Retro Review / Dosca: Meridian (2018)

Meridian, Dosca’s first and so far only album (and last? I have no idea if the band is active anymore) was released in early 2018, following a solid EP and live performances that had quickly made a name for the six-piece band.

I had heard the EP once and had been impressed but didn’t own it (I still don’t and it’s unfortunately very hard to find now) so the arrival of the album was very welcome. Now, almost two years on, Meridian stands as one of the best albums to come out of Scotland in recent years.

The root of most of the tunes is very trad, reels and jigs and songs, but Dosca play them with admirable richness, utilizing not only the power of the drs’n’bass driven six-piece band and occasional brass section (!) but a marvelous sense of nuance and often jazz influenced musical ideas. There’s a lot to listen to here and the whole thing is a nice upgrading of Trad music without any synth, loops or other hi-tech gizmos.

My favorite tracks are the lazily but strongly grooving Jimmy’s; the elegant “Flook meets Michael McGoldrick” style Two For Joy and the fierce but controlled final blast of Storm. It’s a jewel of an album and I wish there would be more but we may have to do with this, at least for the time being.

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