Clean Bandit (New band of the day No 1,668)

They're the brainy Cambridge grads with the classical strings and background in Russian cinema making groovy garage pop

Hometown: Cambridge.

The lineup: Jack Patterson (bass, sax, deck), Luke Patterson (drums), Grace Chatto (strings), Milan Neil Amin-Smith (strings).

The background: Here's a good way to usher in the party season: with some party music, delivered to you somewhat late because we've been too busy "partying" (our word for being knee-deep in new music). We should have told you about them sooner but then, we arguably featured Disclosure too early. Anyway, this is CB's breakthrough moment and they're about to release a single that will take them to the next level. It's called Rather Be and it is a supremely addictive slice of club/chart white noise, with a spartan garage intro/verse and an exuberant chorus that is a total dance-pop delight. And strings, courtesy not a sampler or some hired hands but the band themselves. Clean Bandit are one half Disclosure to one half Shelleyan Orphan, or Bartok goes bass. They comprise brothers Jack and Luke Patterson and the classically-trained Grace Chatto and Neil Amin-Smith, and they formed at Cambridge University after their club night, National Rail Disco, confirmed their desire to blend rhythms and violins.

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Their songs are brainy and bouncy: they're the Dostoyevskys of disco. They took the name Clean Bandit from a translation of a Russian phrase and two of them have lived in Moscow - Chatto went to learn the language and play cello and Jack Patterson studied film at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography, where he learned to produce, edit: all the skills the band would eventually need to make their own videos, which they now do. Their first releases were on the excellent Black Butter (Rudimental, Scrufizzer), but they've since signed to Atlantic, and they've supported everyone from alt-J to Rudimental and Disclosure. It would be too obvious to say the group - who call themselves an "electroquartet" - are the new Disclosure, and besides, that would be to undersell the classical quotient (the CQ, if you will) of their music, but then again, you needn't worry that it's going to be too stuffy. There is air aplenty in this chamber (music), and their songs are uniformly bright and breezy, melodic and sweet, from the UK funky-goes-Oriental spiciness of A&E to the forlorn lovers garage of Dust Clears. The strings are well integrated - not surprisingly considering their history - and the clever stuff is well hidden, even the "shift in the paradigm" in Dust Clears. That said, they do push it a bit on Mozart's House, which features a lexicon of classical terms plus a section of Mozart's String Quartet No 21. "So you think electronic music is boring?" asks a stern male voice on the latter. On the contrary. But shove any more Wolfgang Amadeus on your next single and the party ends here.

The buzz: "Clean Bandit are going places."

The truth: It's chamber music meets chart pop.

Most likely to: Make chamber dance-pop.

Least likely to: Make chamber pots.

What to buy: New single Rather Be is released on January 20 by Atlantic, followed by the debut album (title tbc) in spring 2014.

File next to: Disclosure, Bondax, Shelleyan Orphan, Mozart.


January 2's new band: Saturday Sun.


Paul Lester

The GuardianTramp

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