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Friday, Dec. 1, 2006




While scores of Western bands have recently rediscovered the jarring joys of late-1970s punk-funk, creating an explosion of apoplectic guitar dance-'em-ups, few are as odd as Klaxons. Fusing this sound with an electro edge, the band have found themselves touted as glowstick-bearers of the so-called "nu-rave" scene coming out of London this year. But aside from a cover of Kicks Like A Mule's classic E-fueled floor-filler "The Bouncer" (famed for the line "If your name's not down, you're not coming in"), the band are closer to disco and post-punk than '90s rave music, creating a gutsy, danceable sound that offers tight rhythms and filthy basslines.

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The four-piece formed in autumn 2005, taking cues from forward-thinking new-wavers Death From Above 1979, The Rapture and Hot Chip, as well as London DJ Erol Alkan, an important figure in Britain's indie-dance scene. Within a year of quitting their day jobs and living on state benefits, they've released the 7-inch single "Gravity's Rainbow" on indie label Angular, been scooped up by Polydor under their own imprint (Rinse), recorded an album set for release in January, rubbed shoulders with up 'n' comers including The Horrors and Lily Allen, and been splattered across Britain's music press like blood on a dancefloor. And they've got off state handouts, too.

Vocalist/bassist Jamie Reynolds attributes his diverse taste to seven years spent working in a record shop, citing German electronica, reggae and dance music among his influences. He's wary of being typecast as nu-rave, despite having coined the term himself. "It was something I invented as a joke," he recently told Britain's Guardian newspaper. "The idea of it being a movement in the first place is ridiculous."

It will be interesting to see the reaction when Klaxons bring the party to Tokyo for one show next week. We don't advise trying to blag your way on to the guest list.

Klaxons play Daikanyama Unit, Tokyo, on Dec. 5 (7 p.m.). Tickets are 4,500 yen (tel. [03] 5466-0777)

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