I felt I had to put this post up when I realised that DYC’s only mention of Crystal Fighters was in the Latitude 2011 mix tape. For a lot of folk (i.e. me and my friends) these guys were the sound of the summer 2k11 and I think they need a write up.
They’re an English/Spanish five piece namely Sebastian Pringle (lead vocals, guitar), Gilbert Vierich (synths, guitars, txalaparta, percussion), Graham Dixon (Guitar, txalaparta), Laure Stockley (vocals) and Mimi Borelli (vocals) and they play an infusion of upbeat electro dance music and traditional, Basque influenced, folk music.
The band are based in London and were apparently formed when Laure brought back an opera written by her reclusive and now deceased grandfather, created in the last, deranged moments of the old man’s life. What came out of this initial influence was the Album Star Of Love (a backronym of sol, the Spanish word for sun), an album that cites as its influences “the unfathomable mystery of the universe, the turbulent journey towards being at peace with death, the triumph of love, and the omnipotence of the sun”. Now while a definite element of the Basque culture has slipped into Crystal Fighters’ influences, – the inclusion of traditional Basque instruments such as the txalaparta and the band’s art work and videos are proof of this – one is hard-pushed to find any evidence of the fantasies and fairy tales that the band talk about and which apparently came from Stockley’s grandfather’s opera, in the lyrics. Indeed, I have a feeling that the band have created the story to inspire interest and mystique around themselves, which in my opinion – if it is the case – doesn’t make them any less cool. Their music is still great fun to listen to and they still look cool as fuck.
The album itself is an eleven-track journey through dance music with a few sweet refrains of pop/folk music in between. Almost every track is great fun to listen to but definite highlights are ‘Champion Sound’, ‘Xtatic Truth’, ‘At Home’, ‘Swallow’ and, if you want to go a little crazy on the dance floor, the uber-dancey ‘I Love London’. Live, these guys are great fun and while the songs on the album aren’t generation changing masterpieces, they’re just great fun to listen to, jog to and dance to.
By Thomas Clarke
Dance Yrself Clean