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DUNCAN LYALL - Milestone 

DUNCAN LYALL - Milestone 
Red Deer Records RDRCD2101 

Eight years in from his outstanding debut (Infinite Reflections) Duncan Lyall continues his musical adventures with a stunning collection of tracks, showcasing his beloved Moog synthesiser, which is no surprise to those familiar with his Treacherous Orchestra work. A respectful nod in the trad direction is a take on the Twa Corbies, featuring an ear-catching fiddle duet of Patsy Reid and Lori Watson to brilliant effect. The remaining tracks are all Duncan Lyall’s own compositions and demonstrate his skills as arranger as well as artiste. His experience as producer for such artistes as Breabach and, of course, Treacherous Orchestra, at his own Red Deer studio are ably evident here, on his own material. It can’t be easy producing your own work, but Duncan Lyall is an extraordinary talent. He has the rare ability to write tunes that sound as old as the hills – Roli being a case in point – although Chas MacKenzie’s electric guitar blends in beautifully. The influences are both obvious and subtle – predominantly akin to the works of the much-missed Martyn Bennett, but I can detect Wakeman-era (yes, I know, it’s the Moog), and even Liam O’Flynn (courtesy of the funky Uilleann pipes of Jarlath Henderson).

Repeated listenings only reinforce to me that this is evidence of pure genius at work – from the jazzy turnarounds of Titan to the atmospheric Z, I have come to love every aspect of this album.

Once live music returns, post-COVID, I will be seeking out this artiste for sure, as I feel that his atmospheric music touches me deeply. Uplifting mood Moog for these uncertain times.

Grem Devlin


This review appeared in Issue 140 of The Living Tradition magazine