It’s festival bank holiday weekend and that means there are 3 major music festivals happening in Dublin, Cork and the Midlands (four if you count the smaller Arcadian Field in Bellurgan). Here are 10 recommendations for acts and performances I would see if I was at all of Beatyard, Castlepalooza & Indiependence.
The Beatyard, Sunday
The soundtrack to the end of the chillout phenomenon when Moon Safari, the band’s debut of French electronic pop was released in 1998, this French duo went on to create a body of work that incorporated ’80s synth experimentalism and a very particular retro French style of studious songwriting. They’ve not played here in a long time (last reference I can find is from 2001) so this will be a rare sight. To a lesser extend, see Morcheeba who play before them.
Sunday @ Castlepalooza
Marcus Lambkin is known as the Irishman who disco infiltrated DFA Records and there’s a good reason for that. The man has talent in creating propulsive electronic music that crosses the boundaries between disco, house and techno and still has a pop edge.
Saturday @ Castlepalooza, Sunday @ Indiependence
Christy Leech & Aimie Mallon are a party band who make music that moves between house, pop and electro and they’ve been building a great live reputation in the past year. They are one of the hottest tickets on Irish festivals so it’s no surprise with only one single out, they’re playing at the late end of the festival bills this weekend.
Friday @ Castlepalooza, Sunday @ Indiependence
One of the best live bands to come out of the UK in the last 10 years. Their albums may vary but they are a singular proposition, creating intricate imaginative indie-rock. Live, their drummer is one to watch as he’s a subtle master.
Saturday @ Beatyard
Larry Heard aka Mr Fingers is an electronic music pioneer and this is his first ever live show in Ireland so that counts for something. Most recently, he was sample by Kanye West on ‘Fade’.
Saturday @ Beatyard, Sunday @ Indiependence
BARQ are seasoned musicians having played with Hozier, Kodaline, Monster Monster, Damien Dempsey, Loah, Lethal Dialect, Ryan Sheridan and Zaska in the past and are establishing their own rap-tinged soulful R&B jazz sound under a genre they’ve coined as “agrosoul.”
Saturday @ Beatyard
A full live band set from a producer who has mined American folk music for sampling purposes but has worked them in a more textured way than Moby. His two recent Love Songs albums were excellent releases and the prospect of a full live band has the potential for a Bonobo-style live show.
Sing Along Social
Saturday @ Beatyard
Full disclosure. The ringmaster of Sing Along Social is my wife Aoife but I’m not the only one who agrees that Aoife has hit upon a great concept that as you can see below works very well at a festival. Sing Along Social like karaoke en masse but there are no stars showing off, it’s a guilt-free choir where everyone sings together, it’s a singing party where you could be singing Mariah’s ‘All I Want For Christmas’ in June, TLC, ABBA, Enya, Beach Boys or Journey. At Beatyard, the theme is Seaside vs. the City. And watch out for the craic attack of Bingo Loco before hand.
Sunday @ Castlepalooza
A rising talent from my hometown of Newbridge, CO. Kildare, Peter Fleming’s electronic project left a mark with a full album of instrumental cosmic electronica but he’s since been embracing a sound draws from more upbeat tempos, retro electronic pop styles and vocals.
Saturday @ Indiependence
This young Cork lass based in the UK makes pop music in the vein of Florence and keeps her accent intact. Combining Scandinavian pop dynamic productions with her Emerald hear made for some suave pop. I put her on the TV show Striking Out earlier this year in my other job as music supervisor and that got her a lot of traction if I do so so myself. Live, she’s a charmer too.
Now, taking its name from the phone area code, 045 Recordings is a group of the new generation of artists from the town who are presenting music together. The first release is an EP out today and it’s already caught ears with Mix & Fairbanks’ Daft Punk meets Todd Terje ‘Girls’ and Phare’s deep roller ‘Night-Time’. Here’s the EP in full featuring ‘Searching’, a slow cosmic disco track from Cinema, ‘The Levy’, a hypnotic electronic instrumental from Adultrock and ‘Little And Often’, a dancefloor house track from new talent Conor C.
Kildare producer Peter Fleming aka Cinema released an under the radar electronic album A Night Train To Budapest last year that was bright, Balearic and luminescent.
The album was instrumental with some vocal samples. Since then, he’s delivered some killer live shows that have featured a reworked version of Stardust’s ‘Music Sounds Better With You’.
‘Floating’ is his first new song since all that activity and it’s a natural departure from the LP. Featuring vocals from Le Boom’s Christy Leech and production by Ruairi Bantum, ‘Floating’ has a focused electronic sound that sounds more contemporary but hasn’t lost that spacious disco chug that makes the music under the Cinema moniker swing.
The music world moves fast. Thousands of songs are competing for your attention every day so it takes something special for a full-length album to not only get your attention in the first place but keep you coming back for more. I found 2016 to be one of the most testing and taxing times for me to give decent albums as many spins as I’d like. That’s the hazards of the job – you’re always off looking for the next thing while trying to find the time to find music you already love from the past as well as give due ear time to albums released this year. I know, WOE is me. But it does get at a deeper problem – that some artists aren’t getting their just recognition amidst the noise for whatever reason.
The below 10 albums are a collection of releases that I feel may be missed by listeners. A more comprehensive 2016 list will feature in the next week or so.
On their third album, The Invisible, Dave Okumu (guitar, vocals), Tom Herbert (bass & synthesizer) and Leo Taylor (drums) produce their best work yet, an avant synth-pop collection of songs with appearances from Jessie Ware, Anna Calvi, Rosie Lowe and Connan Mockasin. The album also produced an epic Floating Points remix.
Which is where Marius Lauber’s escapist debut album for Greco-Roman is an escapist tonic of electronic disco pop sound with shimmering synths, digital bass, percussive funk-infused rhythms and a glassy gaze. Star guitar bursts, funk bassline and synthesizer haze dominate and the album has many highlights: ‘Moving On’, ‘Belong’, Night Moves’, ‘Colours’ and ‘Hold On’ among them.
Cakes Da Killa
New Jersey rapper Cakes Da Killa’s debut album released in October, after a handful of mixtapes made his name is a pedal-down collection of upbeat electro-infused rap songs (hip-house?) with superfast flows and guest turns from Peaches and Rye Rye. It’s a party inspired by B-more, bass and set in the club.
Reykjavíkurdætur are dozen-plus strong female rap group (their name is Daughters of Reykjavik) from Iceland. Their debut album is all in their native tongue and is a brash collection of electro-tinged rap from a small country that has a big scene for rap. They’re like the Spice Girls but actually empowering and badass. Highlights include ‘Drusla’, ‘Ógeðsleg’ and ‘Fanbois’.
A Night Train To Budapest
Peter Fleming, the Kildare-born producer makes instrumental electronic music, that generally can be described as bright, Balearic and luminescent.
A Night Train to Budapest, his debut album features just five tracks but at 40 minutes, it allows the songs much room for exploration of slow-tempo disco, guitar ambiance, cosmic disco, house and electronica.
The Toronto band Doomsquad’s second album is a new-age leaning psychedelic album full of rhythmic focus and electronic textures. The band’s closest comparison is the music of Gang Gang Dance; a tribal dance take on atmospheric electronic haziness inspired by artists Genesis P-Orridge of Throbbing Gristle, Georges Bataille, the French thinker, Richard Tuttle a post-minimal artist and Tanya Tagaq, Canadian throat singer.
Total Time’s major appeal is its electronic mysticism and its throbbing psychedelic heart.
The Aura, Pavel’s third full-length album was inspired by trips around Asia, along with “hip-hop, jazz music of the 70’s, indie pop, ethnic African sounds and artists that include Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes, Miles Davis, Alice Coltrane, Bjork and Curtis Mayfield.
It’s a collection of textured electronic beats informed by R&B, trip-hop, jazz and rap. Featuring guest turns from L.A. rapper BLU, Azari & III”s Starving Yet Full and Pavel’s friends Mujuice and Graciela Maria, The Aura is recommended for fans of the beat-driven electronic music of Brainfeeder, Bonobo, Gold Panda, live instrument samples, glitchy beats, and headnodding rhythms.
Tiger & Woods
On The Green Again
The New York dance duo Tiger & Woods are known for their floorfilling disco-tinged club tracks like ‘Gin Nation’ and ‘Bash at Jacks’, return with a second full-length on Running Back delivers a solid 13-track collection of house and disco electronic jams with boogie and Italo textures.
Italian London-based lo-fi dance musician Andrea Tirone’s debut came three years on from his first appearance as lo-fi chillwave-leaning musician. Idealist has more loose-fitting indie disco territory which took inspirations from Afro-funk music.
February & Mars
February & Mars
The Galway duo, Carl Ramberg and Jack Considine, released an open-minded debut album earlier this year that wasn’t massively promoted at the time. Featuring analogue drum-machine synthesizer songs that use guitars, a deep knowledge and a love of music’s genre fringes to produce a record that could be described as danceable, dreamy, detailed and discerning.
Co-production comes from Galway DJ John Daly (who also released a fine album on All Cityeary this ) who gives the album a cohesive sheen. If you count Brian Eno, Guns ‘n’ Roses, cosmic disco, house and techno as interests, as Considine and Ramberg do, February & Mars is for you.
Peter Fleming, the Kildare-born producer known as Cinema released a fine album of instrumental electronica earlier this year called A Night Train to Budapest that is bright, Balearic and luminescent. DJ Kelly-Anne Byrne is among its champions.
Last month, he played a super set at our Lumo Club’s first birthday and a cover of Stardust’s ‘Music Sounds Better With You’ was a highlight.
Today, Fleming dropped the new song ‘Searching’ for our ears.
Peter Fleming, the Kildare-born producer in charge of Cinema has impressed me with his instrumental electronic music, that generally can br described as bright, Balearic and luminescent.
A Night Train to Budapest, his debut album features just five tracks but at 40 minutes, it allows the songs much room for exploration.
Featuring music of a slow-disco tempo, the album opens with previously-featured ‘Time Traveller’, goes from guitar ambiance into Scandinavian cosmic styles on ‘Night Train’, meanders into pinging vocal-featuring house of a slow variety on ‘Need You Next To Me’, delves into nine minutes of synth-lead meandering on ‘Lunar’ and arrives with full-bodied propulsion with a bod towards EDM zeitgeist sounds on the virtual string conclusion of ‘Always’.
Listen to Cinema’s debut album A Night Train To Budapest:
Kildare producer Peter Fleming aka Cinema has a five-track album coming next month called A Night Train to Budapest.
He’s shown his talents making electronic music with a string of songs and newest track ‘Time Traveller’ from his album is no different, showcasing his full-bodied percussive electronic rhythms with some guitar licks in tow.
“His remix connects and fills in the gaps between the layers of sound from the original resulting in a texturally rich, pulsing and melodic 8 minutes that take you on a journey. His own tracks are telling of a very unique and individual sound and I’m so happy we got to work with Peter on this.”