Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Dibidim - Riders

Artist: Dibidim

Album: Riders

Released: January 2007

Label: Protest Recordings

Style: SynthPop



  1. (4:42) Flagel Flygel
  2. (4:11) Gefeeling
  3. (4:26) Don't Play With the Gun
  4. (4:32) Sailor
  5. (3:50) I Woke Up
  6. (4:09) She Turns to Gold
  7. (3:59) If I Were a Cowboy
  8. (4:23) Lifeguard
  9. (4:54) Angelhorns
  10. (4:52) By the River

Playing Time : 43:58

Dibidim is Jeron and Jonas, two guys apparently from Badminton Bay in the UK. From what I can gather, which is very little, they're on this really rad label called Protest Recordings, which is a netlabel whose motto is exactly what I've been saying all along. I'll quote:

"Protest [Recordings] was borne out of a desire to set straight the shortcomings of the existing music industry, which has let down music lovers all over the world by placing undue emphasis on sales, and manipulating tastes by means of mass media - overpricing music whilst the artists themselves are left with potentially tiny royalties and little scope for creative expression."

Need I say more? Major labels are ruining the music industry, and stifling true creativity. You need look no further than The Mars Volta on that one. I remember the haydays of Cedric and Omar, in a band called At The Drive-In. And what are they now? They can't even release their albums on their own record label anymore. And for what? That damn, major-label check. Consider this: Is the music made inside your own space, when you had nothing better to do than express your emotions musically, the same as the music made in a studio, that you go to as a job, with the expectation of a paycheck at the end of your session?

Enter Dibidim, netlabel and all. No PFM review, no flash website, no tour. Just good beats and a myspace page. Now that's how you start a band these days. Just make some goddam music, then give it to everyone for a while. If it gets good response, you should probably cut a record. These guys needed to cut a record, this is mind-blowingly good material. Imagine, if you can, Air. The Air we remember from Moon Safari, the feeling that album gave you, then continue through the years with 10,000hz Legend and on through the discography until you come to Pocket Symphony. As an Air fan, I was a little disappointed with Pocket Symphony. It didn't have that same pop-sensibility that I remembered, nor the Brazilian influences (Azymuth in particular) that heralded them such a wide spectrum of fanship in the first place. It seemed very technical to me. Riders is a lot like what I would have expected Pocket Symphony to sound like, based on the sound of Air's previous albums, and the challenge of coming up with something enjoyable and engaging for new and old listeners ten years later. It's not exactly like any one Air album, it's just a sound that I could picture them coming up with on their own; I don't know why they didn't, but you could probably consider my question posed in the previous paragraph for some insight.

Riders starts slow, and stays that way aside from a few songs. It's nice though, because it builds a lot. You can tell that they worked on it through the winter. It just has that wintry feeling. The pace is really mellow. Most songs don't start with the hooks, you gotta wait for it. Also, it's pretty soundscapy, like lots of dream rushes (like where the drum goes whooshhhhhhhh, If I Were a Cowboy is the one I'm listening to now) and echoey space sounds, and of course it's all synth. The guys harmonize so nicely though, you wouldn't expect it from the beards. The whole album is pretty much synthy goodness and the guys' beautiful harmonies. Lifeguard sounds a lot like Kraftwerk, though. And on Angelhorns they use an Accordion, which makes me feel like I'm in Italy for some reason.

All in all, this is awesome. I'm going to be listening to it for quite a while, I'm sure.

UPDATE: I talked to Jeron via the MySpecs and he says, "we are making our second album early next year followed by a gigantic world tour with a massive psychedelic pop big band." I'm so excited! FTR, the psychedelic pop big band is NOT The Flaming Lips, despite my initial enthusiasms upon reading that.

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