‘Golden Age Thinking’ is the debut album by Two Armadillos – a duo made up of good friends Giles Smith and Martin Dawson. Whilst in Berlin, they wrote the original nine tracks over a few weeks in 2011, and after some deliberation, decided to release the tracks on their own self-titled imprint. Released as a three part EP series that was spread out over 2012, the concept was to structure each segment with one dance floor orientated track followed by two laid back offerings, so as to ultimately create an LP with the sort of depth and variety which would stand the test of time.
Upon their release, tracks like ‘Theme’ almost instantly became a staple in record bags worldwide, with its hypnotic automation and alluring vocal hook captivating crowds universally. So too did ‘Phantom’; a relentless techno cut that somehow manages to retain the essence of dreamy nostalgia which characterises the armadillo alias. Amongst the more laid back efforts were also some real gems. ‘A Walk in the Park’ radiates the sort of nonchalance that only a jazzy double bass can, whilst ‘These Feelings’ utilises a similar set of tools, but in a way that instead draws you deep within yourself through its lingering notes and icy bright reverb. Shortly after the warm reception of what was originally intended to be the third and final instalment of the LP, Martin Dawson tragically and unexpectedly passed away following a brain aneurism – a loss felt deeply throughout the world.
Eight months on, the full album is to be released this June as what feels like a poignant tribute to his name. All nine previously released tracks are featured, as well as three more exclusive tracks that are previously unheard, and which will also see a 12” release, just as the others have. The first of the new tracks to feature is ‘Black Dahlia’; a slow building fusion of percussion and warm soulful chords, fattened up with a playful acid bassline. ‘Roller Skate’ has a real live analogue feel, with an acid drenched arp bass dancing in circles around signature rhodes chords –an unreleased favourite from their live set. The third exclusive track, entitled ‘Floating Fast’, is perhaps my overall favourite from the release thanks to the dazzling combination of pacy, brushed hi-hats shuffling over the top of long ethereal pads, an unlikely marriage that fuses together perfectly. Once again, the pair demonstrates the ability to reach a depth unattainable by many, using their proven recipe of gorgeous chords augmented with intricate percussion, mixed down with the kind of quality which comes only after years of dedication. They complete the album perfectly to form a collection of twelve stirring pieces of music that linger long after the final note.
Available as a digital download on 6th June 2013.
Full Album Tracklist:
Previews for EP 4:
Words: James Ellis