Ducktails, live and well in Brussels

Door Piet Van de Velde

Ducktails is Matt Mondanile. Matt is also a member of Real Estate. He hails from New Jersey. After his show he admitted he was a stand-in for Snooki on Jersey Shore. I remember that almost a year ago Bethany from Best Coast made that exact same joke. Perhaps, she did season one and he did season two. Though apparently there must be a connection between buzzbands and wanting to be a part of what is known as the acquired taste that is Jersey Shore. At this point I was wondering how the hell did this happen. Time to go back in time.

A few months ago Ducktails played a small show in Ghent, all thanks to the nice people of K-raak, a Belgian label that built up quite the reputation this last decade. Today was the first time he played in Brussels. He’s working off a small European tour together with Ignatz.

His first record has a nice ambient ring to it, but it’s mostly for you lo-fi psychedelic pop-fans out there. His second album, entitled Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics, remains faithful to the rules for a bedroom-artist, but it emerges as a more solid record. The most hyped track on the record is Killing the vibe, because, for one, it resembles the feeling you get after drinking your 2nd coffee right after lunch on a sunny day. And secondly, Panda Bear appears on an alternate take of this track. “Noah (Lennox, a.k.a Panda Bear) and I met through a mutual friend. I was playing in Portugal and Bradford Cox from Deerhunter was also playing there. So I was actually on holiday and Bradford introduced us to each other and one thing led to another and there you have it.” I didn’t really think it was a coincidence that Bradford was the missing link between Matt & Noah. The Behemoth-ly amount of good creative content those three musicians have put out the last years is starting to make David Bowie and Brian Eno blush.

Though things can get tricky. Ducktails can be just Matt, or Matt with the a backing band, but then there is also Real Estate. “It isn’t always easy to tell everything apart, because now we’re working on a new record with Real Estate, so we can put that out and tour again. But first I have this short solo Euro-tour and I’m coming back in June. The problem isn’t really music-wise, but rather schedule-wise. Anyway, if I can still do all of this, I will try to continue doing these things”.

When I noticed that there are uncanny physical similarities between him and the British television personality Louis Theroux, he said: “I get that a lot from Europeans. He isn’t really famous in the States, but I studied for a while in Berlin and that’s when people started to comment on that. On the other hand, I really want to go and record some more tracks in Berlin.” Something else that struck me, he was being very open to any form of critique on or discussion about his music with fans. “I know that the loopstation I used earlier on during the set wasn’t always that in tune with the rest, but I guess I’m still a bit jet-lagged from the cross-Atlantic flight. Things will be smoother when I recover.” Jet-lag or not, he was still wide awake at 2 a.m. and hanging out with some newly made friends. Unfortunately, music journalists need their sleep to write the most exciting articles known to man.

The next day I got a call around 11 a.m.: it seemed that he had lost his manager. A few calls and a minor panic attack later they were reunited. Imagine if we had let Amsterdam miss out on this rising star called Ducktails.

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