Having been around a few years now as an active project, Conan Wynne and Anna Doran’s joint music project Contour is now releasing a full-length.

The pair’s musical dynamics are typically textured electronic music released over EPs and once-off tracks, with Wynne’s varied production drawing influence from disparate genres from jazz, funk, drum and bass while Doran’s vocals tie it all together with a soulful lilt.

For Appropriation, the duo’s first full-length, the album arrives in mixed form and 21 individual tracks and has a producer magpie ear for samples combined with live players and vocalists.

The album began with a deep dive into Mick T-Woc’s record collection, which has contributed samples to his own album recently. Samples from Venezuelan  funk  records to and onto Brazilian music, Afrobeat, Cuban priests, field recordings and Icelandic music made its way into the fittingly-titled album.

Additional collaborators  MC New  Cicero, Wookie (saxophone and  flute),  Chris  Con (drums),  Ivan  Jackman (double  bass), Graham Teeling on electronics, Tracy ( spoken word) and Griffo (New Secret Weapon – guitars and yes, Mongolian throat singing) added a modern sonic vitality to the dusty source material. Wynne then took all this source material and Anna Doran sang over the loops, guiding it all together.

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Wynne on the sample process:

“I had my live hardware rig in the house too so the sample would go from the mixer through the modular synth and into a chaos pad for looping so the samples were processed and set to tempo before they even hit the computer so it was really easy to sketch beats around the bits of loops.

The whole Album kind of folded out in a linear way, as in the first things i sampled are on the first track and they are played on the album in the order they were sampled in and then everyone improvised over that and I edited everything to fit together and make the whole thing flow as a continuous piece.

We are big fans of concept albums that have something unusual to them like the Small Faces – Ogdens Celebrated Tobacco Flake – that has a narrator between the tracks fleshing out the story that is being told in the tracks. Or King Crimson’s – In the Court of the Crimson King was a huge Influence on me with it’s meandering tracks and the story and artwork behind it. This kind of attitude to a musical piece being all one entity along with a kind of sampling mentality like DJ Shadow or Amon Tobin who really write stories with their sound design, we wanted that element in this piece, and pulling from all these sources is where we got the title Appropriation

Then in the studio I got all my old analogue synths and drum machines and went to town layering sounds over the whole lot of sound content I had gathered.

So this album was more like getting a load of amazing musicians to do their thing and I would cherry pick the best bits and add them to the big monster mix I was making in ableton, 20 tracks in one set, which i would not recommend doing for various reasons but for this project it seemed to work!

Anna was pregnant during the making of this album and would pop in whenever she could to work on it, fair play to her she put the work in like a trooper still buzzing into the studio even when it was hard for her to walk she is pretty amazing!”

Posted on October 26th, 2017

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Photography: Olga Kuzmenko

In the past few months, I’ve been sent some music that addresses the 1916 Rising. It’s been a mixed bag. Some of it are reinterpretations created for the centenary, some of it has used sampled speech, some storytelling, or personal.

Saying something new about our past in song isn’t an easy task.

Conan Wynne and Anna Doran’s electronic project Contour have a new track called ‘Rebellion’ that draws language and sonic inspiration from the Rising era while placing it in a modern production context and nodding also to reggae and dub venacular: “we need a revolution”, “rise up”, and “move your soul.”

The music is inspired by the electronic morse code broadcast from the GPO which is considered the first pirate radio broadcast in the world.

“We took the morse code and got a tempo and pitch from it and put a song around its flow,” says Wynne.

“We put our message out across electronic signals too, although somewhat more complicated 100 years later.”

The video was made by YouTube user luachnambrog who had translated the morse code into an animation and Contour used it with his blessing.

Posted on March 25th, 2016

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The Dublin twosome of Anna Doran and Conan Wynne dropped their recent Contour EP Blessed With Weird Things on Champion Sound Records. It features the previously-featured track ‘Rearrange & Realign’. Today, Nialler9 is premiering the Paul Mahon-made video for the EP track ‘Paradise Lost’, a title which has personal connontations for Doran as well as being a reference to Lord Of The Flies as she explains of the video and track.

“Paradise Lost references the book Lord of the Flies by William Golding as it is about our tendency as human beings towards destructiveness. I worked very hard to break the cycle of self-destruction that I had been locked in since my teens and yet when I finally achieved calm and happiness I found myself craving some chaos. In Golding’s story, the young men land in Paradise but then participate in their Utopia becoming a Dystopia as a result of encountering “the beast”. It’s similar to how I have observed myself doing little things to sabotage my life when it was near perfect. The beast is always lurking within. He is that internal persecutor that attacks and preys upon our vulnerabilities. It’s the force that abuses us or pushes us into abusive situations, and it doesn’t take well to us being brave, confident or independent. Once we meet the beast we have to acknowledge it and I’ve been working on integrating this part of myself in healthy and creative ways. You bite the bullet and channel it and don’t let it fuck things up for you. The video shows this struggle, and how the beast can be set free in the dance. It’s a beautiful expression of that energy.”

Get the EP on Vinyl / iTunes / Juno

Stream on Apple / Spotify

Posted on October 15th, 2015

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Dublin duo Contour are back with a new EP called Blessed With Weird Things on Champion Sound Music in September.

‘Rearrange & Realign’ is from the release, which the band promise is “full of high fidelity bangers and ballads.” The song has some glitchy breakbeats at its core with warm synths and Anna Doran’s vocals melding things.

The EP, which was mixed on a classic old-school Neve desk, is available on PledgeMusic on pre-order for 12″ heavyweight vinyl.

Posted on August 26th, 2015

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From Thursday to Saturday this week, seven venues will be occupied by 104 Irish bands playing the Hard Working Class Heroes festival playing to music fans, interested parties, industry delegates, bands, friends and all sorts. There are free daytime gigs, a convention in the Liberties speed sessions, panels, tech companies, talks and much much more. Tickets are €20 per day or €45 for the three days. It’s one of my favourite weekends in Dublin of the year. There’s a great buzz about.

Here are 18 new bands to see this weekend, I kept it strictly to bands that have not released a debut album yet. Enjoy.


Thursday | Friday | Saturday


1. Rusangano Family

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Energetic talented Limerick rap trio.

Thursday October 2 – 10pm @ The Button Factory

Anyone who witnessed these two Limerick MCs (Murly goes untitled for now) live and producer John Lillis, like last Friday night’s Minimum Maximum Block-T show has felt the relentless energy of their music: an all-moving, all-interacting proper show. Plus, they have released one of the best Irish albums this year too.


2. Planet Parade

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Kildare band return with a rich new sound

Thursday October 2 – 8.45pm @ Meeting House Square

Michael Hopkins and Andrew Lloyd played their first gig in four years with four band members last Friday with us and  showcased a new sound that traced a line between electronics and indie with rich songcraft and confident style. They used to sound more like The Police, now they sound more like they’re own thing.


3. Dear Desert

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Dublin emotive pop purveyors.

Thursday Oct 2 – 10pm @ The Workman’s Club / 14:00 @ NDRC, In The City

A new band formed from Futures Apart and Hush War Cry, the two songs so far featuring production from Darragh Nolan have suggested an elegance and a quality in the arrangement and songwriting of these Wild Beasts-style ’80s throwback synth pop tracks. ‘Give It Up’ is a particularly exciting track.


4. Voids

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Ambient bass-toned duo from Galway

Thursday Oct 2 – 8pm @ The Workman’s Club / 1:30pm @ HMV Henry Street

This Galway duo make ambient electronic music with cold tones from a warm instrument, a bass guitar and the singer Alison’s icy voice. Their new EP Begin came out last week on High Society.


5. The Academic

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Mullingar indie-pop band on the up

Thursday Oct 2 10.40 @ Bad Bob’s

Four Mullingar school-friends with a penchant for pop hooks and charming indie-rock music. They’re on the way up, this weekend is a good time to catch them.


6. Atriums

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Baldoyle singer-songwriter

Thursday Oct 2 10.40 @ Bad Bob’s / 1pm @ Jo Burger

Dublin singer Gavin Farrell is still in early days but citing Perfume Genius and Youth Lagoon as two influences on his bedroom folk pop has me intrigued. He’s just released his debut EP tell me we both matter, don’t we?


Thursday | Friday | Saturday


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Posted on October 3rd, 2014

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A few weeks ago Generator NI announced Output’s daytime  series of talks with names like Andrew WK and Tom Robinson taking part. Today, they’ve announced the series of free night gigs for which Nialler9 is teaming up with Belfast magazine The Thin Air in the Black Box with Dublin electronic disco tune of the year contenders Ships,  Derry noisy pop man Autumns, Dublin electronic duo Contour, and Cork’s gazey-rock band The Altered Hours. Our amazing poster is by Stephen Maurice Graham.

But that’s not all that’s on, there are also names like Best Boy Grip, Slowplacelikehome, Ryan Vail, Rosie Carney, Team RKT, Silences,  Katharine Philippa and two go bands – Go Swim and Go Wolf among others playing on 10 stages that night. You can register for daytime events at www.creativebelfast.info

Night Lineup

Venue / time8pm8.30pm9pm9.30pm10pm10.30pm11pm11.30pmHosts
Black Box CaféSlow Place Like HomeCiaran LaveryRyan VailPortsElectric Mainline / Smalltown America Music
Black BoxAutumnsShipsContourAltered HoursThe Thin Air / Nialler 9
White’s TavernLipstik LizardsWhite Male ActorsTeam RKTFurther Education Colleges / Broken Melody Records
Duke of YorkIn An InstantCallum StewartHurdlesMore Than ConquerorsOld Fang / Sentric
The Harp BarAmanda St JohnBernadette MorrisOwen McGarryTriona CarvilleIMRO / Real Music Club
Oh Yeah CentreGo SwimGoldie FawnTravis is a TouristOh VolcanoFriday Night Mashup / PRS
The SpaniardJessica DohertyBest Boy GripRosie CarneyJanet DevlinNerve Centre / Honeycomb – Creative Works
McHugh’sJess EdlinKatharine PhilippaRobocobraSilencesBig Space Studio / SARC
Aether & EchoViola DustThe ClameensGo WolfDavid C ClementsGenerator NI / Third Bar
VoodooExit Pursued by BearJoshua BurnsideMichael MormechaEmerald ArmadaFourAcre Music / Forfey
The SunflowerFarriersMeb Jon SolRobyn G ShielsArboristFolk and Tumble / Start Together Studios

 

Posted on September 30th, 2014

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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.

The bands

A Lazarus Soul
Acrobat
Affleck
Arborist
Atriums
Benihana
Benny smiles
Brian Casey
Buffalo Sunn
Buffalo Woman
Carriages
Carried By Waves
Cfit
Ciaran Lavery
Cloud Castle Lake
Clu
Codai
Color Sound
Columbia Mills
Conor Walsh
Contour
Deaf Joe
Dear Desert
Death In The Sickroom
Dogs
Dott
DVO Marvell
Eamon bode
Elaine Mai
Elastic Sleep
Elephant
Eoin Dolan
Fallen Rule
Floor Staff
Florence Olivier
Frankenstein Bolts
Galants
Ghost Estates
God Knows + mynameisjOhn
Grim
Hags
Hare Squead
Hauer
Hawk
His New Atlas
Hugh Hick
I have a tribe
I’m Your Vinyl
Imploded View
Jet Setter
Kobina
Kormac
little xs for eyes
Liza Flume
Low Sea
Maija Sofia
Maud in Cahoots
Me & My Dog
Me Auld Flower
Meltybrains?
Mere Moths
MKAI
moossmann
Myles Manley
Neon Atlas
Old Hannah
Otherkin
Paddy Hanna
Participant
Planet Parade
Princess
Red Queen Contest
Replete
Satori Je
Silences
Sisters
Skelocrats
Sleep Mc Evox
Somerville
Spies
Subplots
Tell No Foxx
The Academic
The Bedroom
The Black Sea Fleet
The Boxing Plot
The Clameens
The Debutantes
The Hard Ground
The Late David Turpin
The Loafing Heroes
The Magpies
The Pale
The Run Ons
The Shaker Hymn
The Statics
The Vincent(s)
Tino Ras
Val Normal
Vann Music
Voids
Walpurgis Family
Wild Promises
Yes Cadets

Venues

The Button Factory, The Workmans Club, The Mercantile, The Twisted Pepper, Bad Bobs, The Grand Social, Meeting House Square.

Tickets

Weekend Tickets €45 + fees, Nightly Tickets €20
http://entertainment.ie/hwch14.

HWCH is also supported by The Arts Council, Failte Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the NDRC.

Posted on August 13th, 2014

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Contour’s ‘Change Your Ways’ was one of those songs that got a big reaction here in the last year. Since October, the Irish duo of Conan Wynne and Anna Doran have released some tracks on Soundcloud and videos on Youtube as well as played their first live show (last weekend in The Grand Social).

For their upcoming 4-track EP, out August 28th, on Belfast label Champion Sound Recordings, Chaos Theories, which takes inspiration from song structures based on geometric shapes, all four songs were made with a combo of good old-fashioned hardware like synths and tape ans digital techniques.

Watch the video by Chris Lynch and featuring Doran.

Track list

  1. Change Your ways 3:34
  2. Contour Split Wave 4:42
  3. Contour Syncopated Garden 5:19
  4. Contour Yin Yang 4:23

Posted on July 24th, 2014

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Skip to day: Tues | Wed | Thurs | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon

Ticket giveaways this week:

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 3pm latest for weekend gigs.


Tuesday July 15

mon
  • Hall &  Oates @ Olympia Theatre (SOLD OUT)
    [Pop] You can’t go to that, no oh. (Pictured)
  • Ham Sandwich @ Whelan’s (€17.50)
    [Indie]  Part of the Whelan’s 25 series of gigs.
  • Emily Portman Trio @ The Odessa Club (€10/€12)
    [Folk]  English folk music.

Wednesday July 16

tues
  • Cat Power @ Olympia Theatre (€33)
    [Rock] Fully-seated show from Chan Marshall.

Thursday July 17

thurs
  • Phosphorescent @ The Workman’s Club (€20)
    [Indie/rock] “country jams with claustrophobic electronica and mournful Mariachi horns”
  • 3Epkano perform to Metropolis @ National Concert Hall (€15, WIN TICKETS)
    [Live score] 3Epkano celebrate their 10th year in existence by soundtracking the Fritz Lang sci-fi epic. (Pictured)
  • The Academic @ The Grand Social  (€8)
    [indie/Rock] Young Mullingar band about to take off. Bear Claws.
  • Bombino @ Twisted Pepper (€16)
    [African] A Tuareg guitarist whose latest album is produced by Dan Auerbach.
  • The Stunning @ Bulmers Live at Leopardstown @ Leopardstown Racecourse (€15)
     [Live] Every Thursday of the summer racing and music season.
  • Theo Parrish:Teddy’s Get Down @ The Sugar Club (€20)
    [Electronic] Full set with live band which features Amp Fiddler revisiting old and new Sound Signature classics.

Friday July 18

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Saturday July 19

sat

Sunday July 20

sun
  • Longitude Festival @ Marlay Park (€59.50 day/€149.50 for weekend)
    [Festival] Massive Attack, James Vincent McMorrow, Banks, First Aid Kit, Rudimental, Mano Le Tough, Bondax, Julio Bashmore, Broods and more.
  • Hotter Than July @ Meeting House Square, Temple Bar (Free, 2pm – 7pm)
    [world music] Improvised Music Company & Big Bang Festival West African-inspired Dublin band Manden Express, new trad from Ensemble Eriu, Coisceim Dance, the Balkan flavour of North Strand Kontra Band along samba dancers and bluegrass.

  • Owen Pallett @ Whelan’s (€20)
    [indie/alt] The violinist and composer extraordinaire sticks around after his shows with The National. (Pictured)
  • Sim Simma! @ The Twisted Pepper (6pm, Free)
    [Reggae] Reggae, dancehall and afrobeat club. Johnny Dread, Tadhg Byrna Bwoi, Frankie Grimes.

Monday July 21
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  • OKO/ Alarmist @ Whelan’s (€10)
    [Alt/jazz] The experimental side of post-rock/jazz new Irish music. (Pictured)
  • Kevin Devine, Paddy Hanna @ Whelan’s (€13)
    [Rock]  Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter.

Posted on July 15th, 2014

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Late last year, I intro’d Contour, the vocal-lead electronic project from Conan Wynne, and primarily, Anna Doran on vocals. The pair have been working together on a live show and an EP called Chaos Theories which explores more bass and breaks, in the style of Amon Tobin.

Wynne also expressed an interest in developing the A/V side of Contour and to that end, the video above for new track ‘Syncopated Garden’ produced and directed and edited by Chris Lynch. Contour are playing Life Festival in May too.

Posted on April 4th, 2014

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New songs you should hear this week…

I came down with a bad bout of the flu last week that has lasted into this week so I didn’t get around to posting this on Friday. But as a Monday, weekend starting playlist there’s plenty on it to get you pumped up for the weekend ahead, new tracks from Danny Brown, Wiley, Pusha T, Kelela, Contour, David Bowie remixed by James Murphy, Gentry, Ben Khan, Lauryn Hill and Oliver Tank. This is the best tracks of the last week:

Posted on October 14th, 2013

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How I found the music of Contour isn’t quite clear. Yesterday, while doing my usual email digesting, I ended up on the Soundcloud page of ‘Change Your Ways’ and was a bit blown away by the song’s lush vocalised electronica.

There was no context for the track other than 100 plays and 15 followers, no social media links or nothing so I reached out to the Soundcloud account because I had no idea how I ended up following it and I needed to know more about the track and the vocalist Anna Doran. I wasn’t even sure where the artist was from.

It turns out Contour is the solo work of Dubliner Conan Wynne, a visual artist and musician who has been around for a while playing with the electronic rock band Skuzzi Port and as a solo dance-artist under his own name.
Full post… →

Posted on October 9th, 2013

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