In late 2022 Temps introduced themselves to the world with their first single “no,no”. Now, the a 40-strong international music collective devised, curated and produced by James Acaster, have announced news of their debut album, PARTY GATOR PURGATORY, to be released on 19th May via Bella Union and available to preorder here.
Featuring such geniuses as Quelle Chris, John Dieterich, Joana Gomila, Laia Vallès, Shamir, Seb Rochford and many more, Temps’ ten-track debut album was produced, curated and devised by James Acaster. This mind-bending opus rose from the ashes of an aborted mockumentary made with Louis Theroux’s money.
In February 2020, James Acaster decided he wanted to make a TV series about himself. Backed by Theroux’s production company, the show would see Acaster dramatically quit stand-up and side-step into the music industry with great pretension and naivety. But first, they had to make a mini-pilot to prove the idea would work. In a van driven by the crew, Acaster travelled to his hometown of Kettering and collected his childhood drum kit from his parents’ house. After contributing to a string of teenage bands, the old kit hadn’t been touched in twelve years, sitting dormant in its drum cases. The plan was to load it into the van, drive straight to a studio in London and record Acaster playing the kit for the first time in over a decade. But they had to make a second pit stop, to pick up a human-sized cuddly toy alligator from a friends’ house. The alligator was fluorescent in colour, sporting a large pink top hat and a tee shirt reading Party Gator. Acaster had won it at a county fair when he was 7, held onto it for decades, but had left it with said friends in 2012 after failing to convince a girlfriend to move it into their new flat. Now, in 2020, the Party Gator sat on a throne in Hoxton’s Holy Mountain Studios and acted as a muse for Acaster’s mockumentary-self; the two of them locking eyes as he recorded his rusty improvisations for two days straight. The final scene in the pilot saw Acaster listening back to his drum tracks, declaring them to be too sloppy, and recruiting award-winning jazz drummer Seb Rochford to play over the top of them. Then, we all know what happened.
When the first UK lockdown was announced, the mockumentary was scrapped and Acaster found himself sitting at home with hours and hours of solo drum tracks recorded by himself and Rochford. He was also in the fortunate position of having recently released a book and a podcast about modern music, for which he’d interviewed countless musicians, all of whom he was a massive fan of. And he still had their email addresses. So he spent the next two years sending tracks back and forth, between himself and his heroes, as they gradually discovered an album together. Genres were disregarded in favour of tightly-packed experimentalism and the death, afterlife and rebirth of the Party Gator provided conceptual guidance where needed. Everyone was given free reign to do as they pleased then Acaster would cherry pick his favourite bits, “a DIY Gorillaz” being the methodic touchstone.