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Music style: Punk, Techno/Industrial, New German Wave
Band members: Robert Görl (drums, electronics), Gabi Delgado-Lopez (vocals), Kurt "Pyrolator" Dahlke (electronics, until 1980), Michael Kemner (bass), Wolfgang Spelmans (guitar), Chrislo Haas (electronics, 1980-81).

Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft or D.A.F. got its start in 1978 in Düsseldorf with Robert Görl, who had classical and jazz training, and the musical autodidact Gabi Delgado-Lopez as its masterminds. Other members joined the group, but by 1980 the band was reduced to the original duo.

With their unpolished sound consisting of pumping synth rhythms mixed with minimal sequences and lyrics full of imperatives, they were pioneers of the New German Wave movement as well as of house and techno music and they also strongly influenced the later electronic body music. Their synth sound is sometimes misleading; their style is decisively punk with electronic instrumentation. They were one of the first bands to use the Roland-Synthesizer TB-303 to produce baselines for their music, a technique later used in the acid movement. Even in the mid-90s their influence could be heard in hard rock tunes by bands such as Rammstein and Oomph!.

From 1982 to 1986, Görl and Delgado-Lopez worked on solo projects, but since then have worked together on various projects. In 2003, they were on world tour together promoting their new album 15 Neue DAF-Lieder, which is reminiscent of their music of the early 80s.


Fünfzehn neue DAF Lieder (2003) | LISTEN | DESCRIPTION: Long awaited reunion album for the German industrial duo.
TRACKS: 1.Der Sheriff | 2.Ich bin tot | 3.Du bewegst dich | 4.Kinderzimmer | 5.Rock hoch | 6.Mira como se Menea | 7.Satellit | 8.Moschino, Heckler, Koch | 9.Seltsame Freunde | 10.Algorithmus | 11.Der Präsident | 12.Liebeszimmer | 13.Komm in meine Welt | 14.Die Lüge | 15.Ich bin morgen wieder da
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Für immer (1982) || LISTEN | REVIEW: In 1982, DAF (Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft) released Für immer, their third album in the space of a year and half, then promptly split up when it tanked. But despite its meteoric career, the Düsseldorf twosome left its mark, creating bare-bones, pulsing electronic music that delighted in both stiff dance-floor experimentation and homoerotic tease. Though the album is overall moodier than the previous two, it still has its share of lighthearted numbers, such as a rerecording of the band's first single, "Kebabträume" (initially issued when DAF still used guitars), or "Prinzessin," which comes dangerously close to a love song--or at least what passed for a love song in 1982 Düsseldorf. Not as brilliantly innovative as Kraftwerk, DAF nonetheless remains a fascinating black jewel of a band. ~ Review by Elisabeth Vincentelli
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Alles ist gut (1981) || LISTEN | REVIEW: It's been said that the pioneering German electronic duo DAF (Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft) directly influenced the assault of bands such as Front 242. But while it's true that DAF could be unrelentingly stern at times, they could also be unequivocally sexy, sighs and moans intertwined with basic Teutonic beats in orgasmic ecstasy--no wonder singer Gabi Delgado-Lopez and instrumentalist Robert Görl posed drenched in sweat on Alles Ist Gut's cover. This 1981 album, their second, remains a dark jewel of backroom thrusts ("Mein Herz Macht Bum") and dance-floor stomps ("Der Mussolini") feeding on provocation. At a time when electronica is exploding into hundreds of shards, it's nice to remember a band that was able to concentrate its power into such dense, self-contained nuggets. ~ Review by Elisabeth Vincentelli
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Gold und Liebe (1981) || LISTEN | REVIEW: Plank again oversees an album from the duo, while the photo on the front of Görl and Delgado in what looks like modified bondage gear maintains the sex theme well enough. Put it all together with song titles like "Sex Unter Wasser" ('sex underwater') and "Absolute Körperkontörolle" ('absolute body control') and DAF are tending that much more to the flesh rather than the mind. Things are a just touch less powerful than on Alles; opening track "Liebe Auf Den Ersten Blick" has a bass/melody combination that could almost be early Depeche Mode. Most of the time, though, it's only a slight difference by degrees, as pounding monsters like "Ich Will" and the instrumental build of "Absolute Körperkontrolle" demonstrate. Görl's music generally still relies on his forceful percussion and sharp, cutting synth bass in combination, and Plank once again makes it sound fantastic. Additional touches surface throughout, and if Gold isn't as immediately varied as Alles was, the subtler elements do provide variety. There's almost a lounge feeling to the vibey keyboards on "Sex Unter Wasser," while the rough military drumming on "Muskel" suits the song perfectly. One of the best songs accordingly has one of the best fusions - "Goldenes Spielzeug," with a soft, chime/keyboard melody over a tough bass/drum beat, singing appearing only every so often during its length. Delgado himself, however sex-obsessed he might be this time out, still makes for a strong frontman - certainly, if you don't know German, you can just pretend he's ordering everyone to the dancefloor under pain of death or something similar. Gold closes out on a fantastic note with "Verschwende Deine Jugend," a full-on destructive beast in the "Der Mussolini" mode, and "Greif Nach Den Sternen," a steady-paced, almost anthemic number with the trademark DAF blend of brusqueness still intact. ~ Review by Ned Raggett, All Music Guide
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Die Kleinen und die Bösen (1980) || LISTEN | REVIEW: After the near-apocalyptic shrieks of Ein Produkt, DAF toned down just a touch, but only just, for Die Kleinen und die Bösen. Coming out on Mute as the album did, it helped not merely in establishing the group's cachet, but the label's and, in turn, the whole genre of experimental electronic music in the '80s and beyond. The cover art alone, with the group's name boldly printed white-on-black in all capitals, next to part of a Soviet propaganda poster, practically invented a rapidly overused industrial music design cliché. At the time, though, the group was ironically the most rock they would ever get, with bassist Chrislo Haas and guitarist W. Spelmans joining Robert Görl and Gabi Delgado (aka Gabi Delgado-Lopez). The first half of Kleinen was a studio recording with Krautrock-producing legend Conrad Plank, who did his usual fantastic job throughout. The beats are sometimes hollow and always ominous, treated with studio touches to make them even more so, while the squalling, clipped guitar sounds often make nails-on-chalkboards sound sweet in comparison. Delgado's husky vocals and Görl's spare-but-every-hit-counts drumming on "Osten Währt Am Längsten" are particularly strong, while the electronic rhythms of "Co Co Pino" (Delgado's vocal trills are a scream) and all-out slam of "Nacht Arbeit" can't be resisted. The live side, recorded at London's Electric Ballroom, is even more all-out most of the time, starting with the complete noise fest "Gewalt," and then shifting into a series of short, brusque tracks. Delgado pulls off some blood-curdling screams (and Görl some fairly nutty harmonies as well -- check the opening to "Das Ist Liebe") over the din. The musicians themselves sound like they decided to borrow Wire's sense of quick songs while cranking the amps to ten; the resultant combination of feedback crunch and electronic brutality is, at times, awesome to behold. ~ Ned Raggett, All Music Guide
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Ein Produkt der DAF (1979) || LISTEN
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