NE HOT SEAT: JANGO FLASH
This week we’re continuing our brand new feature on Tipping Point – ‘NE Hot Seat’ – where we sit down with some of the region’s brightest talent on a monthly basis, shine a spotlight on their latest work and find out what they have planned next.
Third up we have Jango Flash, the ‘Kamikaze Pop’ project of enigmatic musician Jack Angus Golightly. With acclaim from the likes of The Line Of Best Fit and Clash greeting his early releases, alongside BBC Radio 1 airplay and a series of impressive North East shows, Jack and his band are certainly gaining plenty of momentum ahead of the imminent arrival of brand new single ‘My Mercedes’.
Get to know Jango Flash below and delve into their back catalogue here.
Tell us a little about yourself and your career in music so far?
My name is Jack Angus Golightly (Jango) and I started putting out music under Jango Flash in March of 2018. I have been playing drums since the age of two and have been a part of around eight different bands at this point. Most of my life I have dedicated myself to drumming, but in recent years a series of life affirming circumstances have fuelled the urgency to drive out ideas with my own band, who I all now class as brothers. Accolade-wise, during 2020 our last video ‘Perseid 45’ bagged the ‘Music Video’ Young Filmmaker of the Year Award by one of the UK’s leading film and TV festival operators, Cinemagic. We have played live on Radio 1, been tipped an annual “hot one” by Radio X, spotlighted on KINK fm in Holland, supported by Tom Robinson on BBC 6 Music, playlisted by Amazing Radio for The Unsigned Guide and championed by BBC Introducing North East as one of their top ten artists of 2021. Ultimately though, our aim is to keep moving forward, putting out art that we love and to not really pay attention to what’s flavour of the month. It’s important to all of us that we are aware of our intentions and do what our guts tell us, and that’s it.
What can you tell us about your latest release?
The upcoming release is called ‘My Mercedes’. I wrote it as a dialogue between two best friends in toxic relationships trying to reach out to one another, who end up finding a very definite solace. My mum was a single mother travelling the world with my brother and working three jobs. Along the road my mum ended up in a very oppressive relationship prior to meeting my dad, though fortunately she was strong enough to kick back, get herself out of there and move on. It was my mum’s friend that gave her the nickname “Mercedes” because she found elegance and strength in the way she carries herself and conducts her life. Whenever she writes to my mum she always opens with, “Dear my Mercedes”. So I used that as an opening line, and I wrote the rest in a night. Through this pandemic I have heard horror stories from close friends and watched domestic abuse figures skyrocket. It’s ramped up the tension in people’s lives to breaking point, but sadly there are people who turn to abuse to try and gain some sort of backwards dominance over their life. It’s something I wanted to discuss, because not everyone is equipped to deal with abuse and need support to find strength and speak out.
What inspires you most when it comes to creating music?
About 7 years ago, I began producing soundscapes for radio broadcasts in my media and journalism degree. I always wanted to make sure the radio listeners felt emotionally invested in my work, so I would convey my stories by layering ambient noise compositions and field recordings as a bed for my words. I found I could create environments and paint pictures with sounds, which felt a lot more cinematic. After dabbling in composing for university, I got more confident in producing my own music, so I started working with close friends who would help me engineer my songs and I got a lot more into mixing too. I started composing heavy guitars and drums with a hip hop production style, because it felt a lot more animated. I’ve always enjoyed seeing life like a big collage, much like the artwork I ended up producing for each previous release. I would buy vintage Playboy magazines from the local bookshop at the end of my street, take them home, cut them up and paste together countless abstract images. I remember my living room looking as if Neil Buchanan was creating a big raunchy art attack.
How did you find the recording process and how did it shape your sound?
We wanted the track to be loud, and we wanted it to be beautiful. So we decided to make it loud and beautiful! I’m proud of this song because ‘My Mercedes’ marks the first time that we all recorded in the studio as a band, so it marks a very special turning point for Jango Flash. It’s refreshing to have excavated a very raw idea like this together. The track was co-produced, mixed and engineered by Mark Broughton, who I’ve worked with for years now, but never with Jango Flash. He’s always a great energy to be around, super creative and gets exactly where we are coming from with our sound. Mastered once again with Rob Grant (Tame Impala, Miley Cyrus, Josh Homme) of Poonshead Studios in Fremantle, Australia. He’s a sonic wizard, very tuned in and works like a dog to make sure you’re 100% happy with the outcome. I’ve worked with him for years now too, he’s fantastic.
What else can we expect from you this year?
You can expect a lot more music, more films, hopefully live tour dates and a brand new podcast called “Kamikaze”, which will most likely turn out as the title suggests, fun, fast, chaotic and fiery.
Where can we find you on socials and keep up to date on developments?
I’m always active on Instagram and Facebook so catch me on there, drop me a message, say ‘what’s up’. Keep tabs on my website too, as I will be developing it as a platform when we release new content.
Check out Jango Flash’s favourite acts from the region in their personally curated playlist below (with words on each selection below).
A Festival A Parade – Straight To Work (The second verse of this song genuinely brings tears to my eyes. The dissociation I can feel in Joe’s lyrics becomes adorned by the rehabilitating nature of the band’s composition, and that contrast is extremely powerful in unison – This is a very special track.)
Geist – Heirloom Dogma (I would sometimes hear these guys practice as I walked out of The Off Quay Building, and every time I did, I would stop for a good ten minutes just to buzz off them. Super tight, fast as fuck, mindblowing ferocious hardcore. My cup of tea!)
Radio Silence – Crank Bug (No holds bars, rawkus rock and roll… makes me want to jump down some stairs)
Richard Dawson – Jogging (I love Richard Dawson’s lyrics, they always seem to catch me off guard, and pull the rug from under my feet. I’m a huge fan of this track in particular because you get hit by this rather humorous ‘eye of the tiger’ rhythm after a bout of crushing guitars, but lyrically the song is scarily relatable and cathartic.)
Burning Pyre – Sterling Silver Draped Across Their Necks (I’ve always been a big fan of ambient and noise artists like William Basinski, Akira Yamaoka and Prurient – fortunately we have the North East’s answer! Chris makes very moving soundscapes, and this one in particular feels like the slowest and loudest tekken character selection music backed by church organ subs, which creeps into a very 80’s slasher ending… super good!)
Pigspigspigspigspigspigspigs – GNT (The huge lead up to the vocals on this track is fantastic! Loads of tension, light and shade. Big doomy vibes!)
Sam Fender – Spice (I know personally this is not one of his favourite tracks, but I just love how fast and brash this song is. Knowing the story behind this track hits different too. Very spicy)
The Pale White – Take Your Time (This is my favourite track from these boys. The production is really deep and rich, like an old mahogany desk. I am a big fan of Adam’s melodic progression, the way the bass sits with the drums and percussion, the lovely harmonies and interesting textures. It’s a winner!)
L Devine – Boring People (Can’t get enough of the soft vocals singing that killer minor hook up against those 808’s – beautiful acoustic guitar garnish too, super sick track!)
Ronin Clan – Charisma.exe (What can I say – I love these guys so much. These boys are super in touch with themselves, full of fire and absolutely fearless. I know Jak is still going through so much pain right now, but he still keeps making great music in the face of everything. Viva Ronin Clan – seriously, no one is doing it like them around here. These dudes are going places.)
Wild Spelks – Dreamer (Another boy who, like me, started producing his music in a very DIY fashion, and has now built up a band of friends around him. Johnny has a real ear for emotive vocal lines and great compositions. His videos (shot and edited by his drummer – Harry Jenkinson, who also directed and edited the ‘Deeper Thrill’ music video for me) have a lot of aesthetic depth and storytelling. Johnny feels everything fully, and his music reflects this. It’s clearly a very cathartic process for him, and his music makes me smile!)
Chintzy Stetson – Falling In (That’s my boy right there… Falling In is the debut single of Chintzy (produced beautifully by my good friend Tom Ungerer who used to play in Them Things with us boys but now plays with Sam Fender and Wild Spelks). Melodically this track is killer, the lyrics are magical, Tom’s reggae-esq bassline is nuts, the ride cymbal is sexy and Alex Saxon (Musical prodigy… and all round great guy) just totally murders this Bleeding Gums Murphy sax part. Louis has always been an inspiration to me as a songwriter. I’d always watch him effortlessly craft songs in our good friend Ilya’s house we spent time in for like 5 years. I’ve had some weird and wonderful times with this guy, and I love him very much. Go follow this boy!)
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