Monday, June 15, 2009
"Phenomenal" guys and gals go to London, finally release album
Ever since I saw the opening minutes of their second performance at CMJ last year -- I would have stayed longer, but a looming deadline and fatigue have their ways -- I've been tremendously excited about the debut album from local supergroup the Phenomenal Handclap Band. Contrary to their portentous moniker, which suggests revved-and-chopped-up British soul beats along the lines of the Pull Shapes, the large ensemble -- masterminded by DJ/production duo Daniel Collás and Sean Marquand, late of excavations involving Brazilian funk musicians and old Salsoul types -- takes cues from funk, deep soul, disco, italo, psych, krautrock, and a litany of other snobbish subgenres. Their eponymously-titled debut, due out next week, features guest apperances from TV on the Radio's Jameel Bunton, Lady Tigra, Jon Spencer, and Reno Bo of Mooney Suzuki. Already gaining plaudits from the mainstream (they may be the first indie band ever featured in Playboy, once a decent source for... umm... jazz criticism), they're taking their act to Britain in early July with two weeks of shows in London, Manchester, Bristol, Canterbury, and Dublin. Since the British tend to be more attuned to good music -- especially groove-based music played by sleazy disco enthusiasts in white jeans (see photo) -- this isn't necessarily a bad career move in the "Ivy indie" epoch. Expect an album review in the coming days.