Though some of the praise heaped upon These New Puritans in recent months has been overly lavish, the band’s ambition is undoubtedly worthy of salutation.
Their critically acclaimed Hidden LP, released at the beginning of 2010, represented a refreshing take on art-rock that dispensed with the rock entirely and put in its place such unlikely elements as stirring, Albion-evoking colliery brass, cycling minimalist woodwind reminiscent of Philip Glass and Steve Reich, and densely layered, militaristic drums pitched somewhere between a 19th century marching band and contemporary Jamaican dancehall. It was a flawed experiment, but astonishingly effective in parts, and unlike so many of their contemporaries TNP at least sounded like they were trying to push themselves and create something distinctive.
The remainder of 2010 sees the band perform Hidden live at three high-profile shows: at London’s Barbican concert hall (October 23), The Hague’s Crossing Border Festival (November 20) Paris’s Centre Pompidou (December 18). They’ll be joined for these shows a full ensemble of brass, woodwind and percussion, conducted by André de Ridder (Gorillaz, Monkey: Journey To The West); live support at the Barbican comes from Darkstar, who’ll be playing tracks from their keenly anticipated debut album for Hyperdub, North.
October 25 sees the release of Hidden Remixes, a limited edition 10″ featuring previously available remixes by Salem and SBTRKT as well as newly commissioned versions TBA. More info on this soon.
There is now an “interactive” mini-site dedicated to the Hidden Live shows; find it at thesenewpuritans/hiddenlive.