The delta sign looks like a triangle. It’s used in a math problem to indicate change. You get the same symbol when you press Alt and bang on the J key of a Mac.
This seemingly irrelevant equation starts to unravel when you consider that hours of college guitar noodling and Garageband recording sessions became the launching pad for an acid stained neon back drop that was once called Films and now records as Alt-J. This Leeds, UK band is responsible for An Awesome Wave, currently the hippest record that Brooklyn had nothing to do with.
The progressive sound of Alt-J is both expansive and experimental, diving to the depths of expert sampling and hip hop beat juggling. These crates contain Radiohead singles with Dj Shadow remixed b-sides. The jagged syncopation blends effortlessly with synths, bass and jangly guitar to hit the head of the nail bands like Vampire Weekend seemed to wildly miss. The odd ball vocal harmonies are radiant and completely unique. Thom Yorke in a sense, but grounded more in folk than freak.
Their debut, An Awesome Wave, is as appropriately titled as any record I’ve heard lately. It reminds me of The Joggers, a similarly quirky band I spent a few years obsessed with. Spend a few bucks on this one and let it play, uninterrupted, from front to back. Or back to front. However you choose to tell the story…
Relax, I’m only kidding. Brooklyn is the shit. Δ