From Tallaght To Halle
Aldoc is the new moniker for Alan Doherty, former frontman and flautist for Grada. Here he flaunts his flute over loops from African rhythms (Takaka Rain) and reggaeton (Feed Me Seymour), there are lovely, wafting, melodic gems at almost every turn in fact. The feel-good nature of the record is noticeably – immediately – with opener, Soona Lucky Da. And though the Irish melodies have done many crossovers before, think Afrocelt Soundsystem for just one obvious example, here they cross oceans and, thanks to the musical mind of Doherty’s Grada companion and producer here Gerry Paul the almost implausible happens – we have that Irish waft hooking up with a bit of Kiwi BBQ reggae, hold the Guinness – make mine a Kiwi craft beer. Somehow this works. Man, it really – really – works.
It helps that top-notch players from around the world were scouted – so that even the somewhat Sting-sounding Trip to Oulu isn’t any sort of bummer, rather a resplendent pop song melody with tinges of jazz peeks in and out of a cascading rhythmic feel.
Elsewhere there’s a bit of hip-hop, there’s Caribbean and Middle Eastern flavours too. There’s even a laid-back sing-song attitudes here and there (If You Never Knew My Name).
But for the most part the lead is Doherty’s flute. And it might surprise you that this ululating, undulating feel and flow is never left to grow boring or stale. Prince said there’s joy in repetition. You hear that here – reels are rolled into new song ideals, set against different musical landscapes but it’s the power and skill of Doherty (mixed with Paul’s vision) that makes this work. And it really works. A lovely set of tunes.