From its humble beginnings with the theft of a sampler gathering dust in his high school's music department, through four acclaimed albums and an absurd collision with a litigious wrestler,
Dan Snaith's musical life has followed anything but a predictable trajectory.
As hinted at by the aforementioned penchant for abducting
musical electronics, Dan began recording music in the solitary environs of rural Ontario, Canada when only 14 years old - ‘Before I could drive, and living in the middle of nowhere in the countryside, there weren't many options aside from practicing music, playing music and recording music all in complete isolation', Dan explains - but it wasn't until the release of his debut album ‘Start Breaking My Heart' - then under the artist name Manitoba - on the UK based Leaf Label that anyone noticed. His debut was praised worldwide as a unique statement in electronic music, fusing hopscotch melodies and filtered electronic sunshine with influences as diverse as the spiritual free jazz of the early 70s, North American indie music of the 90s and the post acid house UK techno.
The first twist in Snaith's musical narrative came when, having moved to London, UK in late 2001 to pursue a mathematics PhD at Imperial College, University of London, Snaith confounded expectations by creating ‘Up In Flames' an album made by the same solitary means as its predecessor - pieced together both of home recordings and samples of obscure records - but which differed spectacularly in result. ‘Up In Flames' was an incendiary miasma of psychedelic rock and wall of sound production that belied the cramped confines in which it was recorded. Released by Domino Recording Co. in North America and The Leaf Label in the rest of the world, it took Snaith's music to new heights of exposure and critical praise.
This album was accompanied by a reinvention of Snaith's stage persona. From electronic performer and DJ, he re-emerged with a three piece band characterized by the twin pummelling of two drum kits, frenetic rotation between instruments as varied as the theremin and the flutophone, the day-glo videos of Dublin's Delicious 9 animation team and bear masks. Snaith and band toured throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia during 2003 and 2004, winning fans and sonically pulverizing audiences in equal measure.
In late 2004, in the most unexpected turn yet, Caribou was born out of the ashes of lawsuit enacted by ageing punk rocker Handsome ‘Dick' Manitoba. In surely one of the most bizarre trademark lawsuits in recent years Handsome ‘Dick' sued Snaith for unlawfully using the name Manitoba - a name incidentally shared by one of Canada's ten provinces. Finding himself limited by the high-priced realities of trademark law, Snaith opted to take the high road and change his nom de rock to Caribou.
Unperturbed, Snaith returned to the studio and in spring 2005 released his most articulate and developed album to date in ‘The Milk of Human Kindness'. Inspired by the primal performances of bands such as Lightning Bolt and the Boredoms and by the motorik propulsion of the Silver Apples and early 70s Krautrock bands such as Neu!, Popol Vuh and Can, it was ideally suited for live performance and in the ensuing nine months Caribou traversed the globe playing over 140 shows from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Guangzhou, China and nearly everywhere in between.
Following this period of exhaustive and exhausting touring Snaith returned home and for the first time, with his studies now completed and a bona fide Dr. of Mathematics, devoted himself entirely to recording. Entirely that is, barring weekly trampoline lessons. The result of a year buried in this compulsive and obsessive musical hibernation is 2007's ‘Andorra' - released by Merge Records in North America and City Slang in the rest of the world. The hard worked paid off: ‘Andorra' is Sn
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