Jagwar Ma: Every Now & Then

Score: 8/10 – Mad fer it.
The breakout release of 2013 debut LP Howlin’ signaled the end of a decade long slog around the Australian music circuit for Jagwar Ma. Finally the stars had aligned for the young Sydney electronic trio of Jono Ma, Gabriel Winterfield and Jack Freeman, who had somehow conceived a record that faithfully channeled the baggy spirit of the Happy Mondays and Primal Scream – a musical genre that had pretty much ceased to exist before any of the band were actually born.
Noel Gallagher even went as far as stating that “the future of the galaxy” depended on the record. It was baggy. It was retro. It was clubby. It was everything you wouldn’t expect from a bunch of unassuming Aussie twenty somethings, and everything you would from a late 80s rave in Manchester. In short: it was brilliant.
Three years later and Every Now & Then brilliantly picks up exactly where they left off with Howlin’. That it’s stylistically the same as its predecessor has not limited the band’s creativity, with everything here feeling fantastically fresh and vital, bigger and broader. New rhythms shudder to the surface, shifting the entire foundation of a track halfway through like on “Give Me A Reason” and lead single “O B 1”, where the twee opening vocals provide a disarming entry to what become totally stormsome blasts of loose-limbed acid house.
Elsewhere, tracks like “Loose Ends” and “Ordinary” – a track that isn’t – provide the album’s headiest highs, mashing up Balearic breakbeats with Britpop excess. You could draw a line from here straight to Shaun Ryder shimmying around on that hotel rooftop from the “Step On” video. For an island that thrives on this kind of music, these guys live would be something else, so I say to all Bali clubs; call Jagwar Ma and book them immediately.
Dan Ashcroft
Like this? Try these:
Happy Mondays
Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches

The original Madchester baggy ravers who took the scene international.
Primal Scream

Feelgood party music from Glaswegian acid house survivors.
Inspiral Carpets
Revenge of the Goldfish

Indie dance instigators; named after a rug shop in Oldham.


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