Long-awaited reissue of three great Datblygu albums.
Ankstmusik: 13 September 2004
Last updated: 20 November 2008
The grainy photo of David R. Edwards on a ramshackle stage in front of six punters speaks volumes. The leader of Datblygu chose defiance as a career option and stuck to it, thankfully producing five albums, three of which are available here in one lushly packaged box with translated lyrics booklet.
Datblygu's legacy is well documented and 1988's Wyau is where their uncompromising aesthetic was set. The album has shards of No Wave clattering amidst the eerie claustrophobia of Edwards' commanding and strangely graceful rant.
Released two years later, Pyst continues the bleak, social analysis of Edwards, with the band's sound fleshed out by the funeral strings of Mas A Lawr and the poppy Fall-esque Cymryd Mewn Sioe. With a myriad of unique styles and sounds lurching from the chaotic to the sparse country tinged beauty of Ugain I Un, Edwards' beguiling lyrics prove a gem for Welsh and non-Welsh speakers alike.
Datblygu's swansong Libertino brims with vitriol and seemingly a clash of every musical sound the band ever witnessed. Edward's rants are superb, increasingly stirring as the music gathers momentum on Gazpacho, or the eloquent synth-driven Can I Gymry.
Musically, Libertino possesses more focus than Wyau and Pyst, including the excellent political surrealism of Maes E and Hei George Orwell.
This reissue is a superb introduction to a band that don't simply fulfil a quota, but emerge as on of Britain's most inventive and unique bands. It also serves as both necessary posterity and a blueprint for the future.
Words: James W Roberts