October 17, 2012

Test Spins: Dada Life, The Rules of Dada

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Dada Life fans are some of the most insane people you will see at a concert, and they won’t let anyone or anything get in the way of their raging to ridiculous amounts of bass. Many come to shows dressed in banana suits, a nod to the band’s emblem of champagne and bananas. The band matches this energy, throwing giant inflatable champagne bottles and bananas into the crowd, and smashing bananas against their heads. At the last Dada Life show I attended, Stefan sprayed the crowd with a bottle of champagne just as the bass dropped.  Despite the alcohol burning my eyes, I continued to jump, sweat and mosh with the other crazed fans. Dada? No, not the the avant-garde artistic movement, but electro-house duo Olle Corneer and Stefan Engblom, better known as Dada Life.   They have been on tour non-stop for the past three years, mostly in Europe and North America, putting in late night studio hours to crank out tracks in between shows. On Tuesday, the group released The Rules of Dada, their much-anticipated second full length album.  Filled with grimy, energetic tracks, this album is the culmination of years of hit singles and fan-building.  The duo began making music in 2006, but didn’t gain mass notoriety until their first album Just Do the Dada.  From there they went on a rampage of singles, starting with “Cookies with a Smile,” many of which appear on their latest album.The new album starts off with the band’s most recent single, “Feed the Dada,” which uses catchy vocals to command you to feed your inner Dada.  After a sweet build up their signature crackly electro-melodic bass comes in to bring the ruckus for the drop.  The album contains past singles like the track “Happy Violence” with vocals from NERVO.  The happy, high-pitched, horn-appropriated synth makes you whistle its simple melody, while a rolling bassline gives the track the violence its title implies.  “Happy Violence” evokes the theme of Dada Life — being high on happiness. “Rolling Stones T-Shirt” is an epic track featuring subdued vocals bathed in reverb, leading up to a drop with a plethora of wild, bassy sounds.  Their lyrics capture the essence of a Las Vegas pool party: “Let’s go play in the water / you can borrow my Rolling Stones T-Shirt / happy drunk in the afternoon / don’t take it off.”  With an incredible remix by Cazzette, this track is sure to get any party, pool or otherwise, going strong.  One other familiar track on the album is “Kick Out the Epic Motherfucker,” a track whose title might come close to capturing the passionate fervor of the song.  A simple roll from one note to the other creates the tension in this song that builds to a drop that has been played and admired by D.J.s across all genres.  The constant snare creates a pulsing beat, amplified by the whirling synths increasing in pitch to a breakdown of a haunting, distant whistle noise.  This catchy segment leads into an immense drop, with its two note oscillation and incredible amounts of bass.  “So Young So High” is a serious contender for a fan favorite. The track’s fun-loving nature perfectly sums up the attitude of Dada Life fans — intoxicated kids looking for an infectiously riotous release and finding it in the wild bass and crazy environment of the band’s shows.  The distorted, computerized voice which repeats, “So young, so high,” is accompanied by swell-placed snares building up to an addictive drop that again uses that signature crackly, electro-melodic bass and a touch of syncopated silence.  The lyrics come back in “Feeling young and feeling high / we will never ever come down.”  The song is perfect for the crux of the duo’s show when they are almost about to close but need one last impressive track to both unify the crowd and raise the energy levels to an all-time high.  But it’s the band’s vocals that has propelled Dada Life to the top of the charts, as they realized that the American segment of the electronic market craves something to hum or sing over their bass injected tracks.  “So Young So High” is a sublime culmination of an album which is party themed and captures the imaginations and ears of a generation of young electronic music fans.  If you like the music of this genuine Swedish duo, catch them on tour as they are constantly traversing the US spreading their mantra of champagne and bananas.

Original Author: Zach Reisler