The Test Drive: Tymon Dogg - Made Of Light
Made Of Light

Tymon Dogg’s distinctive voice and keen ear for melody ensures this latest release will delight his loyal followers whilst bringing his music to a younger generation of new fans, drawn to his unique brand of folk and punk. A diverse and compelling piece of work, some tracks are hallucinogenic and psychedelic, others are stirring, robust and political, juxtaposed with the album’s thoughtful and gentle love songs.

Of the album, Dogg explains that title track ‘Made of Light’ is about music and how it can be a road out of sorrow and despair. Lead track ‘Like I Used To Be’ is equally optimistic, in Tymon’s words “it’s a song about being redeemed by being loved”.

Described by as ‘the king of gypsy punk”, Tymon Dogg was a member of The Mescaleros until Joe Strummer’s untimely death in 2002. A life long friend and collaborator of The Clash frontman, Dogg co-wrote many of The Mescaleros most popular songs, including ‘Mondo Bongo’, which was used, at the request of Brad Pitt, to soundtrack the moment in the film ‘Mr & Mrs Smith’ where the actor fell in love with his co-star Angelina Jolie.

The origins of ‘A Pound of Grain’, the third track on this album, lie in Dogg’s creative partnership with Strummer. He says “It was conceived some years back when the news was full of animal health problems like Foot and Mouth, Blue tongue and BSE. I was writing songs with Joe Strummer at the time and we agreed to write this song about the cost of meat…his take was that it took so many acres of land to produce a just a small amount of animal protein… I did a basic demo using the lyrics that are on this record; the plan was for Joe to add some of his own. Unfortunately he was called away before we could get it recorded. I used a quote from Leonardo Da Vinci: ‘My body is not a tomb for another animal’ – he was a vegetarian as was Joe. I went the whole hog and became a vegan – waste not want not! Unconscious cruelty is one thing but conscious cruelty is another.”

Dogg’s illustrious career began when he was discovered by Paul McCartney at seventeen years old. He has recorded with the likes of Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Paul McCartney and James Taylor as well as touring with The Moody Blues and releasing several solo albums. When Joe Strummer joined The Clash, Dogg was invited to contribute tracks on Sandinista! and Combat Rock.

In 2010 Cherry Red Records released the critically acclaimed ‘The Irrepressible Dogg’, a compilation of songs from 1967 – 2009. This was followed two years later by a CD of Dogg’s soundscapes released by Thin Man Press entitled ‘A Wave of Dreams’.
‘Made of Light’ is the first of several albums of new material slated for release, including ‘Hollowed Out’, an album produced by Joe Strummer which will finally be made available to the public next year.

‘It was in New York. I had speakers the size of a wall…They [The Clash] came into my apartment and shoved a tape into my machine. It was ‘Lose This Skin’…suddenly thunder and lightening erupted all over the city…it was one of those great moments…all the forces came down into that room.”
Martin Scorsese on ‘Lose This Skin’ Written by Tymon Dogg

“His timing is really original as is his voice.” Topper Headon, drummer with The Clash
“Tymon’s a fuckin’ genius.” John Cooper Clarke

“Quite astonishing…Musically beautiful.” Stealth Munchkin

“This highly-idiosyncratic singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s career reaches back further and wider than only the most devoted disciple would be expected to know.” Peter Donahue, Hastings Independent

“Nobody can pin Tymon down, the man’s a one ­off, grooving with blissful individuality along a path beyond the realms of fantasy.” Colin Irwin