Greg Dowling and Shane Johnson return to the Go Deep label for their third album, ‘This Bit of Earth’. Beginning work in the relative normality of 2019 and finishing over the strange summer of 2020, the resulting music mirrors the thoughts that such upheaval brings out – our world and our place in it – while also functioning as a kind of travelogue of journeys past and planned, real and imaginary.
Mixing samples with modular synths, programmed drums with jazz loops, and quirky plugins with outboard gear, the album ranges far and wide while retaining a warm, natural core sound.
The title track opens proceedings on an ambiguous note. A simple double bass motif weaves around a misheard vocal sample, layers of piano and vibraphone take up the call, and the whole thing gradually spins off axis to a distorted, disjointed finish. ‘Suburban Key’ follows on a groove of busy drum work and deep sub bass, the stately piano and strings setting the stage for an undulating synth solo.
Further in, ‘Alice on Jupiter’ takes a deep breath and blends field recordings, gently swelling pads, modular bursts and a recurring picked melody.
‘Back Trace Dub’ strolls the imagined streets of Irish author Kevin Barry’s ‘City of Bohane’, noting the “taint of badness” in the air and revelling in the tense, dub-noir atmosphere. Later on, the spoken word intro of ‘I Could See’ expresses the dread of confinement and the relief and ecstasy of release, a theme the music reflects as it steadily builds to a joyful climax.
And closing the album on an optimistic note, the languid, emotional Culatra Ferry remembers better, beautiful days in the sun and looks hopefully forward to more.
“Highlights are the stunning sonics of Suburban Key, with its dusty groove and fast paced drums, stately piano, and cinematic strings reminiscent of a Four Hero orchestral masterpiece. High As Scaffold is full of warmth and soul and is yet another example of Fish Go Deep going even deeper into the dark blue waters of their brilliant musical minds.” Ban Ban Ton Ton review, Japan
“So good. Real beauty” Laurent Garnier, Radio FG, France
“Really liking this, would love to support on radio” Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy, WorldwideFM, UK
“Lovely album” Osunlade, Yoruba Soul, US
“Very very nice album…love the new directions here” Charles Webster, Openlab, SA
“Absolutely beautiful piece of work” Darimont, RWAV, Germany
“A lovely LP of eclectic sounds” Jimpster, Freerange Records, UK
“Delightful album this. Very much appreciate the musicianship and we need that in the world right now as the commercial music world starts to fire up its nonsense for the new beginning” Vince Watson, Yoruba, Netherlands
“Such a fucking great body of work, and on par with ANY of the great albums I’ve listened to recently” Billy Scurry, Ireland
“There’s some REAL magic here. Possibly the deepest year from this duo” Charles Levine, Soul Clap, US
“A fabulous surprise. I’m sure if he were still alive Jose Padilla would have hailed this as his number one album of the year, it certainly is mine” Steve Miller, Afterlife, UK
“Great album… will play in next shows” Franck Roger, Real Tone, France
“Beautifully produced and great atmospherics” Ashley Beedle, Black Science Orchestra, UK
Radio and DJ support from Ron Trent, Hector Romero, Ame, Cian Ó Cíobháin, Bill Brewster, DJ Sprinkles, Harri, Honey Soundsystem, Alexkid, Moodymanc, Hifi Sean, Kassian, Freddie Garcia, 6th Borough Project, Stuart Patterson, Lars Behrenroth, Fred Everything, Mark Roberts, Cut n Shut, Will McGiven, Stefano Tucci, Tristan Jong, Matthias Schober, Trevor Fung, Ben Davis, Max P and more.More Like This Bit of Earth - Fish Go Deep