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coverpic flag Germany - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 27 - 01/02/99

Deutsch Amerikanische
Freundschaft

Die Kleinen und die Bösen
Alles ist gut
Gold und Liebe
Für immer
All re-released on Mute Records - The Grey Area

Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft, or DAF for short as they named themselves later in their career were one the most important German bands in the early eighties. They were one of the bands that influenced a whole generation of German bands who made up the so called "Neue Deutsche Welle", the German incarnation of New Wave. However, like many other progressive German bands (Can, Kraftwerk, Einstürzende Neubautren), they first became big outside Germany - in Great Britain. Therefore it's Mute Records in England who put out the re-releases of their classic albums. In the early eighties DAF created a new style of music, which was named "Electronic Body Music" later by their imitators. Their music was also highly influental on the techno movement in the early nineties. Some of the ealier DAF members became important members of the German techno scene later.

The band was founded as part of the German punk / post punk scene in the late seventies. They released a first album in 1979, Ein Produkt der Deutsch-Amerikanischen Freundschaft, a raw and noisy album, quite hard to find nowadays and unfortunately not part of the re-release series. In 1980 they relocated in London and released an album on Mute Records, a label that later made it big through the success of Depeche Mode. By the way, the DAF record Die Kleinen und die Bösen was the first full length album Mute has put out.

Sonically it's still the raw, noisy, and chaotic "early" DAF sound, especially on the second half of the album which was recorded live. The band was still working as a full band with a guitarist and drummer. Thematically the album already exhibits the controversional nature of the band with lyrics like "East is the best" (during the cold war era, mind you) on one side and the World War II nursery rhymes "the funny boots are marching over Poland" on the other.

But the major labels became aware of them and DAF (in the meantime reduced to a duo of singer Gabi Delgado and the original drummer and now electronic musician Robert Görl) was signed by one of them. Their music became more electronic, cleaner and more rhythmically accentuated. Heavy and hard throbbing disco rhythms for club play with very minimal melodies and lyrics. They were often accused of supporting the Neo-Nazi movement with lines like "Dance the Mussolini ... dance the Adolf Hitler". However their critics failed to address similarly controversial lines from the same track like "Dance the Communism" which lead to the conclusion that the purpose was rather mere shock value than political message. Beyond that most DAF tracks carry overtly sexual connotations (tracks like Sex Under Water for example).

The three successful major label albums are all more or less similar in style. The first one, Alles ist gut, has most of their well known hits (Der Mussolini, Der Räuber und der Prinz - a big hit in Germany in 1981), but this is most likely due to the fact that the sound was new then and wore out a bit after that. The second one, Gold und Liebe, is a little bit on the lighter and poppier side. Für immer is closer to the harder edge and features a re-recording of an old DAF classic Militürk, now titled Kebabträume, which was often recorded by other bands as well. In retrospect these albums are all equally good, and that is probably the reason why Mute Records decided to put them out on digitally remastered gold edition CDs through their re-release series for classic industrial music "The Grey Area".

After these albums DAF decided to call it quits. They reformed for a very short and less successful period in the mid-eighties and the members pursued various follow-up projects over the years. This year, coincidently with the Mute reissues they announced a comeback, but new material has yet to turn up.

Copyright © 1999 Lonely Locke e-mail address

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