Dornik's Debut Highlights The Genius Of The Drummer
I’ve always felt a bit sorry for drummers. Let me clarify, when I say that, my sympathy only stretches so far, for example, Travis Barker isn’t getting an ounce of it (I mean, come on, away from the worldwide success, anyone that was on run The Jewels 2 doesn’t need any sympathy). But think about the drummers who support the solo artists, I mean sure, they get to tour the world doing what they love, and I can’t imagine the pay is that shabby, but they’re so often overlooked.
Cast your mind back to the last solo gig you went too, you don’t remember what the drummer looked like, right? You probably didn’t even give him a second glance, but that hairy bass player, that lead guitar with long hair, that smooth good looking pianist, you remember them don’t you?
Well if there was ever a reason not to overlook those talented little gems anymore, it’s Dornik. Having spent ample time lurking in the shadow behind Jessie Ware, he’s now come out with a full length solo project proving the point that some of these unsung heroes are worthy of more than just backing vocals.
Unsurprisingly, this self titled debut project carries some strong drum beats, mixed with 80’s style synth and guitar riffs, with Dornik’s soulful/R&B vocals layered over the top. Some people have even compared his tones to those of Michael Jackson’s, but be under no illusion, Dornik brings enough originality to stamp his own signature on the project.
The LP kicks off with a high tempo synthy affair in ‘Strong’, before moving onto some more old school R&B vibes in songs like ‘Blush’ where he really comes into his own. Dornik, especially towards the back end of this song, shows a skill that is so integral to the cohesion of the album; his ability to use and distort in different ways over these retro beats, which gives the music a totally different feel and identity to anyone doing anything similar right now.
There on after the catchy hooks and well produced beats just keep on coming, firstly in one of the single tracks ‘Stand In Your Line’ and then onto others such as ‘Chain Smoke’ later on in the album. The singles off this album are pretty strong, particularly on tracks such as ‘Drive’ and ‘Second Thoughts’, which are probably two of the best on the album.
We also see his slower side on tunes like 'Mountain', where we get as close to a ballad as I feel we ever will with Dornik, not that this is an issue. Throughout the album it just feels like he’s doing his own thing, like this is ‘Dornik does slow’, not just your generic, predictable stuff.
It could be argued that, at times, the distortion of vocals is a little too much on some tracks, maybe the first verse of ‘Second Thoughts’, although the beat is so strong on this track, I can’t bring myself to be that critical of it.
Overall, a huge album from Dornik and a seriously good debut. Coming with such acclaim, it would’ve been easy for him to either underwhelm, or just churn out some generic ‘retro’ R&B tracks that may have gotten some chart attention, but have nowhere near as much substance as this project. Instead, he’s put together a smooth, well produced album that’s gone a long way to establishing his own musical identity.
To find out more about Dornik click here.
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Words by Thomas Schofield