Categories
Music

LorD and Master opens a Dialogue

LorD and Master is musician, producer and songwriter, Daniel Graham. From the United Kingdom, he is a purveyor of SynthPop melodies with great pop sensibilities. His latest album, Dialogue, is no exception. A stunning collection of pop songs are found here.

From the opening bars of first track, Four Walls, we are drawn into a musical beauty with the very eighties sounds he chooses for his synthesizers. This opening track has a cool vocoder vocal. The robotic voice declares he should get out more, but the singer feels he can’t. This sense of entrapment flows throughout a lot of the album’s lyrical themes. I feel that the four-month lockdown in England, from March 2020 to July 2020, has had a great impact upon LorD and Master and his lyrics. However, this album is amazingly upbeat in it’s tone and sound.

LorD and Master manages a great balancing act with great style and panache that many can’t achieve. This balancing act is the great, British tradition of mixing positive, uplifting music with more sinister, less-happy lyrics. LorD and Master joins these two opposing feelings beautifully in a manner reminiscent of SynthPop giants, Pet Shop Boys.

The lead single, Silent Disco, is a celebration of club life in a very uplifting way. Many of the tracks on Dialogue have this cool, retro-but-modern feel to them. Once you reach the end of this album, you really want to listen again from the beginning. There is so much to discover on multiple listens as you fully appreciate the subtleties of LorD and Master’s synthesizer skills.

Dialogue is a brilliant album, and far more impressive than Pet Shop Boys’ most recent release. I recommend you check this out today and dive into SynthPop life.

Dialogue by LorD and Master is out now.

Categories
Music

Synth joy with The Watchman

Out on 23rd October, 2020 on my record label Pink Dolphin Music Ltd, a brand new single choc-a-block full of gorgeous Synth-pop remixes.

The Watchman – Remixes is a 6-track EP by Daniel Hall.

Daniel is British born but lives in Australia, which has been his home for many years. He writes, composes, performs and produces pop songs based around drum machines and synthesizers. He is influenced by many artists, but his love of Depeche Mode shines through here.

The first track on the Download EP and CD is Daniel‘s original version. Dark, soft and moody; The Watchman tells a tale of a person who works very hard, looking over and after people, as they go about their daily lives.

Next up is the Wave In Head remix, which beefs up the original song with Wave In Head‘s trademark sound. He even adds his own vocals into the mix, adding another dimension.

Fused, a Synth-pop Master in his own right, provides us with two versions of his remix. His take on the song is with a big, sweeping synth sound with a great production value. Fused‘s remix is presented both with vocals and without.

Screamershock is a producer who traverses many musical styles within the Electronic music genre. For his remix of The Watchman, Screamershock has stripped the track bare and down to it’s basic elements. He has added a dark, Numan-esque synth to the proceedings, making a more serious, gritty take on Daniel Hall‘s song.

Finally, but not least, we are presented with a superb, full-on remix from producer, songwriter and artist, LorD and Master. The LorD and Master remix takes its cue from the idea that applies to many great Northern British artists, melding a serious lyric with an uplifting production. Heavily influenced by Pet Shop Boys, this remix has a big, full sound and it powers along to the end.

All-in-all, The Watchman by Daniel Hall is a varied and enjoyable EP. Even though there are 6 versions here of the same song, the EP does not become repetitive or stale. All producers, and Daniel himself, have created a wonderful piece of work for all to enjoy.

Categories
Music

Peaceful, musical tidings

Tim Macgregor was unknown to me before last week. His label, Shady Ridge Records, sent me a copy of this album to be considered for airplay on my radio show. The album really hit me in a subtle way.

Ambient – that’s the best way to describe Catamaran Selections. Not ambient in the way of minimal sound textures and drone music, but true ambient music – like Future Sound Of London used to make.

The album opens with a button being clicked on a tape machine and the tape rewinding. This made me nostalgic for the days when physical formats of musical releases ruled everyone. Most of the tracks on Catamaran Selections have a strong melodic sense and heavily reverbed synth pads. This creates a dreamy, atmospheric, almost heavenly canvas on to which Tim paints mid-paced drum machine patterns and repeating melodies. The whole album reminds me of Monet‘s paintings.

Stand out tracks for me include Quadrilateral Ocean Habitat that opens with the sound of the sea, and Searching For Alfred, which is less ambient and a little more upbeat than the other selections.

This is a very enjoyable and mesmerising album. I will be listening to more of Mr Macgregor‘s music from now on. If you want some background music to chill out to, this is your album!

Categories
Book

Always in safe hands with DCI Barnaby

As with all the novels in the Midsomer Murders series by Caroline Graham, A Place Of Safety moves at a brisk pace and provides a lot of satisfaction. Set in the Midsomer village of Fern Bassett, this story unfolds dramatically as soon as the pages are opened. Has there been a crime committed? We will have to read on to see.

DCI Tom Barnaby and DS Gavin Troy once again take the reigns of the investigation into a vicious murder in the village. Through dogged police work and quick thinking, they put clues together as they interview many colourful characters. The quaint English setting of the book, with its diorama of unusual people, provides many amusing moments along with the more tense forwarding of the main plot.

Retired vicar, Lionel, takes in disadvantaged youths who have fallen foul of the judicial system. Is he wise to? Will it spell the end of life as he knows it? The characters in A Place Of Safety are vivid and real, revealing clues to solve the dreadful murder slowly, but surely.

Tom Barnaby races against time, lies and subterfuge to solve the case. This is a truly satisfying and enjoyable read and, even if you’ve never watched the television series of Midsomer Murders, you will fall in love with this book as much as I have. Keenly written and brimming with English charm.