Translated, the title of D˙se's uncompromising album means "Songs are Brothers of the Revolution". Quite what revolution the German duo are joining is not quite clear: it's not quite RIO, it's not quite avant-garde and it's not quite zeuhl. But if you can to imagine elements of those soundscapes intermingling, then you might have arrived in the same region of the galaxy as D˙se.
Not much is straightforward in the soundscapes that the two guys have written. The band itself, self-styled "one of Europe's most crushing live bands", is constituted by Jari Rebelein (drums, backing vocals and programming on "Krakenduft") and Dietrich André (guitars, vocals and harmonica on "Krakenduft"). Further musicians appearing on this disc are Jens Rachut (vocals on "Supermachineeyeon"), Michael Kuhlmann (trumpets) and Rike Müller (violin): the latter two in particular add significantly to the sonorities on display.
The main compositional feature of Lieder sind Brüder der Revolution is alternating sections of heavy, metallish guitar-laden rock and quiet, doodling, rhythmic writing. The emphasis throughout is on rhythm, head-banging in nature during the loud phases, rather than on melody. The vocals are delivered in a mixture of virtually-shouted German and English, without there being a discernable reason as to why the two are used or where the changes occur. This compositional style is all well and good but is used too often on the album; perhaps live the effect would be more exciting; here, whilst never unpleasant, the excitement is not sustained once the listener clicks on to the formula.
The more successful songs are those where the formula is adjusted slightly, and the listener is challenged by the compositional changes and the different sonic textures. "Trick", the first of the songs to alter the "formula", works as a result of its greater consistency and the added sonic textures of the "extra" instruments. "Krakenduft" and "Baubaubau" are also very effective: the former succeeding virtue of some "world" textures to the drums, good synth work and fine all round vocals; and the latter through the integration of "bird-like" effects and good trumpet work. Mind you, breaking the formula doesn't always lead to success: "Music" is a challenging song, a virtually unaccompanied, near-endless repeat of an inane phrase in English uttered in different vocal styles. Hmmm....
The album, then, is a bit of a mixed feast and I'd certainly recommend you to listen to the samples before you buy, unless you're a fan of the unusual!
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11. Hans Georg