# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Dodson and Fogg - Phantom Gesture

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 28 / 4 / 2019

Dodson and Fogg - Phantom Gesture
Label: Wisdom Twin Records
Format: CD


Seventeenth album from Chris Wade’s Dodson and Fogg which reveals this multi-instrumentalist has no signs of slowing down or a shortage of ideas

Chris Wade (aka Dodson & Fogg) still continues to amaze. The author/ film maker/ multi-instrumentalist / artist not only keeps turning out albums at an alarming rate without ever showing a dip in quality, but the artists that he writes books about and interviews which Wade puts online at http://wisdomtwinsbooks.weebly.com/dodson-and-fogg.html for his ‘Hound Dawg’ magazine are also surprisingly different. This writer has just noticed that Wade has published a Q and A with the talented Donna De Lory an artist that, being familiar with Wade’s own musical output, seems like an unlikely subject for Wade’s attention, but it’s just another indication that Wade is like no other no matter what particular aspect of his art he’s working on that day. ‘Phantom Gesture’ is the latest album that Wade has released (or maybe not, given his work rate there’s probably another out already or well on the way) under his Dodson & Fogg project. The nine-track album is again written, produced and entirely performed by Wade, and given that the songs were recorded between September and December 2018 and at the time of writing the end of March 2019 is fast approaching it’s almost certain that another album is on the way. To start at the end, the album closes with a two-part song, the title track in fact, which is characteristic of other Dodson & Fogg albums and something that Wade seems to like doing. Part One is a chugging rocker which not only displays the more edgy vocal traits that Wade has slowly been introducing into his music recently but which once again shows what a talented guitar player Wade is. Yep, the same old story, Wade is one of our most underrated and inventive guitarists and it still annoys that a musician of this calibre is not given the acclaim or attention that he so obviously deserves. Wade forsakes the electric guitar at the beginning of Part Two of the song to produce a beautiful, autumnal soundscape. The track slowly shifts through many shades, textures changing with the introduction of each new sound. Some would label this prog; to these ears it’s a beautiful piece of music that holds the listener’s attention for every second of its eleven minutes. At just over the halfway mark, Wade’s chunky guitar riff returns taking the song into yet another direction while still flowing perfectly. This magazine could be accused of stating that every time Wade releases a Dodson & Fogg album we declare it as his best work to date; this time there are tracks that would have slotted nicely into most any other Dodson & Fogg album without noticing the joins. But it’s this final part of the title track that’s going to force us to make that claim once more. We’ve also claimed that certain tracks in the past have seen Wade at his most adventurous musically. Again we have to say that Part Two of ‘Phantom Gesture’, even being completely instrumental, sees Wade exploring areas that he’s only dipped a tentative toe into in the past. It’s a bold claim given his past musical accomplishments, but this particular track is one of Wade’s finest, if not the best we’ve yet heard from him. But back to the beginning, ‘Ascending’ opens the album, it’s another instrumental, wearing influences from India (another element that has shown up in Wade’s music before) proudly. It’s a perfect starter to the album and would have the listener thinking that we’re in for another mellow trip into Wade World before the second song, ‘Beside Me’ dislodges those thoughts. Although his acoustic is to the fore (and this is just as impressive as his electric lead guitar playing), this new found edginess to his vocals has added yet another dimension to his music. In the past one of the major attractions in his music was Wade’s dreamy vocal style. Although not abandoned completely, there’s a definite rough side to his vocals that has been more prominent on recent releases. And, of course, Wade can’t resist to throw in a few electric guitar licks as the song closes; another trademark of Wade’s, these fantastic little guitar runs that appear out of nowhere when least expected but which fit in perfectly. While there are songs on ‘Phantom Gesture’ that are precisely what we have to come to expect from Wade (‘You Don’t Care About Nothing Anymore’), which are laidback, dreamy summer day songs that take the listener on little journeys, complete with blistering guitar solos, such songs wouldn’t have sounded out of place on any number of Dodson & Fogg albums. Apart from that closing two-part title song, there are other elements seeping into many of these tracks. ‘So Many Faces, So Many Sounds’ features an almost bossa nova groove, not something that one readily recalls from any other Dodson & Fogg album. ‘When The Day is Through (Climb the Walls)’ is another adventurous track, again shifting shape and shade the song also has nice little embellishments while ‘Only What Is Real’ is the nearest Wade gets to a conventional pop song here. Complete with a pretty, gentle melody again, it shows a side to Wade that hasn’t been fully explored before while remaining pure Dodson & Fogg, with absolutely beautiful guitar playing once more featured in this cut. ‘Phantom Gesture’ isn’t just another Dodson & Fogg album; it’s the one to go for right now despite the excellence of any album issued under the Dodson & Fogg banner. Seventeen albums (not counting EPs, outtakes or compilations) since 2012 issued as Dodson & Fogg and still Chris Wade has something to say with his music, and is saying it with a skill that very few of his contemporaries can ever hope to match. The man’s a bloody genius.

Track Listing:-
1 Ascending
2 Beside Me
3 You Don't Care About Nothing Anymore
4 So Many Faces, So Many Sounds
5 When the Day is Through (Climb the Walls)
6 Only What Is Real
7 The Sound Of Her World
8 Phantom Gesture (Part 1)
9 Phantom Gesture (Part 2)

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