Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

Free Download: Cork Rock City

Cork: Rock City is a compilation album which documents the vibrance and variety of the Cork music scene at the moment. It will be available for free download from drop-d.ie from the 1st of November. The compilation features over 42 tracks, as well as videos and band biographies. It’s exactly the type of venture needed to expose the rich talent in this island of ours. Artists featured on the album include KVX, When Good Pets Go Bad, Toby Kaar, Hope is Noise, I’ll Eat Your Face and many more.

Video: Strands – Temper

Steve Shannon, a Dublin based producer who goes by the name of Strands in his own experimental music venture. He launched his debut self-titled album last Friday in Crawdaddy. Here is the video for Strand’s first single Temper. 

Weekly Watch

This week I will be mostly recommending…

Jamaica, Academy 2 Dublin, €16.50, Sunday 31st

Windings album launch, Roisin Dubh Galway, Free, Thursday 28th

James Vincent McMorrow, The Pavillion Cork, €14.50, Friday 29th

Artist: Goldfish

My pick of the Jazz weekend performances (I must confess I made quite few) was the South African duo Goldfish. Having met studying music in college both “fishies” had a background in jazz which they bring with them into the realm of the electronic. On stage the two swap headphones and samplers at various intervals for double-bass, saxophone and jazz-flute. The pairing turned a packed Bodega bar into a sea of bouncing with fists pumping at every bomb dropped…not exactly your typical jazz weekend routine.

Album: Baths – Cerulean

The 14 tracks on Cerulean boast a maturity and musical intuition beyond what can be expected from a 21-year-old. However when we consider that Will Wisenfeld (Baths) has spent the majority of the last decade making music and honing his particular brand of electronic hip-hop, under the name [Post-Foetus], not to mention the ambient venture Geotic, things become somewhat clearer. Like dubstep, glitch-hop has enjoyed a speedy rise in popularity among the online indie community thanks to the work of producers such as Flying Lotus and Daedelus. Throughout Cerulean, Wisenfeld makes his own mark in a genre over-populated by producers trying too hard to stand out. Ironically by adopting a more refined approach Baths has created the genre’s outstanding album.

While others producers maintain a distance with the listener Wisenfeld has harnessed his songwriting skills to add a personal touch to Cerulean. The anthemic ‘Lovely Bloodflow’ possess the features prevalent throughout the album. A simple hip-hop kick-snare lays the foundation for Wisenfeld to build on with clicks and jumpy vocals accompanied by leafy effects to add weight to the lyrics “kick up my shit you wanna, rustle these leaves.” Ponderous as these words may be the sentiment behind the tune is more obvious when the beat lowers to allow Wisenheld proclaim in a high pitched melody “you are my bloodflow.”

Clocking 50 minutes Cerulean may seem a bit imposing but in truth you could double that length and not tire of the album. Wisenfeld has mastered the elusive art of creating a cohesive compilation which flows perfectly from start to finish but avoids the trap sounding repetitive. His command and understanding of instrumentation comes to the fore in ‘♥’ which only introduces an electronic beat after a haunting piano and guitar intro is brought to a halt by Wisenfeld’s ghostly vocals. This is also the most revelatory track dealing with the life he has left behind in his suburban hometown;  “Met in the night like it was wrong, laugh at the life left now that we’re gone, I won’t go back, I won’t go back, I love you too much”

Wisenfeld’s greatest achievement on Cerulean is to incorporate so many things without making it sound remotely cramped or forced. The bass gets cranked up in ‘Mximalist’, ‘Mecha Joy’ and the wonderful ‘Indoorsy’ providing a more customary glitch-hop sound synonymous with artists like Flylo and Nosaj Thing. Throughout Cerulean effective use is made of vocals samples, from the M83-esque slow burner ‘Seaside Town’ to the album’s ultimate feel good, danceable number ‘Animals’. ‘Hall’ brings the album to a fitting close projecting a blend of loops, soft vocals and layered effects to give the end as optimistic a feel as ‘Apologetic Shoulderblades’ provided at track 1.

Video: The National – Terrible Love (Alternate Version)

While the video to the original single, take from High Violet, one of the stand out albums of 2010, ticked all the boxes for such a powerful tune from such a stylish band, director Tom Berninger has captured a different side to The National in the video for the alternate version. They’re not just about sharp suits and brilliant songs, they like to act the maggot too.

Video: Jennifer Evans – Scattered

I had completely forgotten about the return of Under Ether, RTE’s alternative music show which airs on Wednesday nights. The second season of the show (previously named When Under Ether) is just two episodes old and thanks to the wonders of RTE player I caught last week’s episode which featured this beautiful tune by Jennifer Evans, a Dublin based singer I was previously unfamiliar with. It’s a real lazy evening song with slow guitar tapping over soft snare brushing and Evans’ soothing vocals at the helm. It further emphasises the wealth of musical talent currently gracing our little island.

Weekly Watch

Jazz weekend is upon us again. It’s that one weekend in the year when every langer on leeside suddenly remembers he “fucking loves the jazz, tis daycint, like!” So for those looking to click their approval, there’s plenty on offer. Brand New Heavies are bringing their brand of jazz, soul and R&B to the Savoy Theatre on Saturday. Herbie Hancock Band play alongside Jason Moran and the Bandwagon in the Everyman Palace Theatre also on Saturday.  The Savoy hosts Maceo Parker Band on Sunday. If like me however you’re looking for a little something different then check out Jazzsteppa playing in Cyprus Avenue on Saturday.

 

Meanwhile back at the ranch…

Yeasayer, Olympia Theatre Dublin, Mon 18th, €23

 

Fake Blood, The Academy Dublin, Sun 24th, €23.50

 

Yann Tierson, Mandella Hall Belfast Fri 22nd, The Village Dublin 23rd, The Pavillion Cork 24th, Roisin Dubh Galway 25th

 

 

Video: Biffy Clyro – Booooom Blast and Ruin

The rot continues. The latest video from the Scottish boys confirms the good old days are gone. Gone are the hard-hitting, unpredictable, original tunes that decorated Infinity Land, Vertigo of Bliss and Blackened Sky. This latest video, for yet another forgettable pop song, serves as a reminder that these lads are superstars now, it’s a celebration of tattoos, sell out gigs, main stage festival slots. We’re all very impressed Biffy, why bother crafting a masterpiece like Now the Action is on Fire, when this shit will make you rich and famous?

Cover: Foals Cover Swedish House Mafia – One

For those of you who didn’t love the original tune which could  be heard blaring from boy racers the breadth of the country try the Foals version. It actually retains a predominantly dancy sound but with some hi-hat smacking thrown in with the vocals of Yannis Philippakis.