Ever since his very first album, 2001’s Start Breaking My Heart, Dan Snaith has been adjacent to dance music in some way, no matter which moniker he happens to be using at any particular moment. From the IDM and folktronica of his early days as Manitoba (before he was sued by Richard “Handsome Dick” Manitoba and had to change the project’s name), to the more house-leaning, increasingly psychedelic strains of Caribou albums over the last decade or so, Snaith explored various corners of the wide-ranging genre, even though he was playing live drums for a good deal of the time. None of his projects, though, are quite as devoted to good old-fashioned four-on-the-floor beats as Daphni is.
First emerging for a Resident Advisor mix in 2011, Snaith’s most DJ-centric endeavor has one album to its name, 2012’s Jiaolong, which was nominated for Canada’s Polaris Music Prize the following year. Since then, Daphni’s put out some remixes, 12”s, collaborative singles with Four Tet and Owen Pallett, and an extended mix through Fabriclive. Resident Advisor has announced that this Friday, Daphni will release a new album entitled Joli Mai. Included on there are several of the tracks from the aforementioned Fabriclive mix, as well as some new ones like “Carry On,” which was shared as a single.
All things considered, “Carry On” isn’t that far off from what Snaith was doing on instrumental tracks like “Julia Brightly” and “Mars” on the back half of Caribou’s last album. Replace the blurrier, more shapeshifting psychedelia of those tracks with a structure more concerned with buildup and transitions, and you’ve got a true, blue Daphni song. Even if he plans on keeping his two projects distinct from each other in the future, it’s cool to hear Snaith continue to develop an almost instantly recognizable sound after more than fifteen years of exploratory music making.
You can preorder Joli Mai, out digitally and physically this Friday, October 6th, on Bandcamp.