There’s something scary and entrancing about DJ Kormac’s album ‘Doorsteps’. This uneasy feel is
masterfully crafted around unusual progressions and excerpts of vintage sound this Dublin man
managed to find.
The album has a definitive musical theme, there’s no song that shouldn’t be there and each has its
strengths. He definitely moves away from the cut and paste approach of his debut album 'Wordplay’ and the fact he’s touring with his ‘Big Band’, shows an artist who has ingenuity and wants to progress.
The well-chosen opener ‘Wake up’ uses a range of instrumentation that reflects the plethora of
instruments in the album. It’s a great tribute to the whole work, a perfect moment is made by a solo
piano taking over half-way through. Which is met by –guess what- a tuba, and then greeted y drums, heavy bass, and more brass. The track features Bajka, whose soft voice is reminiscent of a few Portishead songs, which is a perfect accompaniment.
A creepy country guitar riff opens ‘Another Screen’ featuring Irvine Welsh (author of Trainspotting). Mr Welsh’s dulcet Scottish tones rather bizarrely describe how technology is taking over our day to day lives. Although it’s hard to take seriously the song has its strong points, with a few well-placed ‘bleep-blop’ moments.
There are various artists that complement the album throughout. The tightly edited stand-out track
was ‘Drown Me’, featuring Vyvienne Long: an Irish artist who used to tour with Damien Rice. Her
vocals are both haunting and emotive against a backdrop of high contrast musical dynamics that give the song a defining punch.
Among the others who featured are Speech Debelle, Mc Little Tree and Koaste. The final track had
an American singer/songwriter, Micah P Hinson, narrate a biblical verse in a dark, quiet ending.
Kormac is great at layering his tracks: throwing all the instruments together and then stripping the
audio to the bare necessities at just the right moments. There is a great mix of synthesisers and real instruments, not everything is machines. This refreshing live instrument ensembles dispersed throughout, lost with many DJ’s, makes him refreshing. This album is well worth a listen.
Standout Tracks: Wake up, Drown Me and Another Screen