This is the self-titled debut album by a Greek quintet based in Athens, formed 3 years ago, in 2016. The band’s name in a very very free translation and if you put the second word first and the first second (Davadury) is a cool expression for Jangle. Dury Dava consists of Karolos Berahas (bass, keys, synth), Giorgis Karras (electric guitar), Dimitris Kouloglou (vocals, electric guitar, bouzouki), Dimitris Prokos (clarinet, synth) and Ilias Livieratos (drums, percussion).
Their Bandcamp page reads: “Their original music spans across several genres, paying tribute to the raw grit of 60’s psychedelia and 70’s krautrock, and fusing elements from the Greco-Turkish musical traditions such as odd rhythms and folk dances with a punk mentality. In their hometown they are known for their increasingly explosive live shows in unexpected urban venues or mystical summer festivals on remote Greek islands. Their debut self-titled album was recorded live during several sessions in the second half of 2018 at Hobart Phase studios in Athens and is out in May 2019 via Inner Ear”…
Well, at least to my ears and to my point of view, this record, this release is some kind of experiment. First of all, it’s kind of rare for a band to play and “deal” with such “Underground Rock” styles and mixing so many quite different elements in their music. From traditional Greek music to Fusion or Kraut and Psychedelia. Most of the Greek “audience” is uncultivated or uneducated if you wish so… But not all! Secondly and most importantly, how is it possible to “marry” such kind of amalgamated music with Greek lyrics? Yes, as you may have guessed by the Greek titles of the songs, the lyrics are in Greek too. So, is this “marriage” a successful one or not?
But, let’s have a look at the songs. “Dury Dava” consists of 10 songs divided into the 4 sides of the double vinyl. The opener “Αφρική” (translation: Africa) starts in a mysteriously tribalistic way, feels like you’re somehow isolated in a jungle, the band slowly builds an adventurous musical motive, a majestically complex Wall of Sounds has already been built, though the singer with its rather characteristic singing style makes a big impression, at least to the Greek people! “Τρίπτυχο” (translation: Triptych) has a distinctive and really catchy Clarinet sound while the band performs a kind of New-Age-Prog-Rock that falls into an Art-Rock mood taking a Folklore path. As the Clarinet is soloing, all members are developing an awesome musical background supporting the Clarinet, sooner to be transformed into a tremendous Hawkwind-like (Space Ritual era) sonic intergalactic Space vehicle that reaches the Krautrock borders, managing to trespass them for a while! “Έλα Πάλι Να” (translation: Come Again To) starts with voiceless lyrics under an experimental free-form veil, a stylized messy “controlled” playing by the band, that perfectly blends with Singer’s peculiar voice. “Σάτανα” (translation: Satana) follows. Under a cinematic and kind of neo-funky trippy way, Dury Dava unfolds its skills while it feels like the singer is singing from the bottom of the well. There’s an intense feeling of an improvisational free-form style of music while the clarinet adds (for once more) a jazzy aspect, sooner the whole scenery transports into an Asylum’s back yard where the inmates have their own band and play music to entertain the guards! But after a while we’ve been again transported into a Jungle, deep in the Amazon, hallucinogically stoned by this bizarre “tribe”, ecstatically dancing next to the fire. The track ends in an unexpected Soulish dreamy Jazzy way! What a Trip was this! “Ζούπα” (free translation: Push) is another strange tune that stands in the edge of Prog and Free-Form Art-Rock, a mix of early Gong and Soft Machine, Fantastic atmosphere! “Καλοκαίρι” (translation: Summer) starts slowly with a lysergic tribal beat under a Psychic musical background transmitting a harsh bucolic feeling that makes the song a distortically weird ballad! “34522” (I’ll have to ask the band what the number/title means) begins with a slow marching beat, the clarinet is improvising while a Turkish guy is reciting. The background becomes more and more Progressive expressing a Balkan Jazz vibe that becomes Psychedelically Trippy while for the last 5 minutes the band enters into an incredible trance-y State of Mind, blending Krautrock and Canterbury, leading the listener into another level of consciousness! “Αταξία” (translation: ataxia/disorder) is a raw punk-o-delic tune which it could have easily been part of the “Fun House” LP or Sonic Youth’s “Washing Machine” album! “Ταρλάμπασι” (translation: Tarlabasi, a place name) has a trippy but experimental background with an inspired Middle-Eastern sounding, a lazy but rather adventurous track, that while it is been built, it explores other musical territories, more Psychedelic, with a Zappa-esque musical improvisational aura. The album closes with “Κάνε Λίγο Αληθινά” (translation: Make A Little Real), another weird tune that floats into Psychedelia under a druggy colorful soundscape, an amalgam of trippy intoxicated let-loose sounds, dangerously mind-bending…
So, I believe that the band has chosen a very difficult and rough part to express everything that is going on inside their Heads. I do not know where it will lead them. But, for now, I’m following them. And about the Greek lyrics… Well, I have a second thought… When I’m listening to this kind of music by other “foreign” bands with lyrics in Danish or Swedish or Japanese language, I’m not surprised at all. So, why do I have to be surprised by the Greek lyrics over here? It only needs some time to get used to. Oh! And something else. It certainly needs an Open-Minded audience! Are you? “Dury Dava” is probably One of the Best Greek/European/World releases of 2019. The “experiment” worked! Do follow! (TimeLord Michalis)
Label: Inner Ear Records
Format: LP, Album, Limited Edition, Gatefold, 180gr, Vinyl
Format: CD, Album
Release Date: 10 May 2019
|A3||Έλα Πάλι Να||4:20|
|D2||Κάνε Λίγο Αληθινά||4:39|