Archive for the ‘Daithi’ Tag
‘The Dog’ is the curtain closer on Daithí’s stunning Embrace EP. This beautifully shot video was directed by Eoin Kelly Smith, a media student who has worked with Imeall (check out his Smedia winning mocumnetray here)! The video captures Daithí, himself a native of Clare, roaming the Burren and jamming in his apartment, his own creative hub as well as shots of Smith’s aunts three-legged, obese dog.
The tireless Daithí will be performing at Solstice Cork as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival between June 16th and 19th, as well as Body and Soul, No Place Like Dome and Castlepalooza with more festivals to be announced. He’s currently working on his first album, due for release next year with the singles due to come out later this year.
Much has been said on this blog and countless others about Jack Colleran (aka MOTHS) and his gorgeously hazy brand of glitch-hop. Summer is just one of the many fantastic tunes he has mad available on soundcloud. This trip-tastic video comes courtesy of Corkonian Brendan Canty and works perfectly with the music, taking you on a Big Lebowski-esque voyage…which is nice. Canty is also the man behind the brilliant video for Daithí’s Sleep Like a Stone.
Flann Mc Morrow and Daithi have wasted little time in following up their first track ‘This Place’ with their second sumptuous tune ‘That Place’. Like the first offering, ‘That Place’ refuses to follow a clear blueprint and dives off in wonderfully unpredictable tangents and boasts more layers than a shepherds’ pie and trifle put together. The only thing that remains constant is the uncontrollable head-nod of the listener.
When I met Daithi last month he spoke very highly of his friend Flann Mc Morrow (No relation to James Vincent, I asked) The pair had a kind of Postal Service thing going on, sharing and mixing music between Dublin and Galway. ‘This Place’ is the first track the duo have put up on soundcloud. Sounds like Four Tet after a few jagerbombs with wall to wall sound and a penchant for changing direction. More please.
Even though Daithi O’ Dronai’s musical career dates back to 2008, his new EP ‘The Embrace’ which was released in February marks his first official release. Having recently secured Gugai of Rosin Dubh fame as his manager, Daithi is poised to make a real impression at home and abroad.
His student apartment near GMIT in Galway has become the creative hub where Daithi works on his music. “Live in a student apartment and nobody complains about noise” he points out.
The apartment, on fist entry displays nothing out of the ordinary except that some of the gig posters on the wall were shows Daithi himself performed at. But then we enter “the music room” and shit gets serious. It’s more of a music junkie obstacle course than a room, you must bypass the massive amp, bisect the speakers, tread carefully to avoid the pedals, at no point allowing yourself to be distracted by the shiny buttons on the chaos pad or synthesisers. Even the bed and chairs are decorated with electronic fiddles and hard cases.
Grandson to the well-known trad musician Chris Doney, Daithi’s no stranger to the traditional sound or culture and he admits that people often automatically restrict him to that genre when they see the fiddle but he is quick to dispel that misconception.
“I had a real traditional background as a kid and I was taught traditionally. My grandfather plays concertina but he’s a real set trad musician. He sees my music the same way I do, that it’s not traditional music. There’s no real traditional turn on it but because I learned the fiddle traditionally it comes in every so often, almost by accident.”
Like so many others, it was in secondary school that Daithi’s musical appetite grew insatiable. Somewhere between playing bass with his old covers band ‘Keepsake’ and hijacking an old art room in Rockwell College with his friends to jam in, he realised that writing his own music was what he wanted to pursue.
The first traces of his current sound surfaced in the summer of 2008 when a friend introduced him to the loop station, a device which would become a cornerstone of Daithi’s performance.
“At that point I was developed enough to think, regardless of instruments, I’m looking for a tone. I guess when I was starting out I was looking for something like the Foals sound.” He says when asked about his influences, which are impossible to decipher from his eclectic blend of genres.
Words fail Daithi himself when put on the spot about classifying his sound. “We came up with something once; Post-trad-math-rock-dance…” he trails off recognising the folly of the exercise.
“I was looking for single melodies just mixed into each other. I picked up the fiddle again after years and started plucking at it to get a clear tone. So I just started with the fiddle and a loop station and it spread from there.” He gestures to the room which provides ample confirmation that it did indeed spread from there, like wildfire.
With all kinds of high-tech toys decorating the room, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of buttons, knobs and pedals. Daithi however, a self-proclaimed “Tech-nerd” is in his element and even makes a decent stab at explaining the process involved in making his music.
“Before I use anything or perform with it in front of people I learn it back to front. The art with loops stations is not to loop too much onto the one thing. Loops are always building so the hard thing is learning where to drop down and to bring it back up again.” He explains in what is clearly the most digestible rundown possible.
As well as an original sound, Daithi beats most electronic artists when it comes to an original starting point in his career. It’s doubtful that his influences J.U.S.T.I.C.E. and Daft Punk performed in front of the French equivalent of Dana and Daithi O’ Shea to get the ball rolling.
“The first time I ever played in front of people besides my friends was the first audition for the Talent Show. The aim was actually to find a singer to put vocals with my music. I didn’t even know who Daithi O’ Shea was at the time.” He says, seeing the funny side looking back. One thing he hadn’t bargained on was becoming a local celebrity.
“It just exploded. That was the weirdest time, I was eighteen and was just getting mobbed walking around Galway City.
At the end of the day it’s a disaster as a show and the system is flawed because whoever has the biggest pool of people has an unfair advantage. But if I hadn’t been in the show I wouldn’t have played Electric Picnic that year, that’s the bottom line.” He concedes with a reluctant gratitude.
Buoyed by this success Daithi embarked on a second television venture, one which sat more comfortably with the pretentious indie crowd, Sky1’s Must be the Music –“a show that tries to kick X-Factor up the arse.” He clarifies.
His performances on the series earned him a place in the final, Dizze Rascal among the judges he impressed and he reached number 11 in the UK iTunes charts. Despite this success he’s yet to return but his three thousand or so British facebook fans will be ready and waiting when he does.
The Other Voices gig unsurprisingly comes across as the feather in Daithi’s cap in terms of TV appearances.
“It was just such a good experience and literally anyone you mention it to once they hear Other Voices they’re like Oh so you’re actually a good musician.”
To have fitted so much into such a short space of time goes beyond the exuberance of youth and proves Daithi’s ambition as an artist. Having taken steps forward in his career year after year the progress shows no sign of easing but his openness retreats at the mention of future plans.
He refers to festival plans and tour plans and possible collaborations but it’s all a bit cryptic, he’s already well-drilled in how much information to impart.
One thing he maintains is that it’s going to keep growing and there are a lot of things happening in the near future.
With the career he’s had to date, you’d be inclined to believe him.
The Embrace EP is available at Daithi’s bandcamp.
After the heights reached by Irish music in 2010, 2011 has a hard act to follow, but there is little reason to suggest that things will dry up or the scene will regress. In fact there are plenty of exciting acts around the country willing to give last year’s success stories a run for their money. One such act is Daithi.
Now if like me you are just dying for the current fad of ‘talent show’ tv to die out, then you may overlook the participants in the painful RTE production The All Ireland Talent Show. However one original and compelling artist who effectively used this medium to launch himself into the spotlight in 2009 is Daithi Ó Drónaí. Skilled in traditional fiddle playing and boasting an appreciation of minimal, contemporary electronic music, Ó Drónaí blends the two polarised genres to create an astonishingly cohesive and unique sound.
He has since gone on to perform at Electric Picnic and Castle Palooza and has supported household names such as The Xx and Dj Shadow. February sees the release of Daithi’s EP and to get us all adequately excited he’s released some teaser videos on YouTube. Below is the deliciously layered ‘The Dog’. To hear this and two other tracks from the EP in full check out Breaking Tunes.