- Neil Mcdonald's house is characterised by a cinematic quality. Since breaking through in 2011, the producer known as Lord Of The Isles has released music on labels like Shevchenko, Phonica and his own Little Strong Recordings. He kicks off the New Year with his most high-profile gig to date: a five-track EP on Permanent Vacation.
"301C Symphony" begins unassumingly, with lucid synths plodding amidst sterner, torch-like flashes. But less than 30 seconds later you're in the grips of a rampant club track. Multi-toned stabs play off against one another, forming a rich melody that remains taut and driving throughout. It's the kind of opening that makes you sit up and take notice. The first half of "co2o (6mins)," with its hard-nosed acid squelch, retains that vigorous dance floor groove, before an influx of rising strings injects some ethereal energy. Mcdonald uses this as a springboard to dive into the gentler side of his repertoire, laying sea-breeze synths across light kicks on "Fyne," and crafting an emotive palette of bubbling modulations on standout cut "Horizon Effect." By "Western Electric," the beat has dropped away entirely, leaving a cosy tapestry of birdcalls, dainty melodies and child's laughter. In the right context—a John Talabot set, for example—these tracks could have a lasting effect.
A1 301C Symphony
A2 Co2O (6Mins)
B2 Horizon Effect
B3 Western Electric