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∆, pronounced Alt-J, Mac users will get it
October 26, 2012 2:33 PM   Subscribe

Alt-J (∆) are a British art rock band who play low-key but ambitious music and have done well lately, been nominated for the Mercury Prize and broken into the UK top 20, while remaining somewhat anonymous and now they're starting to get noticed in the US. But you don't have to take my word for them being quite good, they've put their whole debut album, An Awesome Wave, up on their SoundCloud page, along with a bunch of other music, or you can check out their videos. You can also watch an entire concert in high definition and good sound quality recorded by KEXP in Seattle.
posted by Kattullus (36 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite

 
this song is not available in your country sadface
posted by neuromodulator at 2:41 PM on October 26, 2012


And we Mac users don't say "Alt".
posted by nicwolff at 2:42 PM on October 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've heard "Alt" used in the context of using the keyboard to produce symbol characters.

Would you say "Option-J"?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:47 PM on October 26, 2012


I've heard "Alt" used in the context of using the keyboard to produce symbol characters.

That's how a Windows user would do it but "alt codes" on windows are numeric strings typed in while holding down Alt. Option-J on the other hand produces the delta character on OS X.
posted by Talez at 2:49 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Fitzpleasure" is such a weird, wonderful little song.
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:51 PM on October 26, 2012


The video for Breezeblocks is fantastically creepy. I shared it with Facebook friends as an early Halloween treat.
posted by terrierhead at 2:51 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Alt" and "Option" are the same key on a mac. I've heard it called "Alt" for producing symbol characters, and "Option" for other keyboard shortcuts.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:51 PM on October 26, 2012


(In response to 'Mac users don't say "Alt"')
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:55 PM on October 26, 2012


No, no real Mac user says "alt". And this Mac user would say either "Delta" or "command-space shift-d command-space", because Unicode and Greek keyboard, yo.

Also, the music's not bad.
posted by erniepan at 2:55 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


So far we're at 6 of 8 comments about operating systems where everyone understood what was meant anyway on a post about an interesting band. Rock on, precious mefites.
posted by maxwelton at 2:57 PM on October 26, 2012 [22 favorites]


I like this band.
posted by parki at 3:01 PM on October 26, 2012


The required punctuation names have officially gone too far. And their music isn't available in the US, so I doubt they're getting much notice.
posted by mike_bling at 3:02 PM on October 26, 2012


Freaking love this album, and was sad to miss them when they hit DC. I would say they're more than "starting to get noticed" in the US, though; shows have been selling out for a while now, I think.

Fun bonus: Mumford & Sons covering Tessellate
posted by inigo2 at 3:02 PM on October 26, 2012


And their music isn't available in the US, so I doubt they're getting much notice.

You'd be wrong.
posted by inigo2 at 3:03 PM on October 26, 2012


[If this turns into a Mac vs. everybody war by proxy I will be really cranky. Carry on. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 3:05 PM on October 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


They're getting occasional radio play in Kansas City, for what it's worth.
posted by terrierhead at 3:17 PM on October 26, 2012


Been listening to this about 8 weeks now, and it has some really good songs on it. Every other week I do a few radio shows and am always looking for new, good stuff that people likely haven't heard of and Alt-J has been on my rotation the last 3 or so shows for exactly that reason.

I really like digging for new, good music but I wouldn't want to have to do it continuously without getting paid, there is a hell of a lot of crappy mediocre stuff. With my limited time I've been pretty happy with my hit ratio of stuff I've found just before they break big.
posted by edgeways at 3:22 PM on October 26, 2012


their music isn't available in the US

If you got the internet-y thing you're in luck
posted by edgeways at 3:24 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for pointing out 'Breezeblocks', terrierhhead. I recently came across a link to that video and was so engrossed by the action that I failed to notice the name of the band and then promptly lost my link to it.
posted by grimjeer at 3:28 PM on October 26, 2012


I thought bands with unpronounceable symbols in the name had to be Witch House?
posted by modernserf at 4:27 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


their music isn't available in the US

Their newest album is up on Spotify, search for alt-J.
posted by rhythm and booze at 4:47 PM on October 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


My girlfriend is getting into this band and has been playing the album in the car all the time. I don't want to tell her how I think it sounds like Devendra Banhart with a cold fronting a cheesy bargain bin Radiohead circa 2003 knockoff playing Foals (who are terrible) covers, but it's exhausting maintaining mellowness after five or six of these damn songs.

Long live the British hype machine.
posted by Alterity at 4:51 PM on October 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


They did a really interesting live mashup of Kylie Minogue's "Slow" and Dr Dre's "Still D.R.E" yesterday on Triple J radio (Oz national radio station). I'd never really paid attention to them before, but this was kooky enough for me to at least want to check out some of their other stuff.
posted by chronic sublime at 5:01 PM on October 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I really really like this. Thanks for putting it in front of me!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:03 PM on October 26, 2012


Apropo, and previously.

I like that their stripped-down sound is as tight as the heavily produced versions. That's not always a given.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 7:55 PM on October 26, 2012


Again, massive kudos to Metafilter for tipping me to yet another fantastic band. This shit is hypnotic, original and just from the videos, really yips-under-my-skin creepshow.

Absolutely fine music and I'm an instant fan.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:04 PM on October 26, 2012


The artists formerly known as Delta?

thanks, these guys are interesting.
posted by not_on_display at 8:07 PM on October 26, 2012


Vocals remind me of the Pumpkins.
posted by goethean at 8:09 PM on October 26, 2012


The video for Breezeblocks is fantastically creepy

Oooh, indeed it is. It also taught me the proper meaning of breeze blocks (vs The Breezeblock, hosted by Mary Anne Hobbs on BBC Radio 1).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:28 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, this is great; thanks, kattullus!!! (Yes, that's 3, count them, three exclamation marks... very much loving this as my unexpected morning soundtrack today.)
posted by taz at 11:13 PM on October 26, 2012


It's good, but the man's voice is goofy.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:47 PM on October 26, 2012


I found out about them at a recurring music video show called Bug, held at the BFI, check it out if you're in London. Actually don't because it always sells out and I don't want it to be even harder for me to get tickets.

Anyway, saw the Breezeblocks video on a massive cinema size screen and it stuck with me immediately. Am loving watching this band seep into the mainstream, which I normally wouldn't say for a band I actually like but I'm happy for them.
posted by like_neon at 2:39 AM on October 27, 2012


I'd like them a lot more if that lead singer didn't sound so much like Dave Matthews.
posted by imjustsaying at 3:38 AM on October 27, 2012


I love this band, and I'm going to see them in London in January. Excited. And, like like_neon says, it's gratifying watching this band happen. There was a considerable amount of surprise when this art-rock band from Cambridge suddenly charted in what is (we are repeatedly told by our media overlords) the unstoppable age of corporate dubstep and identikit grime. There's a space and an audience for music like this, and what's especially great is that this is music like no-one could have predicted.

It's idiosyncratic, in some ways odd and deeply unlikely; a combination of influences and obsessions we haven't seen in this configuration ever before. Joe Newman's blues-rock/hip-hop influenced delivery mixed with the complex mathematical beats laid down by their ex-metal-band drummer, deep, sinuous, fluid basslines and the early-music intellectualism of keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton sounds like nothing I've ever heard, and that makes me incredibly happy.

What with these guys, the fabulous Django Django, and the UK's burgeoning scene of pysch bands like Gnod and Teeth of the Sea, it's a genuinely exciting time for intelligent, complex, innovative rock music. And thank God.
posted by Sonny Jim at 7:05 AM on October 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh yeah, that live clip that Sonny Jim linked to is amazing. I kinda wish I'd foregrounded that in my post. It was my first exposure to Alt-J, and it made me take notice of them.
posted by Kattullus at 7:17 AM on October 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Enjoying this; thanks for posting.
posted by El Brendano at 10:18 AM on October 27, 2012


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