Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft (D.A.F.)

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Robert Görl (15 June 1955)
Gabi Delgado-López (18 April 1958, Córdoba, Spain)

The friends Robert Görl (drums, electronics) and Gabriel "Gabi" Delgado-López (vocals) formed the collective in 1978 in Wuppertal in the slipstream of electronic minimalistic music bubbling underground in Germany at the time (many acts found a home on the Ata Tak label). Experimental electronic entrepreneur Kurt "Pyrolator" Dahlke, Chrislo Haas (later Liaisons Dangereuses), Michael Kemner  and Wolfgang Spelmans (both would later form Mau Mau) joined the band. Initally the band was called "You" and rehearsed in the old "morgue" at the old market. in Wuppertal. After a short tour in England they changed the name and had some bandmember changes with people moving in out (Lopéz briefly left the band and Görl joined the Eurythmics on their debut) before starting recording the debut album ‘Ein Produkt der Deutsch-Amerikanischen Freundschaft’. A highly experimental album highly influenced by Dahlke who created 22 untitled instrumentals, often only seconds long. The follow up album ‘Die Kleinen und die Bösen’ (The Small Ones and the Evil Ones), featured thrashed guitars, electronic screeching, and hammered drums while Gabi screamed and ululated. Although not completely crystallized it contained all the sounds they would later use. Recorded in the studio of Conny Plank the producer taught the band to focus on their dark electronic sound.

By 1981 only the two core member remained. They recorded the album ‘Alles ist Gut’ with a minimum of instrument. The stripped down, dark en repetitive electronic would become their signature sound. The album caused un outrage on several fronts. Hitsingle ‘Der Mussolini’ got them the suspicion of fascism while some homo-erotic lyrics alarmed the more religious groups . Their image (Rude boy hairdo, leather and hints of S/M) fuelled the discussion. In effect the album received raving critical reviews, commercial success and the German "Schallplattenpreis". The next two albums, Gold und Liebe (Gold and Love) and Für immer (Forever), continued in the same vein, until, as one British music journalist of the time put it, D.A.F. had exhausted all the possibilities of the 16-step sequencer. The duo split up and starting concentrating on solo activities.

Robert Görl stayed close to the synthipop idiom and recorded the English album ‘Night Full of Tension’ supported by Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics , a consideration for his drumming on their '81 debut album. Delgado explored his Latin roots with a more jazz-funk album called ‘Mistress’. With the first hints of housemusic it was no surprise the duo tried to make a return as DAF. Without much success, the 1986 English album was a failure. A year later Gabi Delgado, affecting the rights held on the DAF name took, recorded with Westbam partner Klaus Jankuhn the single The Gun (allegedly the first German techno track). In 1989 Görl suffered a severe car accident and moved to Asia for a Buddhist seclusion of three years. On his return both artists started a career as DJ’s but it was again Lopez who revitalized the name together with Wotan Wilke Mohring recording two albums as DAF / DOS. The 2003 invasion of Iraq saw the duo join forces again after many years for the song "Der Sheriff (An Anti-American Song)". This renewed cooperation delivered 15 new tracks. But the reunion seemed just a one off thing until Lopez hinted in 2006 for a new DAF project. A single ‘Seltsame Liebe’ was released and a suprise party (Named DAF Partei, with Thoralf Dietrich as extra member) was held with the duo performing over their own 1981 tapes. In 2008 they celebrated their 30th anniversary. In 2010 the band, consisting of Gabi Delgado-López and Robert Görl, has returned with the new single 'Du Bist DAF' limited to 2010 copies and in 2011 they undertook an extended European tour.

On the web:

- D.A.F. is only on Facebook

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts:

- Front 242 (Belgium)

- Alaska i Dinarama (Spain)

What do we think:

DB: Usually Kraftwerk are named when people look for an influence on modern day house and techno. But DAF can be considered even influencial. Their stripped down, basic and cold approach to music can not only be found in the clubs but also in the modern alternative circuit were someone like Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) or Rammstein must have heard  ‘Alles ist Gut’. At the time ‘der Mussolini’, ‘Sato Sato’ and formed the nihilistic soundtrack to dark squatter parties held at some bizar location like a inoperative factory or old schoolbuilding. The rhythmic intense and minimalistic music loaned from acts like Suicide and the Silver Apples but took it to much darker depths. In fact DAF combined the Spanish electropunk scene (Kaka de Luxe and Pegamoides) with the German (Der Plan and Kraftwerk) to create a bizar and sweaty mix. The music of DAF is so synonimus for Germany/Europe and the NDW sound at the start of the Eighties that for people who weren’t around during that era it is maybe a bit hard to grasp.


♪♪ - Ein Produkt der Deutsch-Amerikanischen Freundschaft - 1979

♪♪ - Die Kleinen und die Bösen - 1980

♪♪♪♪♪ - Alles ist gut - 1981

♪♪♪ - Gold und Liebe - 1981

♪♪♪ - Für Immer - 1982

- Live in Berlin 1980 - 1983

♪ - 1st Step to Heaven - 1986

- Fünfzehn neue DAF-Lieder - 2003

Robert Görl solo:

♪♪♪♪ - Night Full of Tension - 1984

Further listening: Psycho-Therapie (1994); Happy Gathering (1995); Watch the great Copycat(1996); Sexdrops (1998); Final Metal Pralinées (1999); Schwarzer Engel (2009)

Gabi Delgado solo:

- Mistress – 1986

♪♪ - Allein, zu zweit, mit telefon - 1996 (as DAF / DOS)

♪♪ - Der DAF/DOS Staat - 1999

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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