Sunday, 14 October 2012

Recommended music: 'Brothers Fowl' by Dam Mantle

Dam Mantle's musical development continues on this, his first full length album (released on Gold Panda's Notown record label). If all you've heard of Tom Marshallsay is the 'We' EP then you might be in for a surprise, as this release certainly showcases a more reflective and, dare I say it, more jazz-influenced side.

The opening 2 parts of Canterbury are bright, chiming and mellow, and put me in mind of some of the more electronic stuff that James Lavelle used to put out on Mo Wax back in the day. The rising and falling melodies are mildly hypnotic, and the second part works well as it reinforces the melodies of part 1 but also wanders off in new directions with a very jazzy bassline.

Next up the appropriately titled 'Lifting' lifts a saxophone line and loops it round, paired with some airy female vocals that sound a bit like Little Dragon.This brings us to my 2 favourite tracks on the record. First up is 'RGB', which features Raven Bush (nephew of Kate Bush) on strings and djembe. The mellow vibes of this track hide some pretty frantic rhythms as Tom builds up some spiky drum tracks from the djembe underneath the swooping strings. The title track 'Brothers Fowl' is even better, the perfect marriage of Marshallsay's earlier vocal-looping releases with the jazz feel of this one. A downbeat piano riff is matched with a hummed melody and some skittery drums to create a warm track that sounds almost improvised.

'Blueberry' samples 80s French underground musician Luc Marianni in a solid, rhythmic track, and then 'Ish' samples some slightly dischordant jazz horns and feeds them through Tom's electronic brain to create a constantly evolving track that gets better as it goes along.

Closer 'Spirit' takes a simple piano loop and creates the jazziest thing on display here - a great mix of electronic blips, hi-hats and snares, with a disembodied voice thrown in for good measure.

The vinyl comes with a full download of the album plus a couple of bonus tracks which are both worth hearing. 'Dublin' is probably the best of the two, a bass driven upbeat track with snatched vocals that mellows as it progresses. 'Full Moon & Moth' picks up the BPMs but still manages to fit in a double bass  and possibly even a clarinet as it bring the curtain down on the set.

With both this album and the new one from Flying Lotus displaying distinct jazz tendencies, maybe jazztronica will be the next big genre. You heard it here first!

Listen to the whole album below:

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