D.A.F. ist gut, ja! Nein – Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft (or German American Friendship) aren’t just good, they’re the pioneers of an entire genre — along with fellow Düsseldorf innovators Kraftwerk — and boast a massive cult following globally.
After meeting in an underground punk club in 1978, bonding over their mutual desire to make music, Robert Görl and Gabriel “Gabi” Delgado-López hit the rehearsal room to start their project, and ended up introducing the world to Körpermusik (body music).
With five albums in three years, including their standout 1981 piece, Alles Ist Gut, D.A.F. called it quits in 1982 during the recording of their ironically named album Für Immer (Forever). Since then, they’ve had a yo-yoing career, including a reunion show in 1985 to record 1st Step To Heaven, their only album in English which earned them the title ‘Grandfathers of Techno’, Fünfzehn neue D.A.F.-Lieder in 2003 and the occasional show from 2008 onwards. In 2015, the boys declared the official split with a final farewell tour.
Over the course of their four-decade on-again, off-again relationship, D.A.F. never forged a Deutsch Australisch Freundschaft – until now. D.A.F. are back and will be debuting Down Under as part of Melbourne Music Week, taking over Melbourne Town Hall with local talent Total Control and Dark Water for an explosive, total body music experience. Along with their performance, they’ll also be participating in an in conversation with Darren Sylvester and French electronic music producer Kittin, with the conversation topics centred around music, artificial intelligence, sustainability, psychology and cancel culture.
Gabi Delgado-López offers his insights into these spaces to give you a taste of what to expect.
“I’m very involved in that world and I think the key to artificial intelligence is to not humanise it. I think that’s the biggest mistake researchers are doing. They want to make the artificial intelligence like human intelligence and I don’t think that’s the way to do it. Your enemies are much more intelligent when they have no human factor. I think people in general – the human race – they’re too concentrated on creating things that are like themselves.”
On D.A.F.: “We didn’t want to be in any tradition. We wanted to start from ground zero and do something that hadn’t been heard before. If you have a strong new idea, and you’re patient, then sooner or later you will gather more and more followers. I believe in the power of ideas.”
On personal music enjoyment: “I must confess, I’m not a concert-goer. When I’m not playing myself, I think all my life I’ve only been to ten concerts or something like that. I really prefer to go to the discotheque and dance my arse off.”
Sustainability Meets Psychology
“Mankind is definitely not the centre of the universe, it’s a very arrogant and old fashioned way of seeing things. It means pollution and it means the exploitation of our natural resources. Because people think they’re the only important thing in the world, so they take from everywhere and they think they have a right to do that. Mankind has to be seen different, like part of everything, not on top of the world but part of the world.
“Until the ‘60s, ‘70s and really into the ‘80s, people believed in the future. But in the ‘90s, people became disappointed because the things the media and the entertainment industry promised them when they were kids weren’t true. Nowadays, people don’t believe in the future. They think it’s probably going to be worse now. People think ‘I can’t save the world, so I won’t try to’.”
D.A.F. will captivate when they hit the Melbourne Town Hall on Sunday November 17 alongside Total Control and Dark Water. Grab your tickets via the Melbourne Music Week website.