nzoa july 2019

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Reviewed by Ethan Roberts

Dictaphone Blues: Mufti Day

Reviewed by Ethan Roberts

Dictaphone Blues: Mufti Day

Ed Castelow‘s Dictaphone Blues received widespread acclaim with 2011’s ‘Beneath The Crystal Palace’ but it was still not enough to break through to the mainstream. Cue 2014’s ‘Mufti Day’, in which Castelow really shows us what he can do musically. Very much a musical experiment, consisting of a very diverse array of instruments (guitars, bass, drums, harp, egg shaker, harmonium, analogue synths, cowbell, keyboard, tambourine, guiro) almost entirely played and recorded by Castelow himself, the album is full of catchy choruses, addictive rhythm sections and chiming melodies. making ‘Mufti Day’ feel very breezy and relaxed much like the days the album is named after. Each track is infectiously catchy with songs like Cryptic Lipstick and album highlight 365 (which also features Emily Edrosa of Street Chant) certain to get stuck in your head for days on end. Attention to the mixing is evident with all the different range of instruments leveling out nicely, sounding clean and clear. The album was mixed by Castelow himself but some credit has to go to the excellent mastering job by Ollie Harmer, at The Lab, where this was recorded. ‘Mufti Day’ should earn Castelow the mainstream attention and wider-than-student-radio success his songs fully deserve.

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