After a two year hiatus, an induction into fatherhood, and some time to regroup, two-time JUNO Award-winner Dan Mangan has returned under a new moniker, Dan Mangan + Blacksmith. The new name encompasses the spirit of the projectâ€™s longstanding ensemble members joining the band fromVancouver's experimental music community, Kenton Loewen, Gordon Grdina, John Walsh (and often Jesse Zubot, JP carter andTyson Naylor) with a communal sensibility that merits the marquee amendment.
Produced by Colin Stewart and Dan Mangan, Club Meds at times evokes images of subtler American-underground innovators like Blonde Redhead or Steve Reich. At other moments, it hits emotional pay dirt reminiscent of British scene-survivors like Peter Gabriel or Radiohead. Blacksmith brings an unmistakable character to Club Meds; a stark glassy edge that swells and sways like a roaring ocean. Through a fog of analog feedback loops and synths, the band's performances breathe deeply and steadily like a dragon at rest.