Dosh - Tommy

by Rich Morris Rating:8 Release Date:2010-04-19

The burping, groaning noise which opens first track 'Subtractions' lets you know you're back in the realm of sonic trickster Martin Dosh. Picking up more or less where he left off with fourth album Wolves and Wishes in 2008, 'Subtractions' elegantly and expertly joins the dots between electro, breakbeat and jazz, and then chucks in a widdly hair metal guitar solo and some carefree vocal harmonies for good measure. It's a glorious, summery track and, happily, much of the album continues in this vein.

In fact, Tommy has a freewheeling, magpie spirit that's up there with Flying Lotus or even the late Malcolm McLaren's Duck Rock album, and will satisfy fans of esoteric sampledelica. Second track 'Yer Face' has the same flighty spirit as 'Subtractions', despite some portentous piano and murmurings which sound like they could have come straight from the muse of Thom Yorke. 'Number 41' wittily and winningly juxtaposes an old school breakbeat with some languorous peddle steel guitar. 'Loud', despite its name, is a gorgeous moment of Dave Brubeck-style cool jazz which gradually vanishes beneath a haze of echo.

Elsewhere, 'Airlift' and 'Country Road X' trickle by on a wave of synth pads so luscious that listening to them feels like mainlining good times through your ears. The twin attack of sax and synth on 'Call the Kettle' and the closing swoon of 'Gare de Lyon', which gradually builds into fuzz-drenched storm, are also perfectly judged moments. Only penultimate track 'Never Met', with its downbeat, pinched-sounding vocal, fails to work. Oddly, it sounds like a sop to the burgeoning chill-wave crowd.

Overall though, Tommy is a real treat and makes you wonder why more music makers can't be as imaginative, creative and generous as Dosh.

Richard Morris

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