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Ein Produkt der Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft

Bureau B

This probably isn’t the D.A.F. you’re thinking of. The lines aren’t clean, the electronics are sort of around but incidental and hidden in shards of guitar noise and (real) drum bashing. This isn’t even the D.A.F. of the “Kebab Traume” track on the C81 compilation which was a gateway drug of a track I fell in love with and which set me on a path to Neubauten and beyond (and back to Neu!, Can et al). I have the later, sweaty, electro albums (I’ll bet Nitzer Ebb had them too) and although I was expecting this re-release to be very different, I wasn’t expecting… this.

This is 1979. It’s post-punk, grimy (not grimey), quasi-psychedelic music, in the sense that the early Chrome albums were psychedelic. Depeche Mode and Gary Numan and bodybeat seem light years away. The guitars well up and overcook, the drums thud like they’re stretched human skin, pretending to be drums. Bits sound like the guitars on Throbbing Gristle’s “Subhuman”; I’m guessing the influences are pretty similar. This is post-Velvets music, more than post-Pistols. The electronics wiggle their way to the surface at times but then quickly get displaced. There’s a groove here but it’s a muddy one… In fact, there’s a lot of groove here, it feels very unforced, relaxed (in an intense way), spontaneous, improvised. The machines are yet to take over.

Oh, and yeah; I like this album. Did I forget to say? It’s a welcome surprise and a historical document to be cherished. My only regret is that the production /recording is too basic, too hollow; you get left with the feeling that to be there would have been amazing and that this collection might have been. Can’t someone clean this up?

-Loki-

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