The long awaited definitive collection of studio & live trax
S. Valkwitch | Buffalo, NY | 01/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This cd includes nearly all the studio songs and some "choice" live ones (eventhough they are very lo-fidelity which makes it somewhat of a difficult listen yet keep in mind that this band along w/ most of the others of the "nyc no-wave era" were rarely documented live) the "A Taste of DNA" ep, tracks from Brian Eno's infamously produced "No New York" compilation, their first 7" are all here, plus tracks from a rare compilation called "forbidden fruit" that were also used in film soundtrack (if i'm not mistaken) also unreleased studio early versions of 'Detached,' '5:30' and 'Low' which were done by the original lineup w/ Robin Crutchfield on keyboards (pre-Tim Wright on bass). The sound quality of about half of the live tracks are on par with the "Last Live" at CBGB's recording on John Zorn's label.
DNA formed in 1978, Brazilian singer/guitarist Arto Lindsay formed a trio of non-musicians. Robin Crutchfield on keyboard & Ikue Mori on drums. Crutchfield left, around this time bassist Tim Wright had just left the Cleveland influential punk band Pere Ubu, and relocated to NYC and joined DNA. They've had a fairly large impact on the experimental/avant underground fringe rock scene that has been in a recent resurgance (i.e. Errase Errata) and had been very influential in more widely known indie/alt bands (i.e. Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth), also the band Blonde Redhead, who obtained their name from a DNA song title.
What is missing on this is two studio reworkings of 'Detached' and 'Blonde Redhead' that appear on the soundtrack to the film 'Downtown 81' which pretty much stars NYC artist Basquiat, and a cameo w/ Blondie's Deb Harry. This film is also a must for DNA fans (it is available on DVD) as it also features very nice footage of them live in the studio performing the two mentioned songs in their entirety (eventhough it is less then 4 minutes!). I would give this cd a 5 if those 2 tracks were included as in my opinion it is the highest quality recordings that i've heard from the band."
Stark, harsh, musical, out at the edge No Wave NYC trio
Chris bct | San Diego, CA USA | 01/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Do you know this band? If not, unfortunately, it appears you cannot sample this CD. Late 70's/early 80's band with Arto Lindsay on grating guitar, a Japanese woman on bass and occasional grating vocals (tho enjoyable verses Yoko style) and R. L. Crutchfield on drums. Part of the NYC No Wave scene. They appear on the amazing 4 band compilation No New York compilation lp/cd produced by Eno resulting in each band maybe recording their finest, most true material ever with JAMES CHANCE and the CONTORTIONS, TEENAGE JESUS and the JERKS (with LYDIA LUNCH doing her definitive grating guitar and lovely vocals) and MARS another band who only has, all together, about this many trax for reissue and, if it's possible, is even a bit more extreme than DNA.
Thanks for making this CD. It brings together virtually everything DNA did on their 2 7"s, their nice 12" and several compilation tracks as well as the No New York trax, I believe.
This band is not for sissys. If you want some sort of gentle pop music flee now. If you're adventurous and wanna withstand slashing guitar and a minimalist sound with vocals that aren't meant to sooth you to sleep, you might give this a try.
Those of us who have heard it know that we love it or others have dropped it like it was blowing up in their hands, I'm sure. This isn't hardcore punk. It can be called punk if you like because it existed concurrently with the growth of punk. But it most appropriately belongs in that special group of bands from that period known as NY No Wave.
It's funny because Arto Lindsay, a Brasilian, went on to do a number of solo albums with that sweet, gentle, soothing bossa nova music. There's occasional hints in some of his songs of a bit 'o grating but just hints, oddly, typically in his songs that are most hit like on his records. He also did an album, Aggregates 1-26, as a different group, the ARTO LINDSAY TRIO of music somewhat similar to this, in the same ballpark let's say but not as severe with the songs averaging one minute.
DNA delivers music that exists nowhere else. Their sound is their own. They staked out their place on the musical spectrum and it's way out there at the end of Western music. I imagine most punx would enjoy it though I can't be sure. I do. Comin' from hardcore punk rock it's a natural to enjoy this grating guitar, short songs and generally severe musical presentation. email@example.com"
A Ugly, Wonderful Mess
Paul H. | USA | 11/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dna, along with the other bands at the forefront of the late-70's no-wave movement, were less about structure and songs than the execution of punishing noise. While Mars took the mini-movement to the peaks of almost unlistenable chaos, making James Chance and Lydia Lunch seem almost conventional by comparison, Dna were perhaps the next most challenging. Arto Lindsey wails in something that's beyond singing. It's release, and his voice moves all over the place along with his sporadic guitar playing which never actually comes to play an actual note. On this record, all of Dna's recorded comes together for a very intriguing, yet hard-to-digest listen. It deserves 5 stars for the studio material along (their first 7", the No New York compilation tracks, and their EP), but even the poorly recorded demos and live tracks have their charms. For music recorded years ago that will never loose its edge, look no further."