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Dai Kaht - Dai Kaht CD (album) cover


Dai Kaht



3.34 | 14 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars When you think of zeuhl, two countries predominantly come to mind. France of course where Magma reinvented the context of progressive jazz-fueled rock and inspired a legion of followers over the ensuing decades. In second place is Japan which has produced some of the more extreme examples of bubbly zeuhl driven bands such as Ruins which took things into strange new turf. Finland however is not a nation that comes to mind but that's exactly where this band DAI KAHT came from. The central city of Kajaani to be exact. This band formed in 2013 by bassist Atte Kemppaninen and in the beginning was smitten by the usual prog suspects such as King Crimson, Yes, ELP, Camel, Gentle Giant and Pink Floyd but somewhere along the line caught the zeuhl bug.

When it comes to zeuhl, all roads of course lead to Magma and DAI KAHT is no exception going as far as to even follow in the footsteps of Christian Zander's eccentricities by crafting an entire language and mythology. While it does seem completely derivative, DAI KAHT crafts a concept that focuses on future space colonialism and even went as far in creating the invented language called Kol÷niel which is clearly based on Magma's Koba´an. The mythology revolves around a spaceship dubbed the Doover ▄ouh that traverses the universe in order to find that utopian world that is far removed from the corrupt and infected cesspool of reality that plagues the human race on planet Earth. The band released its debut self-titled release in 2017 and in many ways sounds very much like a parallel universe version of Magma with those bubbling zeuhl bass-fueled rhythmic drives with lyrics in an unintelligible language narrating some fictions tale of who knows what.

While dangerously close to Magma territory, DAI KAHT does distinguish itself in a couple of significant ways. The band infuses a heavy dose of guitar fueled heavy psych into the mix which offers a more aggressive assault than anything Magma dished out. This quartet features Atte Kemppainen (voices, bass), Osmo Saarinen (drums, voices), Ville Sirvi÷ (lead guitar) and Tommi Ruotsalainen (rhythm guitar) and although the style is very much out of the Magma playbook, the bombast of the guitars takes a few cues from the psychedelic Finnish band Kingston Wall. The production is rich and the album is a nice modern mix of zeuhl driven psychedelia that is unfortunately too dependent on its inspirations rather than crafting anything remotely clever and original. The band also exists without keyboards and jazz instrumentation which gives this a more heavy rock sound than many zeuhl counterparts but due to the similarities in vocalizations and musical motifs, one can only wonder if this is a long lost Magma album that got rejected.

Overall this is not a bad album at all but i personally have a problem with over-reliances of influence and DAI KAHT on this debut album seems more like a Magma cover band than an original entity in its own right. Through the album's eight tracks and 41 minute playing time, we are treated to those familiar Jannick Top styled bass antics and the consistent flow of marital zeuhl rhythmic flows along with bouts of high tempo frenzies and those vocal led counterpoints. DAI KAHT was created after the sound of Ruins and in terms of tones, timbres and dynamics resonates more with the Japanese bands but as far as compositional flow is much more in the Magma camp. Way too derivative for my tastes but decently done and for those who just can't get enough zeuhl in their world this is not unworthy of exploring but in the end i'd rather just listen to classic Magma over and over than an album brought to us from a group of imitators. In other words, at this point the band needed to develop its own sound.

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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