Dam Mantle – 'Brothers Fowl'
By Jonny Ensall
Yep, that’s Dam – as in water, beavers etc – not Dan. And not Tom Marshallsay either, which is this Glaswegian producer’s real name. Dam Mantle is the nonsense pseudonym he claims is his ‘adult mask’ – an identity behind which to hide his experiments in intellectual dance music. There’s evident shyness in the subtly of his songs, which slosh around your brain without ever really causing waves. Listen carefully, though, and you’ll hear moments of genius throughout this stunning debut.
The well-chosen instrumentation of two-part opener ‘Canterbury’ sets the tone – cymbals crash, jazzy bass notes reverberate and flute scales rise into the atmosphere. There are jazz influences across these eight tracks. However album highlight ‘Lifting’ – with its almost annoyingly repetitive horn parps – is most indebted to Thomas Bangalter-esque French house. This is music you’re meant to feel rather than hear, but still the detail is exquisite. This Dam should see a flood of praise heading his way.