Firstborn : When It Hits You Feel No Pain

Dark northern soul-tinged debut from Dubin-based DJ

Never underestimate the pull of the dark side. Even those who dance under disco lights have felt its powerful magic and Dublin

DJ Oisin Lunny is the latest to have succumbed.

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His debut album as Firstborn doesn't disgrace itself by fitting into a lineage of dark and heavy

(© B Gillespie) beats-fuelled music alongside the likes of Massive Attack and David Holmes.

Where Lunny differs from his

dark side dance peers is that

he uses northern soul as his launchpad.

There's also some brooding techno-hop here, but Lunny succeeds best in emulating the powerful northern soul songs that he started out playing as a DJ in the '80s. To this end he's teamed up with veteran Tennessee-based northern soul singer Mary Love

on two brilliant modern torch-burning soul-singed stompers, 'Miracles' and 'Lay This Burden Down'. Even better is the album's opener, 'I Close My Eyes', which

is blasted out in a cloak of

dizzy horns by '70s soul star

Linda Clifford.

Less successful are the collaborations with Dublin writer Bennan Murphy. The drunken Irish rambling works well enough on 'Happy Days', but come the noir techno/poetry version of Dylan's 'Mr Tambourine Man', enough

is enough.

Ted Kessler
6 / 10

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