Dennis Dorman: “Dominion and Submission” and “My Tattoo”

A little Dennis Dorman goes a long way, but that’s not because he’s tiresome, but rather because he delivers potent stuff, perhaps nowhere more so than on this concentrated, disarmingly emotional, epic, even romantic music. If there’s a more blunt, brutal and tender song than “Dominion and Submission”, I’ve never heard it. Not all the analogue-type synth pop is able to survive the modern pop era, Dorman understands that the synthesizer is finally not just about undifferentiated ambient washes of impressionistic sound but also riff power and dramatic chord changes that embodies all the human longing which the shimmering, glossy keys of current electronic music can only tastefully suggest.

Dennis Dorman’s appropriation of harsh sounding musical patterns, textures and instruments can make for mildly aggressive listening at first, but on repeated plays these are the elements that really stand out, an makes it a cathartic listening experience.

Dorman shows a talent for atypical songwriting that transcends the notional limitations of current pop music. You’ll be bewitched by that utterly unique Moog sounding bassline that seems to quiver at the threshold of a whole universe of music we’ve forgotten how to explore.

The widescreen synth vistas forge a great retro-futuristic pop soundscape, over which Dorman’s vocals soar between the verses, locking into the momentum of the growling bass-driven rhythm. The epic choruses hover over this emotional setting and brings the whole construct to life.

Is it mainstream radio-compatible? It may just be too abrasive and loud, it’s hard to say, but who cares anyway? This is a hard-hitting synth pop song with industrial elements. “I swear I’ll always love you,” Dorman sings, with a mixture of angst and determination, as he opens the narrative of “Dominion and Submission”.

What’s pleasantly surprising about “Dominion and Submission” is how layered and eclectic it can be. While a dark, foreboding pall is cast over the track, it’s not without its layers of light and shade. The atmosphere turning from gritty reality to dreamlike hallucination.

Dennis Dorman takes the song a step further, incorporating a loud, lively chorus that rumbles like a futuristic beast, as a contrast to the more sedate verses. The synthesizers have a widescreen, larger-than-life menace, but there’s a sophisticated pop sensibility just beneath the surface.

In fact, “Dominion and Submission” is laid out with traditional synth-pop structures, which are beefed up with muscular keyboard riffs and a sturdy beat. The song could easily be a winning electronic single, inspiring plenty of head-bobbing and perhaps even some dancefloor activity.

Dennis Dorman’s has created a literal soundtrack for the resurgence of synth-pop with a pulsating electro beat and a behemoth sounding melody. It’s hard to not get completely encapsulated by the track.



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