DNMF is the final result of a collaboration between a group of strange but creative minds: Dutch heavy jazz act Dead Neanderthals and, from the same country, drone/ambient mastermind Machinefabriek. Together, they combined their distinct musical visions and created a universe of their own, where brooding and atmospheric drones go hand in hand with the unpredictability of free jazz … and much more.
The eponymous split features two songs which explore two different worlds: the first one entitled The Thing On The Doorstep – named after a short story by H.P. Lovecraft written in August of 1933 – is a harrowing sonic journey, an experimental electronic piece which evolves into a wild session of pure and relentless noise. What is really fascinating is that Lovecraft crafted a story about a man killing his best friend and this is the perfect soundtrack to such a sinister tale.
The other part of this complex musical melting pot is called The Colour Out of Space and it’s much more jazz-driven and, once again, borrows the name from a horror short story written by Lovecraft. At this point it is safe to assume that the legendary creations of horror fiction by this American author have deeply influenced these musicians, which works beautifully as they are able to conjure up a creepy atmosphere.
In a way, the more you listen to these songs, the clearer it becomes that DNMF approach their songwriting process as if they are picturing a movie in their heads – one can think of them as musicians with the imagination and artistic sensibility of screenwriters. What they create is extremely visual, not to mention rich. Throughout the album, DNMF seem occasionally possessed by the spirit of Shining (the Norwegian band, not the Swedish ones) as they exhibit the same level of sonic insanity, and the minimalist intensity of the last song is reminiscent of a typical Swans gig – having just seen them live last month, I can tell you it felt like being hit by a slow-moving train.
However, one thing is for sure: at its core, DNMF was born out of the desire to create something new, not copy what others have done. These men have followed different paths, but now the experiences and memories of their individual journeys give birth to a work of art that shall be interpreted as being an eclectic collection of sounds with no genre boundaries.
All in all, this is a great effort and those who love drone and experimental forms of jazz will certainly find it compelling. In fact, everyone who is into unconventional song structures and takes delight in discovering new talents within the field of avant-garde music should check this out. This is one of those records that probably won’t get the attention it really deserves; still, it has the potential to become a cult album. Then again, their source of conceptual inspiration – Lovecraft – was largely ignored during his life and is now considered a genius, so it’s not all bad. Anyway, go get it and have fun creating mental images and getting chills while listening to this surreal offering. I can assure you won’t be disappointed!
Scribed by: Jorge Miguel