26 September 2023


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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By De Staat, Virgin Music Benelux 2023.

De Staat is a Dutch electronic/alternative rock band which formed in Nijmegen Holland in 2006.

They originally started as a solo project by founder Torre Florim who brought in musicians to work on his first demo which was recorded in his apartment.

As a result of enthusiastic audience response to live performances a band was formed and in 2008 they were signed by Excelsior Records and released their debut album Wait For Evolution in January 2009. Although they presented as a band all the songs on the album were written by Florim.

Their popularity continued to grow and in 2010 they were playing the major festivals in Europe and the UK, including Glastonbury.

De Staat’s third album I_CON has been their most successful album so far reaching #2 in the Dutch Top 100 with the single Downtown featuring on the FIFA 14 Soundtrack.

Over the next few albums the writing credits included other band members although Florim is still the front man and major contributor.

During the pandemic the band took the enforced break to work together on new material and as the songs developed they were categorised by colour red, for the dark side of emotion, yellow for lighthearted danceable songs, and blue for melancholy.

They started the writing process in 2021 and released the Yellow EP in late 2021 and now the full album is available.

The album starts with the red songs, Look At Me is an intense track based on a deep synth bass riff overlayed with a rapped vocal that demands we ‘Look At Me’. There are distorted vaudeville overtones to the song.

It’s followed by four more intense tracks, Head On The Block, Some Body, Paying Attention, and Burning The Flag (it’s a party waking up an army!).There is an undercurrent of anger, frustration and violence to these tracks.

The mood is lightened when we hit the yellow tracks. There’s a good deal of humour in tracks like Who’s Gonna Be The GOAT?and Peace, Love & Profit .

The final section, blue, delves deep into our sadder experiences, sorrow, loss, estrangement etc. Once again there is an element of humour in the track Running Backwards Into The Future.

This is an impressive album.

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