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DAAU

DAAU was conceived around 1992 and since that moment onwards its music has basically been defined by what it is not. Classical? Rock? Folk? It is none of those things, yet it is all of those at the same time. The sextet that recorded ‘Domestic Wildlife’ in 2006 has now been reduced to a four piece. Double bass player Hannes d’Hoine is the new kid on the block: he only joined the band three years ago. “After the pretty boisterous music on our previous album we were longing for a more subdued and intimate sound, with no drums nor electronics”, Simon Lenski says.. “Usually our approa ...read more

DAAU was conceived around 1992 and since that moment onwards its music has basically been defined by what it is not. Classical? Rock? Folk? It is none of those things, yet it is all of those at the same time. The sextet that recorded ‘Domestic Wildlife’ in 2006 has now been reduced to a four piece. Double bass player Hannes d’Hoine is the new kid on the block: he only joined the band three years ago. “After the pretty boisterous music on our previous album we were longing for a more subdued and intimate sound, with no drums nor electronics”, Simon Lenski says.. “Usually our approach is based on intuition, and this time we all felt the need to go back to basics.. It felt good to be in a room again, just the four of us, and to let our instruments do the talking. Our music has become more organic, probably because we have grown a little older and more mature. Some might say our wild days are over. Hence the new songs emanate a pastoral atmosphere. The way in which we express ourselves is more suggestive than ever.. “Everything we do is still based on personal emotion”, clarinet player Han Stubbe claims. “But it goes without saying we are no longer the same people as when we started out. In the early days our approach was fairly chaotic, so quite a few of our records are lacking in coherence. On ‘The Shepherd’s Dream’ things have become much clearer and more defined. We have found a new kind of energy.. In view of the new album the members of DAAU decided to all move in a common direction, which is a first for the group. Gradually it has slid away from fixed musical structures, consciously opting for free-form experiments based on a minimalist approach. “We are no longer tempted to layer note upon note”, Stubbe offers. “Initially, we were shocked by how quiet we sounded. It struck us as quite an extreme evolution. We did not back down though. Instead we decided to take it as far as we could. It was our way of making a statement.. The five tracks on ‘The Shepherd’s Dream’ all came about during long improvisation sessions. DAAU just played without any preconceptions and recorded everything so they would be able to reconstruct the best bits afterwards. The idea was to treat the improvisations as real compositions and keep some of the spontaneity and freshness with which they were originally played. Afterwards however, the musicians spent a lot of time honing down the pieces, paying attention to the minutest details. DAAU’s current acoustic sound was influenced by two other projects the band members were recently involved with. Stéphane Grégoire, founder of the French label Ici d’Ailleurs, asked them to participate in ‘The Dark Age of Love’, a tribute to British cult band Coil that was released under the moniker This Immortal Coil. On the album DAAU collaborated with the likes of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Yann Tiersen and Matt Elliott aka Third Eye Foundation. “We were hardly familiar with Coil’s music to begin with”, Simon Lenski admits. “Their music is in a more electronic, even industrial vein and their songs are far removed from our own musical universe. Still it was a challenge to try and reinterpret or reinvent them with our own instruments. Doing this made us aware of our ability to cover other people’s work, so it dawned on us that we might as well try something similar with our own, initially improvised material. Recently we also wrote a soundtrack to ‘Archipels Nitrate’, a documentary about the ‘Cinematek’ in Brussels by film director Claudio Pazienza. That project made us realize that if you combine moving pictures with music,  you do not want the latter to be too obtrusive. It also taught us to be more subtle and imaginative as musicians.. According to Roel Van Camp ‘The Shepherd’s Dream’ in more than one way refers to DAAU’s untitled debut album, which came out in 1995. “Our current musical approach is very similar. What is different, of course, is that in the last fifteen years we have become more experienced and skillful players. We have also learned to listen more carefully to each other’s parts.. But as far as Han Stubbe is concerned, there is also a huge difference between then and now. “Our early pieces were based on a swift succession of disparate ideas. This time, each track concurred with one particular idea which we then approached from various angles.. ‘The Shepherd’s Dream’ stands midway between dreaming and waking, between reality and utopia. Or to put it shortly: exit anarchy, enter poetry. (source: www.daau.com) « hide

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The Shepherd's dream
2010

4.3
2 Votes
Domestic Wildlife
2006

4.5
1 Votes
Tub gurnard goodness
2004

4
1 Votes
We need new animals
1998

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