Zonder Pardon

07/05/2024Amsterdam's Don Melody Club Releases Unapologetically Wonky, Infectiously Groovy 'Dutch Pop' Five-Tracker

Let's take it back to the club and get those 'Nederwave' engines revving. Revisiting our promo archives, we chanced upon this rare Dutch pop elixir released on Bongo Joe Records in collaboration with Dutch imprint Excelsior Recordings at the start of the year. "Zonder Pardon" is a zesty, wonky, yet undeniably groovy five-tracker by Amsterdam's Don Melody Club, the moniker of Donald "Donny" Madjid. Also a member of the infamous and equally punchy Mauskovic Dance Band, Madjid made good use of the free time he had during the pandemic and turned to his studio to cook up a drum machine and synth-infused, home-recorded, nine-track solo project and release a debut album in 2021.

His Don Melody Club alias and accompanying soundscapes are a "psychedelic and retro-tinged" deep dive into an analog universe of "uptempo drum machine rhythms, pulsating basslines, and funky melodies" that verges on kitch, but is so catchy and straight-faced that it much rather "[echoes the iconic] work of Talking Heads and Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music)," while simultaneously "[evoking] memories of the Nederwave sound of Doe Maar, a [late '70s] Dutch pop band that combined punk, ska, and reggae influences."  Cosmic in form and presented in his native 'Nederlands', Don Melody Club's infectious compositions audibly "[follow] in the footsteps of both classic and lesser known Dutch troubadours such as Ramses Shaffy and Ronald Langestraat."

If you are open to these admittedly quirky, left-field pop sounds, then "Zonder Pardon" will likely resonate with you as it has with us, triggering our latent 'restless leg syndrome', heads nodding to the beat and the rest of our body following suit, as our faces show definite signs of approval and our minds wander, wondering what the lyrics are all about, yet assuming they are humorous and bordering on the absurd. That being said, we highly approve of these 'Alleenganger' solo runs Donald "Donny" Madjid is on and hope he keeps them coming. Which reminds us that you don't need to take life seriously to be taken seriously yourself. If you're feeling it, so will others. Might as well have fun with it. Unapologetically.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom