2017 was my third visit to Barcelona’s Primavera Sound festival and my first since 2011. What has changed in that time is an increase of punters (around 35,000 each night) but also an expanded festival site at Parc del Forum. That meant more room for dance music and more room for the larger stages. And more, room for surprises.

2017’s lineup was also one of the best in a long time. Sure, Frank Ocean cancelled his headline set with two weeks to go but the addition of surprise sets announced on the day were a new thing which hopefully the organisers will commit to in 2018. It meant that for many the first surprise was Arcade Fire playing a gig on the festival’s first night, two days before they were due on stage. Haim played a late-night set on the last night and Mogwai debuted their new album in full under the Barcelona evening sun.

The city is a great setting for a festival getaway, hang out on the beach day or night at Barceloneta, eat and drink in the Gothic Quarter or Gracia, solicit late-night cans from the abundant hawking men on the streets, bump into friends late into the night while wandering. Primavera Sound’s late starting time (for most about 7pm or 8pm) and late end time (6am is not uncommon) means there’s always time to explore the city in good weather before the music starts.

That doesn’t mean that you don’t miss things though. Aldous Harding, Glass Animals, Joy Orbison, Weyes Blood and Badbadnotgood were not seen, and I decided to give Arcade Fire a miss in favour of seeing something else (and was rewarded by John Talabot’s disco set). Ditto: Sinkane, Skepta and Grace Jones. Sets from the xx, Angel Olsen and King Krule didn’t do it for me despite wanting them to but there was plenty to love. Primavera Sound pulls you in so many directions that sometimes you just have to not focus too much on the timetable and go with the flow. That’s easier to do in the Catalan city atmosphere than a soggy field in Ireland. I’d definitely come back for a fourth visit.

Here are my highlight sets of the festival.


1.

Mac Demarco

There’s no way that such subtle sweet jams should work on the second biggest stage on the festival, , but that’s Mac Demarco for you. The Canadian has developed as a cult curio personality, an indie-kid weirdo but as his latest album This Old Dog (fast becoming one of my favourites of the year) has shown, his songs seep into your skin. At Primavera, there was a big crowd ready to lap up both his tunes and his vibe. When the camera panned over the stage to reveal his naked drummer on the drum stool, it was clear it was going to be one of those kinds of sets. While the stage antics got increasingly more attention as Demarco stripped down to his underpants and singed his butt and underarm hair while standing on a guitar amp, the tunes never faltered from some sweet vibes (other than a closing guitar solo). Don’t underestimate how hard it is to write delicate songs this good, the stage show with added “Whitney crowd surf experience” and goofball antics only added to the sense of occasion. As did, Demarco ending the night crowdsurfing sans music stage right after his set.

2.

John Talabot Disco set

I decided to give Arcade Fire a miss this time to go see something different. The Catalan man John Talabot has always had a close association to Primavera as they asked him to debut his first ever live show at the festival so he always does something at it. This time around, it was two shows, one with Axel Boman as Talaboman and one DJ set billed as a disco set (after a great Young Marco set) which ended up being a set that featured crowdpleasing and disco-tinged music from classics like ‘Spacer’ to Aphex Twin ‘Windowlicker’ edit, Red Dragon Band’s ‘Let Me Be Your Radio’ to his own Teengirl Fantasy ‘Cheaters’ remix and my tune discovery of the festival – Akiyo’s Deboule. An edit of the Carribean Zouk tune from 1996 was played in the Talaboman set on the first night and immediately wired itself into my brain. Watch out for that (and let me know if you see one going). Talabot’s disco set was filled with the one thing that many modern DJs forget to pack on their USBS – fun.


3.

Flying Lotus

Flying Lotus reaffirmed my opinion of him as a visionary producer with his live cube A/V set on the Ray Bans stage on Friday night. At 3am, the combination of Strangeloop and Timeboy’s mindbending visuals and Fly Lo’s mind-altering music productions hit with force and bass so hard that in the middle of the crowd, near the front, the bass made the hair on the top of my head vibrate. It was that good. Musically, we had some of the new stuff, like the Kuso theme (the reviews have said it’s garbage), his Freddie Mercury remix, his Twin Peaks rework, his To Pimp A Butterfly production, his Kendrick feature ‘Never Catch Me’, a Captain Murphy joint and his Los Angeles material. It was a reminder of how great a Fly Lo set can be.


4.

Bon Iver

This took me by surprise. 22 A Million is a hard album to love and it didn’t really impact my listening habits last year very much. It was easier to admire and harder to love. But fair play to Justin and his band who have managed to translate this obfuscated object of coded language into a main stage extravaganza that pitched these songs with a larger stature, accompanied by superb sound and a stage show that featured the album’s hieroglyphics in cascading form. The album’s second half – songs like ‘666’ and the Springsteen-esque ‘8’ were late show highlights and four songs from 2011’s self-titled album. He might have spent much of the gig with giant headphones and a baseball cap on behind a bank of gear but a solo a capella version of ‘Skinny Love’ as encore nodded to the the journey Vernon has been on since 2008. It’s a significant one.


5.

Solange

The classiest stage show of the weekend went to Solange Knowles. A simple circle backdrop bathed in red with blue lights on the band and singers pitched things minimally. Translating a weighty but delicately produced album such as A Seat At The Table is a tough thing to do but Solange kept things focused and wisely brought in the energetic ‘Some Things Never Seem to Fucking Work’, ‘T.O.N.Y’ (from her 2008 Sol-Angel and the Hadley Dreams album) and career highlight jam ‘Losing You’. Occasional choreographed moves benefitted the show in subtle ways too. It was more a swaying side-to-side experience but it suited her.


6.

Aphex Twin

There was a run of abrasive shows on the opening night of Primavera Sound in 2017 that featured sets from Slayer, Converge, Death Grips (always excellent) and Aphex Twin. A Richard D James show is like no other and he really took advantage of playing the biggest stage at the festival to deliver an uncompromising two hour set filled with diversions into ten minutes of industrial white noise, acid techno, ambient noise, gyrating IDM , jungle breakbeats and electro weirdness. There wasn’t much to recognise unless you were an uber-Aphex nerd but he did play ‘Roy Of The Ravers’ at one point and one tune that sounded like MIA mashed up, smashed into a reggaeton beat and spat out. Visually, the show was crammed with small screens working in unison, and lights and lasers that extended beyond the festival site. His trick of using the faces in the crowd to project AFX imagery and faces makes the audience an integral part of the show, playing on the discomfort of lingering on someone in the front row’s self-conscious face for far too long to create some truly odd art. In fact, it was so intense I couldn’t last the whole show. How many artists can you say that about? No-one delivers a disorientating experience quite like Aphex Twin.


7.

Bicep

At 4:30am on the first night, Belfast duo Bicep played their live show which served as a slighty beefier version of their live sets naturally all focused on their own material and delivered with the precision and percussive panache that have made Andy Ferguson and Matt McBriar house stalwarts. A run of songs including ‘Just’ , ‘Higher Level’ , ‘In Yer Face’ , ‘Dahlia’ sent us home with grins on night one, eager for more from evening two.


8.

Sampha

Sampha’s piano torch songs don’t feel like a natural fit for a large festival stage but the dude’s been preparing. With three band members helping him build the beats, Sampha Sisay brought some dynamic energy to his set. There was a circle of a drum-off at one point and songs like ‘Blood On Me’, his Drake-feature ‘4422’ and ‘Reverse Faults’ stood out until he was left to deliver the heartbreaking ode to his mother – ‘(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano’.



9.

Run the Jewels


You know the drill by now. We Are the Champions. Two Best Friends. Fists and chains in the air. A Blockbuster Night. El-P and Killer Mike’s on-stage camaraderie isn’t even punctured or affected when the entire soundsystem goes dead for 10 minutes, as they mug to each other and run on the spot. A RTJ show is one of the best in rap and it hasn’t dissipated as the size of the stage has increased.



10.

!!!


What encapsulates the differentiation between Primavera and many other festivals is that the closing set of the festival on the only large stage left open went to !!! (Chk Chk Chk). The band encapsulate the festival’s early beginnings as a punk-funk rock band into their current guise as a strutting electronic disco act. Primavera know all you need to do is give !!! the stage and they’ll slay and that’s what they do close to 5am bolstered by the presence of Wnglish vocalist Lea Lea on co-vocals and ass-shaking along with Nic Offer upfront. With their seventh album Shake The Shudder just out, much of the set was drawn from that but two personal favourites ‘Freedom 15’ and ‘Syld’ closed out the show.

Posted on June 7th, 2017

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I’ve made an Electric Picnic DJ Mix every year since 2008. It’s always been a blast to make and a highlight of the site for me personally. 2016’s mix features 22 artists on the Electric Picnic lineup over 20 songs in just under 55 minutes.

It’s for bumping for your festival prep for the next week or in the car on the way down to Stradbally. Last year’s mix.

I’m DJing at the Red Bull Tropical Garden at EP on Saturday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.

Download links:
Zippyshare
Bigfile

More? Here’s an Electric Picnic Spotify playlist with a song from every artist playing

Nialler9 Electric Picnic Mix 2016

  1. Lynched – Father Had A Knife
  2. Toby Kaar – Snapdragon
  3. Nao – Inhale / Exhale
  4. Muro Masa – What If I Go?
  5. Glass Animals – Youth (Instrumental)
  6. John Talabot & Pional – Destiny (Dubtool)
  7. Jessy Lanza – Keep On Moving
  8. Todd Terje – Alfonso Meskedunder (Deetron remix)
  9. Prince Rama – Bahia
  10. Roisin Murphy – Evil Eyes (Hercules & Love Affair remix)
  11. New Order – Tutti Frutti (Tom Rowlands Chemical Brothers remix)
  12. Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence (Prins Thomas remix)
  13. Shit Robot – End Of The Trail
  14. New Jackson – Shoot Out The Lights
  15. Daniel Avery – Knowing We’ll Be Here (KiNK remix)
  16. LCD Soundsystem – Home (Loving Good mix)
  17. Gene Dudley Group – Inspector Norse
  18. Super Furry Animals – Wherever I Lay My Phone (That’s My Home)
  19. Animal Collective – Brother Sport
  20. Broken Social Scene – Pacific Theme

Posted on August 26th, 2016

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The  seventh edition of our monthly club night Lumo is back in Tengu on Saturday April 30th and to get you in the mode we’ve got a mix put together by Lumo’s Gavin Elsted.

Resident Lumo DJs are Nialler9, Simon Roche and Gavin Elsted (Adultrock). It’s a house party in a club vibe with no restrictions on genre. Lumo is a club for dancing featuring a good soundsystem, a decent bar and DJs in the corner playing classics and curveballs. Lumo is not another house and techno night. It’s a club night where you will dance with friends, old and new.  Presale tickets are on sale now from Eventbrite at just under a tenner.

In the mix, we’ve got tracks from the more electronic disco end of Lumo including those you will have heard in recent months at the club from Metro Area, Fort Romeau, Damien Lynch and a preview of a forthcoming Adultrock (Gavin’s electronic project) on Bodytonic Music coming in June.

Tracklist:

John Talabot – Machine (JT Synth Edit)
Eric Duncan – Nerve Control
Damien Lynch – The Heights
DJ Rahaan – DirtyBoyz
Da Posse – In the Heat of the Night (Black Madonna Edit)
Fort Romeau  – KONTROL
Adultrock – Push & Pull
Rubber Band – Caoutchouc
Metro Area – Atmosphérique
Jacques Renault – Marilyn’s Gold
Broadcast – America’s Boy

Follow Lumo on Facebook and Twitter.

The LUMO CLUB playlist on Spotify.

Posted on April 20th, 2016

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Life Festival has just dropped its lineup for the event in Belvedere House from May 27 – 29th this year.

It includes:

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.

That’s a lot of lads.

Early bird tickets are €119+fees right now.

As it’s Friday and I’ve listened to this twice this week, I’m just going to leave this here as a parting gift from this post:

Posted on February 5th, 2016

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These songs represent my favourite new tracks of last week. Check the new music section. The new music playlist is available on Spotify and is updated weekly.

New music chart

  1. Emmanuelle  – ‘Free HiFi Internet’
  2. Mmoths – ‘Deu’
  3. Disclosure – ‘Magnets’ (Jon Hopkins remix)
  4. Jaakko Eino Kalevi feat. Farao – Everything Nice (Popcaan cover)
  5. Bagels – ‘To The End’
  6. Aidan Knight – ‘All Clear’
  7. Kodiak Blue – ‘Orbita’
  8. Badlands – ‘Caramisou’
  9. Hawk – ‘Sleep’
  10. Jamie xx – Loud Places feat. Romy (John Talabot’s Higher Dub)
  11. Meltybrains? – ‘New Don’

Soundcloud version

The Nialler9 New Music Weekly Spotify playlist. Updated weekly.

 

Posted on December 1st, 2015

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Hivern Discs are releasing a 7″ of edits, one each from Roman Flügel & John Talabot, the former is a squelching lo-fi 80s electronic edit of ‘Divine’s ‘Alphabet Rap’ while the latter is a dusty country-disco track by Master.

Sounds good. And they’re only 2 euro each. Only problem is to get the 7″ you have to attend the Hivern party in Berlin on October 16th. Yeah no chance. Someone pick me up one yeah? Thanks.

Posted on October 8th, 2015

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The new music playlist is also available on Spotify and Apple Music. Updated weekly.

New music chart

  1. Percussions – ‘Digital Arpeggios
  2. Roots Manuva – ‘One Thing’
  3. Jamie xx – ‘Loud Places’ (John Talabot remix)
  4. Sharer – ‘Body Tonight’
  5. Transviolet – ‘Bloodstream’
  6. Petite Noir – ‘MDR’
  7. Beach House – ‘Space Song’
  8. Floating Points – ‘Silhouette Parts I-III’
  9. Autre Ne Veut – World War Pt. 2 (Age of Transparency Vol. II The Avatar Sessions)
  10. Zomby & Wiley – ‘Step 2001’
  11. Boots – ‘Aquaria’ feat. Deradoorian
  12. Contour – ‘Rearrange & Realign’
  13. Hortlax Cobra – I’m Still Here (feat. Ane Brun)
  14. Julia Holter – ‘Sea Calls Me Home’

Soundcloud version

Like your new music on Spotify instead? Follow the Nialler9 New Music playlist on Spotify. Updated weekly.

 

Posted on August 31st, 2015

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The remixes you’ve heard on radio and mixes over the last while of Loud Places are about to be released by Young Turks digitally Friday including those previously heard John Talabot and Barnt remixes, as well as ones from Tessela, Herbert and Special Request.

Get it here it digitally with the vinyl version coming in October.

https://soundcloud.com/suicide-8/jamie-xx-loud-places-feat-romy-barnt-remix

Tracklist

1. Loud Places (John Talabot Loud Synths Reconstruction)
2. Loud Places (Tessela Remix)
3. Loud Places (Barnt E-Mix)
4. Loud Places (Herbert Louder Dub)
5. Loud Places (Special Request Remix) – Digital Only

Posted on August 26th, 2015

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Maeve Records and RBMA have teamed up for a Maeve Showcase at District 8 on August 8th which will feature the three main producers from the Berlin-based Wicklow-born European house music label: Mano Le Tough, The Drifter and Baikal, alongside special guests John Talabot and New Jackson.

Mint. The first batch of tickets are sold out already but the all-day party is €30+ from RA and kicks off at 2pm on the Saturday.

RA Event : Facebook event

Posted on July 16th, 2015

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10 of the best remixes, edits and refixes collected over the month of April.

  1. Todd Terje – ‘Alfonso Muskedunder’ (Mungolian vs. TangoTerje)
  2. Miss Kate – ‘Groovy Baby’ (Hystereo remix)
  3. Jaga Jaggist – ‘Oban’ (Todd Terje remix)
  4. Cashmere Cat & Ariana Grande – ‘Adore’ (MssngNo remix)
  5. Jungle – ‘The Heat’ (Creange remix)
  6. Kelela – ‘Send Me Out’ (Girl Unit remix)
  7. Hot Chip – ‘Atomic Bomb’ William Onyeabor cover (remix by John Talabot)
  8. Lindstrom – ‘Home Tonight’ (Fort Romeau remix)
  9. Color//Sound – ‘The Wolves’ (Holmes Price Pretentious Disco Dub)
  10. José González – Let It Carry You (Holy Ghost! Remix)

All playlists including tracks of the week and month.

Like your new music on Spotify instead? Follow the Nialler9 New Music playlist on Spotify. Updated weekly.

Posted on May 6th, 2015

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The Catalan label Hivern Discs owned by John Talabot and Dani Baughman is bringing a label showcase to District 8 in Dublin on Saturday March 21st with a DJ set from Talabot and sets from Baughman and Marc Piñol.

Tickets from €15 + fees via Resident Advisor, TicketABC & Ticketmaster for the Francis Street-set gig. Doors at 11pm.

Posted on February 25th, 2015

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Samhain Festival is back on Bank holiday Sunday October 26th this year in its new home – Loughcrew Gardens, Co, Meath.

Archetype, Hidden Agenda, Bodytonic, & Bedlam are behind the festival that this year will feature :

Jon Hopkins
John Talabot
Maya Jane Coles
Booka Shade
Jimmy Edgar
Rodhad
Leon Vynehall
Scntst

That’s a good start! The festival will not be BYOB this year and tickets start at €35 from www.samhain-festival.com

There will be more names announced obviously. There’ll be three stages, craft beer and cocktails, “theatrical nooks & crannies” and gourmet food.

The festival setting is “Shadowed by Sliabh na Caillíagh, the “Witch’s Mountain”, bordered by 300 year old Yew trees, grown to ward off evil spirits and centered around the ruined church of Saint Oliver Plunkett.”

Posted on August 25th, 2014

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Tracks of the Week playlist


1. SBTRKT – ‘New Dorp, New York’ featuring Ezra Koening

The song from new album Wonder Where We Land features the Vampire Weekend frontman. Sampha, Caroline Polachek, Koreless, Raury, A$AP Ferg, Jessie Ware, Denai Moore and Warpaint will also guest.


2. Girl Band – ‘De Bom Bom’

A dissonant no-wave/garage rock thriller of a new single from the Dublin band.


3. Slam Dunk’d – ‘No Price’ featuring Chromeo’s Dave 1

Infuential producer Arthur Baker returns with a song he originally recorded in 1979 but has updated with production by MSTRKRFT’s Al-P and vocals by Dave 1 of Chromeo.


4. NehruvianDOOM – ‘OM’

DOOM and Bishop Nehru’s new song ‘Om’ reminds me of something from his early career like King Geedorah which is a good thing indeed. The album is out in mid-September.


5. Adebisi Shank – ‘World In Harmony’

A chorus of voices rings through the track, it twists and turns. Its exuberant rush of energy narrowly managing to avoid the gaping edge of sound. Some people create songs on guitars, Adebisi pull songs out of their Japanese-influenced pop culture rainbow imaginations.


6. Body Language – ‘4 Real’

Typically breezy electronic pop from the American band which draws on 70s summer funk influences. The song is “an anthem for friends and friendships that shine through the toughest of times.” It’s from their new EP Infinite Sunshine .


7. Hudson Mohawke – ‘Chimes’

The title from the Glasgow producer’s new EP is big brass brashness meets bleeps and beeps.


8. Octave Minds – ‘In Silence’

Chilly Gonzales and Boys Noize have teamed up for a collaborative album of ” New Age-Electronic-Romance” which is out on September 14th. This song from it is a free download.


9. Pional – ‘It’s All Over’ (John Talabot’s Stormbreak Refix)

A free download from the new release by Pional, which is a refix by partner John Talabot. The release proper is out next week.


10. Slow Magic – ‘Hold Still’

The new single from the masked man’s How To Run Away album out October 3rd. Slow MAgic plays Button Factory this Saturday as part of Feel Good Lost’s gig alongside MeltyBrains?

Posted on July 28th, 2014

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longitudecover
Longitude Festival is fast approaching this weekend in Marlay Park and while you already probably know the big draws you’re going to see whether it’s Haim, Disclosure, Ben Howard, Massive Attack, Rudimental, Hozier or Chvrches, like last year, here are my recommendations for five acts per day to see that are lesser known but equally worthy of making your festival.

There’s also a Spotify playlist of Longitude artists at the end of the post along with the site map and a timetable.

You can catch me DJing at the TXFM stage on Sunday night alongside Kelly-Anne Byrne and Claire Beck. My show on TXFM on Thursday night at 10pm will be a Longitude special too.

Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Spotify playlist & timetable


Friday

1. Lasertom

lasertom

Red Bull Music Academy Stage, 3:15pm

When not rocking some sweet electronic funk with his partner in Ships, Simon Cullen delves headlong into elongated gilded space-disco. Last year’s Drift album collated his cosmic grooves into one place and live, recently at Body & Soul, Cullen had pushed the shapes of the songs into more hypnotic synth-laden structures.


2. Snakehips

snakehips

Heineken Stage, 4pm

From recent collaborations with Sinead Harnett to George Maple, London production duo have shown they have the chops to make head-nodding sunshine summer jams, halfway between R&B and electronic.


3. I Am The Cosmos

cosmos

Red Bull Music Academy Stage, 15.45pm

Monochrome is one of my favourite albums of the last five years and that’s reason enough to recommend the Dublin pair. Ross Turner and Cian Murphy’s moody disco is infused with the brittle beauty of warm synthesizers of the past. Live, they expand, with members Rian Trench and Glen Keating into a propulsive and sophisticated live electronic band.


4. Krystal Klear

kk

Heineken Stage, 6.15pm

The Irish-born Manchester based DJ and producer has moved from electronic disco into deeper dancefloor weapons on his own label Cold Tonic in recent months and the sound really suits him, particularly when a tune as epic as ‘Squad’ is in his record bag. I would go for this song alone.


5. John Talabot

jt

Heineken Stage, 7:30pm

The Catalan producer’s 2012 album fin brought him international acclaim but he’s mostly spent the last two years DJing around the world since then with the exception of a handful of live shows. Listen to his three-hour set from the Button Factory last December for an idea.


Also recommended on Friday:

Bonobo, Samaris, Parquet Courts, Shane Linehan.


Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Spotify playlist & timetable

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Posted on July 16th, 2014

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