Highly original band from Antwerp who combine folk, classical instruments and
the excitement of rock. Their aim : to break the barrier between classical and
"Die Anarchistische Abendunterhaltung! carries a German name. This is a quote from the German author Herman Hesse from the book "Steppenwolf". It goes :
Anarchistic evening entertainment!
The group is composed of four young men, all from Antwerp and classically trained musicians. Their music is a (instrumental) mix of eastern European folk-music, pop, klezmer, classic and jazz with heaps of energy, especially on stage. They have been compared to a whole range of bands and have been characterized both as pop, jazz and classical. They have been quoted as saying "we are classically derailed and play with a rock intention".
They came together for the first time in 1993, and the year after the band took part in contests for the first time and won the prize for the best musicality on the street music-contest in Balen. They also played in Avignon (France) and won the first prize in a national contest organized by "Jeugd en Muziek".
A year later they released their first (self-titled) album (Jack & Johnny Recording, later distributed by Columbia). It is full of "Drieslagstelsels".
The main fame of the band is based on their stage act : breaking strings and sweat drops dripping of Simon's cello. "No two performances are the same. But just when you think that all coherence is lost and they're just improvising without any scheme, they can surprise you with sudden rests or a piece of a dEUS or old blues song."
For the second album ("We need new animals", release June 1998), the group didn't hurry, because there were quite a bit of changes : de group got signed by Sony (classical), for the first time they worked with singers (An Pierlé on "Broken", Angélique Willkie (ex-Zap Mama) on "Dip 'n Dodge"), a producer of some reputation was hired (i.c. Phil Evans), the mixing was done by Michael Brook at the Real World studio's, the recording sessions took place in Spain (in a church & hotel in Ronda, a place that was bought by Filip Eyckmans of their management Musickness). Lastly, the name of the group was changed to a smoother DAAU (although that can be easily confused with the Ghent-based group Thou).
The musicians themselves already gave an almost perfect description of the album, two years before it was finished : "We still can go a long way tearing down barriers between music genres. In the beginning we thought we had come at a crossroads : either we evolve into a band that makes supersensitive, highly developed acoustic music. Or we allow even more influences of the music we listen to, like rock, rap & dance, to creep in. We were in doubt, but we decided in the end we don't want to limit ourselves. We will walk in both directions. We have chosen not to choose and now there's no way back." On their second CD the musical influence have multiplied : reggae, flamenco, Arabian themes , loops, electronics, jazz ... enter in the known mixture.
In between their own recordings & concerts, the band is also a very active member of the so-called "Antwerp scene" : They played a track on the second release of dEUS' 'SUdS & SOdA', all band members can be heard on the Think of One album "Juggernaut", Cinérex asked the group to perform the music on their debut album "Exit all areas part 2", they accompany the sweet An Pierlé and her white ball on stage ...
After they concluded that the previous album "We Need New Animals" - out on
the prestigious Sony Classical - was not really the way the band wanted to go,
the Anarchists changed course yet again: on "Life
Transmission", every track is an adventure in itself, with the unifying
thing being that it's instrumental music now usually backed up by beats & percussion
and with a "dub feel" to it. Another novelty on the album was that Adrian Lenski,
another brother, joined in on piano.
Dirk Houbrechts stopped working at The Belgian Pop & Rock Archives (you can read his personal statement here). The website is now entrusted to the Flanders Music Centre (www.muziekcentrum.be). Contact: email@example.com.
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Last update to this site : December 2001.