In the glut of new releases in the past two weeks, Australian musician D.D. Dumbo’s newest on 4AD, may have been overlooked but the album is a weighted mix of African guitar blues, folk and pop music. He also sings a bit like Sting, but you know, in a good way. ‘Walrus’ is the bright album opener.
Waterford-born Katie Sullivan moves into new territory with her third album Salt released today (Irish Times Irish album of the week). While Katie was always an artist who was interested in the alternative and ambient, who brought a touch of the otherworldly to her songs, even if they were stripped back to their essentials, Salt finds her sonic world sunken deeper into the mire.
An immediate highlight is the skyscraping spectral percussion of opening song ‘Ghosts’.
POLIÇA — Kind (Boys Noize Remix)
This Boys Noize remix of Poliça’s ‘Kind’ is totally my buzz.
The original features on the band’s United Crushers LP but just came out alongside remixes by Task Force and Fog on a new EP.
Of the remix, Boys Noize says he was inspired by the vocal to go “90s vogue house.”
“I ended up going for this 90s Vogue House-inspired dub mix because I just wanted to hear [the lyric] ‘fever high, fever high’ in the club.”
It is, a banger.
Poliça are on tour and play Dublin this Saturday night.
German producer Michael Mayer has a new album the influential !K7 Records label called &. As the title suggests collaborations are at the heart of his third album, and guests include Hauschka, Roman Flügel, Miss Kittin, Prins Thomas, Barnt and Kölsch.
The result is a mix of “hypnotic minimal house, soft trance, indie tech-house and twisted disco.”
His first single, with Barnt, ‘Und Da Stehen Fremde Menschen’ is German and tough while the second single ‘For You’ featuring Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard is decidedly more mellow. It’s a love story really.
Mount Alaska (Twitter) is a new project from former Halfset members Stephen Shannon and Cillian McDonnell.
Since the band disbanded Shannon has been working as a producer at Experimental Audio studio and composing film scores while McDonnell among other things, started the label Music/is/for/losers.
Now, the duo have returned to making music together under the name Mount Alaska.
‘Sine, Cosine, Tangent’ is our first listen to the outcome of their creative pursuit, a wavey experimental electronic instrumental to be released on Language Records on Monday, November 7th 2016. A second single featuring The Gloaming’s Iarla Ó’Lionáird is due in January.
We talk about Oisin’s New Jersey upbringing, grown men crying over beautiful songs stuck in traffic, what it’s like to support Grandmaster Flash, the beauty of a basso profundo voice – the lowest you can get, a Hard Working Class Heroes highlight, the tune Oisin would like his kids to associate with him and a couple of Belfast bangers.
The Belfast house duo Bicep have been on some roll of late. Everything they touch has a sense of magic to it.
Last year’s output included two tunes that due to heavy rotation were basically instant classics. The bleeping minimalism of ‘Just’ dominated but their collaboration with Hammer ‘Dahlia’ was equally moving.
For a 2016 reminder, their Isaac Tichauer’s ‘Higher Level’ remix follows the lead of ‘Just’ building from booming house-bass track to a siren synth line over the song’s “at a higher level” vocal sample. It’s music to get lost it.
The Loft Record release with remixes from Hackman, Dorsia and Lancelot, is available on 12″ has sold out vinyl wise but is available digitally on April 22nd.
Today, they’ve revealed the speakers and panels that they’ve lined up for the free conference for the day part of the festival in T13 Titanic Quarter of Belfast on June 4th.
‘The Origins of Techno + Artist Q and A’
(The originator of Techno, Metroplex Records)
This session will cover the origins and growth of techno, Juan’s career, starting a label, as well as advice for fellow producers, followed by a Q&A.
BICEP (Andy Ferguson and Matt McBriar) present
‘Transition from DJ to Live Show’
‘Life after Dark’ –The Creative, Cultural and Economic Value of Club Culture
DJ and writer Dave Haslam DJed over 450 times at the legendary Hacienda in Manchester during the late 1980s and is a household name in the club world. He’s the author of ‘Manchester England’, a groundbreaking study of Manchester’s radical and musical history, and three more books; including the latest ‘Life After Dark: A History of British Nightclubs & Music Venues’ in 2015. Dave will be joined by Mark Lawrence, the director of the Association of Electronic Music, to discuss ‘Life after Dark’ – his book, the culture of nightclubs and the nighttime economy, touching on political and cultural issues that are at the forefront of the industry.
‘Pushing the Dial on Women in Electronic Music’
5 inspirational women from across the electronic music industry on a panel consisting of Lizzy Bowman (Red Light Management), Halina Wielogorska (She said.so, Clintons Law, Boiler Room), Sarah McBriar (Up Productions & AVA Festival Founder) and Shanti Celeste (BRSTL, NTS, Idle Hands) will discuss how women can join together to inspire the next generation, share experiences of how they have progressed throughout their own careers in a space historically occupied primarily by men, followed by the challenges they face.
Equipment & Technology
Ableton Push Playground, Pioneer, Native Instruments and The Beat Emporium
The emerging DJ competition gives the opportunity for an up-and-coming DJ to showcase their skills in a 30 minute mix, with 3 finalists performing in a live final at Belfast Underground Records. The winner wins a slot AVA 2016, feature on the Feel my Bicep Blog and show on Belfast Underground Records Radio.
Unsigned producers can enter the AVA competition to feature on an EP with Extended Play, a feature on the Feel My Bicep blog and mentoring and artist development support from JMX & T-BONE. Submit your track or mini-mix via email to [email protected] add in the subject: ‘AVA Emerging Artist Track – Your Name’ by May 20th.
Life Festival has just dropped its lineup for the event in Belvedere House from May 27 – 29th this year.
Paul Kalkbrenner, 2manyDjs DJ set, John Talabot, Jeff Mills, Virginia feat, Steffi & Dexter, Truss, Jamie Jones, Hot Since 82, Ben Block, Mano Le Tough, Cyril Hahn, Joy Orbison, Bicep, Ejeca, Martyn, Krystal Klear, New Jackson, Sunil Sharpe, The Drifter, Lumigraph, Sias DJ and Barry Redsettaz.
Belfast’s Ava Festival (Audio Visual Arts) is looking like the best electronic city festival on the isle at the moment.
Returning for a second year, on Saturday June 4th in T13 Belfast, Titanic Quarter, the Belfast festival features a conference and live / DJ sets and there’s loads planned for the day.
On the live and DJ front:
Bicep Live (UK Debut)
Mano Le Tough
Brame & Hamo
T-Bone B2B Jmx
Swoose B2B Cromby
Jc Williams Live
Belfast Music Club
Belfast Underground Records
The music happens from 3pm to 1am that night and the conference takes place before and is open to all ages and free to the public who can register at avafestival.com/signup/
Bicep’s live show will be accompanied by internationally revered AV artists Guerrilla Shout.
Bloc returns from 11 to 13 March 2016 in Butlins Resort Minehead near Bristol with an impressive lineup including:
Thom Yorke – Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes / Four Tet / Jeff Mills / Floating Points / Carl Craig – Modular Pursuits / Ben Klock / Nina Kraviz / Omar-S / Evian Christ / Holly Herndon / Motor City Drum Ensemble / Rødhåd / Trade ft. Surgeon & Blawan / Steve Davis ( the snooker player is a keen selector) / Tama Sumo b2b Lakuti / Andrew Weatherall b2b Optimo / Steffi / Ben UFO / Magic Mountain High ft. Move D, Juju & Jordash / Bicep / Daniel Avery / Helena Hauff / Ugandan Methods ft. Regis & Ancient Methods / Midland / Jimmy Edgar / Fast Eddie / Lone / Objekt / Daniel Miller / Demdike Stare / Powell / ItaloJohnson / James Ruskin / Laurel Halo / Lakker / Dasha Rush / Fatima Yamaha / Rrose / Dom & Roland / Sandrien / Kahn / d:Bridge / Shanti Celeste / Ø [Phase] / Aurora Halal / Jane Fitz / DJ Skirt / JoeFarr / Steevio & Suzybee
Early bird tickets are sold out but chalets are available from £179 + fees. More info.
Bicep’s recent siren-synth stomper ‘Just’ found its way into the record bag (or laptop) of the world’s most influential DJs and the hearts of many including me. Here, the Belfast duo flex their muscles with their friend Hammer (Rory Hamilton) on eight minutes of lush piano-house that keeps the groove and hype building.
The inaugural Ava Festival (Audio Visual Arts) in Belfast was already looking like a fine gathering of electronic music on Saturday May 30th with Bicep, Ejeca, Optimo, Phil Kieran, Space Dimension Controller and more lined up.
Today, they’ve just added Boiler Room for their first Irish filming/showcase, at the outdoor stage at t13 with Bicep, Space Dimension Controller, John Daly (live), Timmy Stewart and Schmutz.
See this page for a Soundcloud playlist of all the tracks.
1. Kleerup – ‘Let Me In’ (feat. Susanne Sundfør)
The Swedish producer who has worked with Lykke Li has a mini-album As If We Never One on the way next wek (we just call it an EP) featuring collaborations with Malin Dahlstrom of Niki & The Dove, Jenny Wilson, Maja Ivarsson of The Sounds and this stonking Frankie Goes To Hollywood ‘Relax’ style beat track with Norwegian singer Susanne Sundfør. The video just needs more 80s studio shots.