Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, Thu 9 Oct
Now if you reckoned Arctic Monkeys was a ridiculous moniker, try James Pants for size. Being named after an undergarment, however, hasn’t stopped critics and bloggers falling over each other to heap shed-loads of praise on this smart multi-instrumentalist/producer/DJ and unabashed über-geek. And for once it’s well deserved, as one listen to funky and addictive debut Welcome proves. Mixing synths, guitars and sick beats, the record takes in all manner of influences from 80s soul and hip hop, to electro, new wave, post punk and disco – kind of like Calvin Harris, but good.
Describing his creations as ‘fresh beat’ – that’s dance music with a slow tempo to you and me – Pants (it never gets any easier to digest) claims to have first been discovered by his hero, Peanut Butter Wolf, after going to see him play on his prom night in Texas, 2001. The Spokane, Washington-based chap had been unsuccessfully learning to scratch to Steppenwolf records and playing drums in marching bands before then, and following the aforementioned fateful encounter with the well-respected DJ and hip hop producer, an internship at the highly acclaimed Stones Throw was set up – a label that has been responsible for bringing us pioneers like MF Doom, Madlib and J Dilla over the years – and the rest, as they say, is history.
Fancy dress and dim sum, foliage and white flares; unusual yet killer combos. And you can catch Pants featuring them in typically eccentric style in the amazing videos for ‘Cosmic Rapp’ and ‘We’re Through’, or even better see the super talented oddball perform the tracks up close when he pays Edinburgh a visit, flanked by full band at this forthcoming live date. Don’t miss it.