New Band of the Day #208: DRUGONDRAGON

Who: a little noise, a little dance, a little wine

What: Art Pop, Noise Pop, Post-Rock

Where: Japan

Why: Besides the perennial favorite post-rock artists (Swans, Godspeed You!, Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, Slint, Sigur Ros, Talk Talk) I have to say I’m not much of a fan of the genre. None of the genre’s deeper cuts really do anything for me. Perhaps my brutish and childlike brain cannot fathom the epic structure of Tortoise’s “Djed”, but I just feel sleepy around the 16 minute mark. It’s just too much structure for me, going on and on in these sonically monotonous exercises in concept. There is however one key exception, I love Disco Inferno. Their second and third album, D.I. Go Pop and Technicolour, are bonafide masterpieces if you ask me. The blending of long-form post rock structures with noisy, psychedelic sampling and feedback is just so ludicrously pleasurable and forward thinking. With the benefit of hindsight I can see the genre never really followed in those footsteps, but I almost still feel like it should have. I dreamed of a world where the UK could export their noisy explorations over Mogwai’s brutally structured jams. Not to diminish the brilliance of something like “My Father, My King”, but there’s just not much more to add onto that formula.

Enter DRUGONDRAGON, the newest artist on one of Japan’s finest labels, Virgin Babylon. The label that brought us genre smashing post-rock albums like Seven Idiots, and hosts post-rock visionaries like Kashiwa Daisuke. With no name, location, or information attached beyond a cryptic and strange description attached to their bandcamp, their new album Dokkanodareka Dorekanonanika was plopped out into the word. Imagine my shock and joy when I realized that sounds of Disco Inferno had apparently been in hibernation as they shipped themselves to Japan by mule. The noisy and claustrophobic sounds burying their mix and vocals into an unrecognizable soup of pure energy. The bizarre long form structures and childlike wonder, juxtaposed with weighty emotional aspirations, it’s the future I had always wanted.

The album, much like Disco Inferno’s final album, plays it too schizophrenic for most, and unlike DI’s work I find that even I, a die-hard fan of this style,  struggled to grapple onto it. Inconsistencies and whiplash aside, the songs themselves, and the core sonic intentions of this album keep it together even as the force of it’s creativity tries to tear itself apart. I

Digital noise replaces analog feedback, and the sounds of quantized drums replace tape effects, but the heart remains, and the vision of a noisy future persists.

Find DRUGONDRAGON’s album on Bandcamp and Apple Music/Spotify

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