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Dai Kaht - Dai Kaht II CD (album) cover

DAI KAHT II

Dai Kaht

 

Zeuhl

4.32 | 18 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars Perhaps the only zeuhl band ever to emerge from the other F country in Europe, namely Finland, DAI KAHT formed in 2013 and took four years to release it's self-titled debut album in 2017 but unfortunately was still at the alter of Magma worship and came off as a bit too derivative for my tastes. What separated this band from its competition from the getgo was the fact that as a quartet DAI KAHT embraced the traditional rock instrumentation of guitars, bass and drums which by zeuhl standards is quite unique to have a barrage of guitar sounds performing those bubbling zeuhl rhythms. The heavy psych influences from the early 70s timeline cast the band in a more bombastic mood in the traditionally guitar-o-phobic world of zeuhl.

Three years later the returns with a slightly different lineup, a greater number of instruments and a much more developed sense of self thus taking the band out of the gravitational pull of Magma-isms and more into a stylistic approach that sounds somewhat unique although make no mistakes that the French zeuhl scene initiated by the great Magma is still the dominate source of inspiration here. The new lineup consists of founder Atte Kemppainen on lead vocals, bass, percussion, guitar, keyboards, drums and effects along with Oslo Saarinen on drums and percussion and Ville Sirvi÷ on lead guitar, extra vocals and effects. Newbie Roope Pelkonen joins the team on keyboards and although Tommi Ruotsalainen is also on board, he seems to have been demoted to session musician status.

The band's second album simply titled DAI KAHT II also employs the talents of a five-member choir which really takes things into the zeuhl-o-sphere. IMHO this sophomore album which is much more creative in crafting more diverse soundscapes seems to have borrowed from another French source, namely the whacky and crazed modern avant-prog scene from bands like PoiL as heard from the zany rap-attack vocal style of the opening "Han?hin" which features funky bass slaps, psychedelic keyboard wizardry and instead of the usual martial militancy that often seems to come from dark places in the world of zeuhl. DAI KAHT seems to have harnessed a more festive vibe more in the vein of Magma's "FÚlicitÚ Th÷sz" rather than the cold Teutonic marches of "Mekan´k Destrukt´w Kommand÷h."

As the colorful 70s cover art implies, DAI KAHT still relies on healthy doses of psychedelic rock partially inspired by fellow countrymen Kingston Wall but on DAI KAHT II seems to have expanded its horizons manyfold and crafts a unique hybrid of zeuhl, avant-prog and psychedelia. Kemppaninen's vocal range has expanded greatly and the band seem to have found that chemistry they were striving for on the debut. Zeuhl is certainly an easy genre to fall into generic complacency but can also be fertile ground for some interesting explorative efforts. Perhaps the band finally landed on the imaginary world of its making and still makes use of its own created language for all those Magma-esque vocal scats. While the choir does evoke Magma, more often than not doesn't mine from the zeuhl universe at all but rather seems to have looked towards the spastic world of zolo art rock for inspiration. DAI KAHT II is a huge step up from the band's debut and i look forward to follow wherever this Finnish band decides to go next.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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