Sixteen-minutes of bug-eyed psyched electronica, colouring outside the lines of genre and driving, as ever, the wrong way down the road of expectation, are released as four members of Super Furry Animals reconvene their Das Koolies ‘dream project’ to deliver their debut EP. On the same day as The Condemned EP is born to the cosmos, the band releases visuals for short-circuiting, glitch-rock UFO, You Killed My Robot.
Content that nothing remains the same forever, Huw Bunford, Cian Ciarán, Dafydd Ieuan and Guto Pryce turn to face a new era of music making that began in the fields of North Wales in the early nineties, as days and nights blended beneath tidal waves of beats, breaks and bleeps. Affecting an outline of the band they’d always thought they’d become; the release of Das Koolies’ The Condemned EP is a crackling document of the past as well as the future.
You Killed My Robot pulls focus to the global, social and political outlook of the band, telling stories of technology lost to human folly. Lamenting and paying tribute to the easily-sacrificed drones that went deep into the destroyed reactors of the doomed Fukushima nuclear plant, the churning sea of warped vocals and acidic guitars pulls listeners into Das Koolies’ superheated atmosphere of maelstrom and meltdown.
The Condemned EP has been released on digital and limited 12″ vinyl formats on the band’s own Strangetown label in association with Amplify Music. Releasing the EP’s title track in February, Das Koolies’ creative planet was illustrated with an animated video from Edwin Burdis/Dah Dit Dit, lowering landed viewers onto the terrain of a dystopian, machine-led world that remains to have further, uncharted territories revealed in due course.
Plugged-in bombast is unambiguously and unapologetically the Das Koolies sound yet the breadth of ideas linking arms beneath that artistic umbrella, including Dim Byd Mawr’s (English: Nothing Big) sunny, Beach Boys-meets-Kraftwerk blend, foments immediate wonder at what not only lies within now but what could lie ahead. Signing off the track listing with Grab A Slice, returning to unhurried bassy beats and squeaks over a rangy, five minute sonic journey, Das Koolies’ construction site of hip-hop, punk and dance influenced splendour is rising from solid foundations.
The Condemned EP was produced by Das Koolies and mixed in collaboration with Chris Shaw (Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, Run-DMC).
Das Koolies’ missed ‘Eureka!’ moment stems from Super Furry Animals’ first gig, in Bangor in 1993, curtailed after 30 seconds in a blur of misfiring electronics and one-eyed chemical compromise that rendered nimble, technical fingers incapable. Fast forward to the grandiose setting of Real World studios, 1998 and the four piece reconvene after being given the keys to the toy shop, setting about furtively exploring the tolerances of black boxes, wires and transistors. The band, never far from their thoughts, then fell into deep sleep while other musical priorities were set.
In a brief statement, Das Koolies say: “From the bridge we can see our course corrected and deep seas of sound lie before us. Liberated, equipped, prepared and full sail.”
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