Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Daryl Donald "Solitude" (2017)

From the northern chills of Edinburgh Scotland comes a producer with an ear for laid back, chilled out, summer breeze Jazz Hop. Solitude is Daryl Donald's debut record and what a fine, easily enjoyable and inviting experience is is. From the first listen one can instantly identify the vibes, smooth and mellow samples, steady grooving, temperate drum loops. The songs have a dreamy, ethereal edge drawn in through airy synths, production style and reverbs that give the record a cool, atmospheric indulgence.

The fifteen tracks just pass the thirty minute mark and even with an average duration of two minutes many of the songs end with additional loops and beats that have the experience breeze by, never a dull moment as the record chops and changes, yet firmly holding the same vibe from one track to the next. I can only say hats off to such a consistent and interesting production. Where the record becomes a point of contention is the accommodating vocal samples which seem to pull it in different directions and to what extent I am unsure as it certainly doesn't suffer from these additional layers yet they are quite different from one another.

Firstly, a lot of beats are abruptly moved on with lively vocal snippets of what I can only describe as Speedy Gonzales "Arriba" crys. They are unusual but I became accustom to them. Second, there are pitch shifted accapella raps, I believe from a De La Soul record, they add a fitting voice to the beats but given they only feature in one or two spots seems unusual. Other talking snippets from what I presume are old TV shows about music and advertisements are sliced in, again seeming unusual yet they work.

On reflection of writing out my thoughts, the short songs, continually moving forward and undergoing seemingly odd sample snippets are what made this record so great. It goes against expectations and that difference makes it stand out from regular records. I can only think of one frustrating moment, the end of "Still Life" ends with an interluding mini beat, a gorgeous Jazz piano starts to swoon and it ends all too soon, fizzling out with a swift fade out after the key change, I would of really liked to hear it fleshed out more. Other than that its a cracking, laid back listen to mellow out to.

Rating: 7/10