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De Staat Machinery [album]

De Staat: Machinery Lively, hypnotic and oozing quality,
  Machinery is Dutch band De Staat
s
  hot new album and will bowl you over
  with its compulsive, can’t-keep-still
  beat and alluring rhythms
...”

SIMPLY DRIPPING WITH GOOD VIBRATIONS, Machinery is ticking plenty of boxes for Holland's critically-acclaimed alternative rock band — a superb second album and follow-up to the stunning 2009 debut Wait For Evolution. And here it is.

With a unique sound as distinctive as Dead Weather, Captain Beefheart, Nick Cave, Steve Relch, Queens Of The Stone Age and Tom Waits, Holland's hugely talented alternative rock band is, at the time of writing, shortly to embark on a UK Tour (see below).

Where does De Staat go from here, when the band has already become one of the biggest alternative rock acts in their native Holland? Not only that, but the band's record is on top of the year-end lists of 2010, following critically-acclaimed performances at such prestigious festivals as Lowlands, Pinkpop, Sziget and Glastonbury. No mean feat.

De Staat’s Machinery... Lively, hypnotic and oozing quality
Maggie Woods
De Staat's new album has met all expectations. The band describes Machinery as a "gut-inducting slab of psycho funk". It's a dark sonic adventure that takes the listener through underground caves of blues, funk and electro where halal butchers, serial killers, whistleblowers, rats and sweat-covered bodybuilders cross paths.

"I often hear we sound like a machine when we play live," explains lead singer and songwriter Torre Florim. "I thought it would be fun to expand on that on this record and emphasise the mechanical elements in the music."

He adds: "We played a lot of rhythms and also created crazy sounds with the guitars. I didn't want to exclusively focus on the rhythmic parts, but instead wanted to change the way we approached the tools of a conventional rock band set-up. During the process of writing and creating the music, the album developed an industrial flavour that reminded us of a machine."

All the tracks have great merit and as an album De Staat's Machinery is lively, hypnotic and oozing quality, but it is not all easy listening. I refer only to the wonderful, stomping track Old MacDonald Don't Have No Farm No More. What a great song, but unfortunately I found the words rather disturbing and I'd love it even more if the words could be rewritten (sorry guys!) the enjoyable, uplifting and stylish treatment of this track is far too good to lose alt-rock fans who are also veggies and/or humanitarians. I couldn't get the tune out of my head and found myself humming it all day.

Experience the musical influences on the compulsive Machinery through the remarkable sound. First impressions cite the rhythms and soundscapes of minimal music-composer Steve Reich, combined with the raw analogue sound of garage rockers Dead Weather. What life; what verve. De Staat sounds really passionate about artistic music.

Ah, I See is a quirky, delightful song, Psycho Disco rousing and exciting while Sweatshop is low and fun with a compulsive beat. You can just imagine how this fantastic band would be live. I'll Never Marry You is a really beautiful, addictive track and the album achieves exactly what De Staat intended it to.

"What Jack White does with Dead Weather sounds really cool," says Florim, "and that's what I wanted as well. It's the old school approach. At the same time, I really like using samplers and synthesizers. That's where Steve Reich kicks in. He uses a lot of instruments to create one sound. That's what we tried to do on this album as well, but only in pop terms. It makes for a strange combination record in an old school manner with a new school manner of writing. It works for De Staat."

De Staat

The band's debut album Wait For Evolution was the brainchild of Florim. Using many influences and a host of ideas from his youth, he spent eight years making the album. When the band was formed in 2006 and started playing concerts, the songs developed into something very real and that's when De Staat turned into an amazing live band. And it's the live vibe that De Staat has reproduced on Machinery.

"Machinery is the kind of album that stands on its own. Everyone in De Staat has an individual style of playing which makes up the band's unique sound. On Machinery you can hear De Staat as De Staat sounds live. You can hear the tension playing together."

The set-up was really simple for the debut album: one laptop, one soundcard, two microphones and one guitar. This time with a full band in tow, the options were much bigger. The challenge was to define the sound through the contributions and interaction of each member of the band.

De Staat comprises of: Torre Florim (Vocals, Guitar); Vedran Mircetic (Guitar); Jop van Summeren (Bass, Vocals); Rocco Bell (Percussion, Keyboards, Vocals); and Tim van Delft (Drums).

"On the last album the additions of a shaker, tambourine or a cowbell were pure necessities," comments Florim. "Now it's more functional. We made the songs with five musicians and everything else that's added is like the icing on the cake."

This time Torre wrote all basic structures of all songs with five band members in mind. "Some songs were completely thought through and ended up on the record just like they were originally conceived. Other songs have gradually evolved into what they sound like now. It's a joy to now have a band that functions as a soundboard. Every member has his own opinion. That way it makes the songs better."

The preparation of Machinery took place in what can only be described as De Staat's mansion: a farm, just outside Nijmegen, the hometown of the band and a small city in Holland with a big rock scene. That's where the basis of the tracks was laid down and the concept of the record was realized. Eventually they recorded the album in Eindhoven, with Florim as producer and engineer Attie Bauw (The Scorpions, Menace featuring Bootsy Collins and Maceo Parker).

Florim is justifiably proud of his work. "We have recorded thirteen songs in ten days. It was great to have an engineer like Attie with us because it gave us a lot of experience. On the song, Wait For Evolution, I did everything myself, but this time I needed to record a full band and I didn't have a lot of experience to do that on my own." As Machinery clicks into action, make your day go Dutch!

"De Staat's Machinery Lively, hypnotic and oozing quality" Maggie Woods, MotorBar

Machinery will be released in the UK on Monday 7 March 2011 on Cool Green Recordings via Mascot Records. The album can be pre-ordered from amazon.

De Staat's Machinery Tracklisting: 1 Ah, I See | 2 Sweatshop | 3 I'll Never Marry You | 4 Old MacDonald Don't Have No Farm No More | 5 I'm A Rat | 6 Keep Me Home | 7 Tumbling Down | 8 Psycho Disco | 9 Rooster-Man | 10 Serial Killer | 11 Back To The Grind.

Check out the Official De Staat website.

De Staat — The Official Biography

DE STAAT SOUNDS OLD AND NEW, weird and familiar, ugly and sexy, dead and alive all at the same time. "It's like Elvis, Tom Waits, and Queens Of The Stone Age going on a holiday together," says 3voor12, Holland's biggest alternative rock magazine.

De Staat's rise in popularity proves that humble beginnings can lead to great things. It started as a one-man project by the Dutch singer, musician and composer Torre Florim. Even before the release of their 2009 album Wait For Evolution, De Staat was already a full-grown band.

Since early 2009, the band established itself as the most exciting new rock band Holland had to offer in decades. Their concerts received unanimous rave reviews. Wait For Evolution was embraced by fans and journalists alike as one of the best albums of 2009. Holland fell for the charm of De Staat big time.

Later that same year, Cool Green Recordings (Mascot Records sub-label) eventually released Wait For Evolution internationally. At the time of the international release Florim said: "I can't wait to introduce our music to a new audience. We've already done some shows abroad. There have been lots of responses on the internet. The time seems right to take it to the next level."

Torre Florim has been actively playing in bands since his early teens. Joining the Utrecht School of the Arts for a study in music production and composing proved to be a major turning point. "I started to write songs, for myself," recalls Florim. "I wanted to see how far I could get by writing and recording them by myself, like some sort of experiment. My initial plan was also to release a self-financed EP on my own, all very low profile."

One thing inevitably led to another and when a small circle of friends and musicians heard the first batch of songs they were instantly blown away. They convinced Florim to form a band and look for a proper record company. It was suggested that the EP should be a full-length album.

And so it happened. The band took its name from a piece written in the Seventies by the Dutch composer Louis Andriessen. When Wait For Evolution came out in early 2009, De Staat had already generated a healthy foundation with truly mesmerizing live shows and euphoric reviews. De Staat was invited to play at major Dutch festivals including Pinkpop and Lowlands.

By now the band was built around Vedran Mircetic (guitar), Jop van Summeren (bass, vocals), Rocco Bell (percussion, keyboards, vocals) and Tim van Delft (drums). Success and critical acclaim happened very fast. To this day, Torre Florim still struggles to find a concise explanation for this sudden success.

"In some reviews our music has been compared to Queens Of The Stone Age, Nick Cave and Tom Waits. I can see where that comes from. I really like their music. It's their attitude that I find even more inspiring. These particular artists do their own thing, no matter what. They are all extremely stubborn and highly dedicated. That's the attitude I've adopted. I think our live shows played a big part in all of it. We truly try to make every show different. Every night should be a unique experience."

Highlights of the bands success so far — so watch this space...

De Staat's Wait For Evolution voted Best Album of 2009 in Live XS magazine

The album won the prestigious 3VOOR12 AWARD 2009 for best album in Holland

De Staat embarked on a UK tour with dEUS in Nov 2008

2009 festivals include Pinkpop, Lowlands, Dour, Sziget

In 2010, De Staat was one of six Dutch bands to receive a Music Export subsidy

Rave reviews and critical acclaim the debut album entered album chart at No 12

No 1 in the alternative album chart and

No 12 in national album charts, where it stayed for half the year

First tour Feb-April: sold out 250-500 cap shows, including De Staat's Amsterdam gig at the Paradiso

'Wifty Winter Tour' all 700-1500 cap venues completely sold out

Codemasters' GRID2 video game, including De Staat's The Fantastic Journey of the Underground Man

De Staat made several appearances on national TV (live & interviews)

The band played Glastonbury in 2010


De Staat UK tour dates — April 2011

Wednesday 6 April: Camden Barfly, 49 Chalk Farm Road, LONDON NW1 8AN
Tickets: 7 | barflyclub.com.

Thursday 7 April
: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, MANCHESTER M1 7HE.
Tickets: 6 | thedeafinstitute.co.uk.

Friday 8 April: The Bodega, 23 Pelham Street, NOTTINGHAM, NG1 2ED.
Tickets: 6 | thebodegasocialclub.co.uk.

Saturday 9 April
: The Louisiana, Wapping Road, Bathurst Terrace, BRISTOL, BS1 6UA.
Tickets: 6 | thelouisiana.net.

24 Ticket Hotline: 0845 413 4444 or Book Online: alt-tickets. Further info: destaat.net.