If you’re in search of a record that promotes feelings of escape, elation, and genuine peace, Manchester-based producer Murlo has a charismatic journey to offer. As a DJ, producer, and visual artist, Murlo has turned heads for years with his unique sound and style, reeling in listeners through a slew of EPs and singles since his debut. Though he’s been releasing music since 2011, Dolos is the first full-length effort from Murlo, spanning 15 eclectic songs for a bubbly, surprising, and sometimes melancholy listen. “DOLOS IS THE STORY OF A MAN WHO ESCAPES THE CITY IN SEARCH OF SOLACE,” Murlo reveals. “IT TAKES THE FORM OF A 15-TRACK ALBUM, A 36-PAGE GRAPHIC NOVEL AND A SERIES OF LIMITED EDITION ART PRINTS – EVERYTHING HAND CRAFTED BY MURLO.”
Beginning with what feels like playful dance amidst the clouds, “Evaporate” explores an assortment of bright, buoyant synths and percussion that clicks and claps through your ears for an upbeat introduction. It’s mesmerizing how strong the next track “Fauna” comes into frame, grabbing attention with pitched-up vocal chops and a booming drum hit. Murlo carefully constructs an almost tropical wonderland of bouncing melodies and glistening elements that pull you into the soundscape — it’s just not possible to throw this on your speakers and not feel as if you’re in another dimension. Cuts like “Breeze,” “Romance,” and “Let Me Feel” produce similar sensations of ecstasy and joy, urging listeners to lie back and soak it all in.
Murlo encounters the ambient spectrum of electronic music on tracks like “Watching The Sun Through Eyelids” and “Ferment,” which act almost as interludes to break up the space between the vivacious spells of the album. We approach new territory once “Outer Body” begins, a cinematic switch-up from the animated soundscape Murlo created in the first half of the record. This one’s still a clear picture of a utopian universe, but Murlo instead focuses his efforts into funky, liquid elements and somewhat somber tones between the high-spirited flutes. It’s genuinely exciting to press play on “End Of The Road,” where Murlo showcases his most upbeat creation of Dolos that travels through eras of electronic music and new ways of shaping dance music.
As you make your way to the end of the road, Murlo bids adieu to the expansive world he’s created with gentle, delicate compositions, closing the curtain with the piano-led “Peace.” It feels almost effortless, a sound so pure it’ll lull you to a state of being that you haven’t felt in too long. When it comes to a concept album or a journey through sound, Murlo’s got it nailed. Take the trip for yourself below — I recommend a start-to-finish listen.