By Damian Jones
Beth Ditto has recorded a track on Simian Mobile Disco's new album
Simian Mobile Disco's Jas Shaw has said he was shocked by how shy Gossip singer Beth Ditto was when she collaborated on the dance duo's new album.
The record, which follows their debut Attack Decay Sustain Release, features a host of guest singers including Gruff Rhys and Jamie Lidell.
"I was really surprised because she was like super shy about putting her vocals down," Jas said of Ditto.
The band are due to curate a night at London's Matter venue on Friday.
He went on: "Everyone knows she's got a great voice. You hear it on its own with no effects and it's just a f***ing great sound.
"She layed down her vocals and she was like, 'Oh no they're not going to be good'. Then we came back in the room and they were amazing."
Of the track the band have made with the singer, Jas described it as "poppier than anything else" they have ever recorded.
The song the band have recorded with Rhys meanwhile is more psychedelic and features a drone box.
"Gruff was amazing to work with," Jas enthused. "He pulled out this drone box and put it down in the middle of the room and then he pulled his guitar out and he just started playing along with the drone box.
"Straight off I was like, 'Yeah sold'. He really is the legend you hope he is going to be."
The SMD knob twiddler also revealed that their as-yet-untitled second record, is more vocally driven and melodic than their disco driven debut.
"Both (Arctic Monkeys producer) James (Ford) and I are really getting stuck into lots and lots of melodies and interesting chords because we always felt that was our strength on the last album," Jas said.
"There is definitely bigger songs on there and it is more vocal."
He said the band are hoping to complete recording sessions before the end of the year with a view to releasing the album in April 2009.
Away from the record, SMD have also laid down a 30 minute mix entitled Run for joggers as part of a deal with Nike and EMI.
"I was pretty straight with them from the start. I said neither me nor James are natural runners," he said.
"But then LCD Soundsystem did something similar earlier this year and just looking at them, I'm pretty sure none of them run either.
Simian Mobile Disco performing at Reading in the summer
"We were told just to treat it like a DJ or a live set in terms of structure and build it up to a crescendo at the end. That immediately made sense to me so we came in from that angle."
Jas also admitted that he wouldn't mind hooking up with his French compatriots Justice again at some stage, following the success of their club hit We Are Your Friends.
"There's nothing booked but we're old friends of the boys and big fans as well. I'd happily work with them again. I think they're really talented," he added.