Friday, 20th April 2018. 6:44:03am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Alternative, Indie Rock Dandi Wind- Bait the Traps

 


Artist: Dandi Wind
CD Title: Bait the Traps
Label: Bongo Beat
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 12/6/04

Vancouver's Dandi Wind is an interesting musical project firmly routed in the artistic side of the spectrum as part of a multifaceted career that has also included prominent forays into experimental theater and visual art. Their proper debut EP, Bait the Traps, is a truly independent no-budget endeavor, proudly recorded through the mono soundcard of a Pentium 2 computer using a shoestring assortment of largely dated equipment. The result, however, sounds anything but dated or cheap. Instead, it's a passionate and inventive blend of experimental electronica, post-punk, and new wave that seems to go hand in hand with its lo-fi sound rather than being hindered by it.

Nina Hagen arguably provides one of the best reference points for the band's sound, especially when it comes to Dandi's guttural vocal wails and yelps. Comparisons can also be drawn to some of Siouxsie & the Banshees' less accessible early work with obvious hints of experimental 80s electronic artists like Severed Heads and occasional PJ Harvey flourishes thrown in for good measure. Whether any of these artists had a direct influence on the project is information that I'm not privy to, but they at least provide something of a framework for describing the band's genre-blending journey from the eastern-melodic-motifs-turned-quirky-electro-pop of the opening "Umbilical Noose" to the shuffling rhythms and 80s experimental industrial meanderings of the closing "Todo O Dia".

The excellent "Balloon Factory" offers up a steady slice of punchy, danceable electro-punk with an exceptionally catchy albeit somewhat nonsensical sing along chorus. Conversely, the following "Ms 45" slows things down with a hook-laden slice of guitar/bass-driven retro rock with sloppy punk attitude and plodding, poppy electronic drums, while "Drawing Straws" interestingly takes a new wave disco foundation and warps it into something far more bizarre but completely infectious. "Ueno Park Boogie" polishes things off with great analog electronics, a bouncy rhythm that invites plenty of head bobbing, and more than its fair share of hooks. As a whole, it's an excellent set flawed only by the fact that it flashes by in a mere 20 minutes.

A quicktime video rounds out the disc as a multimedia bonus. It is not, however, a music video. Rather, it's something of a short low budget performance art video that appears to depict some sort of death by overdose in graphic detail. It's a somewhat interesting, although, obviously, not particularly pleasant, bonus whose esoteric appeal may be lost on some of the band's less artistically-inclined audience.

Overall, Dandi Wind's Bait the Traps is undeniably cool and quite captivating. The EP's challenging experimental sound only slightly masks, and, in fact, enhances, its underlying pop material and refreshingly quirky appeal for an outing that is bizarrely accessible. The band's full-length CD/DVD combo, Concrete Igloo, is due out next year and should definitely be something to look forward to if this appetizer is any indication.

 

Dandi Wind website: www.dandiwind.com

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