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    Genre:Dance, Alternative, Electronic, Rock
    Rank: history »
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    Most Popular Songs (more)

    1Halcyon lyrics
    2Acolyte lyrics
    3This Momentary lyrics
    4Red Lights lyrics
    5Doubt lyrics
    6Counterpoint lyrics
    7Remain lyrics
    8Submission lyrics
    9Clarion Call lyrics
    10Baiya lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    1Acolyte [2010]
    2Collections [2013]


    The Oxford English Dictionary defines 'Delphic' as "Ambiguous or enigmatic." "Enigmatic is a troublesome word," ponders Rick Boardman of the Manchester band Delphic, "But we're certainly not about living rock'n'roll clichés."

    What they are about, instead, is music that explodes with new ideas, about film, art and pushing the sonic envelope. After warming up with a couple of killer singles and a Summer of coolly choreographed but hot-bloodedly crowd-moving live shows, they're about to drop their debut album, 'Acolyte', which reveals a band who elegantly move away from indie guitar action and accelerate into the future. "The guitar is dead, long live the guitar," says Rick, "You can use it more like a synthesizer and get so much more out of it than chugging away on chords."

    Delphic, a trio of Rick, Matt Cocksedge and James Cook, all in their early twenties, create their music on laptops in their Manchester flat, but when they take it to the stage it blooms into something much bigger. Matt adds guitar and James, bass and lead vocals, but all three of them also "twiddle with electronic gear", augmented by drummer Dan Hadley who whales away at two drum pads. There are no breaks, so it drives along like a DJ set, varying between songs and hypnotic rhythmic interludes.

    During 2009 they gigged relentlessly with the likes of Orbital, Friendly Fires and La Roux, all bands with whom, in some small way, they have something in common. It's a hint of what's coming next year when their stylised show will rock festival-land.
    "We played Creamfields and an Annie Mac club night but we also did the more traditional Reading Festival," explains Matt, "We can flit between the two worlds."
    "It's not rave, "adds Rick, "There may be references to '90s dance music but we also love Bjork, Radiohead, Kraftwerk and, at the other end of the spectrum Xenomania."
    "People take what they want from the gigs," continues James quietly, "If you're standing down the front then maybe it's more of a rave but if you're standing at the back you can chin-stroke to your heart's content."

    Once Delphic started putting on our own gigs in late 2008, things snowballed pretty fast. Live footage shown on Manchester TV station Channel M brought the A&R men scrabbling up the M6 to sign them. Delphic soon found a home for their debut single on Belgium's classic '90s techno label R&S. "R&S was home to Aphex Twin and Derrick May, so many great acts," enthuses Rick, "They'd been inactive for ten years and relaunched with a new band – us!

    Through R&S producer Ewan Pearson (Tracy Thorn, The Rapture, M83, etc) heard the band and took over studio duties for the album. Recorded mostly in Pearson's Berlin studio, the city's flourishing techno scene bled into the grooves but never to the detriment of the band's melodic songwriting. Whether on the explosively percussive 'Clarion Call', the lost longing of 'Submission', the sheer contagiousness of 'Halcyon' or the epic scope of the title track, Delphic consistently foreground their ability to write pop songs over their ability to build bangin' beats.

    "A lot of dance albums you search out the singles but the rest is all a bit samey and boring," says Matt, "We wrote the album as a whole and weren't afraid to lower the tempos and concentrate on the songs."

    Europe woke up quickly to Delphic's potential with uber-hip Parisian label-cum-fashion house Kitsune putting out the second single 'This Momentary'. The band, however, don't revel in their trendy status, there's no sense of entitlement, no notion they may soon be falling out of London clubs at 5.00 AM. "We're naturally retiring people," says Rick, "We prefer to make films or sit at our computers doing music, that's what we get a buzz off, and we're much less bothered about being known as rock stars than we are about being known as artists and musicians. We want to be in a band, we don't want to go out and die of Jack Daniels poisoning."

    Delphic's interest in film lead them to create their own YouTube channel where they put up a series of pieces, including footage of their recent Japanese tour. The trio detonate with fervour at the suggestion the video for debut single 'Counterpoint', made by French director Handz, recalls Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky's solemnly meditative epics. "It's great to be motivated by Andrei Tarkovsky rather than the Farrelly brothers," says Rick. "You can't just be inspired by music," adds James and all three of them start chatting about the abstract art of Rothko. Their next video, directed by Dave Ma for 'This Momentary', was a stark, beautiful collage of imagery from a town near nuclear catastrophe site Chernobyl. It was nominated for four UK Music Video Awards. Delphic are thrilled by this but abhor any pretension. They simply believe that art isn't dull and worthy, nor the province of geeks and academics - art is cool.

    "We like to make films to go with bits of music we have lying about," says Rick, "After we finished the album we freaked out, boarded a train to Paris, went out with the Kitsune lot and ended up at some mad electro party with Justice, then at 6.00 AM we went out in Montmartre, just as the Sun was rising, and made a little film."

    They're keen to be connected to their presentation at every level, thus the album will be appearing on their own Chimeric label through Polydor, with their own artwork and they're even filming their own TV ads.

    This combination of art and party spirit is very Manchester and Delphic are marinated in the city's classic collision of ordinary bloke-ness with high end ideas. It's a heritage they're happy to acknowledge. "Even though it's had a cosmetic facelift, there's a certain vibe to Manchester," says Rick. "There's a challenge set down by previous acts from Manchester" Matt puts in, "and we want to look at how that applies to us, where to take that legacy, even surpass it."

    There is nothing of ego in the way he says this, just a young man dreaming aloud about his band, Delphic, a spectacular live machine releasing an album of accessible future-music. Is it pop? Is it rock? Is it dance? Who cares, Delphic don't and nor should we.

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