In support of their latest fifth album, The Go! Team have announced a date for Dublin’s Button Factory this May.
The brainchild of Brighton-based Ian Parton, The Go! Team are a six-piece smorgasbord of indie rock, garage, pop and alternative hip-hop, cemented together with a miscellany of variously sourced sampling.
its membership has never been exclusive: at one time or another, The Go! Team has included on its squad-sheet everyone from Deerhoof to Chuck D to a legion of undiscovered Soundcloud singers. Unlike the group’s previous album, 2015’s The Scene Between, Ian began work on their fifth album SEMICIRCLE with the vital input of current live players Simone Odaranile (drums) and Angela ‘Maki’ Won-Yin Mak (vocals), plus original Team members Sam Dook (guitar) and Ninja (irrepressible rapping).
In his head was the idea of a school marching band gone rogue, chucking away their sheet music to blast out Northern soul stompers or Japanese indie-pop swooners or old-school hip-hop jams. “I like the swing and the toughness of marching bands, the physicality of feeling a beater walloping a bass drum,” explains Ian, “but I wanted to reclaim them from patriotic or sporty associations. That was the kick-off for this record.” Yet his extensive sample library could only take him so far. In order to fully realise his vision he knew he had to reach out, to entice a group of unlikely new collaborators into The Go! Team fold.
So Ian made a pilgrimage to Detroit – city of Motown and The Stooges, of musical (and actual) revolution – where he hooked up with The Detroit Youth Choir. Their age was key; he didn’t want kids (too twee) but nor he did he want adults, with all their emotional baggage and wariness and tendency to over-sing. Equally he wanted to avoid the religious connotations of a church or gospel choir. “I’ve always had a thing for gang vocals and group singing, particularly the roughness of community choirs,” says Ian. “Normally they might be singing showtunes or whatever, but I like the idea of getting people to do something they wouldn’t normally do. I like making things happen that wouldn’t otherwise happen. It’s always a gamble, but in this case it paid off.” The sessions were so inspiring that they came to define the album.
Although SEMICIRCLE isn’t bogged down in polemical responses to the issues of the day, there are still some valuable life lessons to be gleaned. “It’s about reminding yourself of the good things in life,” says Ian. “We don’t want to be dumbly optimistic and say, ‘Hey, isn’t everything great!’ but there’s something to be said for just getting on with it, for getting organised and not letting the fuckers get you down. Party for your right to fight!”
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