Daturah: S/T (Graveface Records, 2005)

by Jason

Daturah STHailing from Frankfurt, Germany, Daturah is a noise-rock band who has released three tracks on Grave Face Records. Their self-titled disc contains about 45 minutes of spacey drones mixed with post-rock subtleness. The tracks are epics and, although they seem to be mature tracks, this happens to be Daturah’s debut. In many ways, this disc will draw on the listener’s emotions as it tells musical epics that astound and impress.

“Shoal” introduces the listener to this band’s epic sound. The listener is introduced to Daturah with shimmering sounds and a low, subtle drone that undergirds the backward tracks and sampled speech, which is embedded far back in the mix. Eventually, the primary guitar line starts to come up in the mix slowly but surely. The quality of their mix is lush, layered, patient and beautiful. Then, the drums and bass kick in and give a slow, patient drive to the song, pushing it along. Piano begins to echo the shimmering guitars. I hate to make comparisons because they are usually trite and not exact, as one would expect, but this album rivals God is an Astronaut, Mogwai, Detwiije and many others in the same genre. When the song turns more aggressive, the guitars soar and the wall of sound swells to epic proportions. About nine minutes into the track, the swell subsides and shimmering guitar and sampled speech fill the void. The swell builds a little more quickly as the end of this 15.59-minute track approaches its climax. The guitars begin to cry out again and the drums and bass pump, being undergirded by a beautifully crafted wall of sound. As the track winds down, the bass drum pulses on top of a layer of sound and some vocal tracks in German. Then, a variation of their composition comes up in the mix with heavy snare work.

“Warmachines” begins with an ominous drone that pulses and clicks in low tones. The German samples come up again in the mix. This may be a reminder of the major world wars in Europe. The guitars weep throughout the track and the drums seem to signify the movement of tanks and military vehicles. Daturah’s epic feel plays well in the role of commenting on something like this. Perhaps it is a warning to those in the west as the Middle East is besieged. Perhaps it is both, reminding others of Germany’s past and the inherent consequences of the nation’s action for those who live today and are at war. The guitars get angry and the wall of sound thrusts itself against the speakers. A slightly chaotic moment gives way to a more pensive sound. The huge feel of this track could play itself out in any war scene in a movie and give it the impression that both sides lose and there are never winners in war. It is a ‘violent’ song with its weeping guitars and swells of anger. Breathtaking and wide-reaching, “Warmachines” is poignant and timely. As it fades from the speakers, it drips with sadness.

“Lovelight” begins with low, angelic voices and minimal guitar. This turns into a brighter song then the rest, with glimmers of hope ringing through the guitars. The drums have more high-hat, creating a much-less ominous feel to the track and the walls of low, dirge like walls of sound are absent. The guitars play off one another beautifully and the tone is brilliant. Aggression builds a wall of sound, but still, the same tones pervade throughout the sea of noise. The track fades to fuzz and a bright clicking sound. This rounds out the album and, frankly, leaves the listener breathless.

Daturah produces an exquisite medley of chaos and beauty that is combined to evoke powerful emotions and images for the listener. Their swells of sound wash over one like a tide of unprecedented aggression and, at other moments, wrap one in a serene hope. Brilliant, compelling, and emotive, Daturah should be counted among the current post-rock kings and queens.

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