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Dot Allison


Country of origin:

Scotland

Type of music generally:

Ectronica, pop

Status:

Most recent release, Room 7½ (2009)

See also:

Dot Allison's site

Dot Allison's MySpace page

The Ectophiles' Guide entry for her former band, One Dove

Comparisons:

More ectronic than Dido, less so than Kym Brown. Vocally, a lot like Sarah McLachlan.

Covers/own material:

Own and co-written

General comments:

Dot Allison, formerly of the early '90s band One Dove, has put out a great debut. Material ranges over the ectronic spectrum, with some songs softer and less produced (along the lines of Dido and Sarah McLachlan's Surfacing) and some more trip-hoppy. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Similar to Dido and Beth Orton. Great production and voice a bit like Julee Cruise. (NNadelS@aol.com)

She's okay...I liked the promo single I got before the album release, but overall it's kind of chilly...there's not a lot of Dot there to be had, so to speak, in that she is really pretty detached from most of the music, it seems...at least, that's the impression that I got...and it's not that the music is bad at all, because there really was some interesting innovations going on as far as what they're doing with electronic music etc...but the singers I prefer are the ones who get their hands bloody with their songs, and Dot didn't, as far as I can tell. Well, unless of course she cut herself accidentally and bled on a guitar or something in the studio, but that's obviously not what I meant. ;D (John.Drummond)

Recommended first album:

Afterglow is her first solo album

Recordings:


Afterglow

Release info:

1999—Arista—07822-16600-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Dot Allison—vocals, keyboards, programming, piano, Hammond, vocoder, guitar, tabular bells, mini-squeeze box

Guest artists:

Magnus Fiennes—keyboards, piano, Rhodes piano, Harmonium
Graham Kearns—guitar on 4 songs
Mani—bass guitar on "Colour Me"
Kevin Shields—guitar on "Message Personnel"
Will Blanchard (Wildcat)—drums on 2 songs
Ged Lynch—drums and percussion on "Did I Imagine You?"
B J Cole—pedal steel guitar on "Tomorrow Never Comes"
Gavin Woods—guitar on "Mo' Pop"
Simon Chamberlain—piano on "In Winter Still"
Ralph Salmins—drums on "In Winter Still"
Henry Olsen—bass guitar on "Mo' Pop"
Jim Hunt—sax on "Mo' Pop"
Duncan Mackay—trumpet on "Mo' Pop"
Cathy Thompson, Liz Layton, Dave Woodcock, Jonathan Evans-Jones, Sonia Slany, Miffy Hirsch, Dermot Crehan, Mark Berrow, Paul Willey—violin
Steve Tees, Andy Parker, Kate Musker, Rachel Bolt—viola
Nick Cooper, Frank Schaefer, Jonathan Tunnell—cello
Mary Scully—bass cello
Greg Knowles—cymbalom
Brian Gascoigne, Desmond Oliver—string arrangements

Produced by:

Dot Allison, Magnus Fiennes, Chris Allison, Richard Fearless, Tim Holmes

Comments:

I have Dot Allison's single "Colour Me", it's so great, I have the full album on order. (John.Drummond)

This one makes up for the Paula Cole letdown. Fans of Beth Orton, Dido and Sarah McLachlan will like this fellow Arista artist (they must be desperate for another Sarah). Vocals reminded me of Julee Cruise sometimes. Lots of cool trip-hop production, members of Death in Vegas appear on the album. Some really great songs. (nnadel@hotmail.com)

The first four tracks are my favorites, especially "Message Personnel" which also reappears in a remix at the end. I also really like the piano touches which provide an interesting element to all the electronic production. A really strong debut. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Excellent atmospheric stuff. Evocative vocals and music. Great to relax to. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)


We Are Science

Release info:

2002—Mantra Recordings (PO Box 95 Ellicott Station, Buffalo, NY 14205)—RBR029-D

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Dot Allison—vocals, keyboards, guitar, glockenspiel, programming, string arrangement

Guest artists:

Keith Tenniswood—programming, additional keyboards, additional engineering
D. Stone—additional engineering, programming, guitar
I. Button—guitar
N. Abnett—bass
R. Thair—drums
B. Hannent—additional engineering, additional programming on "Performance"
V. Mathew, K. Hago—violin
G. Hunter—viola
M. Riley—cello
D. Fridmann—engineering, programming
S. "Grasshopper" MacKowiak—guitar
J. Ament—drums
T. Holmes—additional programming and engineering

Produced by:

Dot Allison, D. Fridmann, Keith Tenniswood, Orde Mekle, Stuart McMillan

Comments:

Dot Allison's new album is something of a surprise, partly because I didn't know she was making one and because of the album itself, and because of how much I like it. It has links with her debut, Afterglow, but it's very different too. I could see someone liking one album but not the other. Me, I like both. We Are Science has a techno, retro-'80s feel to it, and some of the electronic noises annoy me a little, but are less unsettling with repeated listenings. There are a few songs like "We're Only Science" that eschew traditional songwriting and instead repeat the title words like a mantra. So the album begins with a vocalization (an "oh" or "ah") followed by a driving beat, and the first words come nearly a minute and a half into the song. There are some other lyrics further in, but you can't understand them (at least I can't). Other songs have a more traditional verse-refrain structure, and one near the end even reminds me of something from Mazzy Star's So Tonight That I Might See. The US release comes with a video for "Strung Out" and remixes of 2 tracks that are actually very good and add something to the songs. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

Dot Allison remixed "Beefheart" for Ruby's Altered and Proud (The Short Staffed Remixes) (2001). Compilation work includes:
  • "Sweet Surrender" on Sing a Song for You—A Tribute to Tim Buckley (2000)
  • "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Your Grievances"* on I Killed the Monster: 21 Artists Performing the Songs of Daniel Johnston (2006)
  • "Allelujah" on Ministry of Sound Chilled (2009)
  • "Montague Terrace" on Scott Walker—30 Century Man (Music Inspired by the Film) (2009)
  • "Without Discord" on Henry VIII: Mind of a Tyrant soundtrack (2009)
  • "Message Personnel" on Deconstruction Reconstructed 006 (EP, 2011)
* Track otherwise unavailable.

Collaborations include:

  • "Dirge" with Death in Vegas on their album The Contino Sessions (1999)
  • "I Know You Know" with Anthony Reynolds on his album British Ballads (2007)
  • the Triangle soundtrack with Christian Henson (2009)


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2011-04-16 20:08:18.
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