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2018-07-26

DEAD NEANDERTHALS - Life / Birth

After the soothing vocal jazz of Malia it's time to bring some karmatic equilibrium to my jazz reviews again. And apart from that it's been a hell of an an eternity since my last Dead Neanderthals article. More than half of a year. Fuck me!

It's not the new wave of dutch heavy jazz duo's fault though. They've already released a bunch of stuff this year. I simply was occupied with other stuff and not ready yet to immerse myself in their latest brainfuckery.

But now I give you a double review of the one-track album "Life" from April and the one-track EP "Birth", released just a couple of days ago:


DEAD NEANDERTHALS - Life (download) (2018)

Imagine you're having some serious bowl movement issues and so you are in for an extra-long sitting on the loo... Hey, wait! I know that's not the best sentence to start a review, but please bear with me here!

Since the locus has no windows, the automatic ventilation sets in. The sound mixes with the washing machine in the next room. Upstairs in the distance you have forgotten to turn off your alarm clock, so its beeping also creeps into the soundscape.

Last but not least the water tap is leaking, slowly dripping into the sink. *ping*

*ping*

*ping*

All those noises flow together into one steady stream of sound with only small random variations. It lulls you in and makes you add imaginary sounds to the mix.

"Life" is the Dead Neanderthals' first album without either saxophone or drums. It's just made with looped synth and effect noises and two Glockenspiel chime bars. Yes, two as in "two notes".

Even by this band's standards "Life" is a highly experimental and minimalistic listening experience. If this thirty-six minutes long excercise in droning ambience doesn't fall into the realm of "acquired taste", then such a thing does not exist.

My last review of something similarily special was the Owlbites album. If you gave that one a listen and found it too flamboyant, you should give "Life" a try!

In the Dead Neanderthals catalogue this is without a doubt something new. Maybe closest in spirit to "Craters" or maybe "The Depths" (since it has some weird relaxed vibe to it), but with way less... uhm... music.

It's fucking brilliant by the way.






DEAD NEANDERTHALS - Birth (download) (2018)

Running only twelve minutes the download only EP "Birth" is much shorter and follows releases like "Organ Donor" or "Dolphin".

Musically however this relentless sax and drums groove feels more like a continuation of the "Womb Of God" LP.

But since Dead Neanderthals always add new facets to their basic formula of achieving maximal effect with the use of a minimal amount of notes, there is a twist to "Birth". On top of his saxophone Otto Kokke unapologetically baths this track in a shamelessly thick soup of synthesizers, which are normally reserved for the drone side of the band. In consequence "Birth" sounds like a hybrid of the most metallic version of Dead Neanderthals and Zombi. Or imagine Gost being a "real" band instead of a one-man project and jamming it out between takes for "Possessor".

Sick shit!

One question of course goes for both "Birth" and "Life": Is this really still jazz?

To which I reply yep, definitely - and be it only for sake of making the world of jazz even cooler than it already is. And also: Who fucking cares?







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