ELECTRONIC POP LITTLE DRAGON The Arches, Glasgow, Wed 30 Nov

You’d expect a band to delight in having artists from Gorillaz to DJ Shadow and Big Boi beating their door down to work with them especially if they’ve hitherto existed in relative obscurity. But while Little Dragon find it ‘super exciting’ to have become

the go-to guys for such established names, the Gothenburg electro-pop quartet say they don’t want to develop a reputation ‘just as the collaboration band,’ to the extent that they’ve started turning down many requests. ‘When it’s artists we’ve been inspired by and then they’ve been

inspired by us, that’s the ultimate high,’ says singer Yukimi Nagano. ‘But I think we’re really keen to keep doing our own music first.’

She and her bandmates Fredrik Wallin, Håkan Wirenstrand and

Erik Bodin have every reason to give Little Dragon material primacy their third album Ritual Union is their best yet, fusing minimal, repetitive grooves with squelching synth and Swedish- Japanese-American frontman Nagano’s ultra laidback vocals. It’s helped the four friends who started music making together at high school, ten years before they became a band proper capitalise on the international exposure of touring the world with Gorillaz (on whose album Plastic Beach they guested on two tracks). For all their fear of becoming known as ‘the collaboration band,’

there’s surely one dream name whom Little Dragon could never say no to? ‘As much as I love, for example, Prince, I wasn’t super-excited

about his last album,’ Nagano replies, coolly. ‘Who knows, maybe our combination isn’t a good match? But maybe that kid down the street who makes some beats on the other hand . . . (Malcolm Jack)

EXPERIMENTAL FOLK RICHARD YOUNGS Canon’s Gait, Edinburgh, Sat 19 Nov

Next time you’re in a Glasgow library, look out. Is the man stamping your books singing quietly? Does he have the air of an underground pop star; the aura of a man who likes rustic minimalism and improvised folk? Then you may be in the presence of Richard Youngs.

A librarian by day and avant-garde landscaper by night, Youngs has created myriad works of understated, unhurried wonder over the past quarter century. The Cambridge-born, Glasgow-based experimentalist has hundreds of releases, through US indie empire Jagjaguwar and his own No Fans micro-label. He’s also a prolific collaborator whose alliances with Simon Wickham-Smith, Alex Neilson and Neil Campbell are worth hunting down. Youngs’ fertile output is at odds with the scarcity of his live shows, but when

Youngs appears, it tends to be with striking (indeed, mythological) consequences. Take the time he played Instal at Glasgow’s Arches in 2004; a pin-drop, exquisite solo show with an acoustic guitar, and then backed the first- ever live appearance from underground US icon Jandek. Or when he toured New Zealand with dream-folk kingpins Damon and Naomi (Galaxie 500) and Damon returned the favour by playing drums on Youngs’ latest album, Amplifying Host. Or more recently, his scuzzed-out show at Glasgow’s 78 bar, as part of Music is the Music Language. And now he’s set to play in Edinburgh two back-to-back sets which will take place, at his request, in the Canon’s Gait. One set will be vocal-only; one will be with guitar. Both will likely blow your mind. (Nicola Meighan)

86 THE LIST 17 Nov–15 Dec 2011

ELECTRONIC POP DJANGO DJANGO Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, Thu 24 Nov; Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, Glasgow, Sat 26 Nov

‘We weren’t really a band when we started,’ says Dave Maclean of London quartet Django Django. ‘We had to engineer a band around us so we could play a gig. We were booked to play a gig at [Brick Lane venue] 93 Feet East and we just had to recreate our songs as best we could for it. I guess we’re still trying to do that.’ The point at which the electronic bedroom project of drummer Maclean

and singer Vincent Neff went from writing songs ‘almost accidentally’ to eventually becoming one of the most hotly-tipped bands of 2012 came with the addition of bassist Jimmy Dixon and synth player Tommy Grace.

The road of a group who sound like Sergio Morricone’s brooding spaghetti western twang filtered through the stark synths of John Carpenter actually started back home in Edinburgh, however. Maclean (brother of The Beta Band’s John) was part of the Art College scene of a few years back, at which point Grace was also working as a visual artist in the city. ‘There’s a danger you end up playing the same venues week in, week out in a city the size of Edinburgh,’ he says. ‘You can still make it, it just means you have to travel more and work harder.’

Their efforts don’t seem to be wasted at the moment, with a Metronomy support tour in the bag and an already-recorded, self-titled debut album due for release early next year. ‘It all seems to be coming together,’ says Maclean, probably about as casually as he dealt with that first gig. (David Pollock)