Many know Dan Snaith as the man behind psych-pop project Caribou, responsible for indie hits such as Sun and Odessa. For some time now Snaith has been shifting his sights to dance music, spurred along by a close friendship with Four Tet. Now we’re treated to alter-ego Daphni’s first full-length; JIAOLONG, an intriguing exercise in thoughtful techno.
The entire album sounds like a technicolor romp through an African tribe. Left-field house underlies hypnotic chanting in Daphni’s Ne Noya remix of one-hit wonder Cos-Ber-Zam. Synths vibrate and shimmer, here to build dance floor euphoria while hinting at another dimension. The same polish is present on Light as a tribal flute falls into rough hi-hats and a vicious low-end that persists throughout the LP.
Snaith is perhaps at his best when he’s not afraid to get dark and moody. Last year’s mysterious Ye Ye carries a dizzying synth line that’ll send chills down your spine, and Ahora is a bit of gloomy fun, like a pensive disco. Overall, JIAOLONG is comfortable both at home and on the dance floor–it’s a fascinating debut effort from one of the most interesting figures in electronic music. Find the vinyl over at Discogs.