After 16 years and 10 albums, Deerhoof have never found their rhythm; settled into a neat, niche little groove, consolidated to the point where they could turn and churn out a few more identikit efforts.
The fluid line up of those pervading years certainly contributed to the groundswells of bold creativity and skittering innovation that’s characterised the band’s busy output,
and for a band cited and credited by a modern wave of celebrated acts – see Dirty Projectors and Grizzly Bear – the plaudits have always largely been deserved.
‘Deerhoof vs Evil’ substantiate the compliments.
Wracked with off-kilter time signatures,
strange falsettos and even stranger synthesized noise and flashes of genuine loveliness, it teeters between the confident and the calamitous; ready to fall in upon itself at any moment.
Weird and regularly wonderful, in the same way Animal Collective set an intolerably early LP marker back in January 2009,
Deerhoof have set a standard few can match.
Setting can be just as central to the identity of a festival as the bands that play (just take a look at Berlin’s Melt that goes off on the site of
an old quarry), and the setting of Trans Musicales has a charming and disorientating personality disorder.
The action is split between the old town – all beautifully warped medieval
buildings and cobbled streets – where bands play in the early evening, and the ‘Park Expo’ – a monolithic industrial estate with an internment camp vibe – where the biggerhitting bands go on playing past bedtime.
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