Album: Danny Cohen

Dannyland, Anti-
Click to follow

Way ahead of the pack for the dubious honour of weirdest album of the year has to be this sophomore effort from Danny Cohen, a classic outsider primitive in the vein of Daniel Johnston or Wild Man Fischer, and by the sound of things, probably just as frequently recumbent on the analyst's couch.

Way ahead of the pack for the dubious honour of weirdest album of the year has to be this sophomore effort from Danny Cohen, a classic outsider primitive in the vein of Daniel Johnston or Wild Man Fischer, and by the sound of things, probably just as frequently recumbent on the analyst's couch. I never heard Cohen's debut Museum of Dannys, but the mere fact that it appeared on avant-guardian John Zorn's Tzadzik label, home of all manner of experimental Jewish music, is some indication of its likely oddness. For Dannyland, Cohen has been given the run of a 40-track studio, and the results are densely-layered, claustrophobic arrangements heavy on horror-movie organ drones, lachrymose lap steel and spooky theremin whines, over which Cohen reflects upon the detritus of his own life and offers odd, discomfiting observations of the world he inhabits - a murky territory of self-medication, tattered hippie dreams, laments for dead heroes, memories of old Twilight Zone episodes, and recollections of a troubled childhood. Favouring shambling discordancy over tuneful order, it's a tough listen until you start to hear things Cohen's way, but there's enough bluff humour and enigmatic poetry in his lyrics to reward those brave enough to embark on a journey to Dannyland.

Comments