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THE DENIZ TEK GROUP - LE BONNE ROUTE - 1996

Deniz Tek, Radio Birdman guitarist/composer, began his solo career in 1992 with the recording of Take It To The Vertical in Houston, Texas, with a line-up that later toured Australia and then immolated in the wake of financial disaster.

From these ashes grew the current band. The Deniz Tek Group's 1993 line-up continues to this day and features Celibate Rifles guitarist Kent Steedman; Tumbleweed and Celibate Rifles drummer Nik Rieth; and bassist Jim Dickson whose history includes The Survivors, The Barracudas, The New Christs and Louis Tillett's Aspersion Caste.

Early 1995 saw the local release of the critically acclaimed hard rock album Outside on the Red Eye label.

This was followed by a tour encompassing Australia, Europe and the west coast of America.
Performances were uncompromising in passion and desperation, often forced through inadequate equipment with brutal physical effort.

While maintaining a low profile, the group has from this point in time subversively eked out an existence below the consciousness of the industry, much to the delight of selected cadres of fans in cities and villages throughout the world.

The start of this year has seen a break with Red Eye and the group adopting an even more staunch DIY attitude. A new, self financed album, Le Bonne Route, will present listeners with a departure from the last two releases.

The recording was done near Deniz's home in Montana at the full digital studio assembled by Dave Weyer, who engineered and co-produced the album.

Dave is a rock veteran and electronic guru, who was Jimi Hendrix's amplifier mechanic in the 60's.

While still hard rocking, Le Bonne Route has a strange experimental edge.

Some songs feature polyrhythms, while some are played outside traditional rock key/scale harmonic relationships.
There are still enough straight ahead rockers to satisfy long time fans, with more adventurous material in there for those, including the band, who wish to look ahead. Perhaps this album is, as all albums should be, a transition piece or bridge to the next phase.

July was spent road testing the new material in Italy, where the band is held in high esteem.
Often chaotic and unpredictable, this tour was simply great. A compact disc The Italian Tour EP '96 was specially released to celebrate the event and features two album tracks, some album out-takes and a rare demo cut.
A limited number were distributed in Australia and are being quickly snapped up by hard core supporters.

The band are now wired up and ready to tour Australia in November in support of the release of Le Bonne Route which has been licensed by Citadel Records and scheduled for an early October release through MDS. Stay tuned for the dates.

this information is provided by John Needham

LE BONNE ROUTE - TRACK BY TRACK

  1. Imaginary Man:
    • Fast traditional Stooge-based rocker with a syncopated, key shifted middle 8. Chief feature: dual power chording. Lyrics metaphorically describe mans' imprisonment within himself, and his inability to know even the interior of the prison.
  2. Lunatics at the Edge of the World:
    • Ode to Syd Barrett and Roky Erikson featuring Mallard-like drum based intrumental verses and heavy power chorded verses. Outstanding one-note solo by Kent. Caliente' !
  3. Away From Here:
    • Tight, claustrophobic tension filled verses with desert-dry guitar chords give way to expansive, open choruses that shimmer with reverbed depth and machine gun drum fills. Lyrics written and sung by Kent.
  4. Tubular Dreams:
    • Medium paced ballad starting with a nearly a capella vocal intro, moving through changes featuring disharmonic guitar chords played simultaneously, giving the otherwise straightforward approach a slightly bent edge. Acoustic slide guitar from Deniz, comes close to folk blues, later electric slide from Kent resolves our path safely back into Beefheart territory.
  5. Rabbits Foot:
    • Each band member wrote and sang a verse. Verses sung behind loose polyharmonic guitars and polyrhythmic percussion effects. Think: what if Bonzo Dog had a track on Trout Mask Replica. Chief feature: the sound of an electric sander spooling up. Hard rock is fun again! An alternate song title could have been "You're Never Alone With A Multiple Personality Disorder".
  6. Clear Itself:
    • Straight ahead fast rock with melodic choruses. Like Tubular, the lyrical content deals with personal contacts in another world. Dream or reality? Who knows? For those with inquiring minds, the Boss PN-2 tremelo pan unit is used to good effect, and the guitars and bass resolve in a round, as in Row Your Boat.
  7. Salted Leeches:
    • Stones-like medium paced guitar rock song which ends up with a free jam at the end. The engineer fortunately let the tape (sorry, hard drive) run. An experiment with less distorted, cleaner guitar sounds.
  8. Saucer Pilot Blues:
    • The working title was "Yard Cult" 'cause while writing it, the guys thought the song was evolving into something between the Yardbirds and the Blue Oyster Cult. Fairly challenging riff based rock which goes through the changes at a breakneck pace. Deniz and Nik say " dont ask us to do this one live", with good reason. The song could explode at any moment.
  9. Ze Good Way:
    • Tribal percussion/drum polyrhythms lock horns with a heavy industrial bass riff in the instrumental choruses, contrasting with power chord verses. A late 60's psychedelic inspired guitar solo and one of Deniz' best hard edged vocals to date complete the picture. C'est "in ze good way", mais certainment.
  10. Dave's Insanity:
    • Some may be put off by Kent's seemingly murderous lyrics, but can you believe this is really about food? The most traditional rock 'n roll song on the album, with searing distorted harmonica, vocal harmonies in the middle 8, and a standard issue Birdman solo. A disrespectful salute to the past.
  11. VMO:
    • Written by the entire band from a free-form jam, VMO is a slow droning dirge-like ballad. Lyrically and musically surreal, dreamlike, multilayered, and laced with chilling percussion effects, it's just the thing to drift off to after a heavy dose of insanity.

Review from Time Off (Oct 96) by Simon McKenzie - LE BONNE ROUTE

With Le Bonne Route Tek has managed to capture the ragged glory of his remarkable band and as much energy as Birdman ever mustered. True! ....

Le Bonne Routeis the perfect document of the extraordinary outfit Tek has played with since 1994 - Celibate Rifles' Kent Steedman and Nik Rieth on guitar and drums respectively, and former New Christs Jim Dickson on bass. The sheer power of some of their best shows make it onto disc in the form of hell-for-leather energy freakout material like "Lunatics At The Edge Of The World" and "Clear Itself". Some of Tek's most direct rock and roll is on this record, and it's clear that he knows exactly what he's good at. But Le Bonne Route is also Tek's most adventurous recording yet. "Rabbit's Foot" is a heavy spoken word piece with hypnotic verses and smashing choruses, with each member of the band speaking a eerie verse. One of them sounds exactly like John Cale delivering "The Gift". The closing track, "VMO", is a cinematic ocean number that hints at unknown country for the Tek band - country it would be well for them to explore. Still, the main purpose of a Deniz Tek record is to rock like almighty fuck.
From "Imaginary Man" to "Dave's Insanity", Le Bonne Route proves that Deniz Tek is as vital - if not more so - than any 20 year old on the planet.
He has a band to match, and this time he's got the songs and the sound to complete the equation.

Le Bonne Routeis the number one modovational record of 1996. No doubt about it.


Review from Beat Magazine - Deniz Tek "Le Bonne Route"

Third solo offering and, written mostly in partnership with moonlighting Celibate Rifle Kent Steedman, it's paint-peeling gonzoid guitar action without the Detroit retro detritus.

Typically, all amps are firing and considering the disc's brevity (a whisker under half an hour if you subtract the 8 minute mood piece finale "VMO") the songwriting goes a long way.

Tek and co strike chords in many ways. Refer: the electrical shower of the album's juiciest rocker "Saucer Pilot Blues", "Tubular Dreams"'s acoustic slide, the uneasy drone of Steedman's vocal on "Rabbit's Foot" and straight up pub blaster "Imaginary Man".

Collectively, not as consistent as 1994's "Outside" set but the band's consensus to occasionally thumb-nose traditional rock n' roll values is appreciated.

This information is provided by Craig Regan

DENIZ TEK GROUP - LE BONNE ROUTE (Citadel)

by Roberto Calabrò - "Rockerilla" n. 197 - January 1997

L'annunciato ritorno dei leggendari Radio Birdman coincide con uno straordinario periodo di vitalità ed energia per Deniz Tek, chitarrista della seminale formazione australiana che verso la metà degli anni '80 - in seguito alla conclusione delle esperienze con Birdman, Visitors e New Race - aveva fatto perdere le proprie tracce, preferendo trasferirsi nella quiete del Montana e realizzare il sogno di diventare pilota di jets.

Lo troviamo ora, in forma smagliante, tornare alla carica con una serie di progetti straordinari. Il Deniz Tek Group è un ensemble che annovera alcuni tra i migliori esponenti dell'underground 'aussie' degli ultimi quindici anni quali Jim Dickson (Barracudas, New Christs), Kent Steedman (Celibate Rifles, Yage) e Nick Rieth (Tumbleweed).

"Le bonne route" è il terzo album di questo super-combo e rappresenta una splendida sintesi sonora del rock australiano contemporaneo. Undici perle potenti e sfumate, giocate per intero sull'incrocio tra tra il chitarrismo secco e tagliente di Tek e quello più valvolare e dilatato del biondo Steedman, con il supporto di una sezione ritmica impressionante per forza e compattezza. Si alternano episodi fulminanti al versante decisamente più stralunato e sperimentale della band.

Le iniziali "Imaginary man" e "Lunatics at the edge of the world" combinano rabbia punk e distorsioni psichedeliche, per cedere poi il passo alla tribale "Away from here" al rock'n'roll lisergico della stupenda "Tubular dreams" fino all'episodio più strano dell'intero lavoro, "Rabbit's foot", una spoken-song ipnotica, dominata da poliritmie e chitarre dall'incedere altalenante. "Dave's insanity", "Saucer Pilot Blues", "Ze good way" sono delle piccole molotov soniche, mentre la conclusione è lasciata a "VMO": un tranquillo viaggio oltre la porta della percezione, attraverso il suono senza tempo dell'Oceano.

ROBERTO CALABRO'


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