Das Fluff – Meditation and Violence – Album release

Although their first album was highly original and any follow up to it would need to morph significantly to continue to qualify as “original” and it would need to be considered a “progression” upon earlier work – in Meditation and Violence Das Fluff have achieved both.

Dawn Lintern performs live with ironic melodrama via an eternally corrupting elegance. Her statuesque figure carving the air, suddenly desperation floods with neurotic charm and she is slithering into the audience. She is perfectly offset by the powerful and inventive lead guitar of Steve May. Their show has toured to Japan and we now have Tokyo Daisuki. Something new electric and alive.

The second album surged into reality like a spring tide – most of the songs for the second album have been introduced and gradually took over Das Fluff outings over the past year. Second albums are traditionally tricky beasts but this album is a strong and coherent collection.

The searing intensity of Dawn Lintern’s voice mix at times desperately angered and then forceful with almost military angst. She adds gravity and drama to lyrics that focus on the existential darker side of love and coping with the self. It plays with feelings like shocking private thoughts. She opens the album with Rage and immediately you feel the sound engineering gives this recording a fine clarity.

Drop Break Slip Crash – the idea of “I wake up; I did not know what day it was.” reveals an inner anarchy but resolves into some kind of ordered mayhem. There are consequences in this sequence as made even more frank in You Lied. This one feels a little less resonant but it fits.

It all returns alive and threatening in the thumping delight 100% – have heard it live many times but this mix felt – eponymous, so to speak. Great performance, too.

It is perfect as a foil and introduction to what may be the heart of this record. Insomniac feels as wretchedly heartfelt as the condition. Her voice is dirty Hollowood metro sexually grinding against a cycle of grand virtual mechanisms in complex sound.

Next is Disconnect. Dawn Lintern’s range is explored and we are falling into the reality of this record. It feels like a fair ground wonderland freak show has taken over.

Outstanding Tokyo Daisuki written while Das Fluff were touring that part of the world has a definite sense of being a part of the whirring roundabout. Very dance number.

Life is Sweet – appears to be a conversation with inner needs of addiction resolved via the serenity principle. Superb chorus.

Never Too Much – a searing thumping anthem of declaiming severity demanding affection “Give me your life, adore me adore me.”

Steve May is outstanding and outsells himself on the outro to Moonsong mediated perfectly by Lintern’s London inflected voice. Again, it is demanding, pleading, and fragile. One of the most beautiful closing tracks closes this album.

Their first album was a breath of fresh air in a dance oriented form, electronic music is rarely this engaging. This album is all that, plus 100% progress.

Das Fluff on the web

Bowie exhibition cited

The Bowie exhibition at the V&A has been cited in the London Daily Telegraph alongside the Olympics (in which Heroes was a conspicuous theme for opening ceremony feel good bluster and it fit every bit as well as a Queen anthem may (whereas Ultravox failto find much ground other than pretentious oscellations or plainly uncommercial arthaus noise – much admiration for their art but their execution does not result in a filmic gesture). Of all artists that bring the late twentieth and now indeed the twenty first has erupated into a late ultra fame, one of the few of the very few survivors in a genre that consumes the glitteringly unstable peresonae hoisted upon a scaffold of illusion but with underlying musical validity and depth. That is what makes Jim Morrison, Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake transcend early death. Jimi and Janis, nothwithstanding. Marc. Freddie.

Those that burned a flash in the sky and then died have plenty written about them but they do not turn into massive horders of their history. Bowie thankfully as millions will attest – was able to keep a record that is both interesting, entertaining and indeed a little mind blowing at times.

The exhibition included such gems as a version of Man Who Sold the World during the Berlin era with Bowie in a giant legless tuxedo carried on by Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias. It was an exceptional collection of famous costumes including the coat designed by Alexander McQueen from Bowie’s 2000 Glastonbury stage.

Duchamp Cage and Cunninham

Review of exhibition at The Barbican


The Duchamp/Cage aspects of the exhibit were excellently curated, and the works were brilliant. Highlights were the sculptures and Duchamp’s paintings.

The dancers themselves were extremely good and although their inclusion was effective, some aspects of the technical production were out of step with the choreography. For Cunningham lighting is part of the performance.  The lights appeared to be dimming on a timer instead of being controlled in a style that befit the performance. The dimming out in the middle of a solo performance seemed misjudged. The player grand pianos were a great touch although it seemed only one was playing.

Also the sounds related to the art sometimes seemed to clash one side of the room competing with the other. I found it jarring at times, rather loud and could not really feel the value in some of the voiced parts.

Odds on the Mercury Prize

The current Mercury Prize 2013 odds are as follows:

David Bowie – ‘The Next Day’ (7/2)
Foals – ‘Holy Fire’ (14/1)
Laura Marling – ‘Once I Was An Eagle’ (16/1)
Biffy Clyro – ‘Opposites’ (16/1)
The Joy Formidable – ‘Wolf’s Law’ (20/1)
Chvrches – ‘TBA’ (20/1)
Tom Odell – ‘Long Way Down’ (20/1)
Everything Everything – ‘Arc’ (25/1)
Hurts – ‘Exile’ (25/1)
Noah & The Whale – ‘Heart Of Nowhere’ (25/1)
I Am Kloot – ‘Let It All In’ (33/1)
Stereophonics – ‘Graffiti On The Train’ (33/1)
Savages – ‘Silence Yourself’ (33/1)
Alice Russell – ‘To Dust’ (33/1)
New Order – ‘Lost Sirens’ (40/1)
Goldfrapp – ‘TBA’ (40/1)
Suede – ‘Bloodsports’ (40/1)
Example – ‘The Evolution Of Man’ (50/1)
Johnny Marr – ‘The Messenger’ (50/1)
Bullet For My Valentine – ‘Temper, Temper’ (50/1)
The Courteeners – ‘ANNA’ (80/1)

Read more at http://www.nme.com/news/david-bowie/69514#mvwKXAec5Rm9O59f.99

Review: The Next Day *****

A chameleon changes colour to suit its surroundings and Bowie having been described as that kind of reptile now seems out of place. This is not an artist who hides in the times in which he produced 10 classic and lasting albums in a row (Space Oddity to Scary Monsters), and mostly great works otherwise (Outside, 1 – it may feel pretentious at times but there are parts of this as good as his classic period; Heathen and his 2000 live recording at the BBC, I was there, stand out).

Having decided in 1969 that the singer of Space Oddity needed to be discovered as my brothers played it, Bowie has punctuated this listener’s time and influenced his artistic side as many others. Every year a new record would appear and that excitement became a sort of moment of aroused expectation. And then after 2003’s Reality, his 60 a day cigarette habit and famed coke additions had consequences and he became nearly silent for a decade. And now The Next Day.

This chameleon changes colour instead to contrast with the world and most of his best records were groundbreaking strange works that one could not digest at first. I could not connect with some of his best records for years, Low, in particular, and it now continues to grow on me after hundreds of plays. Low was not popular when released. And now it is considered one of the great albums of all time.

This album is similarly difficult, in parts. It is highly eclectic: every track is like a part of Bowie’s career. Right now it is a bit more than 4 stars, but each time I listen to it, it gets better and more interesting. I suspect we will be listening to it for years.

ps:The Next Day … now exceeding five stars. Such musical detail and discovery.

See also: The Atlantic

In collaboration: Das Fluff and Paul Wady

Presenting LAST NAME by Das Fluff and Paul Wady is a video soundscape created around a spoken word with music piece from the Das Fluff CD, Would you die for me?. Electric hardcore brilliance remix by Paul Wady evolves with the spoken word piece as performed by Dawn Lintern, to produce an original piece of art.

First Published on 27 Feb 2013
‘Last Name’ Words and vocals Dawn Das Fluff
Soundscape Paul Wady
Video by Christian Ruland