This is “one of those records.” As in, what the hell is it, and how did it come to actually be made by someone? And not so much from the standpoint of the artists… but more the label.
So here’s what I know. The Dirty Dan Project was an Icelandic trio comprised of the Pollock brothers and Asgeir Bragason, and they released their one and only 7″ way back in 1981. My guess is they were able to pull off getting GRAMM to put this out because the A side is comprised of two pretty good, standard rock songs, one of which (“Drifter’s Escape”) is a Bob Dylan cover. It’s the B side where things get weird, and the name of the song even lets you know that’s going to be the case: “Music Concrète.” Now I’m only familiar with the concept of Musique Concrète (as the style is written) in a very vague way, but at the most basic level it’s kind of electronic music that doesn’t fit into the normal song structures, often using non-musical equipment to make music. And don’t think that it’s a relatively modern phenomenon – it dates back to at least the 1940s if not earlier. And, like the genre for which it is named, The Dirty Dan Project’s “Music Concrète” is pretty out there, mixing instruments, electronic sounds, and the human voice in a sort of mashup. Definitely something that is completely dissimilar with the two songs on side A.
But let’s be honest – “Music Concrète” is why this little record is still interesting and relevant today, because it still sounds freshly weird and modern (maybe more post-modern… but you get the point). Certainly not going to be in regular rotation, but it is a mind expander, that’s for sure.