Like The Courteeners, Denis Jones is from Manchester but unlike them he makes interesting music.
On a website we found he was described as making “scuzzy Mancunian blues”, which is good, but misses out the word “electronic”. It’s the blues of a dirty city where residents have good reason to sing soulful songs, but it’s also the place where the industrial age and computers were invented. Jones reflects that grittiness and inventiveness.
3333 is apparently the final part of a trilogy that began 15 years ago. We don’t know about part one but part two, 2010’s Red+Yellow = has survived many a cull on the Review Corner iPod; quality music.
His tunes sound like they’re created on a laptop and the vocals added later, Jones huddled up close and intimate to the microphone. He’s probably got a big beard; if he was American he’d live in a log cabin.
He has been known to improvise entire songs live on stage, “conjuring up a genre-bending brew from a dozen electronic devices, drum pads, a detuned guitar and his own vocals” says the Press notes, which add that the lyrics look at “mythology, religious text, non-fiction and science fiction books” for inspiration. He’s also mates (and shares a studio) with Mr Scruff, on whose most recent album he collaborated on five tracks.
Red+Yellow has more tunes and is more melodic, with 3333 harder and more industrial. We can’t really describe the individual tunes but there’s nothing scary or off-putting: a typical song has a tramping beat, electronic beats and boops, some melody, and Jones noodling your ears through his beard (even if it’s a metaphorical one). Well worth investigating if you like left-field pop/folk.