Dan Carey, aka Mr Dan, used to sell his homemade punky reggae tapes in the school playground...

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Mr. Dan : The Mr. Dan EP

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Mr. Dan : The Mr. Dan EP

Dan Carey, aka Mr Dan, used to sell his homemade punky reggae tapes in the school playground, and some of his debut EP sounds like he’s still hanging out there. His gentle breakbeat melodies and organic keyboard instrumentals are not the work of someone desperate to become a big-time player, more like private sonic notes written to keep an obsessive temperament under control. On ‘Needles’, the mellow hip-hop beats and acoustic plucking pauses for tangential analogue scribbles. ‘The Boat’ sounds like the bones of an old gospel tune played on junk shop synthesisers, while Harriet Scott nudges things in the direction of Stereolab with her pure toned vocals on ‘How Things Work’. None of it quite makes Dan the Brixton Beck, as has been suggested, but all of it glows with enticing lo-fi guile.

Roger Morton