Friday, March 1, 2013

Jagwar Ma: Trancing on my own

Do you know what I'm in the mood for right now? Four minutes of kaleidoscopic, psychedelic dance pop. And as if by magic, here are Sydney's Jagwar Ma, doing their best acid-era Primal Scream trance wobble impersonations. What are the chances?

Formed in 2011 and quickly snapped up by XL Records, Jagwar Ma are Jono Ma, Jack Freeman and Gabriel Winterfield. The band name is presumably a jumbled combination of those syllables, but they haven't been forthcoming with an explanation yet. Their various websites give nothing away, either, simply plugging their latest videos and tours, with scant biographical information.

Even interviews are vague. Speaking backstage at Australia's Big Day Out festival last month, Gabriel was prompted to give a few details about their debut album. "The title is... we don't have a title," he deadpanned. "The ETA is, like, May, but I don't know the actual date." The band later revealed they'd been influenced by acid house, northern soul and the "cut and paste" production techniques of The Avalanches. The result is "electronic music imitating the '60s", they added.

Anyone listening to their new single The Throw could have worked that out in about 10 seconds. It's a corker, though - all baggy vibes and Balearic beats, building up to a euphoric choral climax. The radio edit is about half the length of the album version, but loses none of the magic.

Jagwar Ma - The Throw

If you like what you hear, the single is out now and Jagwar Ma are in session for Huw Stephens this Sunday. For more info, this interviewer makes a better fist of getting coherent sentences out of the band than most...

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