Bella Union are thrilled to introduce Temps, a 40-strong international music collective devised, curated and produced by celebrated UK comedian James Acaster. Ahead of an album due out next year, and with Acaster appearing on Late Night with Seth Myers on Monday, Temps have shared first single “no,no” featuring Shamir, NNAMDÏ, Quelle Chris, Xenia Rubinos & Seb Rochford. An innovative fusion of atmospheric alt rock, unorthodox hip hop and loose jazz time signatures, the track comes accompanied by a video featuring Acaster in his Party Gator guise visiting a theme park.
When the first UK lockdown was announced, Acaster found himself in the fortunate position of having recently released a book and a podcast about modern music, for which he’d interviewed countless musicians, all of whom he was a massive fan of. And he still had their email addresses. So he spent the next two years sending tracks back and forth, between himself and his heroes, as they gradually discovered an album together. Genres were disregarded in favour of tightly-packed experimentalism and everyone was given free rein to do as they pleased then Acaster would cherry pick his favourite bits, “a DIY Gorillaz” being the methodic touchstone.
With each contribution the songs would morph into something new and uncalculated, informing what came next. A freeform rap might encourage a sax solo, a baroque guitar line might prompt a choir of recorders – whatever the track was asking for, it got. This collaborative, transient approach led to the group’s name, Temps. During a time where everything felt weirdly temporary, they’d made something permanent and formed a collective, somewhere between a side project and a supergroup.
Vast in scope and scale, and fizzing with an experimental energy, Temps’ music manages to blend a host of ideas, guests and moods that draw you into its own unique world. “I became completely obsessed with this project,” states Acaster, “it was all I focussed on for two years and we ended up making my favourite thing ever. I hope people enjoy it.” … Stay tuned for more info!