When Irish producer John Daly dropped his debut album Sea & Sky on Wave Music, it felt like the perfect home for him but also kind of pigeonholed his work within that deep, dubby realm of sound that Francois K's label has perfected. Nothing wrong with that of course, they've set an impeccable standard that's hard not to love, but I'll be the first to admit it maybe made me feel like I didn't need to seek out any subsequent releases with any sense of urgency. This wasn't the 'hot' new record that you needed yesterday to play tonight territory. It would be there, you know it would sound great and all would be well in the world.
Anyway, I'm an idiot. Having just re-listened to the album for the first time in ages, smooth and deep as you like it may well be, but my word has it got a groove that fizzes away from beginning to end. I'm saying all this because I was a little curious as to why this LP wasn't even given a passing mention in the press release for Daly's latest side project, then I realise it's because there's basically plenty more for people to talk about - I've literally missed albums worth of great music from him.
Urgent and upfront Techno cuts for his own Feel Music label and Running Back. While with his alias The Smoke Clears, he's been out with his axe chopping firewood in the forest - putting together enveloping, ambient soundtracks to accompany winter days that are over before they've even begun.
Here though, with his newer West 2 West alias, and the reason for all this chit chat, he's created a world of low-slung, dubs, beats and pieces. Trip Hop Not Trip Hop if you like. Across two volumes we're bathing in warm looping grooves, dusty samples and found synth sounds - creating a kind of sound that's altogether more wonky on the beach than stoned in Bristol. I came for the Brian Bennett sample and stayed, basically..
West 2 West Vol 1 is out now on All City Records, with Vol 2 due on 23rd October. Get them HERE