DJANGO DJANGO “OFF PLANET” OUT NOW
June 16, 2023
Full album, Off Planet, out today via Because Music, including 4th and final part – stream / purchase HERE
Featuring new single “Slipstream” – listen HERE
“Their most accomplished and ambitious record to date…genuinely rockets the band into new terrain – repeatedly.” —Uncut, 8 out of 10 stars
“Their most inventive, and their best, since their 2012 debut.” —Brooklyn Vegan
“An example of this successful band tearing up the formula and trying something different.” —WNYC
“Sprawling, eclectic and ear-pleasing fifth” – The Arts Desk: 4*
“there are 21 tracks in total, but none overstay their welcome” – The Scottish Daily Express: 4*
“an eminently danceable double album bursting with the quartet’s signature sonic diversity” – The Scotsman: 4*
“A rewarding listen” – Record Collector: 4*
“An experimental musical odyssey” – NARC
“A stellar companion piece to the earnest house renaissance playing out in popular pop music.” —FLOOD Magazine
Django Django today reveal Off Planet Part 4, the final six tracks completing the release of the UK four-piece’s fifth full-length studio album Off Planet, which Uncut has called “their most accomplished and ambitious record to date”. Split into four parts, each representing a different “planet”, the record is out now in full today, 16 June 2023, via Because Music – listen / buy it here.
Off Planet was conceptualised by Django Django co-founder and producer Dave Maclean as “a way to go beyond”, to bring new voices, new rhythms, new experimentation into play, and effectively to deconstruct the band’s identity. Off Planet is the biggest, boldest, and most varied statement the band have made, with a cavalcade of mainstream and underground stars – Self Esteem, Jack Peñate, Stealing Sheep, Toya Delazy and many more, all of them either friends of the band or personally sought out by Dave – bringing entirely new creative angles into play. From bluesy pop and Middle Eastern cabaret goth to Afro acid and piano rave, to call it kaleidoscopic is putting it mildly. Despite at times not sounding like anything on their previous releases, Off Planet is very much still recognisably Django Django.
Part 4’s focus track, “Slipstream”, is described by the band as “a trance inducing dance track that began life when Dave wanted something for his DJ sets that sat somewhere between Patrick Cowley, Daft Punk & Vitalic. Heavy electronic elements, intricate melodies, and an addictively danceable beat merge with spacey vocal harmonies to become a Django Django anthem”. Part 4 also features the tracks “Dumb Drum”, “Fluxus”, “Who You Know” ft. Bernardo, “Black Cadillac”, and “Gazelle”.
Speaking of the rest of the tracks from Off Planet Part 4, the band said: “Off Planet 4 is the last part of the series and it features “Fluxus” – a synth heavy track that Dave made In his home studio while bored in lockdown and then passed on to Jim to write the topline. “Who You Know” was a slow fuzzy hip hop beat that was brought to life by Sonia Bernardo and is inspired a lot by Tricky’s early work.”
“Black Cadillac” is an ode to New Orleans and Dr John, and came about through a Scottish Jam session when cabin fever set in due to huge storms and power cuts. The last track on the LP is “Gazelle” which was co-written by Dave’s brother and Beta Band member John, who came to the studio with the idea to make a kind of extended chugging disco track with elements of Fleetwood Mac and the Doobie Brothers! It also features the violin talents of Raven Bush who previously played on “Night of the Buffalo” and “The World Will Turn” on our last LP.””
Off Planet features multiple standout singles including the BBC Radio 6 Music A-Listed 90s dance-pop explosion, “Complete Me” ft. Self Esteem, the genre-bending “No Time” ft. Jack Peñate, and the futuristic club track “Don’t Touch That Dial” ft. Yuuko. Part 4 unites the album with a new collaboration with Bernardo on “Who You Know”, as the band set out to join with new voices and experiment with their sound on every release.
The release of Off Planet will be celebrated tomorrow on June 17th 2023 with an album release party at Paper Dress Vintage in London. (Final tickets are available here). About the party, the band said, “we’re throwing a party to celebrate the launch of Off Planet. It’s our most collaborative album to date, so we’ve asked three of the featured artists Toya Delazey, Refound and Bernardo to come down and play live. We also have DJing… Dave Django, the brilliant Make A Dance crew who have remixed “Don’t Touch that Dial” and John Maclean (Beta Band) who co-wrote the closing track on the LP. Come along and have a drink and a dance.”
Following an exceptional show opening up Christine and the Queens’ Meltdown Festival at The Royal Festival Hall last Friday followed by a performance at Kite Festival, Django Django will kick off a UK instore tour this evening at Rough Trade East in London to mark the release of Off Planet. The band will perform at this year’s Bluedot and Standon Calling festivals, and have also announced new Australian headline dates, their first there since 2016. Their full live dates are as follows:
16/06 – London, UK @ Rough Trade East – instore – SOLD OUT
17/06 – London, UK @ Paper Dress Vintage – SOLD OUT
19/06 – Bristol, UK @ Rough Trade Records – instore – SOLD OUT
20/06 – Liverpool, UK @ Jacaranda Records Phase One – instore
21/06 – Nottingham, UK @ Rough Trade Records – instore
22/06 – Banquet Records, UK @ Pryzm Kingston – instore
21/07 – Bluedot Festival, UK @ Jodrell Bank
22/07 – Standon, UK @ Standon Calling
29/07 – Low Festival, Spain
30/09 – Pambula Beach, AUS @ Wanderer Festival
01/10 – Sydney, AUS @ Factory Theatre
04/10 – Brisbane, AUS @ The Triffid
06/10 – Melbourne, AUS @ Corner Hotel
Off Planet – full album
Out today, 16 June 2023, via Because Music
Stream / buy here
Full album tracklist:
2. Complete Me ft. Self Esteem
4. Hands High ft Refound*
5. Lunar Vibrations ft Isabelle Woodhouse
6. Don’t Touch That Dial ft. Yuuko
7. Back to Back ft. Patience
8. Squid Inc
9. Come Down
10. Golden Cross
11. No Time ft. Jack Peñate
12. A New Way Through
13. Galaxy Mood ft. Toya Delazy
14. The Oh Zone
15. Dead Machine ft. Stealing Sheep
16. Dumb Drum
19. Who You Know ft. Bernardo
20. Black Cadillac
Off Planet Part 4
Released today, 16 June 2023, via Because Music
Part 3 tracklist:
1. Dumb Drum
4. Who You Know ft. Bernardo
5. Black Cadillac
Django Django began with, and remain driven by, the core of Dundee-born Dave and Vincent Neff from Derry, Northern Ireland, who met at Edinburgh school of art. Dave was, and is, an obsessive music collector who started DJing spacey jungle / drum’n’bass and then played and produced all kinds of electronic and experimental grooves from dancehall to krautrock and library music, but with a solid heart of raw American house and techno. Vinny meanwhile had grown up on rave and indie from his older sisters and was finding his own voice as a singer-songwriter. On moving to London they began making tracks together – Vinny’s songs and Dave’s arrangements – but it quickly blurred with both writing and structuring songs. Vinny’s natural facility with writing harmonies became a key part of the sound, and with the addition of keyboardist Tommy Grace and bassist Jimmy Dixon, they became the fully-fledged band that has carried on to today.
Off Planet, the band’s fifth album, began with Dave’s beats. Throughout lockdown and the surrounding period he had been super prolific, returning to his DJ roots and making standalone dance tracks – and at the start of the album process they went back to the original core pattern of Vinny writing over these beats (“fast and furious because he was making them faster than I could process them!”). Initially Dave was also making a lot of instrumental electronic tracks “very specifically to be not Django Django”, but as the writing process went on and tunes were passed to Tommy and Jimmy to write parts for, the idea of having a whole load of guests crystallised, and in fact Dave’s more ravey or hip-hop beats suddenly made sense when they imagined different voices on them and reaching out to friends or, in one case, just googling “Japanese rapper” (Yuuko). Just as the Django sound had evolved in the first instance from Dave’s immersion in club culture and Vinny’s songwriting, to become fully formed as they became a band, so the process was repeated on this album, albeit with grander ambition and a whole lot more participants.
From some 50 initial sketches on Dave’s original beats, the shape of the four “planets” began to become clear, and so did the songs, and during a week playing and recording together in the Scottish countryside at Dave’s family home in Polbain in the far northwest, it all became “Djangofied”. Off Planet remains fully functional as four separate “planets”, but the full rocket ride around them all is, incredibly, an even more coherent and enjoyable experience.
Flowing through all of this is the emergent sense of cosmic wonder: as Dave puts it, “just about everything we love, whether that’s old psychedelia or Detroit techno, has that futuristic or outer space feel, and I think we can’t help putting that into what we do.” The term Off Planet comes from Dave’s obsession with ufology: it’s a term for hyper-advanced technologies kept secret from the populace. And perhaps that natural sense of the scale and potential of music and art as a technology itself is what has allowed them to very naturally align all their planets, to make sense and coherence from the ludicrous palette of colours they presented themselves with. Whatever it was, it worked, and whether you take Off Planet one part at a time or all at once, you’re immediately taken into the Django’s universe.