Simian Mobile Disco
London's Simian Mobile Disco grew out of the indie rock band Simian, whose song "We Are Your Friends" catapulted them into the indie dance spotlight on the strength of Justice's well-loved remix. As S.M.D., James Ford and James Shaw abandoned most of their rock trappings in favor of an indie dance sound with roots in '80s synth-pop and acid house. They grew their rep with frequent appearances on Paris' Kitsune label before breaking out with their debut longplayer in 2007. Titled in homage to synthesizer waveforms, Attack Sustain Decay Release swirls together bits of Phuture, New Order, Zapp and other retro touchstones without ever losing its freshness. At a time when peers like Justice were redefining electro as a genre to be measured in headbanging intensity, A.D.S.R. stood out for its relative restraint. Simian Mobile Disco returned in 2009 with Temporary Pleasure, on which cameos from Jamie Lidell, Beth Ditto, Gruff Rhys and Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor -- plus forays into freestyle, techno and EBM -- helped expand the group's already ambitious range.