I tell ya… we get all kinds of crazy requests over here on this side of the screen. A second review of Dadanaut’s Zeitnarren after a whole bunch of changes have been made to it, based on my recommendations in the I wrote back in January this year? I mean… I like the music this band makes, so sure, why not…but at the same time it’s like, yooooooooo… if you had taken the path I’d recommended, why not also just assume everything is all good now? You don’t really need a second opinion to confirm that kinda stuff, from my perspective.
Anyhow. Here we are, and that’s what we’re doing. I’m not going back through my old notes before I write a new review… if there’s one person out there that reads my work less than you all do, trust me when I tell ya, it’s me. That being said… according to memory here… Zeitnarren once started with a different track, did it not? We’ve got “Weltallbrüder” as the opening tune now, and I think that was a good choice to get the energy and interest in this record flowing in the right direction instantly. It’s got this like… galaxy-based vibe to it that sounds like you’re navigating your own spaceship through the stars as you listen to this track… I dig how it gently moves and shifts between the lefts and rights as you listen to it through the production on the song… it’s an adventurous cut that I think people are gonna dig on. It’s got that highly interesting shift just prior to the four-minute mark too that nearly puts the brakes on “Weltallbrüder” in a way, but also sends it moving in a different direction for a moment or two that does a good job of keeping this opening track diverse as it plays on. I’ll be real with ya and highlight the fact that Dadanaut is always going to appeal to a much more niche part of the potential audience out there on this planet, but that’s why it’s actually quite crucial to start what most folks would consider to be an experimental type of record off on the most accessible notes that you can. It’s not like you’re necessarily tricking anyone into listening, but you’re putting your best foot forward – make sense? It gives people the opportunity and chance to adjust their way out of whatever they were listening to before and step into a world of sound that’s guaranteed to be different. Because that’s what Dadanaut is and has proven to be – different – but like, you know, the right kind of different that’s fresh & exciting.
I don’t remember having any issues with “Rücksturz” either for what it’s worth… I seem to remember this track being as interesting as I’d consider it to be now. I could be wrong, but it does seem like it’s got a bit more spark to it and additional life in its veins… but I don’t remember being any kind of unhappy with it before and I’m not now either. Like I’ve been tellin’ ya… ultimately, Dadanaut’s got to find a way to accept that it’s as simple as not all music is ever gonna be for everybody, that’s it, that’s all. No one out there needs to please me from start to finish on any record, and they shouldn’t be out there thinking that they can please YOU for the very same reasons. Don’t get me wrong, if it’s Top-40 type stuff, sure, there could very well be major things that need to be done in order to fix something about an album’s accessibility… but when you’re in the experimental & artistic realm like Dadanaut is, really, most folks are best left to their own devices and instincts rather than attempting to please the masses. “Rücksturz” is still a quality cut… and I’d still wager that it’s not going to be the song that sets the world on fire too… if you like your alternative art-music, then you’re going to dig it, and if ya don’t, you won’t – it’s really that simple. I really like and appreciate that there’s a whole atmospheric vibe that surrounds this set-list of songs on Zeitnarren, but no matter what changes would have ever been made, it’s still going to be music that is decisively on the fringe of what people listen to. Dadanaut’s audience likely completely gets what Dadanaut does and what they’re all about… there’s no need to cater to anyone, but at the same time, I do appreciate the dedication being taken to make the best experience they can.
What I remember completely working for me before was “Untergrundkanal” – and this definitely still does. I was just listening to a different band not too long ago… called… Flange Circus – in fact I probably posted the review of their latest record called Katabasis up on our pages right before this one you’re reading now if I’m still on schedule… and a track like “Untergrundkanal” would have practically fit right onto that album too. I like that this whole song has a highly mysterious vibe to it, a spectacular mix of sound that emphasizes both the low-end and the high-end at once, and attention to detail that’s second to none… I don’t feel like anything about “Untergrundkanal” has been overlooked and I’d be surprised to hear if this song changed much from the last time I heard it. Maybe some different tones in here & there in the guitar layer? Honestly, I’d have to go back in time to be able to tell for sure. I dig this tune because in a way, it’s actually surprisingly easy to listen to this whole song as one cohesive unit, because that’s truly what it is… yet if you’re listening to each layer, it’s like there are several competing ideas to be found. Usually when that’s the case, you get some kind of sonic chaos, but “Untergrundkanal” comes out with a very seamless & fluid flow that brings you into a real journey of mystery & melody combined.
I suppose the point I’m trying to make isn’t really about necessarily trying to aim at pleasing everyone, but more-so that any kind of real art, like Dadanaut is making with their music, should be hotly debated by the people consuming it. For example, I basically think “Weltallschwestern” is complete audible perfection… but I wouldn’t at all expect or assume that everyone is going to agree with me on that. For some, it’s going to be way too ambient or too slow I suppose… or maybe doesn’t change enough until you pass by that 2:30 mark… and if that’s how you feel when you listen, that’s my point – it’s OKAY to feel that way. Music is supposed to be designed to evoke different reactions not only because it’s being made with different sounds we all do & don’t respond to overall, but also because each of us absorb things differently as individuals too. Then there’s the whole thing about what kind of day you’re having and how your own moods would affect or alter what you’re listening to, which is a whole other can of worms we can get into one day. Anyhow – if you’re asking for my personal opinion, I’d probably still put a track like “Weltallschwestern” up there with some of the best I’ve heard this year without a doubt, and I still feel like it’s a genuine highlight for ambient/atmospherically-based music on the whole. It’s a captivating beauty that’s being caught in this recording… it’s got that multi-dimensional vibe to it, and feels like we’re experiencing something truly unknown or unheard by our human ears to this point, yet it still comes along with this warm glow, spirited sound, and comforting thread that ties it all together.
That was it… it was this one… “Graswurzelrevolution” was the song that originally started up this album on the last time I heard it, was it not? And you see? This is kind of my point… I’m listening to it now over here, and I’m thinking to myself, well, why couldn’t it be the opening song? Don’t get me wrong, I think that “Weltallbrüder” is still a much better choice… and I think that “Graswurzelrevolution” has a series of more challenging tones and frequencies coming atcha in the middle of it that are still definitely a barrier between Dadanaut and the average everyday listeners out there… but yeah – am I in favor of keeping it in here? Sure. Like I’ve been saying – I don’t expect us all to agree on music that could be defined as art, which is exactly what Dadanaut creates. So whether it’s a jarring tone of bizarre frequency – we should be okay with discovering those oddities in a project like this, because it’s their willingness to explore what’s beyond typical that will consistently lead Dadanaut to profound breakthroughs over the years to come. I don’t know that any changes beyond where it sits in the lineup could necessarily make the accessibility factor of a song like “Graswurzelrevolution” improve all that much… this is simply one of those songs that if you dig on what Dadanaut does, there’d be nothing stopping you from like this too, but if you were on the fence or unsure, it’s not going to be the cut that’d convince you to stay onboard.
I remember the title-track “Zeitnarren” as being one of this record’s more accessible cuts, but also had some sort of potential obstacles to it through the artistic elements surrounding the main melody if I do recall correctly. With everything seeming like it’s completely smooth sailing as you head into the second minute of “Zeitnarren” on this updated version of the album, I’d venture a guess that there’s probably been more put into changing this particular track than there has been in tinkering with the rest of the lineup… but I’ve got no time machine and can’t really be certain about that. It does sound like there’s a bit less involved on “Zeitnarren” this time around… and if that’s truly the case, I think it’s to the song’s benefit overall. There’s no doubt that the middle of this cut with its flexing different pace & sound is still going to present a challenge to most folks that are listening, but I do feel like “Zeitnarren” has a stronger chance overall of reaching more ears based on what I’m hearing in it now. If Dadanaut made no changes to it whatsoever, congratulations, you got me – but assuming things have been smoothed-out in this new variation and I’m not crazy, I think everything worked out for the best in this latest update. It does have a very appealing melody to it, and it still retains that atmospheric vibe that makes this whole album unique to itself… so if changes really were made, I don’t feel like Dadanaut had to compromise too much or sacrifice anything that made “Zeitnarren” sound like the type of song they wanted included.
Where I felt like the most noticeable difference came in was on “Ko(s)mischer Tanz” at the very end – this track was a whole lot shorter before if I recall correctly, and practically kind of a throwaway song in the previous version, or a tune that felt unfinished at the time. Don’t get me wrong – I totally remember enjoying it, but there just wasn’t enough of it before… and now there is, which is great. Expanded to a more robust 4:53, “Ko(s)mischer Tanz” has a much greater opportunity to display its innovative and fun vibe… the whole track is like the audible equivalent of watching light bounce off the stars in the solar system, or being blown away by the colors reflecting through a prism. That sounds enticing right? It is! Again, I’ll remain fairly stoic in my advice that I’m not sure that the lengthening of “Ko(s)mischer Tanz” is going to be what wins over the hearts and minds of the people out there… I really don’t think things work like that for the experimental/art-music genres… but as a proud member of the core audience for material like Dadanaut creates, I can certainly vouch for the fact that more of a good thing can definitely be a great thing. “Ko(s)mischer Tanz” makes for a stellar ending to this lineup as its been reassembled in this updated version of Zeitnarren… I seem to remember advocating for it to be the opening track last time around, but that was likely a reflection of how it was a shorter intro-style of a tune before. Now that it’s had a chance to expand, evolve, and grow to nearly a five minute long song, it really works well as the finale to Zeitnarren, and Dadanaut should be mighty pleased about how it’s come out this time.
I’ll close on this… which is what I’d consider if I was Dadanaut going forward. We can spend our lives potentially perfecting each and every song that we write, and still never end up pleasing anyone, right up to & including ourselves as creators. Or, conversely, we can push forward even further into the unknown, banking on the fact that while things might be more varied in the results, pursuing something new each time will of course, lead to more breakthroughs and profound moments in creativity. There is no right or wrong answer as to which is the best method to pursue, only our own individual goals to guide us along, which dictate the path we take with our art and our music. I’d never be the guy to tell anyone not to go back and look at the past even though I don’t spend much time on my own professionally… I’m certain there’s value in it – but at the same time, I always feel inclined to push for what’s behind door number two, to continue the creative process and see what else you’re capable of. Like I said… there’s no right or wrong way to go, it’s simply about what you want to achieve with the music you’re making and finding a place where you’re comfortable calling it finished, and that’s not always an easy line for everyone to find. Hopefully Dadanaut’s found what they were looking for in this updated lineup on Zeitnarren, and we’ll be moving on to the next set of wild ideas in their music ahead.
released March 4, 2023
It is Dink all alone ... again.
Thanks for pre-listening and opinions: Felix, Andrea and Jer.