In case you didn't catch our review of dadala’s previous release Just Look In My Head it is pertinent that the listener has an understanding of how this music is put together. For me the process makes the music that much more interesting to listen to. For a full explanation check out their website but basically dadala has four members who live in three different states and practice improvisation recording. Basically they record, manipulate, sample whatever to their heart desires and then send it to RDunlap (founder of the band) to “arrange, combine, remix, edit, layer and otherwise manipulate.”
On their latest release Near Normal you have moments, which sound exactly like what you might expect. There are instruments and sounds that are chaotic and sometimes greatly mirror free jazz. Despite not having much structure, the best part about listening to the music is when you find a serendipitous moment. For instance when you listen to the second song “Salamander Pyramid” there are a couple of moments where you think to yourself they must have planned this out rather than each of them just doing their own thing.
The album starts out with “Box of Ash 1” which is full of sporadic lead guitar that somehow works with the bass as well drum work that is mostly tom fills and cymbals. It not a song for the feint of heart and is the type of song somebody might freak out on if they ingested too many drugs. “The Night with the Canyonites” mixes what sounds like horns and rhythmic loops. The song does have a bit of crescendo, then it dissipates and begins to coalesce again. I was astonished that “Sawdust Beach Clarinet Trio” was not planned out. It sounded like the most cohesive song yet and even had an emotional pull that was devoid on some of the previous songs. There's a distinct disconnected melancholy type vibe throughout that is mostly provided by the horns. “Etc Etc Sax Trio” sounded aligned as there was an overt jazz feel that reminded me of the vibe the classic album “Laughing Stock” by Talk Talk,
Overall, this can be a hard listen but is rewarding if you put the time in. Fans of free jazz may have just found their new favorite band.
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