The creeping plague of gentrification which is stalking many cities across Britain and beyond has consequences beyond pricing residents out of their homes; dozens of music venues are also being forced to close, unable to meet the demands of landlords discovering they’re sat on a fortune of sleeping capital.
This by extension damages the arts, as performers find themselves locked out of affordable spaces in which to develop their work. As an example many have spoken of the creatively febrile atmosphere of East London’s once less salubrious parts at the end of the noughties, a creative melting pot of sounds, ideas and people which inspired amongst others DJ turned producer Daniel Avery and also shaped the debut album from Django Django.
A decade on a flat in Walthamstow can cost you half a million, but the quartet’s first album still sounds remarkably fresh, a confection of afro-guitar genuis, busting polyrhythms and electronica courtesy of ace sonic provider Dave Maclean. Now reissued, Default, Hail Bop, Firewater and Life’s A Beach are all still worthy of attention.
Equally intriguing are a stack of dub-centric remixes by Mad Professor (who also produced No Protection, a 1995 versioning of Massive Attack’s Protection) which switch identities impressively, a reminder not to take anything for granted, much like the continued presence of your local music venues.
You can read a full review here.