We met with Ian Parton from The Go! Team, prior to their show at The Fox Theatre in Vancouver, this summer. He let us in on a bit of his process, when writing the new album and searching for new inspirations. We touched on albums by Palm, Public Enemy, Mayday, and more. Semicircle, the latest release by The Go! Team is now out viaMemphis Industries.
For Semicircle, the Brighton-based, melody-obsessed Ian Parton had the vision of a marching band going rogue and chucking away their sheet music to blast out Northern soul stompers, Japanese indie-pop swooners and old-school hip hop jams. But his extensive sample library could only take him so far. So Ian made a pilgrimage to Detroit — city of Motown and The Stooges, of musical (and actual) revolution — where he hooked up with The Detroit Youth Choir.
The Go! Team is the brainchild of one man: Brighton-based, melody-obsessed Ian Parton. But its membership has never been exclusive. Throughout the years, The Go! Team has included on its squad-sheet everyone from Deerhoof to Chuck D to a legion of undiscovered Bandcamp singers. Unlike the group’s 2015 album, The Scene Between – which was essentially a solo project that followed the dissolution of the previous Go! Team lineup – their fifth album Semicircle sees Ian collaborating with current live players Simone Odaranile (drums) and Angela ‘Maki’ Won-Yin Mak (vocals), plus original Team members Sam Dook (guitar) and Ninja (irrepressible rapping).
Their first release, 2000’s Get It Together, was primarily a solo effort by Parton that gained support from John Peel and others, but legal problems prevented a timely follow-up. By the time of 2003’s Junior Kickstart single, the group had been assembled (and included Silke Steidinger, who left in the fall of 2005) and signed to Memphis Industries. Thunder, Lightning, Strike was released in 2004 and quickly became a sensation in the U.K., where it was nominated for the Mercury Prize, and in the U.S., where the band became an MP3 blog darling. A bidding war ensued in the U.S., with Columbia winning, but before the album could gain release, many of the samples had to be replaced (which didn’t affect the quality of the record at all). The group followed up the album with two U.K. singles, 2005’s Bottle Rocket and 2006’s Ladyflash, and extensive world touring.