Lord Of The Isles – Parabolas Of Neon – Firecracker Recordings
As I sit down to write this review, the weather out side is best described as “dreich”. It’s lashing down with rain, dreary and windy, but it feels like the perfect setting to pair with Lord Of The Isles aka Neil McDonald’s latest EP – Parabolas Of Neon.
Neil will be used to weather like this as he is originally from Fife as well, he now resides in Edinburgh which is also the home of Firecracker Recordings. Neil has had previous releases on the Firecracker offshoot labels Unthank and Shevchenko but has now finally paired with the main label for this 12″. The distinctive futuristic ambient techno sound of Lord Of The Isles has also made its way around the globe with records out on Adult Contemporary, Mule Musiq, Phonica Records, CockTail D’Amore, Permanent Vacation and ESP Institute, which released his massive 2016 album In Waves.
I was fortunate enough to catch one of his sets in the Edinburgh record store Underground Solu’shn to celebrate the release of the In Waves album in between his gigging schedule, which has recently had Neil playing in clubs like Concrete in Paris, Corsica Studios in London and the renowned Berlin club Berghain/Panorama Bar.
And now, on to the music
The first track on the record Sunrise 89 is an immersive techno-driven production that again sounds like it’s from far in to the future. The frail, weeping pads and the twitchy percussion is combined with a rough melody which all together leaves a slightly melancholic feel to it.
Track 2 Beatha, which in Scots-Gaelic means Life, is made up of strange electronic bubbles and glitchy noises as well as blissfully calming and hopeful synths. Then quickly in to Track 3 An Stuc, which is around 2 and a half minutes long as well but feels a lot longer, with its looping melody from start to finish sharing the space with a beautiful arrangement of synths in the back ground until the same looping melody see’s out the end of the track.
On to the B side, Bryte, which is just over a minute long is a mystical and bright introduction to track 5, Tocpe 28 which carries on the same vibes with its optimistic synths and delayed bass lingering through it as well. Both tracks are beautifully crafted and leave us with those nice, happy feelings.
Track 6 which the EP is named after, Parabolas Of Neon is a slower but precise mix of melodic techno. A single kick drum treads along before a filtered hi-hat joins in. Both elements fade in and out around the warming heavy synths that are arranged throughout the track. Then just before the track ends, a dedicated bassline pops up to add the final touch.
I love every song on this record, some beautiful sounds have been created and I’m over the moon to have a copy in my own collection.