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Dai Kaht


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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars What if SANTANA or THE ALLMAN BROTHERS played Zeuhl?!

1. "Hanshin" (4:17) a true Zeuhl intro--complete with vocal narration! But then we shift into drive and pick up an ALLMAN BROTHERS feel for the next wild minute. That bass is moving a million miles an hour--and in a Disco cadence! Choir enters over the next ALLMAN BROTHERS section giving it a kind of STYX feel. Heavily effected synth- guitar solos in the fourth minute before we return to the AB motif to finish. (8.75/10)

2. "Dai Kor'nenn" (7:57) again, what if THE ALLMAN BROTHERS played MAGMA Zeuhl? The band plays very tightly. In the fifth minute, it moves into more of MOTORPSYCHO territory before subtly flowing into KOENJI HYAKKEI. I love the Klaus Blasquiz imitation in the seventh minute! Then it just gets crazy. (13.25/15)

3. "Helvet Sttro' II" (4:31) moving more into true Zeuhl territory, (even using a language very close to Koba'an), the choir chants here are a little off but still have a very interesting echoed-staccato effect. (Intentional?) At the end of the third minute we move into a more spacious section that kind of lulls you into a safe place before wild, slashing synthesizer notes enter. (9/10)

4. "Willargh" (8:23) opening with a very pretty, slow, and pensive weave, the music gradually builds until at 1:40 we reach the transition point at which we move into a march-like cadence with male group chanting. This is followed by some rather sedate electric guitar riffing before we move back into the march-and-chant section again. After this the rhythm section moves almost into a Rasta beat while the fuzz guitar solos. A little interlude for a bass solo, and then we fly into the full-speed race to the end--with a slight delay and downshift before more ALLMAN BROTHERS influence begins to exert itself. Wow! (18/20)

5. "Z'behr-Da'" (11:44) MOTORPSYCHO! At the 3:20 mark the guitars go into a kind of "Schindleria Pr'maturus" riff while the rhythm section keeps up a jazzy foundation. A party-like cacophony enters during the sixth minute just to spice things up for a bit, but then we settle back into the Fish-like pattern until some voice samples throw everything off again. At 7:15 we shift into some Viking-like macho chanting before the music takes off at a sprint--as if running away from the Vikings. But, no! They're in pursuit, despite the laser shots from the soloing synth in the ninth minute and the loud power chord play from 8:45 to 9:15. A kind of JC Superstar lull precedes the blows of the start of the final battle at 10:00. (If that was a battle) it is quick and decisive as a heavenly choir of angelic voices seems to show the result before the brief high octane celebratory finish. (17.75/20)

6. "Wehr Mahr'" (5:37) captures amazingly well that menacing, frantic feel that underlies everything MAGMA seems to do. The slow build in the fourth minute is amazing! Hammond Organ solo before returning to the out of control pace and feel to finish. It's got me into a frenzy! Wow! What a ride! (10/10)

7. "M'a Orgata" (12:48) the CAMEL/SANTANA school of Zeuhl with the ZA! vocal choir! Awesome! Even throw in a little DICK DALE and ALLMAN BROTHERS sound/feel in the second half! (22.25/25)

8. "Hertz K'matt" (5:56) crazy and frenzied in a Zappa-Captain Beefheart kind of way--especially the vocals. Wild and theatric. Not unlike the Eastern European-influenced work of HUMBLE GRUMBLE or FARMERS MARKET. (9/10)

Total Time 61:13

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of upbeat and frenetic guitar-dominant Zeuhl. Great vocal performances and use of choir and chants.

Report this review (#2447126)
Posted Friday, September 11, 2020 | Review Permalink
4 stars If most Zeuhl-style albums make you think of the Kobaians preparing to invade and conquer a planet, this one could maybe be a take on their post-invasion party celebrations. Jazzy and upbeat but still with Zeuhl vocals and other elements. Zeuhl was new to me this year, and having started with Magma's Mekan´k Destrukt´w Kommand÷h thought it was all going to be a bit too bleak for my mainstream tastes.

Broadening horizons to albums like this that are more of a Zeuhl crossover really does work though.

As BrufordFreak writes, its almost as if the Allman Brothers were collaborating on this. The first two tracks, while having Zeuhl vocalisations, are fast paced, jazzy and upbeat. Helvet Sttro´ II is just as fast paced to start but very chaotic and Zeuhl heavy before a brief spacey jam session. Willargh starts very gentle, almost giving time to reflect on the chaos of the previous track before the true roots of Zeuhl appear in a slow march/chant section, although still somehow, maybe through the key of the vocals, seeming to stay relatively upbeat despite the ominous guitar riff. The pace then picks up for another fast but gentle space jam interspersed with what I guess should be called 'Party Zeuhl' composed by the Allman Brothers Kobaian cousin.

Z÷behr-Da´ for me seems to be taking time out from the party to reminisce highlights of the battle. Think of the big powerful men(?) inflating their egos over a trough of beer bragging about their kills. Wehr MahrŘ is a real toe tapper to start, with a slightly more menacing feel, particularly in the midsection which quietens down and slowly builds back up again as more instruments are added. Now I've started to tell the story above I'm undecided what this track would signify. Either the group are now fighting among themselves, or planning their next attack.

Probably the latter, as in M'a Orgata things are a lot calmer and the vocals return to a lighter rather than the gruff, angry chanting of previous tracks, before finishing off with a slower but in parts just as chaotic track, particularly the vocals. The leader of the group is making a rousing speech, ready for the next one...

As someone who's struggled to get into Zeuhl I highly recommend this album as a gateway into it, as a more upbeat variant of a style that could move in all sorts of directions beyond Magma and the rest.

Report this review (#2477060)
Posted Wednesday, November 18, 2020 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
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.

Report this review (#2487650)
Posted Friday, December 25, 2020 | Review Permalink

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