Dadanaut – Zeitnarren – Album Review
Hopefully you all still remember the name Dadanaut…it was just slightly over a month ago, way back in the year 2022 that we last posted this project up on our pages in a review of the album Epopoee, so the moniker really should still be fresh in your mind. If it’s not, you might want to get yourself checked out by a doctor sometime soon, to be sure that you aren’t losing your marbles at a rate quicker than I am.
Anyhow! We’ve got the new record Zeitnarren spinning here in the studio today, and have been throughout this past week or so. It starts out with the atmospherically-inclined track called “Graswurzelrevolution,” which sonically declares Dadanaut’s odd and artistic intentions once again as the album begins. From the sound of things at the start, I’d bet on things becoming less accessible to the masses idea-wise, even though the smoothness & clarity of the production should generally give any of these songs a decent chance of earning your attention. Call it experience, call it cynicism, call it whatever ya like really…I just have a grip on what the people out there tend to be able to stick with and want to listen to, and any time there’s a noteworthy amount of artistic depth that challenges convention, you’ve generally got a firm barrier between the average everyday listener and your creativity. Such is life I suppose…they know not what they do, and they tend to know less about what they’re missing. “Graswurzelrevolution” has a couple obstacles to overcome I’d say…the artistic depth is one thing, but the track is also built on searing lead-tones that might very well become a bridge too far for the general public. Personally I dig texture and tones of all kinds…for myself, I just want to be able to feel the music I’m listening to, and in that regard, you can practically reach out and touch a song like “Graswurzelrevolution” because it’s audibly that vivid. The background’s softer clarity and melody could be enough to keep the people onboard…it’s hard to say honestly…I feel like it could go either way. One thing I do know, is that having a track like “Graswurzelrevolution” as track one carries a lot of risk with it, and that’s up to Dadanaut to decide if that’s a risk worth taking. On the one hand, it establishes the kind of experience you’re in for…and if you like what you hear, you’ll have no problem at all sticking it out for the rest of the record. On the other hand, this first track hasa level of creativity & imagination that folks often struggle with, which could potentially send a few listeners running straight out to the woods. Only Dadanaut knows what its ambitions are; if the risk is intentional, then let the chips fall where they may.
Chances are, “Weltallbrüder” might make for a better start to the record and give the people out there a better chance of getting into it. The accessibility is there, and it doesn’t feel like Dadanaut had to compromise the creativity to get there – it’s still as anti-typical as a tune could ever be to a large degree, but it has a brightness to its vibe and energy that I’d reckon people will enjoy. Spirited in sound, let’s put it that way. “Weltallbrüder” is still courageously creative and outright otherworldly, but there is a genuine spark to it that I feel people listening will really connect with. Pretty cool to me in the sense that, when you’re listening to the DNA of this tune up close, you can recognize just how immensely different each of its individual elements truly is compared to the majority of the music you hear out there in the scene, yet there’s a real gravitational pull & triumphant sound to this song that’ll get people onboard with it for sure. At least for the first four-minutes I’d say…after that, there’s probably an argument to be made over “Weltallbrüder” appealing more to the art-music crowd again, but for the vast majority of this track overall, I think there’s ideas that listeners will respond to enthusiastically. I like that it genuinely feels like a voyage, or a journey in sound…“Weltallbrüder” sincerely transports you.
“Rücksturz” has more of a piano-driven melody to it as it begins, synthesized as it may be. You can hear the classic, compositional roots of a track like this as it starts…but I suppose it’s fair to say it doesn’t really stay in that gear as it expands even further out into the beyond. Dadanaut is fairly known to push the boundaries of what you think you know about music in this direction or that, and “Rücksturz” is fashioned in that sense as well. I know that tracks like this aren’t going to keep the fans of Top-40 hanging around, but I’d suspect that Dadanaut knows that every bit as much as I do. Tracks like “Rücksturz” are definitely for the art crowd and the creative community…and as long as Dadanaut is comfortable with that, I’d imagine all is well and good & the mission has been accomplished. A track like “Rücksturz” has a very cinematic-meets-orchestral vibe to it…you could conceive a song like this being played by a full band with a hundred instruments, and it’d be quite the sight to see & hear I’m sure. As it stands now, it’s already something else to behold in audible form. As to what that something else IS, I’m not sure I can pin that down for you so much as to simply say it’s interesting to me. I feel like it’s one of the most adventurous and expressive tunes on the record, and I always felt like I enjoyed taking the ride that a song like “Rücksturz” takes us on. Like I was tellin’ ya earlier on, the music of Dadanaut really takes you somewhere in your mind as you listen…and any time we can have an experience like that, that allows us the opportunity to explore a world outside of our own…I feel like we should be grateful for it.
“Untergrundkanal” – I think I can understand that title without the use of Google translate! Cool! And for what it’s worth, it SOUNDS like an “Untergrundkanal” too. Kind of like the opposite of “It’s A Small World” at Disneyland, you follow me? Like you’re floating in this tiny little boat, heading into the unknown as it begins, dark and ominous, before you make it through to the other side and discover that it’s much more fascinating than scary. You see? Just like I was tellin’ ya…the polar opposite of “It’s A Small World” and the ride you’ll take at Disneyland, which is ALL scary and entirely frightening. All that singing and trying to promote togetherness…I shudder just thinking about it. I’m much more in favor of taking a journey like this into an odyssey of sound via the imaginatively instrumental ways of Dadanaut thank you very much. Do I expect that’s gonna be the case for everyone? Heck no! But just like I’ve been tellin’ ya all along, I don’t think that Dadanaut assumes that’s the case either…you don’t make music like this with the intention of aiming at the mainstream…this is music for the UNTERGRUND y’all – you get it now? Dadanaut exists to make tunes that are for people looking for something decidedly different to listen to, and in that regard, wildly succeeds. The quality is certainly there…whether it’s the production or the performances you’ll find, the commitment is always present. After that, like with any kind of music out there, you really just gotta release it into the wilderness and see what people think. For myself, I really enjoy creativity like you’ll find on “Untergrundkanal” and secretly, I love that not everyone will…I’ll never quite dispatch that musical-elitist sense of joy that I take with me everywhere.
It’s really gonna depend on what Dadanaut’s goals and intentions are overall. Even on cuts like the title-track “Zeitnarren,” where there are certain melodic hooks that are certain to appeal to everyone, they’re often surrounded by much more dominant artistic creativity that’s well-beyond the scope of the average everyday listener, which taints the overall accessibility, and seemingly on purpose by design. If that’s not the intention, or not the case, then of course there is a TON of work to be done to counter that effect…like…it would basically equate to an entire redesign of this whole record, so we have to assume logically that Dadanaut intends for these tracks to be considered and to challenge convention. There’s never anything wrong with going that route, it’s just a matter of dealing with the reality that anything different takes time to catch on or to find its audience. As I alluded to earlier on, those that dig what they hear from Dadanaut are likely to be intensely loyal fans, just like I am. I’d be the first to admit to you that I’m not gonna be in the mood to listen to Zeitnarren or Epopoee each and every day of my life, but I will also tell you that there are many times where Dadanaut’s music has been the perfect thing to put on as well. Not only is a track/record like “Zeitnarren” unique to listen to, but it’s also the kind of art that tends to inspire other art to come alive around it…so for you fellow writers out there looking for some kind of inspiring soundtrack…or you sculptors, painters, or creators of any kind – put this on and see where it takes you. You might just be surprised by the results of what YOU create when you’ve got music like this coming through your speakers and straight into your mind’s eye. So what if ya can’t sing along with it on your journey from point-A to point-B? I mean…who knows? Maybe you CAN – have you tried? That’s the thing about real creativity like you’ll find in this project…it can take you anywhere.
Truthfully I think “Weltallschwestern” might be the most accessible track from the set, but it is definitely also the mellowest…at least for the majority of it. If any of you out there are fans of Boards Of Canada, you’ll get it…this is right up that alley…think of something like the peaceful vibes you’d find in something like “A Beautiful Place Out In The Country” mixed with a bit of the mystery you’d find in something like “The Beach At Redpoint” and you’d probably end up with something close to this. You end up with this somewhat mysterious & curious beauty…that’s enticing, unique, and genuinely compelling to listen to. I think this is definitely up there with some of my favorites from Dadanaut so far. Part of me wants to recommend that “Weltallschwestern” stays in the light…I’m not always convinced that it needs the darker twists that occasionally pop up throughout its structure, and that the degree of accessibility would not only increase if this song didn’t have’em, it’d be straight-up universally loved by one and all. Again…it really comes down to what Dadanaut is looking to create. Sometimes the search for diversity in the songs we create can make the pathway to accessibility more difficult, sometime accessibility ain’t the goal…“Weltallschwestern” has an easy path towards acceptance from the masses, and I think even as it stands now, will likely still be regarded as one of this album’s most complete tunes. By adding in the simple twist of a beat to this track, Dadanaut might even end up with a genuinely single-worthy track…you never know what could happen if you keep tinkering with a track like “Weltallschwestern.” As much as I already enjoy it, I suspect there’s still a fair amount of potential left to be mined out of it.
The final track, “Kosmischer Tanz,” is probably the least consequential of the bunch at just a mere 2:34. I don’t think anyone’s gonna be offended by it, I don’t really think it’s going to be the track that everyone rushes back to hear again either…it’s a satisfying ending that doesn’t try to do or be too much. Do I enjoy it? Heck yeah I do! But I can still acknowledge that it’s not exactly a game changer. If you were still somehow on the fence about Dadanaut’s new record, it’s not gonna be “Kosmischer Tanz” that changes your mind, know what I mean? It’s a good tune…but more of a spacious & delicate finale than anything too dramatic or necessarily memorable. If anything, I’d say that “Kosmischer Tanz” almost sounds like a bit more of an intro than it does a final cut…which might be something to consider. To me, it’s a highly enticing song…but it makes me want a whole bunch more of something…as to what, I’m not all that sure…I might have even taken another five-minutes of this tune…it has that captivating, hypnotic, trance-like vibe to it…for a short track, we do lock right into this moment, and that’s a positive. I’d probably look at switching up “Kosmischer Tanz” and “Graswurzelrevolution” – it might just be me, but I feel like those two tracks could potentially make a bigger impact in the completely opposite spots that they currently appear in. Overall, Zeitnarren still has a whole lot of creativity to offer ya…the quality is still there, the imaginative ways of Dadanaut are still intact and thriving…but it’s possible to argue that a bit more time between releases could have been to this project’s benefit, and given a bit more to these tunes to allow everything to make an impact that would reach an even larger audience.
Find out more about Dadanaut from the official website at: https://kosmos.dadanaut.com
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