Thomas Dolby releases new CD & DVD
By James Grahame
Thomas Dolby, best known for his 1982 synthpop hit She Blinded Me With Science, is back on the road after an absence of fifteen years. He's never been a prolific artist, so it makes me very happy to announce his new independently released CD and DVD: The Sole Inhabitant.
You could be forgiven for thinking that Dolby had quietly disappeared into the background hum of the space-time continuum, but he took a fifteen year hiatus from the recording industry to found Beatnik, a Silicon Valley software company best known for creating the polyphonic ringtone engine hidden in millions of Nokia, Samsung and Motorola mobile phones. 2006 marks his return to live touring, and he'll have played about 40 gigs across the USA by the end of the year.
Oddly enough, it wasn't his return to performing that made headlines earlier this year - he succesfully sued wannabe rapper Kevin Federline for illegally sampling portions of She Blinded Me With Science. The resulting "song" was reportedly downloaded more than a half million times from K-Fed's MySpace page. They reached an out of court settlement of which Dolby commented, "I'm going to buy a new sailboat, find a quiet anchorage somewhere, make myself a cup of tea and write some brand new songs." It's good to see Britney's money going to a worthwhile cause.
Dolby's new live DVD was recorded during September 2006 at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. It offers a wonderful look at his surprisingly organic one-man electronic stage show. Some alternate takes are available on his Podcast page. The companion CD (available separately) features the same set list, but was captured during two evenings in March 2006 at the Martyrs in Chicago. I'm especially pleased to see Dolby recording as an independent artist; he has a big enough cult following that he should have no trouble keeping financial and artistic control of his work. Word has it that we can expect an album of brand new material from Mr. Dolby sometime in 2007.