Photo: Willow Shields

Grace Busby
Grace Busby

Have lived in Cornwall for 4 years now and am low-key scared of the sea, but also couldn’t imagine not being able to sit and look at it. My first taste of proper live music was at Boardmasters in 2017, where I got greedy and decided I wanted the rest of my life to have beach vibes but also be full of music, art and culture. 

UK comedian James Acaster is the mad scientist behind Temps, a 40-strong international music collective

Acaster is not new to the vast landscape that is the music industry, having released a book and a podcast about modern music prior to the first UK lockdown. He had interviewed a vast number of musicians whose work he admired, and utilised these connections and relationships to form his own army of talent.

Temps as a project can be described almost like the game consequences, known to some as exquisite corpse, where you pass a folded piece of paper around and draw body parts to create an experimental being. There isn’t one genre to stick to and the musicians have free reign, just like one person might draw tentacle arms and the next will draw a robot body. Over the course of two years, Acaster sent tracks back and forth between the artists involved, allowing them to inspire each other and add on what they thought worked. Acaster then used his ear for detail as a music producer to select his favourite elements, a method which promises experimental, meshing tracks full of flavour.  

Ahead of an album due out next year, Temps have released their debut single ‘no, no’, featuring Quelle Chris, Xenia Rubinos, Shamir, NNAMDÏ and Seb Rochford. This is a dream collaboration, as these artists all individually possess a strong understanding of exactly when to hold back and when to drive forwards on a track. Xenia Rubinos’s dreamy vocals invite you in, then she hits you with an attitude to match Quelle Chris. Combined with ritualistic chanting from Shamir, ‘no, no’ has a strong Gorillaz vibe; a slightly intimidating dreamscape, driven by experimentation. The song becomes slightly unsettling, feeling more intense and claustrophobic as it progresses and the listener is surrounded by the collaborators. It is definitely an immersive experience.

I think the best way to describe ‘no, no’ is that it gives me the same feeling I had when I watched the film Labyrinth for the first time. James Acaster is the goblin king, we are Jennifer Connelly, and the artists are pushing us through the maze. Instrumentally, ‘no, no’ is layered and intricate, and constant pace makes it feel like a dream or a video game. Seb Rochford’s strong jazz influence is clear, and both Rochford and NNAMDÏ create an undoubtedly three-dimensional landscape with their compositions in this single.  

Listen to/ watch ‘no, no’ here: