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Die Anarchistische Abendunterhaltung - We Need New Animals  CD (album) cover


Die Anarchistische Abendunterhaltung


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4 stars DAAU is a Belgian band with a german name that music of an international high standard. The musicians play instruments you are not likely to associate with a rock group, like clarinet, cello or accordion. This is one of the reasons they have a rather unique sound.

This album is their second release. The differences with the debut album are evident. The tracks are much shorter and in this case that means more focussed and to the point. With the inclusion of guitar and especially percussion, this album is far more rock based, as opposed to the more acoustic and classical debut. This album also brings us a variety in styles and is very versatile. It differs from straight on rock to avant-garde pieces, from reggae to King Crimson-like improvisations.

The album opens in what you could call "old school" DAAU. You hear the core four piece who play something that starts quiet and then builds to a finale (this was probably recorded live in the studio, because at 1:34 you can hear someone cough). It's an excellent way to experience their "classical" skills. Halfway the next track we can first experience the "new and improved" DAAU with both percussion and electric guitar, because here they really rock. "Nix" is a fast jazzy track and very enjoyable. On "Broken" there is another addition to the music of this quartet, because it has vocals (by An Pierlé). Next is one of my favourite tracks, which is build around a theme played on the clarinet and added are some dreamy sounds and swinging percussion. "Oliphant" is a reggae tune played by a Klezmer band who wants to be a metal band at times. With great results. Next up is a waltz, as the title suggests. "Traag" (dutch for "Slow") is something for a movie soundtrack. The next is another reggae tracks and also with vocals (by Angélique Willkie). Very good track to let your mind wander of. "Lady Delay" is a short spacey track which sounds like guitar drenched in electronics, but it is a violin drenched in electronics. The album closes with a classical piece.

In overall, this is a great album. Because of their unique instrumentation they cannot be compared to a lot of bands. It's a bit like Alamaailman Vasarat who also have an unlikely choice of instruments for a rock band (if you can call them that). But it is not just how it sounds; it's also a great album because of the diversity in styles (but still evidently DAAU) and the high quality and originality of the compositions. For me, this is the best album in their catalogue.

Report this review (#145692)
Posted Thursday, October 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars DAAU got new animals for this album

Their first album got them many praises and a recording deal with Sony and this album came out through the Sony Classical label. However this one differs from the all acoustic and classical lineup that was their first album, in that the band electrifies their sound on some of the tracks, by adding guest musicians to play with them.

The album starts with No Rule, in a similar style to the first album and indeed the general sound and style does not differ too much from their previous release, only the tracks are generally shorter. This is in fact a natural progression and advance from the first album, and the adding of electrified instruments sits very well with their sound. This will also serve as the grounds for the following album, Life Transmission where the experimentation goes further and the sound and style varies more. The second track, Hot Shades, is of the same nature as the first, starting with an accordion roaming about sort of unsurely; then the clarinet comes in to aid him; they then proceed to speed up and catch a rhythm and play a wonderful tune; then comes the first sign of change for the band, drums with guitars come in and add the real rock here with some programming coming in later. Where in the first album I found myself shaking my head at some parts due to great rhythm, here it's just unavoidable. DAAU knows how to create groovy patterns and catchy tunes. The gypsy-like melody is infectious. The classical and rock lineup go extremely well together, naturally and in fact, this made me want to hear more of this type of collaborations, as well made. With Nix, no hesitation; it starts right away with high energy and with the full expanded lineup. Again the eastern European feel to the music, excellent musicianship and upbeat mood. With Broken comes the first full sung track in their repertoire with vocals done by An Pierlé. Here they show how well they can create a song that bears all their trademarks of a melancholic tune, with a sharp edge in the chorus, playing along to a vocal line. Moreover, the song has a great twist to it where the vocals and instruments sing and play together splendidly. Indeed, DAAU seems to know how to adapt to any platform they need to be part of. This is even more evident in Life Transmission but also here. With Gin & Tonic, comes an interesting mix of programming and the classic instruments lineup. If Gin & Tonic which go quite naturally together, these two would perhaps seem to be opposing elements; but again, DAAU knows how to mingle seemingly opposing "substances" together. The mix comes so natural, I wasn't even aware of it the first couple of times I've heard it. Not only that, but the music is simply beautiful and inspiring. Oliphant has traces of a French charm with the accordion played that particular way and with the sort of tune they play which is somewhat playful. It then goes on to much more aggressive and powerful peaks than DAAU are known for; another achievement in this album. The guitar riffs are definitely heavy in this short segment. Speaking of a French scent, it is Waltz Delire that reminds me even more so of the French charm with the accordion, and also of a movie soundtrack; of an emotional scene between two lovers in the street with a short chase between the two as they go on arguing. but that's just my imagination. This is one marvelous tune, wonderful in its ability to induce emotions in me, the listener. I particularly love the acoustic guitar playing towards the end with the violin providing the rhythm pace. This track is a good lesson in how to write a short and effective tune without overdoing it. Dip 'n Dodge, another song, reminds me of the song In The Death Car by Iggy Pop and Goran Bregovic. Again they create a lovely and naturally sounding amalgam between elements. Lady Delay is a fun short track where they employ the programming to create a spacey atmosphere and then in the middle switch to a bumpy ride and back again. This is probably the farthest away from the sound of the album, and still remains "faithful" to it.

In this album, DAAU managed to progress from their brilliant first album and add another musical palate to their array of styles. They introduce a rock lineup to add to their sound, electrify it to add layers to their music and end up with a wonderful and compelling result.

Highly recommended.

Report this review (#168247)
Posted Sunday, April 20, 2008 | Review Permalink


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