Switched On – Daphni: Cherry (Jialong)

Reviewed by Ben Hogwood

What’s the story?

Daphni is the alias under which Dan Snaith – also known as Caribou – lets loose and allows his musical instincts to run free in club-based music.

This is the third album he has made under this alias, and it is a no-nonsense affair of 14 tracks, wrapped up in 47 minutes. Initially Snaith was not thinking of an album, but found that the music he had been making with Daphni in mind had satisfying links and logic in their order – and so Cherry was born.

What’s the music like?

Liberating and colourful. With its roots in dance, this is an album that generates a good deal of positive, kinetic energy, becoming all about movement. Yet there are plenty of riffs and bright colours to hang on to as well, Snaith working plenty of material into his busy constructions.

The title track goes busily on its way, with a metallic glint to the percussion, Snaith employing some of the bright colours he sprinkles liberally through the album. Always There uses what feels like a twisted mariachi section, and cuts straight into the pinball synths of Crimson, which themselves blend in with a nice, piano-based loop.

Mania has some really nice spacey effects, while the urgent beats on Mona make a strong impression. Clavicle glints in the half light, while Cloudy is arguably the best of all, with a lovely, rippling piano cascaded over a clipped, glitchy beat.

Does it all work?

It does – and if anything it’s a shame Snaith doesn’t develop some of the shorter tracks. Falling especially would have made a good, clubby track, while the jagged Karplus could have been a springboard for something substantial.

Is it recommended?

Yes. This is the sound of an artist having fun in the studio, going where his instincts direct him to go, and coming up with something colourful and melodic that his fans will love.