531

Dna: DNA on DNA

By

Sign in to view read count
Dna: DNA on DNA There are certain strong alliances between the punk ethos and free music, for a do-it-yourself aesthetic pervades both, in medium as well as practice—self-produced albums and concerts, and collectivity (the Arkestra house as a punk house?) for example, as well as the fact that both have been strongly aligned with protest, both in America and in Europe. Among a coterie of musicians in New York in the early '80s, the merger of ethic and aesthetic fueled a small group of bands, the members of which have gone on to become noted improvisers: Ikue Mori, Arto Lindsay and Thurston Moore are just a few associated with the No Wave "scene" who have taken this path.

Guitarist Lindsay and Mori, then a percussionist, were two-thirds of DNA, one of the most visionary groups of this circle. Releasing a scant few tracks in their approximately four-year lifespan (though over thirty appear on this disc), they evolved quickly, from literal "No Wave" retribution of the jagged, keyboard-fueled post-Kraftwerk New Wave during keyboardist Robin Crutchfield's tenure, to a more driven and propulsive beast with the replacement of Crutchfield with former Pere Ubu bassist Tim Wright. Arto Lindsay's guitar playing of this period owes quite a bit to Sharrock, Bailey and Ray Russell, and his vocalizing is difficult enough to decipher lyrically that it becomes another instrument, either as frantic as his guitar terrorism or as rhythmic as Mori's percussion.

Rhythmically, the Wright-era DNA created some of the most driving music this side of punk, certainly influenced by the subtly changing rhythms of minimalism but also the all-over web of sound produced by Milford Graves' tom collection (yes, there are moments here that could be linked, in however an obscure fashion, with Babi and its ilk). Mori is that much of a drummer (or was; she is now primarily an electronic artist), but Wright's fluid juggernaut is the keystone: with Crutchfield providing an electronic foil to both Mori and Lindsay, the music hit lock-step grooves but didn't really move the way it did with Wright as anchor. Consequently, Mori's percussive contributions carry more weight, and Lindsay's somewhat strangled approach is freer with a true foundation from which to leap.

DNA is not, by any means, free improvisation—rather, the link is closer to Captain Beefheart and This Heat, utilizing seeming openness for both taut structural aims and social signifier. Their influence—or that of the proverbial well—has been felt in many punk groups since, but the fact that two-thirds of this group went on to illustrious places in contemporary composed and improvised music make DNA an important, if somewhat odd branch of the tree. Not to mention perversely and immensely rocking.


Track Listing: You & You - Little Ants - Egomaniac's Kiss - Lionel - Not Moving - Size - New Fast - 5:30 - Blonde Red Head - 32123 - New New - Lying On the Sofa Of Life - Grapefruit - Taking Kid To School - Young Teenagers Talk Sex - Delivering The Goods - Police Chase - Cop Buys a Donut - Detached - Low - Nearing - 5:30 (early version) - Surrender - Newest Fastest - Detached - Brand New - Horse - Forgery - Action - Marshall - A New Low - Calling to Phone

Personnel: Arto Lindsay (el-g, voc) Ikue Mori (d) Robin Crutchfield (synth, voc) Tim Wright (el-b, el-g)

Title: DNA on DNA | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: No More Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Good Merlin CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Times and Tides" CD/LP/Track Review Times and Tides
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Introducing...Rubén González" CD/LP/Track Review Introducing...Rubén González
by James Nadal
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "Stripped" CD/LP/Track Review Stripped
by James Nadal
Published: August 22, 2016
Read "Another Day in Fucking Paradise" CD/LP/Track Review Another Day in Fucking Paradise
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 6, 2016
Read "Live at Barbes: Slavic Soul Party Plays Duke Ellington's Far East Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Barbes: Slavic Soul Party Plays Duke...
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 21, 2017
Read "Live: SFJAZZ Center 2016 - Music of Miles Davis & Original Compositions" CD/LP/Track Review Live: SFJAZZ Center 2016 - Music of Miles Davis &...
by John Kelman
Published: June 13, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.