”You’d have to be a bit of a ninny to ignore Datblygu, this is the band that makes me want to learn the Welsh language’‘ – John Peel

”Datblygu lyrics ARE the Welsh Gospel” – Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals)
Braint gan Recordiau Ankstmusik yw cyhoeddi fod ‘box set’ arbennig iawn ar fin cael ei rhyddhau. Mi fydd ”WYAU, PYST A LIBERTINO’ yn cynnwys y tri clasur a rhyddhawyd gan y grwp dylanwadol o Aberteifi DATBLYGU ynghyd a llyfryn sy’n cynnwys cyfeithiadau newydd sbon o’r caneuon gan David R. Edwards.

Mae’r ‘box set’ yma yn un o’r prosiecta mwya cynhwysfawr mae Ankstmusik erioed wedi paratoi a mae’r ymdrech yn adlewyrchu ddylanwad oesol y grwp arbennig yma ar y sin yn Nghymru yn gyffredinol ac ar gwmni recordiau Ankstmusik yn benodol.
Mae Ankstmusik yn gobeithio , trwy ail rhyddhau y gwaith yma mewn fordd sy’n annog diddordeb o du allan i’r byd Cymru Cymraeg, creu ffordd ymlaen ar gyfer ehangu y gynulleidfa a gyfer ein cynnyrch a hefyd i ledaeni gwaith artistiaid pwysig Cymraeg i weddill y byd.


An epic two CD monument to the legacy of the band enticingly dubbed ‘The Welsh Fall’. For anyone who has always wondered why the name of this sadly defunct trio was uttered with such reverence by John Peel, this is a great chance to find out. Each of these three albums contains moments of rugged genius. English language lyric translations now allow non-Welsh speakers to share in the singular vision of songwriter David R. Edwards. This heroically splenetic individual doesn’t just fulminate pithily about ‘one track minds in 48 track studios’, he offers a practical alternative: a 48 track mind with a dictaphone.
Nowadays there is a massive Welsh music scene which wouldn’t exist without the sweat and toil of Datblygu. In the eighties and nineties, there was an amazing Welsh underground of gloomy twisted leftfield rock. Most of it was on Ankst, and if you’re looking for an archetypal band in a scene that eschew archetypes, it has to be Datblygu. Built around the central figure of travel phobic David R. Edwards, Datblygu hardly gigged but recorded brilliantly skewed songs with scathing lyrics. There was always something comforting about the fact there was this weird irritant out there in the middle of Wales, bending rock out of shape and being ignored by the music biz sqaures. They sing in Welsh and it spunds perfect in these tedious days of the anglo-American axis, where all pop culture has to be sung in Britney American English – it’s great to hear someone singing on their own language. Of course you don’t have to understand a word – Datblygu make you feel their dislocation. Also they’ve kindly translated all the words into English in the lyric book to make sure you know damn well what living in Wales was like back then. There is a spook to their music: a lilting, goofy off the wallness, an isolation. There is humour, anger, sarcasm and sadness, all in equal doses. Datblygu should be remembered for more than being Welsh, or being underground. Datblygu were a stunning group who made distinctive music a million miles away from the self important metropolitan music scenes. They hung around for three albums (beautifully re-packaged together here) by 1995 they had disappeared, a tragic loss.
Let’s say this again – Datblygu are important. And completely mystifying. And dirty. And wild. And playful. And mordant. And intelligent. And stressful. And awful, and gnarled before their time. Casting off shadows of the past, of preconception, a perverse, intensive introspective dialogue, with the mass of a mountain. Acid. Acidic. Acrid. Intelligent. Wine soaked. Farcical. Unsettling. Viral. I grew up in Wales. I grew up speaking Welsh badly and was alternately jealous, scared, inspired, defiled and defined by Datblygu. A band whose lyrical barbs and lime-tounged barbarism sparkled and shat themselves to a dark backdrop of sparse power. The Fall references are only valid in an esoteric context. More attitude than musicanship. Laconic desperation and virulently honest cynicism, nobody has ever made the Welsh language dance like this. Maybe nobody ever will. There is nothing more compassionate than staggering out of it in a fug of visceral special needs soulshard and slurring threats, offering out cackling demons both personal and political. Often there’s no difference. Maybe never. No resolution. Fun doesn’t come into it. Often. Sometimes. But not often. Mischief is different more compelling. There’s many reasons for that .I hope that some of the reason is that people need to know what is possible. Possibilites inherent in bad grooves, crowd noises, beeps, ash-minded shuddering soundscapes. Of doom and of joy. Of kicking against the pricks. Where debt shall have no dominion. These three albums are reissued on Ankst long with a beautiful booklet that has English language versions of the lyrics alongside the originals, criminal crackpipe bashbeauty that spouted from David R. Edwards and assosciates between 1988 and 1993. Five years only. But from fever comes fire. In a boxset. Another damned irony, of course, superb.
UNPEELED / Joe Shooman
I have already endured so many bizarre experiences and come through them relatively unscathed. As a result of a three album set by John Peel favourites Datblygu, I have learned how to say “VD for sale in the campsite” in Welsh (“VD ar werth yn y maes pebyll” if you’re ever in Rhyl.)
THE GUARDIAN / Alexis Petridis
(reviewing all the uk albums released in October 2004)
How many dull indie slowcoaches have ignored an entire generation of brilliant Welsh-language music because they couldn’t understand the words ? Well they have NO excuse for bypassing this fantastic, essential reissue of Datblygu’s three studio albums packaged in one box set with English translations. Datblygu frontman David R. Edwards wrote such wonderfully poetic lyrics, suffused with a deathly romantic gloom, that the intricacies of the message would survive any translation. Similarily there may be very little today that sounds like these 52 tracks of off-kilter, lurching experimentalism, but this doesn’t dilute the impact of Datblygu in any way.
BUZZ MAGAZINE / Noel Gardner
Although everyone from Catatonia to SFA to John Peel have sung the praises of acerbic Welsh language post-punks Datblygu, no figure has yet emerged from the Welsh rock scene who can fill the shoes of frontman David R. Edwards. Motivated by a hatred of the Tory government and a contempt for the retrogressive Welsh culture industry, Edwards captained his band through 13 years of confrontational gigs and a handful of records that cast its bucketfuls of bile far and wide. This two cd set reissue of the band’s best three albums confirms that The Fall are Datblygu’s most obvious musical antecedent, but it’s Edwards delivery that most stamp this band’s identity – best summed up in ‘Song For Wales’, a contempuous satire on the emerging Welsh middle class.
SOUND NATION / Louis Pattison
There will be two types of punters for this CD box set. The die-hard Datblygu fan – of which there are many – and the totally uninitiated who want to get to grips with one of Wales’s seminal bands. So what will they get for their money ? Primarily easy access to three of Datblygu’s classic albums. There’s also a 68 page lyric booklet containing the original lyrics as well as recent English translations, done by the front man himself, for all 52 tracks. This is not your usual ‘best of’ box set put together by a greedy record company seeking to squeeze a few extra pounds out of their artist. The package is worthy of Datblygu’s artistic integrity. It’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into making sure that they secure a place in the musical mindset of the twenty first century. Great care has been taken to make the band’s music and legacy accessible. Not only do you have the lyrics and their translations, but there are also photographs and an excellent article about the band that sheds much light on the their motivations and influences. The image of Wales is not one to please the Welsh Tourist Board. The final album ‘Libertino’ has a very contemporary vibe that makes it hard to believe that it is ten years old. Lyrically and melodically these songs cut into you like a jagged piece of glass. This is not romanticised anguish – it’s a bloody mess. Nothing is compromised in Datblygu’s message. All the songs are sung out of a non-conformist radicalism that was blisteringly different to the spirit of the age into which it was born and thankfully has lost none of its cutting edge. I was foolish to fear. This music has a timeless urgency. Datblygu fans will need no encouragement to go out and buy this box set, to the uninitiated I say – go and take a gulp of this bittersweet vintage.
PLANET / Angharad James