dass cover

One of my favorite pastimes in the 1990s was hanging around Co-Op Records in Cedar Falls picking through the used cassette racks looking for stuff that looked interesting, or especially anything that looked self-released or like a demo tape. Part of the reason for this was that I had a startling lack of ability to hold down a job consistently in those days so funds to spend on music were limited, and I could score a lot of these sorts of tapes there for $2 each. I probably drove the management of that place nuts hanging around but maybe they were glad I was there to clear out some of this particular inventory.

Anyway it was either by this means or by its being mailed to us for review in the zine I wrote for, Clipper Gore, that I came into possession of this 1993 cassette by something called Daas. The package is immediately eye-catching as the cover insert is a plastic transparency with black printing on it, such that the tape itself is visible through it.

The music more than holds up to the expectation this creates that you’re in for something interesting. Four tracks fill up a 60 minute tape with electronic drums, ominous clashy synths, abstract samples, and noisy guitars. Some of it sounds like it could make good soundtrack music for some apocalyptic 80s action movie — you can almost see an Apache helicopter silhouetted against a heat-shimmer sunset by the middle of “The New Happiness.” The B side is entirely devoted to a single 27-minute piece “This Depth Venom” which features the closest thing to lyrics on here, a guest spoken-word appearance by someone named Alva Svoboda.

About the only information related to this that I’ve been able to turn up online is this home page for one of the two main members, Art Simon. It looks from that like he’s had other music projects, including at least one more Daas release that I’d love to hear but can’t begin to imagine where one would find a copy of now; Art hasn’t seen fit to put much in the way of his music up on his website, which is rather a shame — and this MySpace profile pertaining to the other member, Dan Harris.


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