Many things have been said about this band: they were called the “godfathers of techno,” the pioneers of EBM and the forefathers of electropunk. Yet they only laugh coolly and remain tight-lipped in the face of any attempt to historicize them. Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – better known as DAF – is a myth.
DAF initially formed as a quintet in the confines of Ratinger Hof in Düsseldorf, alongside bands like Fehlfarben, Der Plan, Mittagspause and others, but later adopted a conceptual approach that left no space for other “young lords.” From that point on they worked as a duo. With precision percussive elements mastered in classical jazz training, a legendary Korg MS-20 and a highly fetishistic militaristic spoken-word style, they produced four albums in quick succession – records that could be construed as substitutes for sex, drugs and violence. While the first album, Die kleinen und die Bösen – on which half the tracks were recorded in Conny Plank’s studio while the B-side contained live recordings – still hinted at roots in original punk music, they then created a triptych of leathery, sweat-soaked hedonism on Alles ist Gut, Gold und Liebe and Für immer.
In the early 1980s the records in the DAF box set Groenland Records quickly made this duo the international figurehead of the music everyone now associates with the Rhine region: DAF, along with Kraftwerk and Can, were the pioneers of German electronic music. They were always in vogue. Sequencers, synthesizers, commanding drum beats and the most cutting staccato spoken-word vocals – an alliteration only disrupted by the notion of the uniform. Very few bands have managed to contrive their own look in such masterly fashion, and to even make it a subject of their work: “Was ziehst du an heut nacht?,” “Verehrt euren Haarschnitt” and – oh yes – “Tanz den Mussolini.”
DAF’s militaristic aspect is only broken by their attitude of denial, which invites us to dance in the dark with them and to follow Delgado-López’s rhythmic movements – even if he seems to be dancing entirely for himself. Perhaps it is that contradiction itself that renders this duo so eternal.
We are delighted to welcome DAF back to Malmö and their first ever electriXmas!
Listen: DAF @ Spotify
Belgian electronic pioneer Dirk Ivens, also known for his work with Sonar, Absolute Body Control, Blok 57, S/HE , Motor!k and ex-singer of The Klinik, celebrates 30 years of DIVE with a “3 Decades Anniversary” tour.
Right before the split of The Klinik Dirk started this solo project at the end of 1989 with a very minimalistic electronic sound. A minimum of manipulated equipment resulting in a maximum overloaded distorted wall. Through the years the style developed not in the least through the collaborations with others with a result of in total 7 full length albums, several compilations and a bunch of 7 and 12 inches so far. Last year he released his latest album “Underneath” followed by the 12 inch “Let Me In” , this year the complete back catalogue will be for the first time available as double vinyls and new work is in progress planned for 2020.
30 years of DIVE must be celebrated , presenting the highlights on stage.
3 decades dark minimalist electro-art performances, armed with a megaphone and backing tape.
3 decades one man project, less means more, no strobes – no show.
Listen: Dive @ Spotify
Lights of Euphoria formed in 1992, initially intended to be just a one-song project for the Body Rapture Volume II under the Zoth Ommog label. However, the club success of ‘Subjection’ was so immense that the band decided to forge ahead with their success. They released several singles in Europe including ‘Violent World’, ‘Fortuneteller’ and ‘True Life’, as well as seven full-length albums.
With a rhythmic quality that strongly hearkens to such well-respected bands as X Marks the Pedwalk and Front 242, Lights of Euphoria‘s music is known for its heavy beat and playful style of sequencing. Their vocals are rough, but completely undistorted and totally legible, which in itself is a source of distinction in a genre where distortion is often the name of the game.
Listen: Lights Of Euphoria @ Spotify
Empathy Test, the London (UK) based Synth Pop band was formed in January 2013 by childhood friends Isaac Howlett (vocals, songwriting) and Adam Relf (composition, production). Over the course of a year, the pair wrote, recorded and produced four original compositions, which would be self-released digitally as the Losing Touch EP in February 2014.
Performing to critical acclaim at festivals and events across Europe, the US and Scandinavia Empathy Test has build up a steadfast following. Their sound has been described as a combination of “shimmering synths, glacial electronics, and heartrending vocals”. The contrast between uplifting beats and heart-rending lyrics that create a perfect melancholy, proving time and time again Empathy Test’s talent for making electro-pop music with depth, meaning and feeling.
Fast forward to 2019 and the band is currently working on songs for a third album. However a release date has not yet been set.
Listen: Empathy Test @ Spotify
The Juggernauts is a Belgian band featuring Peter Mastbooms aka ‘BORG’ (music, lyrics and vocals) and Glenn Keteleer (music and producer). BORG is a veteran of the Belgian scene who was involved in bands like Vomito Negro and The Klinik. Glenn Keteleer got some fame with his Radical G project and is more involved into minimal-electronics and techno-body music. The Juggernauts released a promising debut-EP “Phoenix” in 2013, but we had to wait 3 more years to discover their debut full length “The Juggernauts Are Coming”.
The Juggernauts have found a right balance between a retro-EBM sound and the modern technology and knowledge of a techno-inspired production. It’s not exactly a reinvention of EBM, but it’s more like classical EBM with a refreshing touch on top.
The Juggernauts are not just making good-old EBM, but they take care to accomplish it with a unique touch and approach. The sound is into pure vintage elements while refreshed with a powerful and modern production.
Listen: The Juggernauts @ Spotify
Promenade Cinema are a modern synthpop duo from the UK. Influenced by the early pioneers of electronic music, together with dramatic film scores and soundtracks, you will find them captivating audiences with ‘danceable darkwave’ and striking multi-layered vocals. Memorable hooks and opulent melodies will take you on a musical voyage covering a wide variety of emotion and imagery. Promenade Cinema‘s debut album ‘LIVING GHOSTS’, was released 23rd February 2018, and showcases outstanding production by Steve Whitfield (The Cure, The Mission) & mastering by Dean Honer of The Bowling Green (The Human League, Pulp, Moby). The album stands proudly alongside the best of them with reviews citing ‘The finest band to come out of Sheffield since The Human League’ & ‘the best bet for the next big thing!’.
An eagerly anticipated follow up album is due in early 2020.
Listen: Promenade Cinema @ Spotify