26 Oct Trading Tunes with DEN
Before I flew up to BIGSOUND in September, I had only heard one song – ‘Poltergeist‘ – by the Sydney band DEN. But its similarities to Total Control were enough to intrigue me and make sure I caught a set of theirs, and what I witnessed was the most exhilarating, unpredictable, yet extremely tight set of the week. Most importantly they defined themselves as more than just another post-punk band, with the live performance containing elements of Gothic, post-rock and even experimental music.
I chose to use a screen grab (above) from their latest video ‘Inertia‘ where a hand is reaching up to twistedly play the keys, because that’s actually something that happened during the set I saw. One of the band members was sitting on what looked like a milk crate, he was barely off the floor as he reached slightly up to play multiple keyboards around him, like a mad scientist who doesn’t have time for something so pedestrian as a chair. DEN themselves feel and sound like a someone going mad and it’s fascinating to witness.
Before the band embark on their tour next month, they kindly agreed to be part of Trading Tunes, and sent us some of their favourite late ’70s tracks.
Wire – ‘Single KO’
From the seminal ‘154‘. Cold and atmospheric. Wire effortlessly create an environment impossible to emulate in a three note riff. “I’ve found something, No one else was looking for”.
Magazine – ‘Light Pours Out Of Me’
Magazine was formed when Howard Devoto left the Buzzcocks with the intent of making a more progressive band. The very definition of Post-Punk. There’s a real sense of ambition on their first record Real Life. Massively influential.
Units – ‘I Night’
No guitars- Just synths. One of the most unique bands. When I heard them for the first time it was like hearing this piece of the puzzle you never knew you were missing.
Crime – ‘Hot Wire My Heart’
‘San Francisco’s first ‘punk band’. I always thought this was a Sonic Youth song (they covered it on ‘Sister‘). Off Crime‘s first 7″, this song has one of the most vicious guitar sounds I’ve ever heard. Do yourself a favour and get the Murder by Guitar LP compilation.
Richard Hell and the Voidoids – ‘Love comes in Spurts’
Proper ’70s punk. Richard Hell puts Television to shame in this song, especially that solo. Some of my favourite guitar playing on this track.
|17th Nov – Grace Darling Basement, Melbourne||24th Nov – Wooly Mammoth, Brisbane|
|10th Dec – Black Sydney|