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 project's longstanding ensemble members joining the band from Vancouver's experimental music community, Kenton Loewen, Gordon Grdina, John Walsh (and often Jesse Zubot, JP carter and Tyson 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.