This DJ’s personal history with Dada Life goes back to 2009, with some of their early singles like “Let’s Get Bleeped Tonight” and their breakthrough remixes of Eric Prydz “Pjanoo” and Benny Benassi’s “Satisfaction”, acting as set staples, prior to ever opening for them in Las Vegas. Dada Life has always been about running with themes, whether it be the “Guerilla Fart” remixes, the bleeping, or simply “unleashing the fucking Dada”, so to speak. The latest obsession of the Dada’s seems to be bananas and champagne, something witnessed first hand during yours truly’s stint as music director at XS Las Vegas. Their show rider implicitly demanded “(2) Kegs of Bananas (NO APPLES!)”, which later found said bananas smashed all over the floor of the club, and bottles of bubbly duct taped to Function One speakers, while men dressed as plantains danced about.
The band’s popularity has exploded over the last year, with much owed to the strength of brand they have built. These two have crafted an identity for themselves that suggests they are essentially Swedish house nihilists, subscribing only to The Rules Of Dada, which forbids heart-hands and pre-gig BBQ’s. But beyond having an unmistakable stage presence, Dada Life has lent one of the genre’s most defining sounds, that of the “Sausage Fattener”. Beyond the additional phallic imagery this might suggest (bananas and champagne bottles notwithstanding), the importance of the Sausage Fattener is legion. This production plug-in has defined the sound of electro house music over the last two years, with just about every major producer employing it to give their basslines that chunky sound. Literally, the list goes from Angger to Zedd.
With The Rules Of Dada, the grinning, head-shaven duo enter their second full-length release, but their first as almost-mainstream artists. We’ve heard much of the album already, as they have created a series of club bangers that have propelled many DJ’s sets across the globe, all year long. Most notably of these is “Kick Out The Epic Motherfucker”, which is Dada Life in it’s essence. Code red, emergency alarms sound, building to that crescendo that inspires the crowd to jump, here presented in it’s vocal form; yet even it’s instrumental rendition gets the same effect. Also included here is the hilarious “Rolling Stone T-Shirt”, and the already classic “Happy Violence”, two more staples of the year. Their next banana-smash will undoubtedly be “Feed The Dada”, a catchy track that attempts to define the tao of Dada, leading into a trademark, massive drop.
As far as new material, the album does a good job of sandwiching previously unreleased tracks like “Arrive Beautiful, Leave Ugly” and “You Will Do What We Will Do” amongst the more familiar ones, giving The Rules Of Dada a well paced flow. “Bass Don’t Cry” also stands out, as perhaps one of their hardest tracks yet, acting as an in-key lead-in to both “Everything Is Free” and “Boing Clash Boom”, both being more lyrically commercial takes on the Dada Life sound. The album closes with “Don’t Stop”, a surprisingly more mellow, progressive track. Perhaps this is a direction they will take their music next?
Speaking of which, the Dada’s have perfected the sausage-fattened, guerilla fart sound throughout their career, and most definitely with The Rules Of Dada. The next order of business for them will be reinvention. While the influence of the Sausage Fattener has been felt throughout the house music world, it will be interesting to see what their next device is, and how it will effect their music, along with the rest of the industry’s. Either way, the consumate theme of The Rules Of Dada seems to be “have fun at all costs” and it sounds very much like they are doing so.
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