Datashock – Para Dieswärts Dull (C60, Colour Ride)

Datashock takes the title of this C60 from an Amon Düül record (more or less, with some change), and for those who haven’t heard Datashock’s blend of psychedelic jams, ambient interludes, and free-spirited procession of lengthy repeated riffage, the name is a good indicator of Datashock’s krautrock roots. The lineup on this tape is fairly widespread, containing electronics, guitars, drums, flutes, and a few other choice instruments that add to an atmospheric climax of sounds. The sides are all about thirty minutes long, and the structure of Para Dieswärts Dull consists of four tracks (though only listed as A and B for track titles) that blend together as a cohesive 60-minute movement.

The extended length is cut between the two sides, and there’s a very precise stopping point which rewards listeners who either want to enjoy a track separately at a time or who’d like to give the whole thing a listen in one sitting. Each track on a side resembles each other musically, and at times there’s little the listener can do to discern the point where songs transition. Instead, Datashock blends the tracks into a flowing, ethereal sound, overlapping transcendental tones by sustaining them for minutes on end.

Side A begins with a flowing, somnolent mix of ethereal tones and what sounds like pan flutes, along with a few samples of nature and bird chirping. It’s a slow build of instruments, which requires  each member of the group in the process – tambourines, guitars, background moaning, all sort of meld together slowly and through a process of wandering. Drums and other spindly guitar chords craft a very hypnotic rhythm, and though this side is the more placid of the two, its build is wicked and characterized by an attention to slowly-changing dynamics.

Side B utilizes the jam session momentum of the track to continue similar riffs long into the track; pounding, simplistic drums keep a steady rhythm as guitar, occasional vocals, and sound samples shimmer and flow spontaneously. The production values on the tape – which are not entirely clean but crisp enough to hear each sound – add to a sense of psychedelic bliss; the sounds are not too close, and it gives them room to expand and echo. The side is very climactic, a series of ebbs and flows categorized by rhythmic pulses of drums which sometimes drop out, only to build again with progressing drum fills. Though repetitive in structure, the music changes throughout, giving a sense of impermanence, of constant change, to the song.

If you’re into the stylings of jam bands, with their free-spirited flow and seemingly endless spirals of sound, Para Dieswärts Dull is an excellent collection of songs. Even those who dig the effervescence of the current post rock genre will find the intricate workings of this Colour Ride offering very intriguing. Absolutely recommended for its psychedelic factor;  for those who are looking for a noise or drone affair, this tape is not in that realm.

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