Go! Team expands with pop sound and guest girl vocalists

Go! Team’s Ian Parton, left, says he’s obsessed with catchy melodies and distortion. (Courtesy photo)
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As the mastermind behind eclectic U.K. ensemble The Go! Team, Ian Parton is nearing the level occupied by visionaries the likes of Phil Spector and the late Joe Meek — especially on the band’s fourth album, 2015’s “The Scene Between,” an effervescent experiment in the 1960s girl-group sound that employed different female vocalists from around the globe on almost every track.

“It’s a more conventional pop record,” he says. “Because I felt like I’d earned the right to move away from the hallmark Go! Team sounds of blaring trumpets, the double Dutch chants and all that.”

When the group hits The City on Monday, axeman Parton still will be flanked by founding members Ninja on vocals and guitarist Sam Dook.

“But we have three new girls to represent this sing-ier stuff, because it was a challenge to figure out how to go back onstage again,” explains Parton, who lives seaside in Brighton.

He says he found “Scene” singers — Doreen Kirchner (“Blowtorch”), Emily Reo (“Her Last Wave”), Shi Lu (“Did You Know?”) and Samira Winter (“What D’you Say?”)– online, “through scouring – actually looking for a certain kind of voice, so I would listen and listen all day to obscure bands.”

Parton is in the hook business. It’s what he searches for every day, auditing music on his computer in hopes of finding some sonic tidbit that catches his ear. Sometimes he might sample it, other times he’ll use it as a building block for his own wall of sound.

“My skill is spotting tunes,” he says. “I zero in on melodies these days, and I hoard them and stick them together with other ones, and then I surround them with noise. My two obsessions are catchy melodies and distortion.”

As a kid, the Brit enjoyed the tribal nature of unearthing favorite records and bands; it made he and his friends feel like they were in an exclusive gang. Even then, he was proud to be into bubblegum Meek/Spector textures alongside scruffier outfits like The Jesus Lizard.

So when he started toying with production himself, he says, “I liked the idea of taking some Tijuana Brass sample and putting white noise over the top of it – it felt like I was exploring uncharted territory, or crossing worlds.”

Parton knew exactly what he wanted for “Scene.” In the past, he’d recruited big names like Deerhoof, Chuck D, and Best Coast.

“This time, I needed a curvy, bordering-on-amateurish voice, almost like it was your girlfriend singing,” he says. “But I think there’s a streetcorner-y, amateurish style that’s flowed through the whole Go! Team sound.”

IF YOU GO
The Go! Team
Where: Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Jan. 18
Tickets: $18
Contact: (415) 885-0750, www.slimspresents.com

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