As the producer, conceptualist and guitarist of amorphous British collective the Go! Team, Ian Parton has just one thing that really gets his goat: “These indie Puritans,” he says.
“People in certain circles who just can’t understand the concept of liking Shellac and the Jesus Lizard alongside the Jackson 5 or the Shangri-Las. The indie world is a bit judgmental, so I kind of like the idea of pissing people off because we straddle genres. So I’m not particularly happy with any description of us, really,” says the 37-year-old musician.
Anyone who’s heard the band’s eclectic recording “Rolling Blackouts” — likely to be played in concert in The City today — knows what Parton’s talking about.
Employing real instruments and samples, it seamlessly melds disparate ingredients like pop, punk, R&B, house, surf and vintage hip-hop, and employs a wide spectrum of vocalists from song to song: French chanteuse Lispector on “Ready to Go Steady,” Deerhoof’s Satomi Matsuzaki on “Secretary Song,” Dominique Young Unique for “Voice Yr Choice,” Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino on both “Buy Nothing Day” and the title cut, and the Team’s own MC Ninja anchoring most of the rest.
So what is this Brighton-based sextet, exactly?
Parton — an ex-documentary filmmaker — certainly views his sounds cinematically, and samples as potential scenes to be spliced in. “It’s quite chaotic, my working method,” he says.
“At the start of this record, I was waking up in the morning and listening to literally hundreds of records (for samples), like ‘No. No. No. Well, that bit’s OK. And the drums on that are quite good — I’ll take that!’ But at the same, this album was much more dictated by original melodies and my own compositions, and then I’d work these other little ideas into it.”
Parton rarely divulges his sample sources. But he will say that long before Matsuzaki added her feathery voice to the mix, “Secretary Song” was built on a looped snippet of typing noises.
“That just set off a way of thinking about that song,” he says. “I was like, ‘OK, this song is about a secretary who hates their job!’ So then I got in telephone sounds, elevator sounds and a whole world just springs up around that little sample.”
Parton then applied singers like a painter’s brushstrokes. He discovered Cosentino on MySpace, Lispector on an obscure folk anthology.
“I’m always on the lookout for those kinds of voices,” he says. “The fragile, Moe Tucker-y voices — kind of bedroom-y, slightly out of tune, kind of kooky, but not overly so. If you know what I mean.”
Where: Mezzanine, 444 Jessie St., San Francisco
When: 9 p.m. today