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Late Night Tales [LP]
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  • Since its launch in 2001 (under its original name Another Late Night), U.K. compilation series Late Night Tales has served up an intriguing array of excellent records curated by artists like Four Tet, the Flaming Lips, and Air. By allowing musicians to become tastemakers, the Late Night collections tend to take a lot of surprising twists and turns as the artists reveal many of their personal influences. Getting their turn at the decks are London-based indie quartet Django Django. Listening to their Mercury Prize-nominated 2012 debut album, it's apparent they came to their unique folktronica sound via extensive record collections of their own. The inclusion of tracks like the Millennium's "To Claudia on Thursday" and the Beach Boys' classic "Surf's Up" mirror Django's own affection for artfully arranged pop with richly layered harmonies. Experimental electronic fare like TNGHT's "Bugg'n" or Roy Davis, Jr.'s house classic "Gabrielle" also each reflect a part of the band's aesthetic. The inclusion of outliers like Leo Kottke and Philip Glass also add a glimpse of where they're coming from, as does the slightly progressive "Sweet Green Fields" from '70s soft rockers Seals & Crofts. Following the Late Night Tales format, Django Django also get to record a cover song of their own and they've whipped up a truly magical rendition of the Monkees' Head theme "Porpoise Song." As with the previous several Late Night releases, this one also concludes with actor Benedict Cumberbatch reading from the Simon Cleary poem "Flat of Angles." ~ Timothy Monger
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