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Dresden-based Jaguwar’s debut album, described by the band as 'noise and detail', is destined to become a shoegaze favourite
It has taken five and a half years for German shoegaze darlings Jaguwar to get around to crafting their impressive debut album. The trio was formed in Berlin during the summer of 2012 by Oyèmi Hessou (vocals and bass) and Lemmy Fischer (vocals and guitars), adding drummer Christoph Krenkel in 2014. After, as their Bandcamp page claims, “losing all their money in buying tons of amps, effects, guitars and my bloody valentine vinyls” they released two EPs, 'I EP' and 'II EP', on Prospect Records and played extensively in Europe and the UK whenever possible.
In 2016 the band approached Tapete Records via e-mail, asking to be hired as the support act on the Telescopes’ upcoming tour. Once the staff at Tapete were well and truly smitten by Jaguwar’s music, they sent them off to Tritone Studio in Hof, Bavaria last year – “armed with an impressive array of effect devices, guitars, bass and amps, backed up by a prodigious supply of coffee and cigarettes” - to record their debut album, Ringthing.
The record is a ride through 80s' synthpop at its very best, shimmery New Romantic era, onward toward the Cure’s 'The Head on the Door' period ('Crystal', 'Gone', 'Week'), with wall of sound, classic dream pop ('Night Out'), and shoegaze thrown in, dominated by Ride (“Slow and Tiny”) and noisy My Bloody Valentine (“Whale”). Fittingly, they covered Ride’s 'Today' on the tribute album 'Leave Them All Behind: A Tribute to Ride' in 2016. It’s also not surprising that the band mentions MBV by name in their Bandcamp blurb; it wouldn’t be a shock to learn that they all have tattoos paying homage to MBV. There are many reminders of Robert Smith’s vocal style and the Cure in general, but there’s also hints of Modern English, the Three O’Clock, A Flock of Seagulls, and the Teardrop Explodes.
Everything on 'Ringthing' is crafted as precisely and as carefully as a high-end German car nobody can afford: they describe their sound as “noise and detail,” which can’t be argued in the slightest, and were so perfectionistic that, as they continued to add details and layers, they threw their label’s deadlines out the window. They wanted a “soundshape which is blended by walls of guitars but even sparkled with sweet purple stars,” and with these ten songs this lofty goal has been successfully achieved many times over.
Slow and Tiny