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Die Anarchistische Abendunterhaltung - Domestic Wildlife CD (album) cover

DOMESTIC WILDLIFE

Die Anarchistische Abendunterhaltung

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.24 | 10 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Anarchistic evening entertainment

Released in 2006, "Domestic Wildlife" is Die Anarchistische Abendunterhaltung's (DAAU) fifth studio album, or sixth if you include the long-for-an-EP "Richard of York.". The usual quartet of Lenski, Lenski, Stubbe and Van Camp are joined by guests Geert 'Boots' Budts on drums and Fre Madou on double bass, both of whom were directly involved throughout the creation of the album.

Although listed here under the wing of RIO/Avant-Prog, DAA have more to do with modern classical music, their basic line up of violin, cello, clarinet and accordion rightly suggesting a mini-orchestra.

The opening "Lounja la Gazelle" offers a peaceful introduction with a leisurely pace and relaxed feel. The music seems simple, but is highly listenable with an alluring melody. As we move into the title track, things seem a little less structured at first, with Fre Madou's double bass tending to dominate. The clarinet of Han Stubbe soon picks out the melody though, backed by Roel Van Camp on accordion. The combination of that accordion with the strings creates a mellotron like atmosphere. Just when it seems this is to be another dirge, the pace is lifted and the band romp through a section with folk like tones.

The mood for the album is set by these opening tracks, at times we have ultra laid back, smooth variations bordering on the lounge jazz, while elsewhere things pick up considerably. The 8 minute "Dispositioning System" features the greatest diversity of styles, ranging from traditional dance, through experimental avant-garde to fuzzed electronics. At times the listen can certainly be difficult, especially when the melody all but breaks down, but the band's willingness to follow their own path is to be commended.

One of the highlights for me is "Wish You Were Hit", where melody comes to the fore in a delightful concerto like piece reminiscent of some of Caravan's early (Deram era) works. The track builds (Caravan style), increasing the pace, into a delightful, controlled melee. On the other hand, plodding, unfocused tracks such as the (admittedly brief) "Aufhören" leave me quite cold. Things take an even more disappointing turn with "Nowhere Beach" where the music stops altogether, to be replaced by a succession of electronic and industrial sounds.

In all, an album of great diversity which for others may be its strength. For me, it simply accentuates the contrast between the good and the poor, the melodic and the musicless, and most importantly, the enjoyable and the avoidable. I could listen to about 50% of this album over and over again, the rest I would gladly pass over.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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