Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft, DIE KLEINEN UND DIE BÖSEN



Mute, 1980; available

19 tracks, 38:40

Wow, this certainly took me long enough! DAF's debut album, PRODUKT DER..., was the very first album to be reviewed here. Now, almost 100 entries (the next review gets THAT honor) and three years into it, I'm finally getting around to their sophomore release! Kurt Dahlke and bassist Michael Kemner had departed (Dahlke for Der Plan and the solo project Pyrolator), while singer Gabi Delgado-Lopez was back in. Along with drummer Robert Görl and guitarist Wolfgang Spelmanns, the lineup featured synth whiz Chrislo Haas, who was on Der Plan's debut single and later co-founded Liaisons Dangereuses. Legendary producer Conny Plank was behind the controls for this release, which is ironic since he produced many krautrock classics; the slight krautrock elements of PRODUKT had completely dissipated by this point. The seven songss on the A-side were produced in the studio, while the B-side featured a brief studio piece and eleven tracks from an absolutely unhinged live show. The latter was supposedly recorded by accident; the technician wanted to record Wire, who DAF was opening for. What a fortunate mistake! These chaotic bursts of noisy synthpunk are an absolute treat. Delgado-Lopez is at his most aggressive, very rarely singing in the deep voice he became known for. Most of the time he's screaming, howling, or blasting out the words at a rapid pace. The band is at the top of its game, with Görl providing furious punk drumming while Spelmanns and Haas create a frenzied mass of guitar noise and early synth squelching. For variety, the title track is a brief synth solo by Görl, while the closing "Y La Gracia" is performed by Haas and Delgado-Lopez alone. These two tracks, along with the brief and goofy "Volkstanz", provide some relief from the onslaught of the remaining live gems. A particular B-side standout is "Die Lustigen Stiefel", which has Delgado-Lopez singing about how "the funny little boots are marching over Poland" to the tune of "nanny-nanny-boo-boo" while the others provide a NY No Wave-style herky-jerky groove. The studio track, "Gewalt", is a nice bit of noise that's far too brief; a track of the same name appeared as the B-side to "Kebabträume", but they're different songs. The A-side of DIE KLEINEN is rather good as well; "Essen Denn Schlafen", "Co Co Pino", and "Nacht Arbeit" are early synthpunk bliss, and the lengthy atmospheric "Osten Währt Am Längsten" is both a great introduction and a nice bit of calm on what is otherwise one hell of a ride. After this, DAF would release two more punky singles (both with EXCELLENT B-sides as well!) before Spelmanns and Haas departed. Görl and Delgado-Lopez continued as a duo, releasing a couple albums of decent early EBM. They've reunited and had side projects and whatnot many times since, but PRODUKT and DIE KLEINEN are their most experimental and daring works. As a nifty bonus, the lyrics are provided in German, Spanish, and English!

9 comments:

goeStajer said...

Gabi is the brother of Eduardo Delgado-Lopez. And he is the drummer in the Caspar Brötzmann Massaker.
Not that this has anything to do with DAF, but since I already saw the BCM twice this year (let's face it: there is no other band on this planet that even comes close to the sound this trio is capable in producing) it's still a bit fresh in memory.

Prof. ~.a.~ said...

I forgot all about that! And lucky you; I'd kill to see Caspar Brötzmann live!

goeStajer said...

Oops, I was tripping myself, Edu is the bassist off course and not the drummer. The drummer is Danny Arnold Lommen who used to play drums in Gore (Dutch band that released 2 important albums in the mid/late eighties, these albums can be classified as stoner-metal even before that term existed).

Prof. ~.a.~ said...

You're right. Speaking of Gore, that was one underrated band. Good thing Southern Lord reissued HART GORE and MEAN MAN'S DREAM!

goeStajer said...

Yep, GORE indeed did released two splendid albums and it's good that SL reissued them.
BTW, does your offer about that Destroy All Monsters box still stands? Would love to hear this but haven't found any affordable copy (yet).
Send me a mail if you want. Cheers.

Prof. ~.a.~ said...

I actually found a link to DL the whole thing.

http://fm-shades.blogspot.com/2007/06/destroy-all-monsters-original-detroit.html

Trust me, you NEED this.

Prof. ~.a.~ said...

Alternately, if you'd prefer a physical copy, try http://www.mikekelley.com/compound.html . I got mine for $20 USD from there, and it's run by Mike Kelly of DAM so you know the artists will get the cash.

goeStajer said...

Thanx for the links!
Downloading as we speak. If I like it enough, a physical copy will be ordered.

Prof. ~.a.~ said...

Not a problem! I was under the impression that it's out of print already, but it's apparantly still available.