EP: deep tan – ‘diamond horsetail’

Infectiously off-kilter, Hackney-based queer punk trio deep tan have re-emerged with their sophomore extended play, diamond horsetail; five minimalistic DIY tracks of uncompromising post post-punk. Following the shimmering psychedelic pop of 2019 singles ‘Air’ and ‘Shimmer’, and the haunting discordant hooks of their subversive debut EP – 2021’s creeping speedwellsdiamond horsetail propels deep tan’s otherworldly sound into the exosphere through dissonant guitar riffs, eccentric bass-lines, syncopated rhythm, and intimate vocals. Embracing the seductive allure of their swirling sound, guitarist/vocalist Wafah Dufour, bassist Celeste Guinness and drummer Lucy Rushton will hypnotise listeners into questioning their identity.

Hitting hard with opener ‘beginners’ krav maga’, deep tan explore angular arrangement on a track that is as aggressive as its own namesake; contact combat! Juxtaposed over an irresistible twangy groove, Wafah’s soft, dexterous, and often critical vocals remind us that learning self-defence will unfortunately not help most women feel safe walking alone at night (male violence is an epidemic) – “I stand outside / I bide my time / Wait for the mood to pass / Night-time checklist / Keys in a fist / In the dark can’t relax.”

Inserting itself into your brain, ‘device devotion’ follows as an ode to deep tan’s browser history; the trio share their fascination with (and critique of) internet subcultures – from lobster erotica to vore-porn subreddits – hooking you in with delicate vocal notes and erratic instrumentation. The presence of the world wide web also influences ‘gender expansion pack’, a mostly instrumental track utilising WikiHow hypnosis through subliminal messaging. Underlying spoken word is low-pitched to a subliminal frequency allowing deep tan to challenge cis-het men – “the demographic that buys most of our vinyl” – into exploring their gender.

Caught with his hands down his pants, Rudy Giuliani’s public image melts under deep tan’s sardonic black humour during the “diss track you never asked for” ‘rudy ya ya ya’ – “We’re seeking law advice / ‘Cause he’s a legal eagle supersized / A considerable adversary / Rudy ya ya ya / Giuli ya ya ya!” – before the cathartic title track disturbs with abrasive outbursts of ancient and justified rage.

Maintaining their intensity, deep tan crescendo into a cataclysm of obliterating melody and anthemic vitriol; channelling the chaos of The KLF, the defiant attitude of The Slits, and the gloomy new wave of Joy Division. And yet diamond horsetail isn’t constricted by influence. Every detail has been carefully considered in the creation of deep tan’s strangely addictive sound, further developing their identity through ceaseless DIY punk energy.

diamond horsetail is out now via Practise Music.

Ken Wynne

Photo Credit: Alex Matraxia

Track Of The Day: deep tan – ‘tamu’s yiffing refuge’

Following the recent release of their stirring, and utterly unique, EP creeping speedwells, East London trio Wafah, Celeste and Lucy – aka deep tan – return with a special one-off single taken from the label Speedy Wunderground’s new compilation.

‘tamu’s yiffing refuge‘ is as strangely kinky as the name would suggest. An explicit tale of furry hedonism, it’s propelled by a quirky, chaotic energy, as fuzzed-out hooks fizz and glitchy whirring beats keep the pace. Maintaining all the immersive, seductive allure that we’ve come to know and love from the band, this latest offering oozes an added dark, psychedelic haze and frenzied post-punk drive reminiscent of the likes of legends The Slits. With a light touch of subtle tongue-in-cheek wit, the result is a truly mystical, compelling soundscape that’ll peculiarly entice you into its swirling, fur-filled cacophony. Of the track, the band explain:

“… it’s a story of furry lust. A furries convention has hit town and at an afterparty at a nearby hotel (hosted by tamu himself) there are scenes of unbridled hedonism unmatched since the days of Freddie Mercury’s legendary parties at New Orleans’ Fairmont Hotel..

(For those who don’t know, ‘Furries’ are a community of people who dress up in animal costumes as a hobby who meet up IRL and online as their ‘fursonas’… You learn something new every day.)

‘tamu’s yiffing refuge’ is accompanied by a bizarre new video that is every bit as trippy as you would expect… If witnessing the mischief and carnal desires of human-sized bunnies is your vibe, then you’re in for a treat!

‘tamu’s yiffing refuge’ is taken from Speedy Wunderground‘s fourth singles compilation – Speedy Wunderground – Year 4 – which is out now and also features tracks from black midi, Squid and Alex Kapranos.

Mari Lane

Competition: Win 2 tickets to intimate screening of The Slits’ documentary, ‘Here To Be Heard’

On 5th January, Bassie & The Social present an intimate screening of The Slits documentary Here To Be Heard, complete with Q&A featuring The Slits’ bassist Tessa Pollitt live at The Social in London. This will be followed by a Roots Reggae Club Night feat. Pollitt & Soft Wax (Deptford Dub Club) on the decks.

The Slits’ story unfolds from chaotic beginnings to a celebratory reunion ending through candid insights from the band’s core… Rehearsal and live footage captures their magnetic quality, the performances intense, captivating, the group an explosion of colour, vibrancy and fun” – Lois Wilson, Mojo, June 2018

Also on sale on the night will be Tessa Pollitt’s fantastic new scrap book documenting life in The Slits and accompanying the film (The Slits – Here To Be Heard – News Cuttings And Scraps). This book stands as a testament to the emotional, personal and artistic journey of four young women struggling to be heard in a harsh and unwieldy environment. From the early days of punk to post-punk and beyond, the book chronicles the journeys, joys and triumphs of first wave British punks, the first all-girl punk band and the godmothers of ‘Punky Reggae’.

7pm – 9pm: £5 (including film screening/Q&A and club night after)
9pm – 1am: Free Entry

Sounds like the perfect way to see in 2019 to us! If you agree, just like and retweet this post on Twitter to be in with a chance of winning two free tickets! Winners will be announced on Wednesday 19th December.

LISTEN: Alternative ‘Best Of British’

If you’re anything like us, you’d have been pretty bewildered to wake up this morning to Radio X’s ‘Best Of British‘ chart – a list of what their listeners apparently deem to be the ‘best’ 100 British songs ever made. Not only did the list not feature one single female artist or female-led band, but it seemed to consist of pretty much the same few white male ‘rock’ bands repeated throughout…

Whoever it was who compiled the list, this seems like an embarrassing and unbelievably short-sighted representation of the British music scene. So, whilst we’re not denying the influence that the likes of Oasis, The Rolling Stones, Arctic Monkeys, Stone Roses and – of course – The Beatles have had (we count some of their songs as our faves too!), we feel that there were too many fantastic and pivotal songs missing from the list not to make our own!

So, have a listen to a few more of the ‘best’ British songs (in our opinion), courtesy of yours truly…