If you like car-chase noises and stuff, you’ll like The Go! Team. Unless you’ve heard The Go! Team before and didn’t like them. Then you probably won’t. And if you already like them, why’re you reading this? Go listen to them. Unless you want to read about them. And if that’s your calling, well, lucky you… Chris wrote about them.
Featured tonight is a trippy band from England called The Go! Team. Founded by Ian Parton and led by a broad named Ninja, the band combines live instruments with a slew of samples and, in live performances, chucks in some freestyle vocals. Did I mention there are two drummers? Because there are.
Ok, now that the cool/exciting hook part is over, I’ma let you in on some backstory. Way in the day, Ian Parton wanted to create some legit jamz that incorporate his favorite things: double-dutch and cheerleader chants, Sonic Youth-style guitars, car chase noises, and all things 70’s. It just keeps getting better, I know! He mixed all those ingredients together in his parents’ kitchen, then a couple chemical reactions and a small explosion later, the smoke cleared to reveal Thunder, Lightning, Strike – the first album from The Go! Team.
The album arrived in Europe in late 2004, and the industry straight ate it up. It still ranks high on Metacritic and Pitchfork all-time lists, and even earned the band a Mercury Prize nomination. In September 2007, they released their sophomore attempt, Proof of Youth, which also fared well with critics (including myself). This album expanded on the previous effort, including in guests such as hip-hop legend Chuck D and some of Solex‘s ample samples. There are also harmonicas, melodicas, banjos, tambourines, and the glockenspiel – something for everybody.
But what’s for you? Start with “Friendship Update” and “Bottle Rocket” from their first album, then taste their second release with “My World,” “Patricia’s Moving Picture,” and “Flashlight Fight,” the final of which extensively features Chuck D. Live shows often differ vastly from their studio recordings (mostly due to Ninja’s improvising), so make sure to check that out as well. They’re currently working on their third album; some sort of further news is expected on it in 2009.
The Go! Team is one of my favorite bands – and probably my favorite instrumental/sample band, narrowly beating out acts like The Avalanches and Girl Talk. I encourage you check them out, if you’re into that hemisphere of music. If nothing else, it’s great tunes to do drugs to.