Iseo & Dodo
Iseo & Dodo are a frightening cool duo from Spain, whose new album on Mundo Zurdo Records, is a lovely collection of graceful and literate digital reggae tunes. What do I know about them? Looking at their profile photos they are a beautiful couple, it also sounds like they are a very popular live act in Spain and that this release ‘Roots in the Air’ is their second album. A follow up to 2015’s ‘Cat Platoon’ (great name by the way for an album!).
So what made this release stand out from the many tracks and albums that hit my inbox every day? ‘Modern and natural’ springs to mind, this is reggae that brings together Iseo’s distinctive and incredibly divine vocals, with Dodo’s laid back, modern groove reggae sound. This is reggae for a new generation, with influences seeping in from ambient dance culture.
The best way I can demonstrate what I mean, is by you listening to my two favourite tracks ‘My Microphone’ and ‘No Pain’. Two tracks that typify their lo-fi groove reggae. ‘No Pain’ offers a very distinctive vocal style, very different from the usual reggae vocals you get. Iseo packs in so much emotion into the simple lines. There is no urgency here, it doesn’t have the ‘call to arms’ that many reggae tracks have and her laid back, but emotionally charged style, flows like honey into your head. It’s mesmerising stuff.
With ‘My Microphone’ you get a great example of the soulful groove that producer Dodo excels at. Don’t get me wrong this is a strong reggae tune, all the low end boxes are ticked, and it’s righteously deep and dubby. But the groove reminds me of a more hybrid sound, like Groove Armada or Air. It definitely has musical details and touching points that come from the wider world of dance music.
The third element that makes these tracks so listenable is the live horns. A group called The Mousehunters (another great name) are behind this sound; they offer warmth and a natural flow to the tracks. They compliment the vocals but like all good backing horns, they never steal the track away.
If you like the sound of Iseo & Dodo, you can find more about them at their website. The album is ideal for those times when musical introspection is needed, and above all it’s a damn good set of tunes. It is available to buy on iTunes and for you modern people who like to stream, then check out Spotify or Deezer. I think you will find it very rewarding.
Let me know what you think in the comments; is this your cup of tea? A social media share would also be appreciated. Bless, Paper Lion