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Daniel Patrick Quinn - Severed From The Land

Daniel Patrick Quinn - Severed From The LandDaniel Patrick Quinn has relocated from the English Lake District to Scotland since we reviewed his The Winter Hills album back in 2003.  He tells us that he works in an art gallery standing around dressed in the ‘uniform’ that is strangely popular with American tourist and golfers, tartan trousers.

When he is not working at the gallery or composing in his Edinburgh bedroom, he spends his time climbing hills and drinking, two pastimes any chap in his twenties should make time for in moderation.  Daniel modestly claims that the only instrument he is actually any good with is his brain, but this combined with voice, cello, synth, violin, trumpet, guitar, bass and percussion results in a pretty unique sound.

Severed From The Land naturally has a similar sound to The Winter Hills but apart from that, is quite different.  The six tracks are dotted with little repetitive melodies, some reminiscent of Knopfler’s Local Hero soundtrack in places mainly due to the ‘drone’ effect.  At 35 minutes, the album is quite short by today’s standards but it does lack the ‘filler’ that makes up many CDs of the day.

Daniel has many music influences including Eno, John Cale, Pere Ubu, ELO, Gong, Hammill and Can yet the overall feeling of the album is folk.  This is not folk that most people would expect but a more natural earthy folk with a ‘drifting on the wind’ feel that may have its roots set centuries ago. 

The entire album is good.  There’s a personal feeling of a healthy cleansing of the mind and body without the need to eat plenty of raw vegetables and so on and in that sense it makes one feel as though the music has healing properties.  Mind you, I speak as a relatively unhealthy person!

Highlight of the work is Nine Standards Rigg on which Daniel provides a monologue (in the style of John Noakes, a name that UK readers will know well) with occasional vocal, very descriptive and very engaging.  The hypnotic Ettrick Pen is another delight with its calming effect.  Those who want to work off their stress can do so in a gym if they wish but I would recommend sitting or lying comfortably, eyes closed, and listening to Severed.

The legendary Robert Wyatt is quoted to have said of the album, “lovely stuff” and I can only concur.

Check out Daniel’s website (link below) for further details of his work and ordering information for this and other albums.

Jem Jedrzejewski

Daniel Patrick Quinn


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