With so many releases flying at you, here are recommended vetted listens from Nialler9 for you this week, as collated in the Nialler9 New Releases Spotify playlist, updated weekly.
Nils Frahm – All Melody
A sprawling beauty of an album from composer and musician Nils Frahm. All Melody was recorded in his studio in his custom-built studio in Funkhaus in Berlin which took advantage of reverb chambers and the space of the old place along with contributions from other musicians gives the album an endlessly exploratory feel and at 75 minutes that’s what it needs. It moves between ambient, classical and electronic, and the lines are increasingly smudged of those archetypes. It’s Frahm embracing possibilities in his compositions while still maintaining his owwn sonic imprint.
Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo
Texas psychedelic trio Khruangbin return with a second album of psychedelic laid-back band music. The band meld “60’s Thai funk, 70’s Persian rock music, and 80’s Algerian symphonia” with light funk and improvisational touches while the rhythm section keep things rolling nicely. More of a background groove than a marquee sound but it’s very effective. Live, I hear it comes into its own. They play Dublin on Sunday March 4th in Whelans.
Cadence Weapon – Cadence Weapon
The return of Rollie Pemberton to a full-length album after a number of years away finds the Montreal-based Edmonton artist in his best form since his breakthrough second album Afterparty Babies in 2007. That record explored family and community and there’s similar themes at play here – with Rollie reflecting on being an independent artist and making his way in the world as one, the community and parties around him and his place in it. Production is tight and airy with a beat by Kaytrananda on ‘My Crew’ and nods to the laconic production style of Future and Migos among beats built around jazz and funk chords. The presence of Blue Hawaii, Brendan Philip and Deradoorian add some vocal texture to a confident and unique artist. A welcome return.
Palmbomen II – Memories of Cindy
A compilation of four EPs from the LA-based Dutch artist Palmbomen II with a concept around a eulogy to a character called Cindy told through a “surreal, neo-noir lens.” and released over the last five years. Musically, that means lo-fi house, new age melodies, and soft-glow electronica with ambience and nods to AFX-style acid. Highlights include ‘Seventeen’ and ‘Love Story Fantasy’.
Robert John Ardiff – Between The Bed and Room
The ambience throughout the album is soothing and emotive, reflecting the honest sound that Ardiff set out to depict.
“I wanted to create something that sounded like it was made by a human sitting in a room playing songs. I limited the recording process to 12 tracks per song and used all analog gear like the synths, the acoustic instruments tascam 12 track onto which everything was recorded. The results are lo-fi but I feel I have achieved what I set out to do. The songs are ones that I have carried in my pocket for a long time. Some of them are about growing up in a small Irish village, while others explore themes of love, betrayal and understanding.”
The album also features collaborations with other artists such as Ken McCabe, Rob McComish, Niall Colreavy, Louisa Carroll, John Carney, Paul Kenny, Stuart McMahon.
Johnny Jewel – Digital Rain
A solo soundtrack-style LP from the Chromatics/Glass Candy/ Italians Do It Better composer/musician/producer explores the concept of precipitation in sound through evocative instrumental ambient synths. It’s the followup to last year’s Windswept which featured tracks Jewel made for the Twin Peaks revisited soundtrack. Still no sign of the Chromatics’ Dear Tommy however.
Posted on January 30th, 2018
Yaeji – Raingurl
A bass-heavy banging club track from New York City and Seoul-based producer Kathy Yaeji Lee off her new EP2, which kicks off with bilingual Korean and English vocals.
Khruangbin – Maria Tambié
Texas psychedelic trio Khruangbin provide us with this soulful funky track. This group have been making a name for themselves with their live performances mixing “60’s Thai funk, 70’s Persian rock music, and 80’s Algerian symphonia”. They have an extraordinary ability to mix old sounds into something that sounds fresh and new.
Catch them in Whelans on Sunday March 4th.
This is the first song in eight years from Super Extra Bonus Party. ‘Switzerland’ is a fresh reminder of a band who have multi-genre influences so to that end, the song has indie-rock guitar riffs, synthesizers, electronic percussion and a first for the band, vocals that come from the band’s own members.
Electronic pop duo Le Boom have a solid live reputation but now, their recordings are starting to catch up. On only their second single, the band establish their infectious energy – built on bright instrumentation, melodic vocals and dancefloor dynamics.
Their gig in Whelans this Friday is sold out but you can catch them at Church, Cork with Daithí on November 30th.
DOI: Niall Byrne AKA Nialler9 is the band’s manager.
Wolf and Moon – Garden Of Potential
Germany folk duo Stefany June and Talk Show Host AKA Wolf and Moon present this atmospheric track ‘Garden Of Potential’ provoking gentle emotion. I’m glad that these two met at a house party in Utrecht, in The Netherlands. Both possess unique voices that together make for an ambient musical match.
Rosie Carney – Winter
True to the title, ‘Winter’ from Donegal singer-songwriter Rosie Carney paints an picture through gentle folk atmospherixs. Carney’s vocals are hauntingly beautiful and she says of the song:
“Winter is a confessional song written about knowing when something is over. It’s inspired by the brutally honest truth experienced when realising something is coming to an end regardless of whether or not that’s what you want. It captures the true cold essence of winter which can be felt when letting go.. It was, of course, written in the winter.. The instrumentation and production were very much inspired by the cold and bare landscapes around me. Everything is raw and minimal.”
The Paul brothers, Jai and A.K. are back with this new track ‘Evil’ which was written by a track written by A. K. Paul with vocals from London based Ruthven, who is apparently a firefighter from Lewisham. The track is in typical Paul brothers’ style – synthesized electronic pop of the off-kilter kind.
Nabihah Iqbal – Zone 1 to 6000
Formerly known as Throwing Shade, London-based Nabihah Iqbal shares her new song from her debut album ‘Weighing of the Heart’. The song is inspired by the poetry of by poetry, William Blake and Matthew Arnold and the experiences of living in a big city.
“It’s also about figuring out a pathway – whether that’s pursuing what you want, or being stuck in a rut and compensating for routine and monotony by acts of escapism.”
Another track, ‘Eternal Passion‘, was released at the same time.
Ardyn – Bloom
English brother and sister Rob and Katy Pearson or Ardyn last two singles ‘Together’ and ‘Throwing Stones’ had influences of the classic music of Fleetwood Mac and Kate Bush. They return to that sound on ‘Bloom’, with catchy synthesizer beats and elegant sibling harmonies.
Frankenstein Bolts – Night Whispering
Wexford duo Frankenstein Bolts dreamy folk track ‘Night Whispering’ is the second release off their album Aglow & Spark which was released earlier this year. This track has a very soothing lullaby feel to it.
Posted on November 22nd, 2017
No band benefitted more from word of mouth about their live reputation in my estimation in the past two years than Khruangbin.
Their last show at The Workman’s Club was much feted from all corners and so good news then that the band play Whelan’s on March 4th next year.
The Texas psychedelic trio’s music mixes “1960’s funk scene in Thailand, 1970’s Persian rock music, and 1980’s Algerian symphonia with a dash of disco, soul, and balearic music”.
Tickets priced €16 go on sale Friday 24th November at 10am through Ticketmaster.ie & usual outlets nationwide.
Posted on November 17th, 2017
Sally Cinnamon is brilliant DJ and a top shelf buzzer based in Dublin. Catch her on Sunday at the Odessa Christmas party. She co-hosts a show on Radiomade from 6pm-8pm Wednesday. Here are top 10 tracks of the year as part of the Best of 2015 series.
1. Bastien Keb – Chicken Stomp
I came across this guy on Soundcloud two months ago and it’s been on heavy rotation ever since, it completely stopped me in my tracks. The amount of instruments he plays on the album is quite impressive too. Trumpet, bass, guitar and flute as well as his beautiful vocals, he’s definitely one to watch. There’s so much Curtis Mayfield-esque magic coming from it that I wouldn’t be surprised that like me, ‘Curtis’ was in his top ten life albums. I wrote to him just days after he released it to say how much I dig his buzz and he was incredibly gracious and seems like a real sound head. I’m excited about seeing how he might approach a live show.
2. Khruangbin – White Gloves
This shoegazey melodic dreamboat of a tune came to me from a pal Neil who’s always known exactly what I like. It’s from a little known Texas based band who are obsessed with Thai Funk and Psychedelic rock from Asia mostly. Recorded in a barn in the middle of the country side this album developed it’s sound from the tapes they listened to in the car on their way to recording each day. They said “This is the first song with lyrics we’ve ever written. We never really thought of ourselves as having a ‘singer’ but we knew that we wanted a voice for Khruangbin”. I’m really glad they’ve found their voice. I know I will love this track forever. The album is a total trip, a smoker’s delight.
3. Wounded Healer – Panic About Love
I’m incredibly proud of my pal Sorcha McGrath and got shivers when I heard this first. We all panic about love, not many of us can make it sound this cool though. McGrath says of her aim with her solo project Wounded Healer “I see so much polarising in the world around us, with such a concentration on making a villain of the ‘other’, so I want to embrace both sides to begin the process of understanding that we are all these things. These songs are about noticing these patterns and making changes from within.”
4. Villagers – Everything I Am
This beautiful album cast the soundtrack to some lovely memories this year for me. That fantastic Electric Picnic gig for one. There’s absolutely nothing I don’t love about Conor O’Brien.
5. Monika – Secret In The Dark
On a trip to New York in 2012, Monika, a Greek native, made a pilgrimage to Daptone Records’ Brooklyn headquarters, to see where some of her favourite artists recorded – from Sharon Jones to Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson. Almost on a whim, Monika knocked on the door, and Homer Steinweiss (founding member of the Dap-Kings & Menahan Street Band) answered. Soon she was playing demos she had on her phone for Homer and Thomas Brenneck (MSB, Budos Band, etc). The connection was immediate, and the next stage of Monika’s career began. This is hooky pop-funk gem is very very satisfying.
6. Ptaki – Termy
I know very little about this Polish duo who make deliciously spacey Balearic tunes with a hint of steamy 80s nostalgia, I do know though that I like it a lot.
7. Jaakko Eino Kalevi – Double Talk
I’ve been a fan of this guy for a while but I only had the an EP to go by, I was very much looking forward to his first album. It didn’t disappoint but didn’t pack the same punch the EP had for me. ‘Double Talk’ is a total trip, I absolutely love it.
8. Mbongwana Star – Malukayi (feat. Konono No. 1)
‘Made up of a sprawling network of shanty-towns and night shelters, day-to-day life in the city is far from easy, but the band don’t want sympathy. Tired of pre-conceptions around African music, Mbongwana Star (‘Mbongwana’ means ‘change’) are creating their own identity, fusing traditional Congolese rhythms with post punk and electronics inspired by life in the townships around them, “making magic out garbage” says producer and band member Doctor L (who produced Tony Allen’s ‘Black Voices’ album). The result is revolutionary. This isn’t an African band per se. It’s a trans-global barrier-busting sound machine.’
9. Kendrick Lamar – King Kunta –
Lamar’s Pimp To A Butterfly has been nominated for 11 Grammy awards this year was the first album of his that I paid attention to I gotta admit. It’s an incredibly powerful collect of conscious and observant numbers that highlight the social injustice, racial tension, hypocrisy and of course Love. Lamar himself describes the album as “Honest, fearful and unapologetic.” King Kunta is my favourite track from the album. I defy you to stand still when this track is playing, it’s completely infectious.
10. La Priest – Party Zute / Learning To Love –
I had so much fun dancing to this album this year but this track stood out in particular for major dance vibes. I must have played it at nearly every gig I did since it came out. Delightfully fun tune that refuses to let you sit down and nod along to. It’s a floor filler for sure. Thank you La Priest.
Posted on December 14th, 2015