Simian Mobile Disco

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Simian Mobile Disco
Simian Mobile Disco performing at Melt! Festival 2013
Simian Mobile Disco performing at Melt! Festival 2013
Background information
OriginLondon, England
Years active2003–present

Simian Mobile Disco are an English electronic music duo and production team, formed in 2003 by James Ford and Jas Shaw of the band Simian. Musically, they are known for their analogue production. Ford is also known for his production work.


Early history[edit]

Simian Mobile Disco originally formed as a DJ duo, on the side of their early four-piece band Simian.[1] They released a number of early tastemaker singles, such as "The Mighty Atom / Boatrace / Upside Down" on I'm a Cliché and "The Count", on Kitsuné, but gained more fame for their remixes of artists such as Muse, Klaxons, The Go! Team, Air and others. In 2006, Kitsuné released the duo's underground hit "Hustler", which features guest vocals from New York singer Char Johnson.

2007: Attack Decay Sustain Release[edit]

The band's debut album, Attack Decay Sustain Release was released on 18 June 2007 on Wichita Recordings. Among the tracks included on it are "Sleep Deprivation", "Hustler", "Tits and Acid", "I Believe", "Hot Dog" and lead single "It's the Beat", which features Ninja from UK indie band The Go! Team on vocals. The album contains five new tracks, and the European version includes a bonus disc. The album was preceded by mix compilations in April for the "Bugged Out" series.

SMD supported Klaxons at the Brixton Academy on 5 December 2007, The Chemical Brothers at the Birmingham National Indoor Arena on 7 December 2007, at Aintree Pavilion on 9 December 2007 and Brighton Centre on 12 December 2007. SMD made a mix for Mixmag that came free with the January 2008 issue of Mixmag.

2008–2009: Temporary Pleasure[edit]

While working on their second studio album, they released a collection of remixed SMD originals entitled Sample and Hold, which contains eleven tracks and was released in the UK on 28 July 2008.

In January 2009, they announced on their Myspace page that a new album would be released in 2009. They released a new track, "Synthesise", on 12 February, through a music video (directed by Kate Moross and Alex Sushon) that "features live visual accompaniment" for the track.[2] Two days later, a new song was broadcast on BBC Radio 1 named "10,000 Horses Can't Be Wrong", soon followed by the release on 6 March of the official music video on their YouTube channel.

Their second studio album Temporary Pleasure was finally announced on 6 May, featuring many guests including Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals, Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip, Beth Ditto of Gossip, and Chris Keating of Yeasayer.[3][4]

On New Year's Eve 2009 Simian Mobile Disco headlined "Get Loaded in the Dark" at the Brixton Academy, alongside Annie Mac (BBC Radio 1), Chase & Status, Herve and Sub Focus.

2010–2011: Delicatessen and Delicacies[edit]

During the introduction of their Essential Mix made for Radio 1, broadcast on 9 January 2010, they gave hints on what would be a "techno-based album" expected for later in 2010.[5] Since then, the duo has also established what will be a quarterly residency to JDH and Dave P's Fixed nights, in NYC.[6]

In March 2010 the duo announced their new club-night project, Delicatessen, curated by the duo and accompanied by what they say to be "a brand new imprint" titled Delicacies. The first single on Delicacies was set to be released in late May, both physically and then digitally. The first two tracks are entitled "Aspic" and "Nerve Salad". Simian Mobile Disco announced that every track will "take the name of an exotic, and often bizarre, delicacy from around the world".[7]

Simian Mobile Disco played the Together Winter Music Festival at the Alexandra Palace in London on 26 November 2011.

2012–2013: Unpatterns[edit]

Simian Mobile Disco at Amnesia, 2012

In February 2012, Simian Mobile Disco announced the follow-up to Delicacies, Unpatterns, which was released on 14 May 2012. "Seraphim" was released as the album's lead single on 9 April.[8] On 2 October 2012 they released their fourth EP A Form of Change, whose four tracks included on the release were taken from Unpatterns recording sessions.[9]

2014–2015: Whorl[edit]

In March 2014, it was announced that on 26 April 2014, Simian Mobile Disco would be recording for a new album, Whorl, at an intimate show in Pioneertown, CA (near the Joshua Tree National Park).[10] The two band members performed using only one synthesizer and one sequencer each. The recorded tracks were then polished in their studio for the eventual album release.

2016–2017: Welcome to Sideways[edit]

After wrapping touring and support for Whorl, the duo took a short hiatus in 2015. Ford produced albums for Florence and the Machine, Mumford & Sons, Foals and The Last Shadow Puppets, while Shaw built a new studio and released a series of solo EPs. The duo announced in 2016 that they would release four singles, totalling eight new tracks, during the year born out of jam sessions in the new studio. As of July, two of these singles have been released. The singles see the duo abandoning the tradition of naming their traditional techno tracks after exotic cuisine, "for the simple reason that we've pretty much run out of weird and wonderful food stuffs to steal names from. Instead, a semi-random automated process has been used to create the track names".[11] In September, a new album Welcome To Sideways was announced for release in November 2016. The nine-track album, featuring "Staring At All This Handle", "Remember In Reverse" along with seven brand new tracks, will come with a bonus mixed version. Like their previous Delicacies album from 2010, the tracks are more club-focused than the experimental style found on Whorl. Ford commented: "We realize that from an outsider point of view, it can seem like we change quite radically with every album we do but from our point of view it always feels like a smooth transition. Hopefully people who have stuck with us this long, and appreciate the fact that we aren’t trying to repeat ourselves with every album, will enjoy another slight turn sideways."[12]

The album was promoted with a series of live shows and an appearance on BBC Radio 1's Essential Mix in early 2017. Towards the end of the year the duo began a monthly residency on NTS Radio.[13]

In December 2017, Simian Mobile Disco signed a music publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music; the duo were formerly signed to Kobalt Music Group.[14]

2018: Murmurations[edit]

The duo's sixth album Murmurations was announced in February 2018 for release in May, alongside the premiere of its first single "Caught In A Wave". It is their first album since 2013's Live to be released on Wichita Recordings. The album was recorded in collaboration with The Deep Throat Choir, who were to join the band for the initial tour dates. In a statement announcing the album, Shaw comments: "Listening to them moving their voices around a tone, altering the timbre, making chords, was like working with an incredible new synthesiser." Bulgarian choir music, Cocteau Twins, Iannis Xenakis and Pauline Oliveros are noted as influences for the album. [15]

A tour planned for the album in June was cancelled after Shaw was diagnosed with AL amyloidosis.[16] The group's Facebook stated that touring would be "put on hold for at least a few months" for Shaw's treatment. A planned performance in London went ahead with the proceeds going to amyloidosis research. The show was released as a live album on Bandcamp during the summer.

2018–present: Hiatus and solo projects[edit]

The duo have been on a 'temporary hiatus' since the Murmurations performance.

Ford continued work as a producer on releases by Foals, Jessie Ware, Friendly Fires, Shame and Gorillaz.

In September 2018, an album of remixes by Shaw based on the Murmurations album was released.[17] This was followed by On Reflection, the debut album by Selling - a collaboration between Shaw and Gold Panda.[18]

In April 2019, Shaw announced a solo album, The Exquisite Cops, to be released in September following a series of fortnightly singles.[19] In 2020, Shaw and Bas Grossfeldt released Klavier, an album based on samples of a Yamaha Disklavier.[20] A new series of Shaw solo EPs created during COVID-19 lockdown, titled Sollbruchstelle, is set for release throughout 2021.[21]


In addition to his work with Simian Mobile Disco, Ford is a producer and has worked with artists such as Florence and the Machine, Peaches, Arctic Monkeys, Klaxons and more recently Depeche Mode. Shaw has released several solo projects on the band's Delicacies label. Shaw is also a member of the duo Selling with Gold Panda and Shaw & Grossfeldt with visual artist Bas Grossfeldt.



  1. ^ "Uh Oh Disco!". Archived from the original on 9 May 2009. Retrieved 24 May 2009.
  2. ^ [1] Archived 16 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Simian Mobile Disco Ready Guest-Crazed Sophomore Album". Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  4. ^ "New York - Sound of the City - Interview: Simian Mobile Disco's Jas Shaw on Temporary Pleasure, Guest Vocalists, and Synthesizers". Archived from the original on 27 August 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  5. ^ "Radio 1 Programmes - BBC Radio 1's Essential Mix, Simian Mobile Disco". BBC. 9 January 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Time Out New York". Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Delicacies". Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  8. ^ Battan, Carrie (22 February 2012). "Simian Mobile Disco Announce New Album, Tour". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  9. ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry (8 August 2012). "Simian Mobile Disco: "A Form of Change"". Pitchfork Media.
  10. ^ "Simian Mobile Disco to Record New Album Whorl Live in Pioneertown - Pitchfork". Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  11. ^ Teinert, Dieter. "Smd - Remember In Reverse (incl. Dj Hyperactive Remix) - DELI018". Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  12. ^ "Simian Mobile disco releasing 'Welcome to Sideways' (listen to "Faraway from a Distance")". Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  13. ^ "Simian Mobile Disco". Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  14. ^ Paine, Andre. "Simian Mobile Disco sign with Warner/Chappell". Music Week. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  15. ^ "Wichita Recordings - Simian Mobile Disco Announce New Album + Share Video". Wichita Recordings. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Simian Mobile Disco cancel US tour after Jas Shaw is diagnosed with AL amyloidosis". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Re-Murmurations, by Simian Mobile Disco". Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  18. ^ "Gold Panda and Simian Mobile Disco's Jas Shaw team up as Selling". 10 October 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  19. ^ "Simian Mobile Disco's Jas Shaw to release solo album, The Exquisite Cops". Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  20. ^ "Simian Mobile Disco's Jas Shaw makes Disklavier-centered album with Bas Grossfeldt". Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  21. ^ "Simian Mobile Disco's Jas Shaw announces EP trilogy". Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  22. ^ "Simian Mobile Disco | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  23. ^ "Discography Simian Mobile Disco". Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  24. ^ "Discografie Simian Mobile Disco". Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  25. ^ "Discography Simian Mobile Disco". Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  26. ^ "Discographie Simian Mobile Disco". Retrieved 9 April 2012.
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  28. ^ "Chart detail" (TXT). Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  29. ^ "Extra Temporary (Wichita Recordings)". Beatport. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
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  31. ^ a b c d "Chart Log UK: DJ S - The System Of Life". Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  32. ^ "UK Singles & Albums Official Charts Company – Simian Mobile Disco – Audacity Of Huge". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 9 October 2022.
  33. ^ "SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO Snake Bile Wine at Juno Records". Retrieved 21 October 2016.

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