Django Django, a London four-piece often decked out in matching sci-fi T-shirts like a krautrock beach volleyball team, are masters of merging flesh and diode. Earlier albums have sounded like a bunch of twitchy cyborgs playing rootsy rock’n’roll tunes, or a load of ’50s Link Wray licks and ’90s Beta Band albums uploaded onto a malfunctioning streaming service.
Plenty of this kind of febrile retro-futurism still abounds on third album ‘Marble Skies’: ‘Further’, ‘Champagne’ and the irrepressible ‘Tic Tac Toe’ could be The Bees on whatever synthetic drug the dark web will come up with in 2056. But Django also indulge their synth side more than ever here, and it’s then that they feel most Ai-proof, exposing the wounded heart pumping within their exoskeleton. ‘Beam Me Up’ finds singer Vincent Neff in full-on Depeche mode, lost and alone in a synth noir wasteland: “Nothing sees me / No one can hear me / Somebody beam me up”, he intones, like a stranded Vulcan.
While their peers Alt-J are busy exploring experimental textures, DD occasionally expose more mainstream ambitions on ‘Marble Skies’. The likes of ‘In Your Beat’ and ‘Real Gone’ are unapologetic dancefloor bangers and the Latino pop of ‘Surface To Air’ feels like a cynical attempt to lure unsuspecting Shakira fans into their art-pop web. But this fresh commercialist bent is tempered by the lusher tones deployed on ‘Sundials’, a hazily euphoric track that has a damn fine stab at being a techno ‘Pet Sounds’. The future sound of 2012 is mating here with the current sound of Yates’ wine lodge, and quite possibly creating the sound of 2018.