Dam Mantle is the moniker of Tom Marshallsay; the reflective, Glasgow-incumbent artist and electronic producer whose kaleidoscopic debut album Brothers Fowl is the culmination of a long and varied musical path. While DM’s previously touched on fresh ground ranging from chamber orchestrations to abstracted juke, this LP, released via Gold Panda’s Notown imprint, is a diffuse yet cohesive collection of tempos and colors, united by a pretty ambient jazz feel nodding to classic Dilla-style hip hop, beatdown house, and future boogie with his watermark of psychedelic sweetness. It utilizes DM’s palette of sounds and rhythms found on previous releases and remixes for the likes of Warp, Ninja Tune, Planet Mu, and Ghostly, but also bringing a noir-ish ambience to proceedings.
The four songs in our Soundcloud player include the dusty, almost Daedelus-like pastoral flutters of “Cantebury Pt. 1,” and follows suit with the Andrés-style loop bumps of “Lifting.” Then “Blueberry” is the sort of neo-Balearic chug you might expect to hear at a Boards Of Canada rave in the woods while the title track highlights a popwise dancefloor cuteness that’s won him so many fans and tours. Dam Mantle has woven an accomplished and fascinating flurry of beats and sound for Brothers Fowl, and this work unapologetically demands your attention.
Sunshine Jones (Dubtribe) - “Very strange. Wonderful. I love it.”
Moodymanc - “Nice, gritty, soulful music. I’m liking everything here.”
Ali Herron (OOFT!) - “I’m really liking this … best thing I’ve heard in a while.”
Tim “Love” Lee - “Wow, fantastic.”
Ulysses (Neurotic Drum Band) - “Interesting and unpredictable. More please.”
Chris Coco - “Yes, some good jazzy, noodly stuff here. Worth investigating.”
Severino (Horse Meat Disco) - “Beautiful stuff … wow.”
Roual Galloway (Faith) - “The leftfield ‘Brothers Fowl’ growls the best for me … haunting.”
Ant Plate (YSE / Rhythm Plate) - “All very now sounding … top work!”
Neil Diablo - “Great release. This is gonna be on repeat for a while.”
Marc Lacasse (Urbnet) - “A wonderful arrangement of abstract jazz movements in soulful electronic guises. Lovely.”
DJ Tomas (ForwardEver) - “Dam Mantle walk in the footsteps of Boards of Canada, Plaid or Black Dog, but have always forged their own path. These are deep sounds that don’t fail to surprise or captivate.”
Additional support from Erol Alkan, diskJokke, DJ Rocca (Ajello), 6th Borough Project, Chrissy Murderbot, and Stephan Hoellermann.