Daniel Patrick Quinn
Severed from the Land CD

From a corner of Daniel Patrick Quinn's Edinburgh bedroom comes this collection of recordings that can best be described as music inspired by English Folk traditionals, yet with a contemporary twist. Six songs have been compiled for this CD, four of which are instrumentals.

All of the songs on "Severed from the Land" slowly build on simple harmonic progressions and focus on atmosphere rather than musical artistry. Take acoustic guitar strumming, add wind and string instruments, drones, and a few cheap sounding synth melodies, out comes bare and mostly melancholic music that takes the listener on a journey to a magical world based on myths and legends from the past, to bleak moors and ancient stone monuments.

To enhance the effect, Daniel Patrick sometimes contributes bard-like recitals that often describe landscape features of the British Isles. Some critics have compared Daniel Patrick's voice to The Fall's Mark E. Smith, and if you think about it, that is not far from the truth (though the music and the lyrical content are completely different to The Fall, of course).

Even the first track, "A Wide Wooded Valley", serves as a good example for Daniel Patrick's music. Here, a musical box-ish synthesizer sequence meets some brisk strokes on the cello, while the main melody comes from Daniel Patrick's vocals reminding the listener of the powers of nature that relentlessly shape the landscape by destroying the old and creating something new out of it. A metaphor for human trasitoriness, possibly. Track 2, "The Tip of the Iceberg", is a slow and rather sad instrumental tune with some dissonant trumpet parts in it.

"Nine Standards Rigg" shows Daniel Patrick reciting along in aforementioned Mark E. Smith fashion, describing the dramatic beauty of a formation of standing stones situated in the Yorkshire Dales. The instrumental piece "Spring Green" builds on repetitive elements and has an altogether more complex structure than the other songs on "Severed from the Land", while the next track "Ettrick Pen" is similar, yet more dramatic and a touch darker. "The Weight of History" is the final piece of the album and mainly consists of an endless drone that's surrounded by some metallic sounds resulting from Daniel Patrick plucking a guitar's strings.

Who could like this album? People who dig the works of Andrew King or David Tibet probably. Not so sure about The Fall followers, though.

(rh 08/MMV)

Label: Suilven

>> Suilven website

The album's artwork hints at copperplate engravings