“Influenced by progressive rock, kosmiche, and fusion forms, the UK trio Das Rad of Nick Robinson on guitars & electronics, Martin Archer on sax, reeds, winds, keys and electronics, Steve Dinsdale on drums and percussion, and Julie Archer on voice, bringing 70s sounds to modern sensibilities and superb creative playing, a great achievement.”
Das Rad is a Sheffield group driven by guitar, sax, and drums, hellbent on a motorik plummet down through the orange glow of the urban night. Combining developed arrangements with textural and improvised pieces, the driving rhythm encourages tyre-slash guitar to burn rubber across the surface of Tenser, ending in a Hendrix-inspired crash’n’burn. Play this mutha LOUD! The final word is with the band:
“We think of this as a European record by European musicians, and we’ve reflected this within the song titles, our own small protest against the political and social insanity which coincides with the release of this work.” Indeed.
And from Philadelphia
We’re featuring soon on a Finnish Radio show
Dereck Higgins has posted a great review of our CD on his video blog 😉
“Porto Steps” has been featured on Thought Radio 😉
German review site Babyblaue Seiten liked our CD so much they gave it a second good review – this one from Jochen Rindfrey!
Das Rad? How does a British band get such a name? Including partially German titles? Anyway, such a British trio is called around the busy Martin Archer, who already excited my ears with Combat Astronomy and Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere, and is active in several other projects. Das Rad is another that has been active since 2016 and released its first album in the fall of 2018. In addition to Martin Archer, who mainly contributes various woodwind instruments, include drummer Steve Dinsdale (also a member of the aforementioned Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere and the electronics group Radio Massacre International) and guitarist Nick Robinson.
The musical goal of the trio is described on its homepage as “exploring a motoric vein” , and that suits it pretty well. The rhythm is in fact rather straightforward which drives the music stoically. There are all sorts of escapades of brass and guitar, supplemented by some electronic sounds. Often they go into jazz-rocky areas, occasionally with slight Canterbury influence, also influences of the newer King Crimson (especially in Tenser ) and every now and then some electronic Krautrock. The latter can dominate in stages and dissolve the music into largely free, cosmic, wafting sounds; not cozy drifting as so often with the old Krautrockers, but here with corners and edges.
Nevertheless, the music never seems too abstrract, and despite some excursions in avant-garde sound worlds remains predominantly relatively “accessible” (which melodic freaks might judge differently). For jazz and brass aligned listeners, the equally original and virtuosic instrumental program of Das Rad is strongly recommended. Incidentally, the logo on the CD, which is inspired by that of the legendary Harvest label, is also original.
When Google offered me a chance to analyse chords for a Das Rad video, I couldn’t refuse! Here’s the results for a live track. I thought we were more sophisticated ;(
Short & sweet – “Fine instrumental music”.
Babyblaue have given us a high rating on this review.
Here’s the raw translation from google to give you the gist 😉
A colorful and multi-faceted instrumental program can be found on The Wheel, with occasional krautrockigen, Canterbury-like and crimsonesk-frippery reminiscences. A quite extensive instrumentation starts here probably the band started as guitar-sax-drums-trio. Electronically amplified and acoustic guitars, all sorts of wind instruments, drums and percussion, and various electronic sounds, keyboard sounds and effects equipment mainly produce the music. The result is a mix of punchy modern Prog driven by Dinsdale’s drumming, freer electronic tinkering, jazz-rocking, extensive retro-ingredients and a little experimental-avant-garde (avant-prog).
A little Krautrock à la New! and Harmonia, or related motor-repetitive rhythm patterns, a dash of Canterbury, especially minimalist e-piano patterns in the spirit of soft machine (you can hear “Canterbury Steps”) or corresponding sax or flute lines, a few mellotronartige patterns, a good shot more recent King Crimson, embroidery and Frippsche soundscapes – the retro-ingredients – are mixed here with jazzy sax lines, sonorous flute pads (also recorder), all kinds of echoing and resounding guitar excesses, dense electronic braids, chamber-progressive reed horns, sonorous key carpets and innumerable tonal, shimmering, honking, hissing, fiependen, growling, whispering and whining instrumental ornaments. Sometimes very rhythmic, sometimes shapeless-floating, this music glides along, sonorous and voluminous, sometimes very powerful and dynamic, but often also playfully meandering or hypnotic-cosmic wafting (listen to the concluding “London Steps”).
“Das Rad” offers a very colorful, retro-modern Proggemenge with a lot of reverb and atmosphere, which Proggerinnen and Proggern, the edgy instrumental Progs appreciate with strong electronic components and jazzy impurities, should appeal very much.