Somnambule - Writing About Music

Din S.T. ~ Yamu D'–DIN

Yamu D'–DIN begins with strange industrial pipe-organ sounds bathed in seething crowd noise, it’s soon joined by a demented Captain Beefheart vocal which berates said crowd and proceeds to mouth disparate inanities. The track lasts only six seconds over two minutes. Track two, I Can’t Stop IT is a mentalist child’s collage of stuttering, hiccuping forms and voices slapped together in short order. It’s even briefer than its predecessor and is reminiscent of a flattened oriental beer can found at the side of the road, simultaneously banal and fascinating.

Straight Into Tokyo begins its journey in Detroit, but then veers off unexpectedly into gestural ambient territory before rejoining the freeway and motoring happily along to its stated destination. It’s the most easily assimilated piece so far. Next track, OverloaD, alternates samples of the words ‘Busted!’ (which sounds like an exclamation from the boyband themselves) and a vocodered ‘electro’. When combined they declare Din S.T.’s intent just in case there should be any doubt: Yamu D’-DIN is junkyard electro, a series of musical collage machines seemingly made of whatever urban/sonic detritus was to hand at the time of recording. The result is scrappy, noisy, user-unfriendly and very likeable. If antecedents have to be supplied then let’s plump for early 80s German technopop forerunners Der Plan and their album Normalette Surprise. Take Verithing channels the bounce of UKG but subjects it to the vicissitudes of angry Vogon attack ships. Dread’naught Dub is more methodical, if the sound of writhing snakes to a certain rhythm can be described in such a way. HeavenGARDE is a lovely piece of slow hoovering, gradually and deliberately running out of current. As if to buck expectations one last time, final track @ Kim’s lasts fourteen minutes, takes a break for five and returns for a final three minutes – it’s a piece of drawnout phases, parts of which wouldn’t be out of place on a Kaffe Matthews cd, while others might be outtakes from a DAT Politics remix.

Din S.T. is puzzling, unpredictable, apparently impulsive music which constantly reconfigures itself like a hyperactive Chinese puzzle out of Hellraiser. As a result it’s initially fairly hard to read, in fact for the first few listens it’s pretty disorientating. This is certainly no bad thing in these times of rapid appraisal shadowed by the almost audible clicking sound as the particular music in question slots into its predefined niche: Tech-house Monsieur? Darkcore heavy on the TwoStep Madame? Din S.T. sidesteps these streamlining impulses and manages to mainline some of the crazed strangeness of the technologically profligate present.
Colin Buttimer
July 2004
Published by the BBC