Opinion Review

Bittereinder: Dans Tot Die Dood

Every new release from Bittereinder proves that they are not only true to the original spark that makes them so great but they are relevant to this volatile industry. Their fourth album “Dans tot die Dood”, is different to their previous releases in many noteworthy ways, but still undeniably Bittereinder.

Firstly, it’s the first album that doesn’t have a single collaborator featured, something the Pretoria-based trio is known and loved for. Even ‘Hartseer Gangster’, the first single and only satirical track on the album features no one.. The social commentary in the song is on par with the themes they often explore in their music and the music video is hilarious and very well-executed.

Compared to their last two albums, “Dans tot die Dood” also has a higher Afrikaans to English ratio, much like their debut offering “n Ware Verhaal”. English hasn’t completely fallen away though, with phrases and words brilliantly rhymed and weaved into lines. Main lyricist Jako van der Merwe has once again proven why he is one of the best in the business, and it’s something that deserves serious respect and attention. Lyrics like “Sit my vir n ruk op die main line/ Ek het altyd tyd vir a great time” open ‘Great Track’, and while this is a very basic example of the craft, I can assure you the ways in which he has done this throughout the album is nothing short of revolutionary. If I were a language teacher, I’d use these songs to teach the power of language.

The closing track ’The Flood’ is another great example of this, and a very cool tune. What I like most about this synth infused, slow tempo track is the chorus; “We cannot stop it/ It’s like a flood/ Our days are numbered/ Dance like it’s in your blood” which is sung with an unmistakable Afrikaans accent that says “Yeah, this is who we are and we’re proud of it”..

Musically it’s much more synthy and electronic than their previous releases, a progression that has been steady but clear over the years. Their “Dinkdansmasjien” mission and persona is something they continue to formulate, with signature Bittereinder beats and infections bass lines you can dance to, and clever thought-provoking subject matter in each song. They mention it specifically in ‘Great Track’ asking the question “Wat kan ons tot einde bring as almal dink en dans?”

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Listen to ‘Dans Tot Die Dood’ below on Deezer.