Feel like dancing into the weekend? Simian Mobile Disco to perform DJ set at Avalon
Friday night at Avalon, British dance-music duo Simian Mobile Disco arrives to celebrate the launch of their new record label, Delicatessen, with a DJ set that should carry through to the wee small hours. The team, comprised of James Ford and Jas Shaw, delivers smart, melodic, minimal electro tracks tailor-made for the dance floor; but in their DJ sets, they draw from every corner of the pop and rock landscape, practicing a wonderfully inclusive -- and influential -- brand of mixing that might surprise the rock snobs who dismiss anything with a four-on-the-floor stomp.
Their first mix, a white-label promo called "Mobile Disco 2003," was an epiphany when released in 2003, and it remains one of the best mixes of the early 00s. Why? In addition to marking one of the first mix appearances by LCD Soundsystem -- "Losing My Edge" -- the 75-minute CD stomper included a wild variety of tracks from, among others, Kenny Rogers ("Ruby," beefed up with bass for the dance floor), Robert Wyatt, the Detroit Grand Poo-Bahs, and 808 State, the inclusion of which indicated that the pair not only understood the beat, but were undiscriminating music fans who liked to have fun. (Honestly, "Mobile Disco 2003" changed the way I thought about the potential of mix CDs.) "Mobile Disco 2003" also features the Simian track "We Are Your Friends," which Parisian electro group Justice famously sampled for its hit "Never Be Alone."
Since then, Simian Mobile Disco has consistently crafted catchy, magnetic mixes and tracks that surprise not only with their breadth but with their depth. They love voluminous rhythm that sparks involuntary head nodding, which, given the right mood, will eventually turn into knee bounces as you inch closer to the dance floor, wondering whether now would be the time to bury yourself inside the mass of sweaty dancers.
Inevitably, the part of your brain that decides whether or not to make a fool of yourself on the floor will be drowned out by the part that can't believe they just blended Plastikman's techno classic "Spastik" into Green Velvet's Chicago breakdown "Flash," into fey British crooners the Walker Brothers' "Nite Flight" -- all which Simian did on their expert 2008 Fabric mix. You'll end up on the dance floor whether you like it or not, basically.
Check out a taste of their new track, "Nerve Salad," above.
-- Randall Roberts
Simian Mobile Disco performs a DJ set at Avalon as part of the club's "Control" night on Friday, May 28. Also on the bill (and making its L.A. debut) is Love Search. $20. Doors open at 9:30, and the club stays open until 5 a.m.