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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

An Dannsa Dub Fuse Futuristic Sound With Traditional Instrumentation On Debut Album 'Air An Turas'

Air An Turas is the dramatic debut album from folk-dub powerhouse An Dannsa Dub. Set for release on Friday 17 March, the record fuses the familiar sounds and instruments of traditional folk songs with the heavy, driving basslines of dub music.

The brain child of dub vocalist and producer Tom Spirals and Scottish traditional musician Euan McLaughlin, An Dannsa Dub, meaning ‘The Dub Dance’ in Gaelic, sits front and centre of a new wave of folk music bringing genre-bending arrangements to the tradition.

Band members Tom Spirals (flute), Euan McLaughlin (fiddle), Nicky Kirk (guitar), Ben Parkinson (drums) and Maxi Roots (bass), skillfully combine specialisms in traditional folk with their expertise in dub reggae, using both acoustic and digital instruments. The resulting sound is an explosive blend of what the band calls, ‘future dub from ancient Scotland,’ and has earned An Dannsa Dub a deserved reputation for unapologetic innovation.

Air An Turas, meaning ‘on a journey’, maps out a significant path for the band as they build upon their current success and look towards a promising future, taking listeners on a trip of musical exploration.

Featuring a full live band, the album is an exciting progression in An Dannsa Dub’s sound, boasting an impressive range of instruments, tempos, tensions and rhythms throughout. It also features an exciting trio of guest vocalists in the form of Irish singer Cian Finn, west coast folk act Flew The Arrow, aka Lee McGilvray, and Isle of Skye Gaelic singer Lana Pheutan.

After a thrilling sell out performance at this year’s Celtic Connections, An Dannsa Dub are set to tour their new material across the country in the coming months, with dates in venues from Belfast to London.

Tom Spirals said: “There is so much value to be found in Scotland’s heritage that we have decided to present it in modern and sometimes surprising ways. To keep our folk traditions alive, it’s important to diversify and adapt so that the music and instrumentation can be included in more contemporary trends.

This album was born from a love of both traditional and dub reggae genres and the desire to further explore the fusion of the two – and to hopefully build a new following for both while we’re at it! We also wanted to create a record which represents our live sound which has been well received in the past.

Playing live is what we love most, and we can’t wait to perform this new material for audiences across the country. Our upcoming tour is going to be incredible and, after such an awesome gig at Celtic Connections, we are all raring to go.”

Standout tracks from Air An Turas include An Gobhainn, which masterfully combines a stunning melody on the violin with a dramatic bassline to create a bold and poignant sound. Meanwhile, Sparks is an upbeat tune which features changing tempos and subtle layers of synth to draw listeners in.

Seòladh is the perfect track to finish off the record, with an energetic introduction sung in Gaelic by Lana Pheutan, cautiously merging with a laid back tempo of classic reggae and finishing strong with a futuristic flourish.

The album was recorded between GloWorm Studios, Twa Eleven Studios and 435 Studios towards the end of 2022.

Air An Turas will be available to buy on CD and vinyl, and stream on all major platforms, on Friday 17 March.

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