My favourite Irish act of 2014 is undoubtedly, God Knows and mynameisjOhn, the Limerick and Clare rap duo who released the best Irish album of the year (no Choice) in Rusangano Family.

If you’ve dug deeper and seen the boys live then you’ll know, it’s not just the frenetic work of a duo but a trio, the unnamed MuRli serves as the wingman, the fellow MC and is a key part of the energy that makes God Knows and mynameisjOhn’s stage show the best thing going in Ireland right now.

The 24 year-old Togolese MuRli now gets his own time in the spotlight with a new 7-track EP where he’s running things featuring production from mynameisjOhn and Naïve Ted.

The EP serves as a nice companion piece to Rusangano Family but also allows MuRli to establish himself through tracks like ‘Both Sides’ with its “you don’t have to be like me / I don’t have to be like you” mantra a frequent track in the live set. There is help and support from fellow MCs God Knows and Guide, as MuRli examines a dark time in his life.

“With no job, no money, and hence an eternity of time on my hands, I entered a stage of deep reflection. I started to question my earlier choices in life, and my overall role in society. What have I got to do to be more like the people around? What have I got to do to get to their levels? What’s wrong with the world? How come society seems to be on a downward slope at a time when we have achieved so much in terms of technological development, among others?”

The artwork is by the well-known Irish LA-based photographer B+.

Posted on January 13th, 2015

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Day One | Day Two | Day Three


On Sunday at Other Voices, music is our church. But before we get to the actual church St. James, there’s plenty of music to be had on the music trail.

Family entertainment

The Clare/Limerick via Zimbabwe rap group God Knows and Mynameisjohn shake open our muscles and our minds in the afternoon before the chats at Jim Carroll’s Banter series in the back room of Foxy John’s. They forgo the use if mics and utilise high stools instead for a high energy performance that finds a more natural home later that evening in the marquee of An Chonair, as young children and their family dance around to the high kineticism of the Rusangano Family, as their album is titled.

A video posted by Niall Byrne (@nialler9) on

Somerville’s soothing sounds

Things are much more soothing down in John Benny’s by the bay in the afternoon where Somerville delivered an ethereal set of minimal music with electric guitar, laptop, keyboard and her quiet unassuming Galway voice. She offers solace through an acknowledgment of trying times and combined with hot ports and oysters, it reinvigorated the weary partygoers, Dingle style.

There’s more still over in Dingle district court, where Wyvern Lingo are delivering their own type of pleasing justice: big-voiced folk band pop. On the road to the stunning vistas of the Conor pass, In the Dingle brewing company building, Booka Brass Band offer a complementary prelude to Kormac’s big band later on with a Destiny’s Child ‘Survivor’ cover to a backdrop of giant beer vats. Afterwards, Cloud Castle Lake bring their high falsetto atmospherics to the same brewery floor.

A slinky sexy indie-pop triumph

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In the church, the Cork/Brazil/Norwegian trio All We Are create a fine impression for themselves. Their music is slinky and funky: indie music that sounds like the xx with real grooves. We board their fan train immediately. So much so, that they might be our new favourite band.

There certainly feels like there’s some of that chemistry at play. The standing Cork drummer at the back runs the rhythm section, the singer Guro with her oversized bass sways with her instrument. The songs are sexy and breezy: tracks like I Wear You and Feel Safe occupy a delicate bright rhythm.

In thanking them, series producer Philip King says that Guro, upon watching the Other Voices Amy Winehouse film told her mother that she wanted to play that church and there’s a real sense of triumph after their performance.

Romance delivered with a cackle

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While her soulful R&B songs are graceful and romantic, the real Jessie Ware is a warm-hearted cackler, a down-to-earth charming lover of Dingle whiskey and a genuine talent. She tells a story of the intimacy of OV producing a comical moment when walking through Benner’s Hotel, where her gig is about to be live streamed, only to hear a girl asking her friend “is she any good?” to whom Ware addresses on stage back through the live stream in the hotel.

But when she opens her mouth to sing, magic comes out, even just in this acoustic format with one guitar and a keyboard. She admits to having a penchant for the unrequited love song and many of hers have drama to them.

The set is chock with Sade-esque soulful ballads. There’s recent album title highlight ‘Tough Love’; ‘You And I Forever’ a song about her fellah “finally putting a ring on it”; her attempt at confident flirtatiousness ‘Kind Of, Sometimes, Maybe’ and her biggest ballad to date ‘Wildest Moments’. Ware is a genuine talent as well as a genuine lady.

Ireland represents

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Delorentos meanwhile have ended up taking the long way to a sustainable success. Their fourth album Night Becomes Light was released on Universal this year and it feels like the band have been rejuvenated. We used the same word this week but their songwriting and has evolved, as has their performance on evidence of their St. James Church performance.

A late addition, Kormac’s Big Band, a live brass-laden band lead by DJ Kormac, take inspiration from old jazz recordings, Ninja Tune-style hip-hop electronica and turntablism.

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Kormac’s second album Doorsteps moved those inspirations into his own space and the result is a live show that feels less novelty and more substantial more akin to Bonobo’s big live show. There is obviously not much chance that the album guests Irvine Welsh, Micah P Hinson and Speech Debelle are here, especially as Kormac were a late addition to the church, but there’s the soulful voice of Claire Young on stage to make up for it, as the band swirl around the stage, anchored by Kormac on laptop, sampler and turntable, ever the master of ceremonies.
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Walking On Cars close out Other Voices 2014 and there’s none more fitting than the hometown heroes. One of the pleasures of working on a show like this is watching a band grow. Two years ago, the Dingle band played the IMRO Other Room. Now signed to a major, their set is an acknowledgement of their growing stature on the TV show they all grew up on where clearly means a lot to them. The songs are better, the band are tighter, they’ve considered their performance. The music harks back to the American voices across the sea from Dingle, who dominated airwaves in the 90s: the likes of Matchbox 20 with modern production techniques placing their songs in the now.

It’s another triumph of a set in a day full of them. Just like the TV show itself, it’s gone from an idea to an internationally-recognised recorded music retreat to a mini-festival; a beacon of respectful light in a fast-paced world.

Photos: Rich Gilligan.

Posted on December 16th, 2014

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As is my annual tradition, the Nialler9 Readers’ Poll in association with Tower Records is back for its ninth year. Once again, I’m looking to find out what Irish albums and songs didn’t leave your stereo, phone, playlists and beyond. I also want to know what gigs, remixes, club nights and more floated your boat in 2015. There are prizes too courtesy of Tower Records, Dawson Street, Dublin and more..

Artwork by Stephen Maurice Graham.

VOTING CLOSED
VOTE: IN THE NIALLER9 READERS POLL–>


Nialler9’s top 25 Irish albums of 2014

  1. God Knows + MynameIsJohn – Rusangano Family
  2. James Vincent McMorrow – Post Tropical
  3. The Gloaming – The Gloaming
  4. Lethal Dialect – 1988
  5. Hozier – Hozier
  6. Seán Mac Erlaine – A Slender Song
  7. We Cut Corners – Think Nothing
  8. Adebisi Shank – This Is The Third Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank
  9. Daithi – In Flight
  10. Shit Robot – We Got A Love
  11. Sleep Thieves – You Want The Night 
  12. Paddy Hanna – Leafy Stiletto
  13. Hands Up Who Wants To Die – Vega In The Lyre
  14. Sea Pinks – Dreaming Tracks
  15. Deaf Joe – From The Heights Of A Dream
  16. I Heart The Monster Hero – Rhythm & Pals
  17. Windings / LandLovers –  Split LP
  18. SlowPlaceLikeHome – Romola
  19. The #1s – The Number Ones
  20. Adrian Crowley – Some Blue Morning
  21. Rhob Cunningham – The Window and Day
  22. Ginnels – A Country Life
  23. So Cow – The Long Con
  24. Women’s Christmas – Too Rich For Our Blood
  25. Jennifer Evans – Works From the Dip and Foul


Nialler9’s top 50 Irish songs of 2014

  1. Ships – ‘The Space Inside’
  2. Girl Band – ‘Lawman’
  3. Talos – ‘Tethered Bones’
  4. Clu – ‘Mirrors’
  5. New Jackson – ‘Having A Coke With You’
  6. The Gloaming – ‘Sailor’s Bonnet’
  7. God Knows + MynameIsJohn – ‘Standard’
  8. EMBRZ – ‘Slow Down’
  9. Rocstrong – ‘Go Head’
  10. UNKNWN – ‘Devil’
  11. Hozier – ‘From Eden’
  12. Planet Parade – ‘You’ll Be Sorry’
  13. James Vincent McMorrow – ‘Gold’
  14. Dear Desert – ‘Give it Up’
  15. Adebisi Shank – ‘Big Unit’
  16. Le Galaxie – ‘Humanise’
  17. R.S.A.G. – ‘I’ll Be There’
  18. Villagers – ‘Occupy Your Mind’
  19. Carriages – ‘Roots’
  20. Jape – ‘The Heart’s Desire’
  21. The Casanova Wave – ‘New Sensation’ (feat. Biggles Flys Again)
  22. Gaze Is Ghost – ‘Revolvere’
  23. Lethal Dialect x JackKnife J – ‘Headstrong’
  24. Krystal Klear – ‘Squad’
  25. Augustus and John – ‘Crosslines’
  26. Tvvins – ‘You Better’
  27. Elastic Sleep – ‘Leave You’
  28. Cloud Castle Lake – ‘Sync’
  29. Go Wolf – ‘One More Night’
  30. Bicep & Hammer – ‘Icebowl’
  31. little xs for eyes’ ‘Love Gets Lost’
  32. Loah – ‘Cortège’
  33. Floor Staff – ‘The Guest’
  34. Sea Pinks – ‘Dream Happening’
  35. Girl Band – ‘De Bom Bom’
  36. The #1s – ‘Heartsmash’
  37. Fight Like Apes – ‘Crouching Bees’
  38. The Hard Ground – ‘Deep in Green’
  39. Revin Goff – ‘Salthill’
  40. Shookrah – ‘Woman’
  41. Spies’ – ‘Moosehead’
  42. We Cut Corners – ‘Every Thief’
  43. Sleep Thieves – ‘City Of Hearts’
  44. SOAK – ‘Blud’
  45. Daithí feat. Jesse Boykins III – ‘Have To Go’
  46. The Minutes – ‘Cherry Bomb’
  47. Sissy – ‘No Mickey on the Mouse’
  48. Costello, Captain Moonlight, Linco, Reece, and Temper-Mental MissElayneous – ‘The Art Of The Clash’
  49. Imploded View – ‘Flutter Funk’
  50. I Have A Tribe – ‘Yellow Raincoats’

 


Posted on December 11th, 2014

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Taking place in Dingle, Co. Kerry from 12th – 14th December, Other Voices just added more names to their lineup for the TV show and music trail.

They’ve already announced Damien Rice, Young Fathers, All We Are and Delorentos, Wild Beasts, King Creosote, Melanie De Biasio and Ibeyi.

Today it’s the turn of The Lost Brothers, Jessie Ware. Buke & Gase and hometown heroes Walking On Cars.

 

Music Trail

Some more names for the Other Voices Music Trail have also been added:

We Raise Bears, God Knows +MynameisjOhn, Crook, Somerville, Join Me in the Pines, jape, OtherkinElephant John Cummins Poetician, Seo Linn and The Hedge Schools are new names who will play the free gigs during the daytime over the weekend.

IMRO Other Room Open Call

Votes are now open to choose one of the five bands to play the OV Other Room from:

Come On Live Long
Wyvern Lingo
Little xs for Eyes
ZASKA
Staring at lakes

Voting closes at 8pm on Wednesday 3rd of December. Vote at RTE.

Tickets

Tickets, are free but can only be won through various online and media competitions so keep an eye on Nialler9 tomorrow for one of those.

 

Posted on December 2nd, 2014

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If you missed the Nialler9 Minimum Maximum gig with Le Galaxie, GodKnows + MynameisJohn and Planet Parade a couple of weeks ago, here’s further salt in the wound by way of a Paradoxical Recordings video of the Limerick rappers with Murli  doing their standout track ‘Standard’.

Things got seriously heated up after this.

Photo by http://www.photographicmemory.ie

Posted on October 9th, 2014

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Minimum Maximum in Block-T on Friday night was one of the best Nialler9 gigs yet. The no advance warning on the lineup made for a special occasion and our limited capacity was sold out by 9pm as the first band took to the stage.

That band, Planet Parade, played their first gig in four years with a six-piece that showcased a new sound that traced a line between electronics and indie. It was an impressive performance of confidence and musicianship; with the recently featured songs sounding fully formed and another closing track, featuring a Paul Simon summery vibe.

In the middle, there was an energetic performance from a Limerick rap group that have put on two of the best sets I’ve seen this year. Friday night was another one. God Knows + Mynameisjohn were a high-flying, high-kicking, never-resting, fast-spitting, hype-getting, crowd-moving, always-giving joy. Check out their Rusangano Family album, one of the best of the year.

Despite a visit from the guards to the venue, who kept the party on hold for a while, we continued with a set from a band who last played to thousands of people at Electric Picnic. Le Galaxie showed how far they’ve come with a set of all new songs, which are growing in stature before they’re released. It was a powerhouse of a set, and watching them from so close up, it was fascinating to see just how good of a band they’ve come over the years. So much fun. You can win tickets to their next Dublin gig here.

Thanks to all who came down and trusted in the secret lineup experience. Special thanks to Grace, Dave, Laura, Nick, Susan, John, Stefano and all of the crew in Block-T for being such a sound bunch of people to work with. Check back here for more Minimum Maximum events in the near future or on the Facebook page. Photos by Colm Moore.

Posted on September 29th, 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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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. The show starts six minutes in, right after the news in each hour.

Listen: Hour One

Listen: Hour Two

Hour One

  1. Jessie Ware  – ‘Tough Love’ (Cyril Hahn Remix)
  2. Saint Pepsi –  ‘Fiona Coyne’
  3. JUCE!  – ‘Burning Up’
  4. The #1s –  ‘Sharon Shouldn’t’
  5. BADBADNOTGOOD  – ‘Can’t Leave the Night’
  6. SBTRKT – ‘New Dorp. New York’ (feat. Ezra Koenig)
  7. Fryars  – ‘Prettiest Ones Fly Highest’
  8. Jamie xx –  ‘All Under One Roof Raving’
  9. Slow Magic – ‘Hold Still’
  10. Tony Allen  – ‘Go Back’ (feat. Damon Albarn)
  11. Floor Staff  – ‘The Guest’
  12. Beck – ‘Heart Is A Drum

Hour Two

  1. Kate Boy – ‘Self Control’
  2. Body Language –  ‘4 Real’
  3. REID feat. Woman’s Hour – ‘Tarnished’ 
  4. Shabazz Palaces  – ‘Forerunner Foray’
  5. God Knows + mynameisjOhn – ‘Standard’
  6. God Knows + mynameisjOhn – ‘Habbakuk’
  7. NehruvianDOOM –  ‘Om’
  8. MF Doom and Dangermouse –  ‘The Mask’ (ft. Ghostface)
  9. Replete  – ‘Hold me’
  10. Airhead – ‘Believe’
  11. Hanah  – ‘Out Of Touch’
  12. Hawk – ‘Antidote’
  13. Gwilym Gold –  ‘Muscle’
  14. Chance The Rapper & The Social Experiment  – ‘Wonderful Everyday’

 

Posted on August 1st, 2014

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