Little Dragons Flying In
Next Monday, 23.5.11, the beloved Swedish band Little Dragon will be performing a show at Tel-Aviv’s Barby venue. The show is part of Shesek’s 10th Anniversary celebrations, and is a step up for us from the previous events in this series, which so far has included DJ sets at the lounge by Tokimonsta and Pangaea. Tickets can be bought at the Barby site, as well as at Shesek and the Michatronix bar.
The show is Little Dragon’s last date of their current European tour, and just a brief second before they hit major summer festivals like Glastonbury and Sonar. I’ve seen them live in London a few years back, and Nadav caught them at the Big Chill, and both times they were magnificent. I truly believe it’s a rare chance for Tel-Aviv to synch in with what the world’s biggest stages are buzzing about.
A quick check revealed to me that Little Dragon are among the artist which have appeared the most times in the Rasham-Kol podcasts since their launch almost 3 years ago (obviously way before we even thought of having them over). A Google check further revealed that our little Botanika site even appears as the last entry on the first results page when searching for “Little Dragon”. Yes, that much love.
For those who don’t know them – here’s a mix I’ve done with some of my favorite songs of theirs, alongside their excellent Gorillaz and Maximum Balloon collaborations (i.m.o stealing the show on both albums), and a sneaky Burial mashup thrown in as a bonus towards the end. Press play.
Tracklist and more info after the jump.
Little Dragon – A New
Little Dragon – Feather
Gorillaz ft Little Dragon – To Binge
Gorillaz ft Little Dragon – Empire Ants
Little Dragon – Feather
Little Dragon – Never Never
Little Dragon – My Step
Maximum Balloon ft Little Dragon – If You Return
Little Dragon – Blinking Pigs
Little Dragon – Nightlight (new single!)
Little Dragon – Recommendation
Little Dragon vs Burial (Biscope mashup)
Little Dragon – Twice
As a music journalist, I find my relationship with Little Dragon as almost mission-like, because although their music is so beautiful, fun and accessible, they hardly receive the recognition I think they deserve, at least not locally here in Israel. Because they don’t fall too easily into any musical tag – combining electronics, pop, soul and more – they don’t ascribe too easily into most music journalists covering range.
As a DJ and music lover, well, it’s just about the music. “Feather” is a bona fide Shesek classic, which I’ve been playing there constantly, as in many other downtempo/gentle sets. Also real big with me are “Blinking Pigs”, “Fortune” and “My Step” (all from their 2nd album, “Machine Dreams”), as well as “Twice”, “Constant Surprises” and “Recommendation” off their debut, the latter of which I also really like Toddla T’s remix to it (and hammer it’s instrumental when playing out with Onili).
With Little Dragon’s front-woman, Yukimi Nagano, it’s even a longer love affair, going back to her early days lending vocals for various jazzy electronic outfits like Swell Session (house producer Andreas Saag), Stateless, Hird, and most famously, Koop.
But as you can hear in the mix above, the past few years Yukimi and the band have been spreading out into much more diverse directions, like the aforementioned collaborations with Maximum Balloon (TV on the Radio producer Dave Sitek’s solo project) and the Gorillaz. I actually believe that the Gorillaz “Empire Ants” featuring Little Dragon is the 2010 song played the most times at Shesek over last year, not just by me. Yukimi has also written songs and done backing vocals for Jose Gonzales (and performed with him when he visited Israel), and just recently has also appeared on Raphael Saadiq’s new album, “Stone Rollin’”, in the song “Just Don’t” (miss this show).
The event (facebook here) is co-produced with Asi Ron (who brought to Israel artists such as Art Brut and Lauryn Hill), and the excellent fellas from News, for whom I dj-ed before Nicolas Jaar this past December. Warm-up act will be local rising outfit Computer Camp, and Onili & I will be hosting the entire thing with our DJ/MC collab. Poster artwork was done by Liora Zemelman, who is also responsible for the beautiful illustration on Kalbata’s record for us. Join us.