Life by Dan Friel

Life serves as an exhibition of the mayhem that is ubiquitous in Dan Friel’s unique brand of noise. Awash with pulsating melodies, uncompromising heavy rhythms and prominent synth action, the record guides you above and beyond a disconcerting and unstable world in which he chooses to familiarise his music. Only eight songs long and about half an hour in length, his latest work inspires a listener to click repeat and listen through once more. It invites you to contemplate the creative process behind such an ambient and expressive record.

‘Life (pt. 1)’ and ‘Life (pt. 2)’ explode into your eardrums like an intruder in your home with a disorderly electronic heap of melodies which form an assault on the senses; and pivotally, leaves you with a want for more having had a taste. Despite adhering to his musical roots that are situated well off the beaten track in terms of mainstream art, he exhibits a softer dimension in his latest work, surely down to the birth of his son. ‘Lullaby’ seduces you into a winding daze, disorientating you along the way, much like the affect a traditional lullaby would have on a child. ‘Theme’ too identifies with a more innocent sound, the atmospheric keys oozing serenity and positivity.

Demonstrating his versatility and eradicating any perception that fatherhood may have completely rid Friel of his naturally abrasive sound, ‘Lungs’ dissects a hip-hop beat before engineering a broke-up rock ‘n’ roll finish to the track. Friel’s manipulation of the array of instrumentals on Life leaves the listener with a quiet admiration for the noise he produces as well as an anticipation for future possible works.


Niall Ballinger

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