There is such an originality and warped invention to the music of Dutch alternative rockers De Staat that you wonder if they have any idea what is going to happen or know their intentions when starting on the journey of creating each adventure. It is what sets the band apart from the rest and makes them one of the truly and persistently unique propositions, as evidenced by their previous trio of acclaimed albums, and some of the most deviously memorable and lingering, psyche infecting songs. Now the band unleash new EP Vinticious Versions, a virulently addictive collection of re-worked tracks taken from those three albums, I_CON (2013), Machinery (2011), and Wait for Evolution (2009). The band twists and re-interprets the eights tracks making up the release, giving them new characters, fresh mischief, and mouth-watering devilry for another seriously compelling and fun proposition from the band.
Listening to Vinticious Versions is like venturing through secret doors and passage ways within familiar surroundings, finding yourself inside and at the heart of each proposition where you find an alter-ego or private fantasy of what the song would like to be just once in a while. Vocalist/guitarist Torre Florim sums it up best when he says, “the EP takes you on a trip down an alternative pathway with familiar surroundings…something that is a little more dark and delicious”. The concept for the EP came from the band being asked to play radio sessions and small in-store shows, this inspiring De Staat to imagine and craft different versions of their songs to play. What has emerged is a release which combining a ‘retro feel’ to its recordings, flirts and dances with the imagination like an old friend revealing their deepest kinkiness.
Get It Together starts things off, an instant dramatic lure opening the door to an exotically populated dance floor of popping beats and sultry vocal harmonies courted by similarly heated sounds. An oriental air caresses each note and sonic flirtation whilst bubbly melodies swing with the wiles of an insatiable temptress. It is as irresistible a seduction of sound as you can get, or so you think as its toys with the passions but then the pure intrusive lures of Build That, Buy That have not had their say at this point. A dulled vocal countdown is the lead into a ridiculously contagious stroll of almost childlike melodic simplicity and ingenious unpredictability. Even if new to the song it will be barely seconds before feet are leaping without mental direction and voice trying to join the ridiculously captivating call of the brilliant track. A creative shuffle where sounds and voices are as skittish and inventively lively as a backside on an ant hill, the song is an anthem to party though that applies to all De Staat songs on the EP and as a whole.
Input Source Select sways in next, its sultry curves rubbing seductively on ears as bulging beats and punchy vocals tantalise and spark the imagination. Reminding of nineties UK band Honky, the track is an old school hip hop seeded romp with a colourfully creative haze to its seventies fascination of sound. It is to be fair the norm that no one De Staat song is like another but no more so apparent than on the EP, as proven again by the next up Down Town, a noir hued climate of smouldering Tarantino like drama and melodic elegance. Every heat spilling note from guitarist Vedran Mircetic and keyboardist Rocco Bell comes with their own creative smokiness whilst the vocals of Florim are as dark throated and gripping as the heavy seduction of Jop van Summeren’s bass and the jabbing beats of Tim van Delft. Completed by a siren-esque breeze of female vocals, the song slips around ears and thoughts like a lover’s caress.
The humid reggae spawned swagger of All Is Dull comes next, its cheeky body swerving with the guile of a feline provocateur as vocals align their similarly magnetic and varied croons for an already greedy appetite filling incitement. It makes way for the slow funk fuelled sexually inflamed flight of Devil’s Blood, a track to make ladies swoon and men daydream. Again it has a rich and tasty sixties/seventies breath to sound and vocal persuasion, lighting senses and emotions ready for the glorious surf rock brilliance of Sweatshop. One of our all-time favourites songs, expectations were as excited as they were fearful on how the band would take on their classic. Within its opening distinctive twang doubts were banished as sweltering warmth of keys and guitar scythes swooped with as mentioned a surf bred temptation. Like B-52s meets Yello but still like nothing before or after it, the track like a psychedelically enhanced loner dancing intimately with themselves on the dance-floor, it pulsates and glows with celestial charm and inescapable teasing.
The release is completed by the sinew flexing pulsation of Wait For Evolution, another track hinting at hip hop inspirations whilst immersing its warped ingenuity with funk lined revelry and providing an enthralling end to a treat of an encounter. It is probably right to say that no track eclipses the originals but many come very close to equalling their might and all leave pleasure rampant and hunger for new De Staat fun as impatient and insatiable as ever.
The Vinticious Versions EP is available now digitally, and in CD and vinyl versions via Cool Green Recordings/Mascot Label Group @ http://www.mascotlabelgroup.com/destaat-vinticiousversions.html
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