Dublin A/V duo Clu return with new music next month in the form of the Mood EP on Gobstopper Records on 18th November 2016.
The partnership between musician Sean Cooley and visual artist Kevin Freeney is clear through ‘Mood2098’, a track of garbled synth-driven electronics that while it features English language vocals, often sounds like its own mode of expression. That track is juxtaposed with Freeney’s visual of effects and human-body contorted textures. Janna Kemperman collaborates on the visual element.
The band say:
“This EP is simply a journey through our emotions. Trying to get at certain things that cannot be put across without music and visuals, a different place, each having its own identity. One for some is the empty feeling you go through after a breakup. For another is for the fact that you go through life cherry picking people to stay with you in your team, out of the endless cycle of people who don’t give back. Its also is the creation of a character entitled – MOOD. The idea for the character is one of fun and expression, we can create a character based from every aspect of the art from this project for this project. To create with a character opens up so many possibilities.”
03. Long Lost Motion
04. Trance Lament
When Boiler Room first came to Dublin last year, it’s first night was centred around grime music, which isn’t exactly representative of the city’s music scene.
However, there are a small pocket of producers and MCs making music that could be characterised as grime and you can imagine with the rise of Skepta and the general UK grime resurgence that could be also felt here in the coming years.
While we wait for that, Wriggle put together a snapshot of grimey bass music made here (incorporating grime, footwork and dubstep) from artists like Major Grave, CLU, Wastefellow, Aaron Darkimh, Shriekin, TRYTRYDIEDOWN, Auxiliary Phoenix, Cnámha, Ian Nyquist Ozwald & Daddy’s Grrl.
The Peace Pagoda at Electic Picnic in the Healing Area of Body&Soul at the festival offers a programme of ambient and electronic music an alternative music sanctuary.
As well as music, there’s also talks, yoga, workships, projection mapping and light installations.
The area is curated by Kevin A Freeney (CLU) & Algorithm and will feature live and DJ sets from Sias, Clu, No Place Like Drone, Emmet Homebeat, Discotekken’s Papa Lou, Frankie Grimes and Paper Trail Records.
Paper Trail Records
Elrap & Zukat
The Dead Sex
No Place Like Drone
To give you a flavour of what to expect, John Kowalski (Solar Bears) under the name Alchimie put together a mix of music for the Peace Pagoda Mix Series.
Track listing for the Mantra Mix
Ex Confusion – When I Think Of You
Brian Eno – Always Returning
Christian Chevalier – Sea Bird Fly
Death in Vegas – Drone Reich
Bibio – Mind Bokeh
Boards of Canada – Tears From The Compound Eye
Alan Feanch – Arpegiarum 2
Gas – Zauberberg 1
Lone – Hiraeth
Ulf Lohmann – Java
PVT – Ziggurat
Death in Vegas – FUR 74
Dublin A/V duo Clu specialise in electronic bass and dance music paired with tripped-out visuals. They’ve form in the field (‘Mirrors’).
For their latest project, they’ve taken inspiration the Vangelis music and visuals of Blade Runner, the iconic dystopian sci-fi film by Ridley Scott, morphing both mediums in atmosphere to create something their own – that sounds like a video game soundtrack and looks like a fractal-virus.
Today Clu were announced as an addition to the Body&Soul area at Electric Picnic, which as anyone who has seen the Dublin duo’s live A/V show will attest, will be a suitable booking for such an vibrant and electric festival area.
For their latest track, they’ve put a murky aquatic bass-heavy twist on FKA Twigs’ ‘Glass & Patron’. Just watch that GIF above rotate to this. It’s a beaut.
The pairing of music and visuals is something I’ve always enjoyed but the concept of a music video has obviously changed in the last ten years. There are of course, still concepts, themes, ideas, techniques and executions that lift a song into another realm but there’s also so much video content out there now, that there are plenty of live video and TV performances, vignettes, parodies, and short documentaries around music that did the same thing a music video is supposed to do: to put the artist in front of more people. Here are 20 of my favourite “music videos” of this year.
The world sadly lost the Chicago footwork DJ Rashad this year to drugs. His music existed in a discombobulating place alongside his partner Spinn. This fan-video for ‘She A Go’ used stock video footage of office life to do the same thing constructing a hyper-real experience in the process.
The singer Angel Olsen returned with Burn Your Fire For No Witness, her second album, which had a throwback rock feel. Suitably, the video feels like its beamed from another time via its filmic cinematography and Olsen’s movements specifically are inspired by choreographed studio performances from female pop stars of old, of which the director said “were always so wild and psychedelic and humorous from afar. The more you watch them, the more wooden and awkward the performances become. There is a certain loneliness captured. The song ‘Hi-Five’ seems to contain the same sort of duality.”
18. Ibeyi – ‘River’
Video by: Ed Morris
The recent introduction of the Chromecast to the home entertainment system has meant more space and time for music videos on a larger screen. After seeing these girls perform at Other Voices last week, I watched this video again, noticing how the French-Cuban twins are held down by male hands under water, how they hold their breath for long periods of time, the dead-eyed stare and the on-time lip syncing at the centre of all of this deceptively simple concept.
Dance music can be a perfect vehicle for a wide-open music video narrative and Simon Landrein lets his animation and imagination run wild on a stylistic train journey full of suggestion to match the chugging rough house track from the Irish producer.
The Dublin duo of Sean Cooley and Kevin A. Freeney, Clu, have always put their electronic music and visual work on a par and on ‘Mirrors’, they’ve nailed both. It’s a complementary collaboration that transcends a typical visual tacked on to music setup. The video directed by Freeney serves as a chassis for a potent mix of music (an amalgamation of bass / garage / post-dubstep) , visual (cinematic sumptuous imagery), interpretive dancing and colour that makes for an impressive display of art in total.
15. Katharine Phillippa – Live at TedX
Video by: TedXStormont
The Belfast-based musician performs two songs with the help of a loop station, a bow, a drum, a keyboard, a laptop and an author’s intensity that leaps through the screen.
With the upcoming Marriage Referendum in May next year, single-sex marriage will go to a public vote. It’s an incremental attempt at recognising the rights of the people in this country and should pass because who are you or are I to say to someone – “no, you’re love is not the same as mine” or “no, your love is not valid” or “no, your love isn’t something to be celebrated or recognised.”
In that context, ‘Glacier’, a song from the gentle giant John Grant who has battled with his identity and control and who has been made to feel bad for who he is, eloquently addresses those struggling with their sexual identity – “This pain, it is a glacier moving through you, carving out deep valleys and creating spectacular landscapes,” goes the chorus.
The video serves as a brief history lesson of the journey for that recognition of gay rights over the years juxtaposing chronological footage of the American gay rights movement, newspaper headlines, and pop culture to leave you with a stirring narrative of the journey so far. Here you can donate to the Marriage Equality campaign for 2015.
13. Vic Mensa – ‘Down On My Luck’
Video by: Ben Dickinson at Ghost Robot.
There’s a wrong decision at every turn. This video shows the possibilities.
The Nialler9 TXFM show airs every Thursday night at 10pm for two hours. You can listen live on 105.2FM, online, the TXFM app or if you missed it, on the listen back function on the site, as per below. The show starts six minutes in, right after the news in each hour.
How to enter ticket comp – Email [email protected] with the gig above in the Subject line you’re entering for along with your full name and phone number in the body of the message. Full info on each show below. Draw closes at 6pm the day before the gig or Friday 1pm latest for weekend gigs.
Maud In Cahoots – The Well Rested Terrorist @ Peacock Stage, Abbey Theatre (€11-€16 until Saturday)
[Fringe Festival] “This concert / play explores the line between fear and action, desire and fulfilment, fame and infamy.”
Young Hearts Run Free: Golden Factories @ St. Michan’s Church (€20) [Fringe Festival] An evening of music and storytelling Featuring Roddy Doyle, Adrian Crowley, Idiot Songs; a radio presentation by Sounds Alive, David Thomas Broughton, Ross Hamer (Jetsetter), Caoimhín Ó’Raghallaigh, Niamh McCormack Sings, house DJ’s Peter Toomey & Daragh O’Halloran, Mossy Nolan, and special guest Canadian Mark Andrew Hamilton (Woodpigeon).
Life Has Surface Noise @ Project Arts Centre (€14)
[Fringe Festival] Siobhán Kane explore our obsession with music and why some records remain dear to us throughout our lives. With broadcaster and writer John Kelly, music enthusiasts Peter Toomey and Daragh O’Halloran, award-winning writer Kevin Barry and some surprise guests.
After last year’s GIF marathon, we returned to Stradbally this year with the intention of more GIF action. As captured by Killian Broderick and turned into GIFs by me, this is a selection of what went down at Electric Picnic in moving form featuring St. Vincent, Tune-Yards, Outkast, Beck, Sleep Thieves, Portishead, Glass Animals, Girl Band, Clu, Neneh Cherry, Le Galaxie and a lot of festival randomness.
Hard Working Class Heroes today unveiled 100+ artists who will play the festival’s 12th year in Dublin from Thursday October 2nd – Sunday October 4th. This year the festival is sponsored by HMV Ireland and as is now established will feature a conference taking in mentoring, panels, advice and involvement from the tech space.
500 bands applied for the festival this year and they were judged by music people at home and abroad (including me).
Here is the list of bands that will play this year. Deeper delving into the lineup will commence here in September.
A Lazarus Soul
Carried By Waves
Cloud Castle Lake
Death In The Sickroom
God Knows + mynameisjOhn
His New Atlas
I have a tribe
I’m Your Vinyl
little xs for eyes
Maud in Cahoots
Me & My Dog
Me Auld Flower
Red Queen Contest
Sleep Mc Evox
Tell No Foxx
The Black Sea Fleet
The Boxing Plot
The Hard Ground
The Late David Turpin
The Loafing Heroes
The Run Ons
The Shaker Hymn
The Button Factory, The Workmans Club, The Mercantile, The Twisted Pepper, Bad Bobs, The Grand Social, Meeting House Square.
When they first appeared, Clu, Sean Cooley and Kevin A. Freeney billed themselves as an A/V duo, which seemed like more of an ambitious mantle, music + live visuals essentially. But, over the course of the last few years, the guys have shown that they meant it through live visual mixes and a burgeoning marriage of both mediums.
With their new video for ‘Mirrors’, the two mediums are definitely on par with each other, working coherently together to transcend a typical visual tacked on to music setup. The video directed by Freeney serves as a chassis for a potent mix of music (an amalgamation of bass / garage / post-dubstep) , visual (cinematic sumptuous imagery), interpretive dancing and colour that makes for an impressive display of art in total.
The song ‘Mirrors’ features on Clu’s upcoming Gems EP, out August 22nd ( Australia, Austria, Germany, Ireland and Switzerland) , 25th August (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Turkey and the Uk) and 26th of August (Rest of World).
It was also announced that Red Bull Music Academy returns this year. A full lineup will be announced but names include Boddika, Joy Orbison, Dark Sky, Sunil Sharpe, Dorian Concept, Rift, CLU, Republik DJs, Kobina, Handsome Paddy and Colm K.
If you’re one of the unlucky procrastinators, keep an eye out on #ticketfairy, toutless.com or perhaps the only legit way left to get in, by cycling 80km for charity – Tour De Picnic.
Most festivals sell themselves on that special moment, that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the performer that will do something that you’ll remember forever that can only happen that weekend. Most festivals in Ireland take place about hour from the Red Cow though.
Festivals have matured in the last 15 years. Electric Picnic/Oxegen once felt like the apex of what a festival can be but then we discovered, perhaps a better idea is to go smaller rather than bigger? To cater for a few, than for all? Castlepalooza, Airbound, Valentia Island, Vantastival, Knockanstockan and Barndance are some who have catered successfully to specific tastes and audiences.
Even smaller though? How about a festival on an island populated by 257 people in a remote part of the west coast of Ireland? Welcome to Drop Everything, a festival that asks more of its attendees than most. There’s the journey. By ferry or by plane (if you’ve got eight people to charter one that is) is the only way to get to Inis Oírr off the coast of Galway, on the edge of the Atlantic.
Then there’s the experience. The first Drop Everything took place in May 2012. The second edition takes place this month from Friday 23rd to Sunday May 25th. Diversity is the key but creativity is common. Much of what takes place won’t be announced in advance but you can expect an emphasis on creators and creativity: live performances, talks, visual art, design, contemporary culture, an island-inspired cocktail bar, observatories, DJs and whatever you’re having yourself.
Performers and participants are coming from New York, London, Berlin, Reykjavík, Stockholm and Ireland. Known participants include a midnight performance from Clu, Swedish musician Molly Nilsson, Grand Budapest Hotel lead designer Annie Atkins, silkscreen workshop by Lukas Julius Keijser, the ambitious 4 Bothies project, New York artist Sougwen, fashion designers Starstyling, Maynooth electronic producer EMBRZ, Dublin café The Fumbally, Galway eatery Ard Bia, and…, well, let’s not spoil the surprise that awaits (but if you want to).
Mary Nally is the festival’s chief organiser and as well as the first edition of Drop Everything, she put on No Way Back, which took place in a NAMAfied leisureplex last August as well as Steffi and Virginia on on Inis Oírr and most recently No Way Back NYC.
I asked her to tell me a bit more about the festival, but not too much. Her music playlist for Drop Everything follows.
Let’s go back to before Drop Everything started. What brought you to the idea of the event? Were there festivals you’d attended that inspired you?
I sort of feel like the idea was always there. One of many. Before this event I’d run a small visual art festival and a fair few parties in Galway for a few years so in a way it was sort of an evolution of that.
As for other festivals and events that inspire(d) me, there definitely is, but not in the ‘I want to recreate that’ sense, just in a more general professionalism, design, deliverance and vibe sense, the huge ones like Sonar, Iceland Airwaves, the Venice Biennale are the main ones that spring to mind, but I have no desire to create something enormous or be on a level like that.
There’s a festival called Lunga, in a small town that I used to live in called Seyðisfjörður in the North East of Iceland, that is probably closest in style and concept. I haven’t actually been to the festival I just heard about it from pals there after, but it’s weird cos it seems totally similar and they’ve started a school, which I’d love to do. I gotta go meet them I think. Maybe we could do a ‘twinned with’ vibe like they did with every town in Ireland that time.
Anyway, aside from that and the big stuff it’s really just inspired by everything and everyone, every experience, every randomer I meet, every underground club night and high end speakeasy, every piece of theatre or new city, and the island, islands, the ocean, whatever. All tiny little bits.
If you’re not coming just because you decided to back an idea, cancel everything and go to an island for no other reason than you’re up for a random adventure and want to see/hear/taste/kiss/experience something or someone new or interesting than it’s probably not for you.
I will never not consider it. I love Ireland and it wrecks my head in equal measures, but anywhere will if you stay there long enough. It’s an incredible base though, geographically speaking. So that works for me. And I am finding it quite interesting right now so I might see about doing something a little more established here for a little while. Might.
How has the experience of Drop Everything affected your view of Ireland and your own place in it?
Maybe I fell in love with the idea of Ireland? But as usual ideas are just that, then reality kicks in and it’s a disaster of bankers and whatnot and it’s all demented and overwhelming. And I find it very overwhelming and confusing, but ya know, in our own small way we can create a moment and maybe those moments can become movements. And I think the moments are worth making. So that’s my place. I think.
What draws me to a festival like this is the growing community of creatives in different fields who are interested in getting involved, doing and attending. Has that been your perspective?
Always and only. I’m interested in the crossover of skills and the ways we can help each other out and make new shit. The old and the new.
A fisherman can appreciate contemporary art just as an artist can appreciate a fisherman’s work.
How does the dichotomy of putting a forward thinking new festival on an traditional and individual island work? It seems there would be clash in ideals and culture? How does the meeting of those two groups bring a benefit to each other do you think?
Is it forward thinking? Is it a festival? Or is it just a gathering of people who want to do stuff and make things and meet new people. If there was a clash I wouldn’t do it, the locals are my first priority, if they aren’t into it I certainly won’t be, this is their home and I’m fucked if I’m gonna rock in all mad ideas and not include them. People are people, a fisherman can appreciate contemporary art just as an artist can appreciate a fisherman’s work. The understanding and appreciation between different worlds is what it’s about.
I like the idea of not announcing too much of the activities/lineup in advance, how much will you be giving away and how much room is there for surprises?
Yeah the lineup should be irrelevant. If you’re not coming just because you decided to back an idea, cancel everything and go to an island for no other reason than you’re up for a random adventure and want to see/hear/taste/kiss/experience something or someone new or interesting than it’s probably not for you. Dja know?
It’s really about the idea behind the event as opposed to the specifics of what’s happening, I would hope to develop a level of trust with the funders, and that they would believe I create and interesting lineup / set up, but you know, we won’t know until 2016…
How many people do you have helping you?
Síomha Nee, my family, her family, our pals, Pat Neary, Kevin Hughes, Amelia Colleran, Aoibheann MacNamara, Mick Murray, the Islanders, all the participants that agreed to participate, two interns, a few volunteers and currently 277 funders. So yea, a few like.
What would you like people to do off their own backs when they get there?
Be sound and be safe. Mind their pals, meet new pals.
What do you hope people get out of it?
A decent memory that makes them scream laughing when trying to re-tell it. Obvz.
Drop Everything Playlist
‘So this is a playlist of a combination of what I listened to organising both this and the last DE and tracks from some of the artists who participated in both.”
Track 1. The Gloaming – Samhradh Samhradh
For a number of reasons, but mostly cos I’ve listened to it on repeat and its title and lyrics work for our time of year. Plus it’s only right to start with a bita Irish.
Track 2. Múm – Oh How The Boat Drifts
Again the title works a dream, also Silla and Gunni of Múm performed this is the tiny side bar of Tigh Ruairi’s to an audience of 3 locals and 7 stragglers the monday after DE12.
Track 3. Sóley –Smashed Birds Another Icelander and the track that snapped me into making DE happen, I had her booked before I had the island approached. The first act I ever asked to be involved.
Track 4. Future Islands – Balance Who I discovered organising the first edition, obviously the title drew me to them, and what a find. On The Water was my no.1 go to album for 2012 and without a doubt Singles is this years.
Track 5. Molly Nilsson – Lend Me Your Love
I was struggling to find the right fit for a slot this year, normally I just happen upon what’s gonna happen so it was weird to have to make a conscious decision to seek out an act via the internet or recommendation. Anyway I’d tried that and wasn’t working for me so I hit up my pals site Fractured Air and just decided to play their mixes and see if anything grabbed me. This song did.
Track 6. Colm K –The Attic
He’s DJing on the Saturday night and this track is just a beaut.
Track 7. White Collar Boy –Another Way
The boys kindly let us use this track for our little promo video, and if we’re lucky we might hit them for one or two more on the island.
Track 8. New Jackson –The Night Mail
It’s too good. And he was our intern in 2012.
Track 9. Molly Nilsson – Atlantic Tales
The title says enough.
Track 10. Heatwave – Forever, Murat Tepeli (Prosumer’s Hold Me Touch Me Remix)
The garden in Tigh Neds. Steffi & Virginia. Someone saves the right speaker of the soundsystem and this drops.
Track 11., The Talking Heads – This Must Be The Place
The less we say about it the better.
How to enter – Email [email protected] with the gig above in the Subject line you’re entering for along with your full name and phone number in the body of the message. Full info on each show below. Draw closes at 6pm the day before the gig.
Tuesday April 15th
Ruby Sessions @ Doyle’s (9pm, €6)
[Acoustic/folk] Long running night.
Resurrection Ruckus @ Seomra Spraoi (€10, 9pm, BYOB)
[DJs] Alien Hand, Chris Chapman, Bonz, Executive Steve The Scaldy Madonna, Finnalicious Zyme (visuals)
Easter Saturday April 19th
Phaseone Festival @ The Dock, Carrick On Shannon, Leitrim (€25 per day / €60 weekend)
Electronic arts and music festival. Sid Le Rock, White Collar Boy Boat Party, SertOne, Clu, Hidden Agenda, Imploded View, Nialler9.
Airbound Festival @ On A Boat, London (£30)
Lasertom, TR-One, Get Down Edits, Shocko, Adultrock, L’il Dave, Chewy ,Sorca Lou and more
Elastic Witch Closing Party @ Twisted Pepper (3pm, Free)
Jape, I Am The Cosmos, Girls Names, Squarehead, Twinkranes & more. Tears on the dancefloor…
Record Store Gay @ Outhouse, Capel Street (12-late)
Le Galaxie, Kate’s Party, I Heart The Monster Hero, Patrick Kelleher, French Bird, The Late David Turpin, Gar Cox, Sleep Thieves, Lo Fires and many more