Thursday, 4 October 2007

GEORGE KRANZ: Din Daa Daa (Trommeltanz)

Released right at the end of 1983, and one of the first dance records to pick up on what Art Of Noise were playing at, “Din Daa Daa” is an unprecedented, even on a Sandy Nelson/Cozy Cole/Cozy Powell basis, and unrepeated piece of iced avant-bubblegum. Built around a DAF-type vocal sample of the title, drummer Kranz proceeds to have a mental breakdown, barking, hissing and screeching his drum patterns as he plays them – “boomboomboom BAP DAP do-do BASH!” “Ratatatatatatatataaa rrratatatatatatattt” – sometimes going into prolonged screams, but all the while skilfully building up the tension until the record breaks free of the water to become an oceanic jewel of deep sea synthesisers and a second, longer post-Duck Rock vocal sample for the bassline of the chorus, not that that stops Herr Kranz from shrieking or paradiddling.

Nearly a quarter of a century later, the record remains a guaranteed boggler of any mind, and I have always been quietly been delighted by the fact that it was arranged and produced by Christoph Franke, then still a key member of Tangerine Dream, since if it was Phaedra which first fired up the young Morley’s imagination sufficiently enough to get into music, write about it and eventually produce it, then there’s a lovely completion of the circle as Tangerine Dream derive renewed inspiration from something Morley dreamed up on a wet Wednesday afternoon. Given that an early and seldom heralded member of the Tangs was Peter Br√∂tzmann (what I’d pay to hear tapes of those recordings, if any exist!) I think I can conclude with at least semi-authority that if Han Bennink had ever set out to make a dance record, “Din Daa Daa” would have been it. The breakthrough mid-song is like opening the windows wide on a Arctically cold December morning and letting the whitened sunshine flood your world with implications of warmth.