DJ Chart: Lord of the Isles

Scottish producer Neil McDonald spans the globe to spill his current musical beans

Feature by Neil McDonald | 09 Oct 2015

DJ Guy – Basf Ferro [Cejero]
This EP has been unearthed from DJ Guy (Guy Evans)’s archive. Recorded sometime in the early 90s, it showcases Evans talent. From amazing ambient tracks to Balearic dreamers and ferocious experimental electro. It blew my mind when I first heard it and proves that great music really is timeless. Goodness knows what else he may be sitting on.

Mosey – Tuff Times [Future Times]
I fell in love with this on first listen. It's so simple and honest-sounding. A real dreamy track that leaves plenty of head space to get lost in. Especially on the dancefloor where a big rig can add a real power to the emotional vibe. Induces goosebumps when played at the right moment.

Aquarian Foundation – Mind Miniatures [Going Good]
There’s been a lot of amazing electronic music coming out of Canada’s West Coast for the past few years and this is no exception. A real journey. Two 20-plus minute sides of live performance where elements come and go and evolve constantly. Reminiscent of early 90s ambient house records from The Orb or KLF (Space/Chill Out). As a full listen, the time flies – full of amazing moments from start to finish and in a long improvised format that I’m particularly fond of.

Club No-No/SVN – Track 2 [Sued]
Deeper than deep and positively hypnotic. Reminds me a little of early Prescription/Balance releases. So great in the mix, too, with amazing tropical textures weaving in and out for nearly ten minutes. Pure bliss.

cv313 – Beyond the Clouds (Reprise) [Echospace]
Adapted from a live performance in Detroit, this 23-minute ‘track’ is absolutely epic. I would go as far to say it’s the best-sounding vinyl record I own. So many layers to this and the quality of the production and recording methods come together to create something really special. Almost every time I listen to it I hear different things going on. It's a record I play often to get away from it all – a great way to recalibrate the brain.

LNRDCROY – Much Less Normal [Firecracker Recordings / 1080p]
Another wonderful release from the Canadian West Coast. Reissued from the always interesting Vancouver label 1080p by Scotland’s Firecracker Recordings earlier this year. Firecracker’s attention to detail both sonically and visually has done something special to an already amazing album. I was familiar with the 1080p version and loved it. There was only one track I liked less than the others and this was thankfully replaced by Firecracker. The track order was also slightly changed. Firecracker have packaged it up beautifully in their trademark screen-printed cosmic designs. Having said all that, the real star is the music itself. Odes to British Columbia, they are atmospheric, original and personal sounding. Great productions that playfully dance around your head and heart long after you’ve heard them, demanding you return again and again. You know it’s an album that’s going to be your companion forever – yes, it’s that good.

Dorisburg – Tundra [Aniara]
A record that has literally not left my bag for four years. Cascading melodies swirl around a progressively building arrangement that is so captivating on the dancefloor. It creates “that” moment every time I play it out. People always ask about it. It gives me shivers every time I hear it in a club. It’s in my all-time top ten.

TMO – Insomniac EP [Public Possession]
Raw analogue music from Moscow’s Lipelis. This is the real deal – rough and ready music that’s clearly been put together with craft. It sounds live, it sounds amazing! It really cuts through when played out. Also look out for his edits EP on US label Lies which is also great but in a totally different way.

Benjamin Brum – Drop [Kimochi]
Another beautifully honest-sounding record. So unassuming and simple. Brum really allows the instruments to breathe here and it’s a joy to listen to. Packaged and put together impeccably by Chicago’s Kimochi imprint. Most of my Kimochi records could be on this list.

Smackos – The Age of Candy Candy [Berceuse Heroique / Strange Life Records]
Berceuse Heroique have reissued this Danny Wolfers (aka Legowelt) album from his own Strange Life Records imprint, released back in 2004. On vinyl for the first time it sounds and looks great. Beatless ambient soundscapes from Wolfers using vintage synths from his extensive collection. Sounds like a soundtrack to an imaginary 70s sci-fi movie. His Pacific Northwest Sasquatch Research CD on Strange Life is also worth checking if you like this

Lord of the Isles releases his second EP with Permanent Vacation on 23 Oct