Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dosh - 'Tommy'

Album Review Written by Tristan Hanks

Martin Dosh is a curious creature who releases wonky electronica that sounds like no one else. Tommy is his fifth album following 2008’s more folky Wolves and Wishes, which contained guest appearances from Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Andrew Bird. The Dosh sound is usually based on a deep groove which is then built upon to create beautiful atmospheric vignettes drenched in warped vocals and odd samples. His songs often feature members of his family too which lends warmness to the already lush sounds on offer.

Tommy is not a radical departure from his previous albums but the sonics do seem a little thicker and more serious this time. It takes the third track, Number 41, for the beauty to really shine out and after that rest of the album is nothing but a pleasure. As usual some of the songs are forgettable and throwaway but this just adds to the ramshackle nature of the album. Dosh is one of the few electronic artists whose music sounds totally organic and it often sounds like homemade machines are playing broken instruments to mesmerising effect.

Artists like Fourtet and Caribou could be compared to Dosh but their sound is more dance based whereas Tommy is steeped in more soulful beats with a deep funk groove. This is always offset with an indie sensibility which is probably what makes his music so odd sounding, in a good way of course. Tracks like Airlift and the closer Gare De Lyon are great and after a few listens the album feels like an old friend. While this record might not be as enchanting as his debut or his masterpiece The Lost Take, it still has plenty to indulge the ears and will hopefully increase the awareness of this very talented and interesting producer.