Sunday, December 16, 2007

Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft, PRODUKT DER

Ata Tak, 1979; reissued by Mute, 2000; available

22 tracks, 30:05

For my debut review on this blog, I decided to do another noteworthy debut. Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft began life less as a pioneer of EBM and more like a German take on no wave. Consisting of twenty-two songs in barely over thirty minutes, this bite-size chunk of strangeness comes, goes, and leaves you scratching your head wondering what exactly just happened. Founding member/vocalist Gabi Delgado-Lopez had temporarily left DAF before the recording of PRODUKT DER, allegedly to pursue a love affair. This left Kurt "Pyrolator" Dahlke, Michael Kemmer, Wolfgang Spelmanns, and Robert Görl (the only other constant through DAF's career besides Delgado-Lopez) to create an album for Dahlke's Ata Tak label (which was originally called Warning and then Artattack, but the reissue gives the copyright to Ata Tak). Throughout its brief length, PRODUKT DER explores variations on the drums/synth/guitar/bass set-up in ways that still amaze. Showing absolutely no signs of the later dance-oriented DAF ("Der Mussolini" et al), here the band creates a densely recorded and meticulously edited collage meant more for at-home listening than club play. An instrumental Residents/Chrome hybrid or fellow German weirdos Der Plan are the closest comparisons; indeed, Dahlke and Görl were both involved with Der Plan at different points, Görl being on their debut single and Pyrolator joining them for a long run. PRODUKT DER was edited from a jam session, and it sounds it; tracks end abruptly or run into the next song, sometimes simply fading out. Highlights are difficult to point out, given that none of the songs have titles, and the whole thing is best digested as a whole. Highly recommended to adventurous listeners; fans of krautrock, no wave, and early industrial should especially check this out.

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