Cage & Aviary, Television Train

Art by Banksy

[Death From Abroad]

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Disco might have regained lost popularity in the last couple years, but more often than not, it’s still a collectors’ game. Take Cage and Aviary (Jamie Paton and Nigel Hoyle), a partnership which began on the super-vogue Dissident Distribution label. Releasing one-sided and ultra-limited edition singles, Cage and Aviary’s 200 copies per record would almost surely lose money for Dissident — if the label cared about promotion or profit. Instead, Dissident has become a means to an end, letting Cage and Aviary to, as they describe it, “win the cosmic lottery” and begin their recording careers. Cage and Aviary’s sweet-spot of influences were sewn on the sleeve of their first single, “Giorgio Carpenter” — the gentle throb of Giorgio Moroder’s metallic drum machines, the chintzy minor-key swells of John Carpenter. Since then, the duo have formed a sound that’s casual, jammed out take on Balearic disco — bordering on the pulse necessary for dancing, a bass that too difficult to ignore.

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Thankfully, DFA recently picked up Cage & Aviary’s best single, “Television Train” for re-release on Death From Abroad. “Television Train” splits the difference with Balearic disco, all breezy colors formed by the twangs of a slide guitar, all the snap from a chunky bass hook. The vocals are loosey-goosey for the verses and plump with falsetto-sighs, which makes sense considering that half of the duo has a solo psyche-pop act on the side (Nigel of Bermondsey). At eleven minutes long, “Television Train” certainly makes use of its scale, spending a long time stretching out and cooling down, but never loses the calm that centers the track. The airy melodies leave the track perfect for mixing and, well, even mashed together with Kanye. The new b-side, “Suburban” fills the same loose-limbed indie-disco mold. But Cage & Aviary leave the track far sparser and outside of the staccato chorus, almost lethargic. Bare-boned almost to a fault, “Suburban” is all slow-burn that only hints at promise. But even with missteps, the casual spirit of Cage & Aviary is hard to scoff at.

Andrius  on April 2, 2009 at 2:40 AM

wow, what a track!

Jimmy  on April 2, 2009 at 3:18 AM

i think this is on jd twitch’s ra mix from memory….a real awesome tune.

Will C.  on April 2, 2009 at 9:35 AM

That’s a pretty great hook; I liked the track a lot.

Sam  on April 2, 2009 at 11:09 AM

I’m usually pretty wary of that DFA style “punk\indie” disco stuff (AKA dance music that’s OK for poser hipster types to like…), but, man. what. a. track. LOVE it.

ballyhoo  on April 2, 2009 at 1:21 PM

you have to give DFA more credit than that. there are few people who pay outrageous prices for rare postpunk/new wave/disco records on ebay, and it’s not uncommon to see a bidding race between twitch and someone from dfa. despite being in vogue, they’re serious record nerds. it shows in their sound.

tom/pipecock  on April 2, 2009 at 5:43 PM

serious record nerds would go find em in a shop for $1 😉

but yeah, gotta say that in the last 2 years or so DFA has really stepped up their game in general. this one is sounding pretty nice too!

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