album list
Ermelinda Duarte
Mariusz Duda/Steven Wilson
Patrick Duff
Stephen Duffy & the Lilac Time
Greg Dulli
Zélia Duncan
Duncan Idaho

Dunn & Rubini
Joe d'Urso & Stone Caravan
Dust Galaxy

Dusty Trails
Yves Duteil
Thomas Dutronc

Dry County  (Ireland)  see: Samples etc.

Ermelinda Duarte  (Portugal)

Ermelinda Duarte, 'Somos Livres' 7"  (1974)  **½/TTT

Somos Livres
Joaquim da Silva

Current availability:

Mellotron used:

Ermelinda Duarte's Somos Livres, or 'We Are Free', from 1974, is highly significant, as that was the year the country overthrew its fascist dictatorship, a year before neighbouring Spain followed suit. The song opens with a stately folkish melody, although, sadly, it soon slips into jaunty Mediterranean folk-by-numbers, although I'm sure the message should be regarded as more important than the music. José Cid, then still of Quarteto 1111 (who were the band on the session), adds Mellotron strings throughout the track, sounding great on the intro and rather more cheesy later on. Good to hear them used, whatever. B-side Joaquim Da Silva isn't dissimilar, although Cid's Mellotron is further in the background.

Arnaldo Pata supplied me with these (thanks, Arnaldo!), although they're only available on crackly vinyl these days. You're not exactly going to find a copy of this easily, and you probably wouldn't like it if you did, but despite its being very much of its time and place, it's interesting to hear Señor Cid use his Mellotron in a non-prog setting.

See: José Cid

Dubvisionist  (Germany)  see: Samples etc.

Duck Sauce  (US)  see: Samples etc.

Duckworth Lewis Method  (Ireland/UK)  see: Samples etc.

Mariusz Duda/Steven Wilson  (Poland/UK)

Mariusz Duda/Steven Wilson, 'The Old Peace' Download  (2014)  ****/TTT

The Old Peace

Current availability:

Mellotron used:

Alec Wildey was a young Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson fan, involved with grassroots promotion, with (as Wilson says on his site) 'a very bright future ahead of him'. Tragically, still in his teens, Alec contracted cancer, which, as is often the way with young victims, aggressively attacked his system, ending his life at 26. Upon learning that his condition was terminal, he asked Steven and Riverside's Mariusz Duda is they'd set one of his poems to music. Sadly, Alec didn't live to hear the result, The Old Peace, all proceeds from which are being donated to cancer research.

Duda's music is quite beautiful, a case study in how to write for acoustic guitar without falling into the usual clichés, while both men sing Alec's lyrics. Although, under the circumstances, it seems almost irrelevant, Mellotron use is what this site's about, so Wilson plays his M4000 on the track, with a vibes part, a flute melody, chordal strings and choirs towards the end of the piece.

See: Steven Wilson

Patrick Duff  (UK)

Patrick Duff, 'Luxury Problems'

Luxury Problems  (2005,  45.35)  ***½/T

Married With Kids
Mirror Man
In My Junkie Clothes
Song to America
Early Morning Birds
DJ Yoga
King of the Underworld
Mother Nature's Refugee
Elephant Bill
The Lion and the Hawthorn Tree

Current availability:

Mellotron used:

Patrick Duff, once of Strangelove, is yet another entrant in the 'outsider musician' stakes, with years of global travel and international collaborations under his belt. 2005's Luxury Problems is his first solo album; imagine a modern British Dylan and you won't be a million miles off. Duff only actually sings on a handful of tracks, preferring a 'talking blues' style most of the time, top tracks including the angry howl of openers Married With Kids and Mirror Man, Song To America and the manic live take on Elephant Man, although you'd be hard-pushed to find any genuine duffers (sorry) here.

Weirdly, given that it's only audible on two tracks, no fewer than three people are credited with Mellotron, Mike Mooney, Damon Reece and Duff himself, with a seriously skronky string/flute line on Early Morning Birds and a wobbly flute solo on Mother Nature's Refugee, both sounding nicely real, for a change. Going by this album, Duff is a somewhat undersung talent, although his style certainly isn't for everyone, but then, mass acceptance inevitably means lowering one's standards to somewhere around zero, which clearly isn't going to happen in Duff's case.

Official site

Duffy  (UK)  see: Samples etc.

Stephen Duffy & the Lilac Time  (UK)

Stephen Duffy & the Lilac Time, 'Keep Going'

Keep Going  (2003,  51.41)  ***/½

Don't Feed the Rats
Nothing Can Last
I Wasn't Scared of Flying
Bank Holiday Monday
We Used to Be So
Keep Going
So Far Away
The Silence
Oh God
The Twelve Tones
Already Gone
An Open Book

Current availability:

Mellotron used:

Stephen Duffy, later Stephen "Tin Tin" Duffy, began his career as a pre-fame co-founder of Duran Duran (oops), going on to achieve solo success (OK, maybe not oops) in the early '80s, before forming the moveable feast otherwise known as The Lilac Time. I've no idea what most of his/their output sounds like, but 2003's Keep Going is, improbably, a country record. Admittedly, country crossed with folk, but still country... The songwriting crosses between the two related genres, too, avoiding the mawkishness of many trad country albums, making for a surprisingly listenable end result.

Duffy plays background Mellotron strings on The Silence, although you'd barely notice if they weren't there, to be honest. Overall, then, a rather odd Brit-country album with folk vocals and very little Mellotron. I think this is called 'beating the Americans at their own game'.

Official site

Dukes of Stratosphear  (UK)  see:

Dukes of Stratosphear

Greg Dulli  (US)

Greg Dulli, 'Amber Headlights'

Amber Headlights  (2005,  31.07)  **½/T

So Tight
Early Today (and Later That Night)
Golden Boy
Black Swan
Get the Wheel

Current availability:

Mellotron used:

Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers, Gutter Twins) is well known to us here, utilising Mellotrons on most of his work since the early '90s. Taking a break from The Twilight Singers, 2005's Amber Headlights was his first (and to date, only) solo studio album; sadly, I have to report that it's a bit of a disappointment. In my humble opinion, of course. It does all those Dulli things, but the bulk of it seems to glide past in a mid-paced kind of way, without ever really impinging itself on your consciousness, Wicked being an honourable exception.

It apparently took both Dulli and Mathias Schneeberger to play the Mellotron strings on Domani; admittedly, it does sound like two different machines, never mind different parts. Anyway, Dulli fans will undoubtedly already own this, while the rest of us can probably pass on by without worrying about it too much.


See: Afghan Whigs | Afterhours | Twilight Singers | Gutter Twins

Dumb Numbers  (US)  see: Samples etc.

Dumptruck  (US)

Dumptruck, 'Lemmings Travel to the Sea'

Lemmings Travel to the Sea  [Disc 1]  (2001,  42.24)  ***½/T½

Stars Grow Colder
Waste My Time
Too Many Times
This Was a House
Water for Tears

Current availability:

Mellotron used:

Originally the duo of Seth Tiven and Kirk Swan, Dumptruck (Spike Priggen was an ancillary member) lasted in this form from 1983 to '91, splitting after a spectacularly mean-spirited and doomed-to-failure lawsuit from their record company. Since the split, Tiven has released two albums under the name, the second of which, 2001's Lemmings Travel to the Sea (note: a myth, as I'm sure he knows) is a double-disc set, disc one consisting of new studio recordings, while disc two archives life performances from 1986 and '88, effectively irrelevant to this site's remit. The studio disc's excellent, Neil Young-influenced Americana holds its own against any current practitioner of the genre you might care to name, highlights including opener Stars Grow Colder, Waste My Time, the brief, experimental Lemmings and stately, twelve-minute closer Water For Tears.

Alice Spencer plays Mellotron, with clearly genuine flute, cello and string parts on Too Many Times (listen for the flute stabs at around the two-minute mark), making for a proper Mellotron mini-classic, actually gaining the album (OK, pedant, the disc) a rare star-and-a-half for a single track. Going by disc two's original lineup live material, Dumptruck fans of old shouldn't be disappointed by Lemmings..., while Americana fans who might be unaware of their existence could do worse than to give this a go. Recommended.

Official site

Dunaj  (Czech Republic)

Dunaj, 'Dunaj IV'

Dunaj IV  (1994,  45.36)  ***½/T

Po Ztezkách Srdce
Už Dávno Není
My Steps
Any Sight
In the Flash
It's Near Right
The Solitary Bird
Popel a Dým
Dunaj, 'Pustit Musíš'

Pustit Musíš  [as Iva Bittová & Pavel Fajt]  (1996,  54.35)  ***½/T½

Zrcadlový Sál
Pustit Musíš
V Bílém
Nedĕlej, Nedĕlej
Cassiniho Dĕlení
Divoká Svinĕ
V Černém
Mrtvý Joe

Current availability:

Mellotrons used:

Iva Bittová's Dunaj seem to have a decent public profile in their native Czech Republic, although they mean diddly-squat anywhere else, as is so often the way with local heroes. They had a pretty ragged history, with lineups coalescing, splitting and re-coalescing, with albums being recorded with various combinations of musicians. Iva Bittová (vocals) and Pavel Fajt (drums) appear to've been the main members, although they left an early version of the band, reforming their best lineup to recorded 1989's Dunaj a Bittová. However, Bittová subsequently left, rejoining for their third effort, '93's Dudlay, which sounds an awful lot like locals' pronunciation of Dudley in the Birmingham conurbation. With me so far?

Anyway, going by 1994's Dunaj IV, they played a kind of awkward, progressive hard rock, with '80s Crimson influences never far from the surface, typified by Už Dávno Není or Sometimes, contrasting sharply with the acoustic Popel A Dým, although their version of Dutch pop outfit Shocking Blue's Venus is a bit pointless. Attempt at a hit single, anyone? Volkmar Miedtke plays Mellotron on two tracks, with a floating string line on Any Sight and a skronky flute line with shrieking strings on It's Near Right. It sounds a bit ropey, but it seems rather unlikely that Mellotron samples had reached that part of the world in '94, although who knows?

Just to confuse matters, their follow-up, '96's Pustit Musíš, was officially released under the name Iva Bittová & Pavel Fajt, although I've also seen it listed under its title and, of course, Dunaj. It seems easier to leave it here, anyway. It's not dissimilar to its predecessor, although Jiří Kolšovský's vocals put a different emphasis on things, though not enough to change their overall sound. Two 'Tron tracks from Miedtke again, with block string chords on opener Ouvertura and very upfront ones on Kaše, making the latter the nearest the band ever got to a 'Tron track'.

So; I think these are both available on CD, so fans of rather offbeat prog might want to make the effort to hear them. Not all that much Mellotron, but it's hardly at the centre of their sound, anyway. Odd, but worthwhile. incidentally and sadly, Jiří Kolšovský died in the late '90s, although all the other members are still musically active.

Zélia Duncan  (Brazil)

Zélia Duncan, 'Pelo Sabor do Gesto'

Pelo Sabor do Gesto  (2009,  46.26)  ***/T

Boas Razões
Todos os Verbos
Telhados de Paris
Tudo Sobre Você
Sinto Encanto
Pelo Sabor do Gesto
Esporte Fino Confortável
Os Dentes Brancos do Mundo
Se Eu Fosse
Se Um Dia Me Quiseres
Duas Namoradas
Nem Tudo

Current availability:

Mellotron used:

Zélia Duncan's been around since the early '80s, but doesn't seem to mean a lot outside her home territory. 2009's Pelo Sabor do Gesto is very much a Brazilian pop record, at its most typical on the likes of opener Boas Razões, Tudo Sobre Você and Esporte Fino Confortável, while Ambiçâo and the jazzy Se Eu Fosse step outside the box a little.

Graig Markel plays Mellotron, with surprisingly genuine-sounding choppy flutes on Duas Namoradas, key-click and all. Hardly a reason to buy this, but nice to hear a relatively recent album that doesn't just slap on the old samples.

Official site

Duncan Idaho  (Netherlands)

Duncan Idaho, 'The Event Horizon'

The Event Horizon  (2012,  42.06)  ***/TTT½

A Life for Every Sleeper
Vulture of July

The Event Horizon
Last Miss
Vaporizing Waterfalls
Spiraling Bridges
The False Light
Echolocation 4-7

Current availability:

Mellotron used:

On Event Horizon, Duncan Idaho (named for the character from Dune) play that rarest of things, halfway decent indie. It undeniably falls into the genre, while simultaneously rising above it, by writing memorable songs that utilise more than two chords and one rhythm. Surely that elevates it out of indie altogether, then? Their trick (I finally worked out) is to incorporate ideas from elsewhere: psychedelia, avant-rock, prog even, particularly on Vaporizing Waterfalls and eight-minute closer Echolocation 4-7. You know, just like proper bands.

Ruud Peeters plays his M400 on the album, with choppy choirs on Extrapolate, strings and upfront flutes on Vulture Of July, cellos and wonderfully upfront strings on the title track, strings on Spiraling Bridges and flutes and volume-pedalled strings on The False Light. Much better than expected, plenty of very real Mellotron.


Dungen  (Sweden)

Dungen, 'Stadsvandringar'

Stadsvandringar  (2002,  38.09)  ***½/T

Har du Vart' i Stockholm?
Solen Stiger Upp 1 & 2
Över Stock och Sten
Sol och Regn
Natten Blir Dag
Andra Sidan Sjön
Vem Vaktar Lejonen
Dungen, 'Ta det Lugnt'

Ta det Lugnt  (2004,  53.25)  ****/T½

Gjort Bort Sig
Du e fö Fin fö Mig
Ta det Lugnt
Det du Tänker Idag är du i Morgon
Lejonet & Kulan
Glömd Konst Kommer Stundom Ånyo Till Heders
Om du Vore en Vakthund
Tack Ska Ni Ha
Sluta Följa Efter
Dungen, 'Allas Sak'

Allas Sak  (2015,  41.43)  ****/TT

Allas Sak
Sista Festen
Sista Gästen
Franks Kaktus
En Gång om Året
Åkt Dit

En Dag på Sjön
Flickor och Pojkar
Ljus in i Min Panna

Current availability:

Mellotrons used:

Dungen (pronounced 'doon-yen', not phonetically, or worst of all, 'dungeon') are the brainchild of a young Swedish multi-instrumentalist, Gustav Ejstes, around whom a band eventually coalesced, including no less a personage than guitarist Reine Fiske, ex-Landberk and Paatos. Having just seen the band play a blinding gig in a London club, I can attest that they can cut it live: what about on album? Stadsvandringar is their debut, and while distinctly promising, not enough of its tracks leap out at you, although the singalong title track and its reprise are probably stuck in my brain permanently. Actually, I'm being a little unfair; this is a really good album, although it pales slightly in comparison to its successor. Some background 'Tron strings on Har Du Vart' I Stockholm? are the sum total of its Mellotronic input, and are only just recognisable as such, so buy this because it's good, rather than for any supposed Mellotron work.

Ta det Lugnt is technically their third release, although only their second CD (followed by a compilation of early EPs, Dungen 1999-2001), and is a cool-as-fuck mixture of psych and prog, which begs the question: why are they fashionable? I ask the same question about Australia's super-retro Wolfmother, and the only (patronising) answer I can come up with is: expose enough people to good, underground music, and some of them will catch on, unaware of the band's forebears. Ta det Lugnt by and large captures the band's live sound, right down to Fiske's guitar torture, particularly on Du E Fö Fin Fö Mig. Did I say that Ejstes sings in Swedish? Nothing if not uncompromising... He hauls a Hammond and a Wurly around, too, rather than make do with the standard substitutes. Christ, you can tell the difference... Listen to the churchy tones on Lejonet & Kulan for proof. Basically, there isn't a bad track here, from the more (relatively) straightforward stuff to the brain-frying psych workouts. I mean, closer Sluta Följa Efter is essentially Landberk at their most freakout, complete with ripping (and clearly real) 'Tron strings. Landberk's old machine? Who knows? Glömd Konst Kommer... is the other Mellotron track present, being no more or less than a 'Tron flute solo, complete with tape wobble part of the way through. Fantastic!

After a slew of Mellotron-free records, 2015's Allas Sak reintroduces it to the band's sound, all assuming it's real, that is. The album is (unsurprisingly) a delight, its best tracks clustered towards the end, including Åkt Dit, Flickor Och Pojkar and Sova, although I have no problem with the shorter, (slightly) poppier material earlier on. Ejstes adds Mellotron to three tracks, although I'm really not fully convinced it's genuine. Anyway, we get a major polyphonic flute part on En Gång Om Året and strings on Åkt Dit and Sova, but, once again, it's far from the best reason to buy this album.

Look, buy Ta det Lugnt, make these guys rich and famous. Reine Fiske has obviously finally found his spiritual home, and Gustav Ejstes is a total star; how can they fail? Great albums, sparse but wonderful 'Tron. Buy.

Official site

See: Landberk | Paatos

Dunn & Rubini  (US)

Dunn & Rubini, 'Diggin' it'

Diggin' it  (1976,  32.55)  **½/T

Diggin' it
Imaginary Girl
Love is Blind

Words Could Never Say
I'm Blue
Back From the Fire
Just Keep Laughin'
You Gotta Give it to Me
Turn on the Radio
You Gotta Give it to Me (reprise)

Current availability:

Chamberlin used:

I've been after a copy of this ever since I found the LP cheap some years ago, bought it and got it home, only to find that the contents were something else entirely, I got my money back, but I've been looking for it ever since. Was it worth the wait? Not really, no... Dunn & Rubini were Don (not Donald "Duck") Dunn and Michel Rubini, both professional writers and sessioneers, whose sole LP, 1976's Diggin' it, is pretty much what you'd expect of both the era and their musical circle; no, not fusion, but a soul/pop/rock hybrid that hasn't aged especially well. They were supported by a cast of thousands, including no fewer than ten different guitarists, among them Jesse Ed Davis, Lee Ritenour and Stray Dog's Waddy Wachtel, plus vocalists Seals & Crofts and Thelma Houston, although I can't really say that their presence really livens things up any. Best track? Probably the Back From The Fire/Just Keep Laughin' one/two, with a ripping guitar solo (Wachtel?) and the latter's Stonesy vibe.

Rubini plays Chamberlin, amongst other keys, with flutes on Imaginary Girl and strings on Love Is Blind, although all other string parts sound real. Well, I've heard it at last. Consummately written, played and produced, but it sounds like the kind of stuff you can hear on the soundtrack of footage of New York from the mid-'70s. Take that as you will.

Peter Dunne  (UK)  see: Samples etc.

Francis Dunnery  (UK)  see: Samples etc.

Joe d'Urso & Stone Caravan  (US)

Joe d'Urso & Stone Caravan, 'Both Sides of Life'

Both Sides of Life  (2003,  79.23)  ***/T

So Tired
Freezing Dreams
Let it Go
Vagabond Moon
Your Eyes
Happy Song
Funny What This World Can Do
She's Leaving Home
School Days
American World
She Cries
Early June
As the Rain Falls in Dublin
Walk on
Six Months in Italy
Pretty Soon
Hey Annie
Power of the Dove

Current availability:

Mellotron used:

Joe d'Urso and his band, Stone Caravan, play a kind of Springsteenish Americana, purpose-built for America's FM stations, where good old-fashioned rock'n'roll can still be heard. It seems blue-collar rock will never go out of fashion in the States; something to do with the sheer size of the place seems to encourage a conservatism of a kind almost unknown in Europe, including musically. Saying that, there's nothing wrong with d'Urso's work, although you wouldn't exactly call it 'forward-looking'; I think the term 'traditional' could be applied here. In spades. His seventh album, 2003's double-disc Both Sides of Life, is almost certainly typical of his oeuvre, mixing Tom Petty-style rockers (occasionally almost straying into Bob Seger territory) with acoustic ballads, particularly on the second disc. Er, thus the title? Highlights? The rocking Happy Song and Air. No actively bad material, although the rhyme-and-scansion-free Six Months In Italy is a little odd, while much of the second disc is too slushy for its own good.

Michael Mazzarella plays Mellotron, with strings and flutes on Be and flutes on Hey Annie, sounding real enough, which is what I'd hope for from someone this old-school. Is your collar blue? Do you drive a truck? Sorry, getting carried away there... D'Urso plays proper heartland rock as it was, is and always shall be. Non-Americans may not get this - I know I don't - but it does what it does superbly and is difficult to knock. He's also one of the 'good guys', sitting on the boards of several right-on organisations, although that isn't actually a reason to buy his albums. So; good at what it does, but not much Mellotron.

Official site

Dust Galaxy  (US)

Dust Galaxy, 'Dust Galaxy'

Dust Galaxy  (2007,  41.32)  **½/½

Sun in Your Head
Mother of Illusion
It's All Yours
River of Ever Changing Forms
Sons of Washington
Cherubim Sing
Come Hear the Trumpets
Crying to the Night

Current availability:

Mellotron used:

Dust Galaxy are effectively electronic outfit Thievery Corporation's Rob Garza's solo project, whose sole album to date, his/their eponymous 2007 release, contains a mildly bewildering mixture of psychedelia, indie and 'world' musics. The album (mostly recorded in the UK) features a host of guest musicians, not least several members of Primal Scream, which accounts for the indie rock content, the sitars of River Of Ever Changing Forms sitting slightly uneasily next to the driving rock of Cherubim Sing and Overhead.

Brendan Lynch (Paul Weller) plays Mellotron on closer Crying To The Night, with, er, something that might be phased, background choirs; suffice to say, this isn't the most upfront use you'll ever hear. To be honest, Dust Galaxy is at its best when it goes out on a limb; it's only a shame it doesn't do so more often.

Official site

Slim Dusty  (Australia)  see: Samples etc.

Dusty Trails  (US/UK)

Dusty Trails, 'Dusty Trails'

Dusty Trails  (2000,  43.40)  ***½/T

Pearls on a String
You Freed Yourself
Spy in the Lounge
Est-ce Que Tu
Roll the Dice
Unhand Me You Wretch
They May Call Me a Dreamer
Fool for a Country Tune
Regrets in Bordertown
Order Coffee
Conga Style
Caught in a Dream
Dusty Trails Theme

Current availability:

Mellotron used:

Dusty Trails are the duo of ex-Luscious Jackson (Mellotron users themselves) keyboardist Vivian Trimble and British ex-Breeder Josephine Wiggs. Their sole album to date, Dusty Trails, is faux-easy listening, with a notable South American influence in places. Various songs are sung in French by the wonderful Emmylou Harris, not at all in a European art-flick kind of way... Above all, this is an immensely mellow album, a million miles away from the protagonist's previous outfits. It could be mistaken for pastiche or irony, but it seems to me that both women mean it, although it's impossible to do this kind of stuff these days without at least a knowing, arched eyebrow.

Trimble is credited with 'keyboard strings', amongst other things, and going by a couple of online interviews I've seen, it appears that the strings (and presumably choir) on Fool For A Country Tune are actually Mellotron, although they sound more like samples to me. I'd be more than happy to be proved wrong, but I'll leave the review up here until/if I find out for sure. So, not one for the progheads among you (!), but if you're fed up with '60s lounge music, try this as an alternative. Don't bother for that 'Tron track, though.

See: Luscious Jackson

Yves Duteil  (France)

Yves Duteil, '(fr)agiles'

(fr)agiles  (2008,  52.36)  ***/½

Si J'Étais Ton Chemin
Deux Enfants du Tamil Nadu
Si J'Entrais dans Ton Cœur
Madame Sévilla
Ma Terre Humaine
Elle Ne Dort
Sur le Clavier du Grand Piano
Tu M'Envoles
Les Amours Fanées
Où Vis-Tu Pauline?
La Note Bleue
Tu M'Envoles (reprise)

Current availability:

Mellotron used:

Yves Duteil's career began in the early '70s, 2008's (fr)agiles being his twenty-somethingth album, a decent collection of very French chanson-influenced material, as you might expect from someone of Duteil's vintage. Y'know, there's something terribly appealing about this kind of folky, French-language style, especially when a little pre-war feel (you know, accordions and clarinets) is thrown in for good measure; there isn't actually a bad track here, although the album's appeal outside his middle-aged French audience is probably somewhat limited.

Fabrice Ravel-Chapuis is credited with Mellotron on two tracks, although with nothing obvious on Madame Sévilla, the album's entire content is left to a few seconds of 'stabbed' flutes on Elle Ne Dort, making this something of a non-starter on the Mellotron front.

Official site

Thomas Dutronc  (France)

Thomas Dutronc, 'Comme un Manouche Sans Guitare'

Comme un Manouche Sans Guitare  (2007,  41.16)  ***/T

Jeune, Je Ne Savais Rien
J'Aime Plus Paris
Veish a No Drom
September Song
J'suis Pas d'Ici
Je les Veux Toutes
Les Frites Bordel
Le Houdon Jazz Bar (Malus Track)
Comme un Manouche Sans Guitare
China Boy
Viens dans Mon Île
Canzone per Maria

Current availability:

Mellotron used:

Thomas Dutronc (son of Jacques Dutronc and Françoise Hardy) has taken the jazz route, in a pretty trad (Gallic division) kind of way, singing and playing guitar in the grand tradition. Although in his mid-thirties, 2007's Comme un Manouche Sans Guitare is his first solo album, filled with the kind of late-night jazz you used to be able to hear in Parisian cafés (and maybe still can?), although his band pick up the pace in places, notably on opener Jeune, Je Ne Savais Rien and China Boy, with some frenetic guitar work on the latter.

Whatever Mellotron Xavier Bussy may add to Jeune, Je Ne Savais Rien and Je Les Veux Toutes and Frédéric Jaillard to September Song will have to remain a mystery, as it's completely inaudible on all three, although Bussy's faint strings and flute solo appear on N.A.S.D.A.Q. Why is it credited? Is it actually on the other three tracks? What's the point? This is an excellent French jazz album, although I suspect it might pale slightly against the greats, but I'm afraid it's a bit of a dead loss on the Mellotron front.

Official site

Judy Dyble  (UK)  see: Samples etc.

Dygmies  (US)  see: Samples etc.

Dynamo Bliss  (Sweden)  see: Samples etc.

Dzyan  (Germany)

Dzyan, 'Electric Silence'

Electric Silence  (1974,  37.05)  ***½/TT

Back to Where We Come From
A Day in My Life
The Road Not Taken
For Earthly Thinking

Electric Silence

Current availability:

Mellotron used:

Dzyan were named for the Stanzas of Dzyan, a supposed ancient Tibetan text, quite possibly forged in the late 19th century by H.P. Blavatsky. Their third and last release, Electric Silence, is a pretty bonkers stoned-out Krautrock album, with a considerable Eastern influence on several tracks. Eddy Marron's sitar and tambura playing are added to the ethnic pot-pourri, along with more standard rock and folk instrumentation, although the title track is pretty much the only one to stick to the standard electric guitar/bass/drums format. Difficult to isolate highlights when you're not really into the style, but if you go for that trippy, Eastern thing, you could do a lot worse.

The 'Mellotrone' (why?!) was played by both Marron and bassist Reinhard Karwatky, although side one of the original album seems to be 'Tron-free. Khali, on the other hand, has more 'Tron choir than you could shake a stick at, quite possibly being both players improvising on two machines, though that's a complete guess. There are a few flute chords on For Earthly Thinking, although that's it on the 'Tron front. So; if you like that Krautrock thing, you'll be well away here, although fans of more standard prog should probably steer clear. One full-on 'Tron track, so the decision's yours.

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