Somadrone – Depth of Field

Label: Skinny Wolves Records
Cat No: WOLF007
Release Date: Friday 3rd December 2010
Web: www.iamsomadrone.com


San Francisco based Somadrone’s third long player, Depth of Field, is a follow up to 2007’s Of Pattern and Purpose and 2005’s Fuzzing Away to a Whisper, released on Trust Me I’m a Thief Records.

Member of Dublin’s cult band, Redneck Manifesto, Somadrone recorded Depth of Field in Dublin, Ireland / Siggen, Germany / Stockholm, Sweden / Noyant la Gravoyere, France / Berkeley and San Francisco, California, A number of these recordings were written and recorded at various artist residencies including EMS (Institute of Electro Acoustic Music, Stockholm), during free intervals while study for a PhD in Music or while living in temporary exile.

The result is far from pre-existing material: 7 out of the eight 8 tracks have vocals, more acoustic instruments and standard song forms. Along with aid of a brass and string combo, Depth of Field is a totally new sound for Somadrone; a minimalist inspired electronic pop songbook, somewhere between Ennio Morricone, Jim O Rourke and Air.

Depth of Field is out on Skinny Wolves Records, December 3rd 2010 on Vinyl, Cassette and Download.

Somadrone – Depth of Field LP : Reviews


Those familiar with Neil O’Connor’s previous work on keys with the Redneck Manifesto will know what to expect here. So will anyone who caught his mentor Roger Doyle’s fringe show The Room in the Tower, self described as cinema for the ears. The mood set will haunt you long after the album itself has ended, and while not completely different from anything you’ve heard before, it is, quite simply…gorgeous.

Throughout his career, Somadrone has become skilled in a variety of genres (folk, jazz, electronica, rock) and they are all funnelled into this, his third ‘drone album. You’ll catch a wisp of one before another overpowers it and before you can take either on board they’ve fused together and dissolved. The overall ambient airs start with a steady beat, flowing vocals, strings and bleeps over it, flat-lining you into one mood before shimmering to life and massaging you on to the next.

More structured than his previous work, the wavering choral vocals crystalise the more freewheeling instrumentals and each track laps towards its end before flowing out and starting again. There are touches of Brian Eno, Thom Yorke and Air to the whole album and at points a less bleek Bowie, circa the Berlin trilogy.

This is five o’clock in the morning music, used to bat away the sunlight creeping through the curtains. Just lie back and let it take you. A pleasure.

– Coamhan Keane

The Star – 4/5

Depth of Field is the 4rd long-player from San Francisco-based Somadrone, AKA Neil O’Connor, who has played keyboards with the Redneck Manifesto.

The album is a marked progression that adds vocals, acoustic instruments, brass and strings, and more traditional song structures
to the dreamy atmospheric, ambient mix.

An outstanding electronic pop album, ideal for 6am on a Sunday morning – file somewhere between Brian Eno and Air.

– Mark Kavanagh

Recent Press

“Detachment that we find in Steve Reich or Brian Eno circa Music for Airports” – Wire Magazine

“Of Pattern and Purpose is a collection of blissfully slow-motion, deeply anchored bleeps” – Irish Times

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