Jagwar Ma formed in Sydney Australia when Jono Ma and Gabriel Winterfield bonded over a mutual passion of melody and experimental beats. The pair set out creating a sound that would capture their love for contemporary electronica and classic American Soul, Joe Meek and King Tubby, vintage drum machines and radio frequency manipulation, improvised percussion. Fusing the elements of disparate music, the vocal sweetness of Laurel Canyon, Carl Wilson and Bruce Johnston, and the modern electronic space of the past 40 years, they created a contemporary take on psychedelia, with the beauty and simplicity of classic sun-soaked, beach pop.Just weeks after putting music online, it secured heavy airplay on Australian radio triple j and a seven inch release on new UK label The Blue Rider. The music received a positive reaction to the mix of old and new, the uninhibited rhythm and its classic harmonies sliced apart by a lyric informing how lonely love can be.
In mid 2012 Jagwar Ma decamped to a space in France to record their debut album just the two of them in an empty farm two hours south of Paris, with an 808, a Fender Jaguar, a laptop and a pair of vintage Neve console channels. Their time at La Briche echoes like a strange psychedelic film: cycling in fields of sunflowers, cheese, caveman beards and going crazy in the studio. While working they listened to twisted electronica from Liars, Aphex Twin and Autechre. And then when we sat down to dinner wed listen to Sinatra and Nat King Cole says Gab. Added to that were the neighbours who were into hardcore dubThey were from a scene which is based around homemade soundsystems says Jono they take them out in to the middle of nowhere and play literally the hardest most sinister kind of music Ive ever experienced. It is the weirdest thing in the world.
Jagwar Ma were on a mission to re-create a two man wall of sound ensued and with help from friends, locals and a pre-historic desk once used by Conny Plank, they set about re-inventing the warmth, harmony and audio sunshine they had first hatched back in Oz. Their collaborators along the way included long-time friend Warpaint drummer, Stella Mozgawa and renowned DJ and producer, Ewan Pearson on mixing duties. By the dying days of 2012 their time in France had not been ill spent and a debut album Howlin was recorded and ready to be mixed.
Their first release from these sessions, 'The Throw, saw them occupying a space where screamadelica and its wayward children used to live. A joyful seven minutes weaving melodies and beats with the sole purpose of making people move, of throwing caution to the wind and reaching a higher level with a greater purpose, or maybe without one at all, it touched a nerve and helped soundtrack the last few months.
Second single 'Man I Need is more introspective, beats minimal and Gab singing 'all you say to me, is youre not the man I need, thats what you said to me. Across the album, 'Howlin twist its hooks in dirty clanking breakdowns. Pop songwriting is buried in layers of crunching synths and pedal effects.
Live the band has added Jack Freeman on bass, and they started 2013 in Australia on the Big Day Out festival tour before playing a packed NME show in London in February. Since then theyve toured Europe with Foals and then Australia with The xx. Jagwar Ma are due back in Europe after album release to play more headline dates and festivals across 2013.