Simian Mobile Disco - Whorl

You don’t necessarily think of dance music as a live medium, but the two members of the British duo Simian Mobile Disco might beg to differ. For their new album Whorl, the duo decided to tap into some deep essence of what they do, recording the entire LP live in real time, using one modular synth and one sequencer each. They recorded the session in front of hundreds of fans at the Pioneertown, California venue Pappy & Harriet’s, or, as they put it, “under the desert sky.” The whole concept seems to fly in the face of electronic music, as it’s commonly understood, but in a trailer for the album, the group asserts that the entire enterprise is “based on the rich traditions of emotional, organic, melodic music from Tangerine Dream to Detroit techno.” Below, check out the preview, which features two minutes of “Tangents,” the album’s first single, and check out the tracklist and some words from group member Jas Shaw.

TRACKLIST:
01 “Redshift”
02 “Dandelion Spheres”
03 “Sun Dogs”
04 “Hypnick Jerk”
05 “Dervish”
06 “Z Sphere”
07 “Nazard”
08 “Calyz”
09 “Jam Side Up”
10 “Tangents”
11 “Iron Henge”
12 “Casiopeia”

Shaw writes:

The recordings we did in the studio while we were writing and rehearsing the new material for Whorl were simply “live” takes – the system we’re using has limited ability to save patterns in the sequencer, but nothing like the flexibility of a computer. Live performance and studio composition are essentially now the same process, rather than the common method of writing a track using the computer, and then working out ways to perform it live. We planned not to slavishly limit ourselves just to this performance – when we came to mixdown the album, we used portions of three sessions – the show itself, an extended jam we did in the desert the day before, and a little of our London studio rehearsal.

Whorl is out 9/9 on Anti-.

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