s first LP, then prepare to be disappointed. This album does not feature the raw electric guitar licks seen on Django Django’s debut. Instead expect a more polished, synthy album. I feel this takes away from some of the intensity displayed on the group’s first release. This release is more produced, less minimalistic and generally more polished. I personally prefer the older sound. The new album sounds far more generic, linear and, honestly, boring. I think that Django Django have fallen far short on this LP. There is just no passion or explosions like there was on that first LP.