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dam mantle - Brothers Fowl
'Brothers Fowl' is the kaleidoscopic debut album proper from Glasgow's Tom Marshallsay aka Dam Mantle. He arrives at this point via a slew of diverse singles - some collected on the 'First Wave' LP - and a remix portfolio boasting transformations of Gonjasufi, Au Revoir Simone, and Gold Panda, who coincidentally releases this LP on his Notown label. While DM's previously touched on fresh ground ranging from chamber orchestrations to abstracted juke, this LP is a diffuse yet cohesive collection of tempos and colours, united by a really pretty ambient jazz feel nodding to classic Dilla-style hip hop, beatdown house and future boogie with his watermark of psychedelic sweetness. He opens with the dusty, almost Daedelus-like pastoral flutters of 'Cantebury' in two parts, and follows suit with the Andrés-style loop bumps of 'Lifting'. His most skittish side comes thru on highlight 'RGB' setting slowfast, steppin' drums to peaty folk string sweeps and zipping electronics, while the title track highlights a popwise dancefloor cuteness that's won him so many fans and tours with and 'Blueberry' is the sort of neo-Balearic chug you might expect to hear at a BoC rave in the woods. The best, or perhaps the most rewarding, are saved for last, with the deft jazz bumps of 'ish' and 'Spirit''s spidery patterns presenting a glowing jazz mind at work, weaving electronics and live/sampled instruments with uncanny, off-the-grid dexterity and character.