DPQ is an English fellow who has an affinity for Eno-ish synth music. You can check him out at Suilven Recordings.
review index: The Winter Hills / Jura
Best songs: The Winter Hills, Of Things to Come, Towards the Sun
Worst songs: Pathways, Red Roads, A Coastal Journey
This is one of the odder album configurations I've seen in my day -- the album consists of two CDs, each about the length of an EP. Disc one holds four songs with singing, and disc two includes five instrumental tracks. Overall, my impression is that Daniel is talented, but the songs are inconsistent. Which is a shame because there are some wonderful moments on the album.
Disc one starts off with an absolutely brilliant song: "The Winter Hills" is a folksy -- vaguely Celtic -- tune with some gorgeous string drones. Definitely the highlight of the album. "Pathways" is next, but I'd say it's the worst of the vocal tracks: the melody and the way it's sung rubs me the wrong way. But have no fear, for next is "Of Things to Come", a short song with some neat synthesizers and an almost-poppy melody. The final vocal track is "Pilgrim's Way", which is okay, but not a standout track.
This brings us to disc two, featuring the instrumentals. My pop-whore bias comes into effect here, as I generally prefer music with words to it. So, y'know, that just might be my bias talking here. But anyway, I'm not too fond of this half. Still, "Towards the Sun" is good, with an inexplicably catchy clanging bell rhythm. And "For Her Atoms" and "The Stonecutter" are both at least brief and fairly engaging. But the final two tracks, which take up half of this part of the album, are just too long and too repetative to hold my attention for long.
Anyway, if I may come to a conclusion here, DPQ might want to concentrate on songs with vocals. In my unprofessional opinion, that's where his strengths lie.
I'm not going to do this a disservice by giving it a rating. Essentially, DPQ's love of Eno et al has prompted him to put together his own hour-long ambient drone a la Thursday Afternoon. As an ambient piece, sure, it works. It's unobtrusive and quiet, but it's not going to be the sort of thing you'll want to listen to intently. And, of course, my pop-whore bias comes up again, so we'll just leave it at "good ambient piece".
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