The Treasure of Grundo – Dýsantzú

It is a very accessible record mind, as I’ve hinted at before there’s nothing really arsty or difficult here, rather the sensibility is that of a weird kind of pop.

(Geertruida) http://treasureofgrundo.bandcamp.com/track/d-santz-yles

This is great! A very interesting and erudite record, Dýsantzú has got something very different about it, and it doesn’t seem to fit with what’s “about” in NL at the moment. It sounds much more German or French than Dutch, the clean, precise melodies set against crisp sounds, all the while balanced against a melancholic sensibility. It’s very similar to what Frank Rabyrolles is doing, or something that would be put out on a German label like Staubgold or Karaoke Kalk. In fact I haven’t heard a Dutch record like this for a while, it does remind me of some things that Narrominded put out, but with a more of a symphonic twist. The opener I Karestan is a mix of keyboard driven, slightly classical pop and off beat textures and rhythms. And Bar is a high gloss Europop stomp that seems to draw on things like Jean Michel Jarre and modern acts like Pop Campaign in equal measure.

The air of mystery is heightened by a number of Slavic or Icelandic (?) names given to the song titles; and there’s a distinct feel of this being a film soundtrack at times, the sonic backdrop to some wobbly ride through some European backwater. It is a very accessible record mind, as I’ve hinted at before there’s nothing really arsty or difficult here, rather the sensibility is that of a weird kind of pop – though the worldview can seem a wee bit strange at times: you can’t really trust the narrator on Myr, or Yusè Amgon for example.  The singer does sound a like an alien (or at least a damned good imitation of Metamatic era John Foxx) on fabulously robotic cuts like Deniénda Kyu-Yon and Levielle de Lesqueden.  And there’s a touch of very, very early Human League in tracks like Çezjihere. It all adds up to a powerful sense of displacement; there’s something not quite clicking emotionally. But it does add a lot to the record.

But despite all these eerie soundtracks to living at one remove, it’s an honest release, not looking to be something it isn’t and that is a major feather in its cap. If you like slightly offbeat synth music, you will grow to love this.