Datblygu were an experimental Welsh rock group formed in 1982. They are regarded as a catalyst of the new wave of Welsh rock in the early 1980s. Their first two albums, “Wyau” (Eggs) and “Pyst” (Post), are now being reissued in vinyl. We knew this band, but many readers obviously never heard of it. So here is a round up of what they were about and below you can also check out said reissues.
Datblygu (which is Welsh for ‘progress’, ‘evolution’ and/or ‘development’) was started in 1982 while David R. Edwards was still at school in Aberteifi, Ceredigion. At first it was him and instrumentalist T Wyn Davies, before Patricia Morgan joined in 1984. Datblygu’s music was often experimental, and they even got described as ‘Kraftwerk with a hangover’.
After four cassette-only releases on Casetiau Neon, the band had their first vinyl release in 1987 on Anhrefn Records, with the “Hwgr-Grawth-Og” EP featuring just Edwards and Morgan. The release was picked up by John Peel and led to a session being recorded for his BBC Radio 1 show (the first of five such sessions).
Datblygu’s first full album, “Wyau” (Eggs), was released in 1988 and followed by “Pyst” (Post) in 1990.
Davies left in 1990 and the group continued as a duo for a while, before being augmented by a series of musicians, notably drummer Al Edwards. Moving to Ankst Records, the Christmas-themed “Blwch Tymer Tymor” cassette was issued in 1991. Edwards collaborated with Tŷ Gwydr and Llwybr Llaethog on the 1992 album “LL.LL v T.G. MC DRE”, before releasing a final Datblygu album in 1993 with “Libertino”. After a single, “Alcohol”/”Amnesia” in 1995, the band split up.
In August 2008 a new 7″ single “Can y Mynach Modern” (The Song of the Modern Monk) was released. The song recounts (over its brief ninety seconds) the turmoil and madness that engulfed Edwards as the band fell apart in the mid nineties and the long road to recovery that resulted from the fallout. The track was intended as a full stop on their legacy rather than a brand new start. However, anno 2021 Datblygu are very much still a band and they released a new album last year, “Datblygu – Cwm Gwagle”.
Below are the two albums to check out.
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