Dubliner Dec Lennon has made his name as the DJ and producer Krystal Klear drawing from disco, boogie and funk music at various points in his career.
His latest releases are particularly inspired by New York’s dance clubs of the early 80s and in particular Larry Levan and the spirit of the Paradise Garage can be heard on his latest release which I wrote about last month.
It’s a patron talking about “the feeling, that experience that brings you back to your childhood” in reference to the Garage that introduces Lennon’s edit of Talking Heads’ ‘Once In A Lifetime’.
It’s a song that is a club staple already with countlessversions of the song for the dancefloor DJ already out there. Lennon got his hands on the studio files for the original though and reworked the track to give it a longer version, adding some percussion and vocal segments. It gives the song a version that wasn’t really possible before with its source material intact.
Taking its name from the iconic New York graffiti artist and the ’80s New York club scene, ‘Keith Haring’ is a silky synth-funk percussive dancefloor throwback to that era on a Cold Tonic release that also pays homage to the club ‘Danceteria’ with a classic house jam. ‘Keith Haring’ is a tribute to inclusivity.
“No matter an individual’s social status, sexual orientation, colour or creed, there was always explicit enjoyment and inclusivity within the musical surrounding”.
A headspinning Four Tet remix for an as yet unreleased Todd Terje song finally gets a full release after numerous radio rip uploads.
The Juan Maclean – ‘Can You Ever Really Know Somebody?’
The return of Nancy Wang and John for some DFA dancefloor grooving. It’s the pair’s first release since 2014’s In A Dream. A remix from LA-4A, aka Ambivalent is on the B-side. A new album is on the way.
Lowly – ‘Mornings’
A highlight from the Danish five-piece’s new album Heba on Bella Union, that crosses sustained synths, frantic drums and sweet vocals.
Girlpool – ‘123’
I’d a soft spot for Leo Tucker and Harmony Tividad’s teenage indie rock music project Girlpool and I played it on my TXFM show often during the two years of broadcasting. A new album called Powerplant is on the way on Anti Records, and the duo have finally added a drummer to their lineup. ‘123’ is on the lovely lilting end of what they do best.
Charlotte Adigéry – ‘Senegal Seduction’
An uncharacteristically laidback atmospheric release on Soulwax’s Dee Wee label from Beglian singer Charlotte Adigéry with production by Bolis Popil, who gave us the absolute jam ‘Wei’ already this year on the label.
As debuted this morning, Alt-J released the opening song from their third album Relaxer this morning. ‘3WW’ starts out as a quiet atmospheric English folk-song which builds into an orchestral ballad. It’s certainly a change for the band. Guest vocalist is Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell. Visuals are from Playstation game LSD: Dream Emulator.
Krystal Klear is joined by his father Peter Lennon, who used to be Irish pirate radio broadcaster and was last in a radio studio 33 years ago.
As well as playing some choice records like Misiu’s ‘All A Dream’, Steely Dan, and Gibson Brothers’ ‘Ooh What A Life’, father and son reminisce about his dad’s time on the radio with Gerry Ryan, explore some of his dad’s favourite records and get a dig into Declan’s former love of Slipknot.
How to enter ticket comps – Email [email protected] with the gig above in the Subject line you’re entering for along with your full name and phone number (for late contact) 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.
Hotter Than July @ Meeting House Square (Free, 2pm)
[IMC / DCC event] 10-piece salsa band Havana ‘Che, trad meets hip-hop Jiggy, multicultural percussion project Rithim, Balkan beats with Yurodny and more.
It must have been the oncoming rush of festival season and this weekend’s Body&Soul Festival that resulted in a fresh sense of urgency about snapping up tickets as on Saturday, Electric Picnic sold out.
Opium Rooms’ 1st birthday will be celebrated with two shows from Hollywood’s Sound Nightclub resident Lauren Lane and house and disco Dublin producer Krystal Klear on Friday July 17th and Saturday July 18th. Each gig is €10 +fees from Resident Advisor and Ticketmaster.
After a triumphant main stage set at Body&Soul, Mali band Songhoy Blues have been announced for a headline gig in Whelan’s on Wednesday October 21st. Tickets €22 + fees on sale this Thursday @ 9am.
Bethany Cosetino and her band Best Coast will return to Ireland to play a show in The Academy on Saturday October 31st. Tickets €23 + fees go on sale this Wednesday at 9am from Ticketmaster.
Soul Syndicate ‘Riot’ or whatever Discogs has dropped off for me that week.
An Italo-disco tune you have a soft spot for?
Like most people I could take or leave Italo but I guess (and no marks for originality here) the instrumental of Doctor’s Cat ‘Feel The Drive’ is the one for me.
A song have you discovered/heard in a club, gig or mix recently that blew you away and why?
I reckon Joy Orb / Jackmaster deserve credit for what seems to be the ‘most discovered that has blown us away this year’ which is Batongo ‘Aquirre’ (Fango Remix) and I say that because no one I knew was playing that track up until Jack put it in his Essential mix and then suddenly we are all drawing for it EVERY set so I hate to admit it… especially with Jack BUT without a doubt when I heard him playing this out before the Essential mix I WAS DYING to know but didn’t wanna lose face until Joy told us. But in fairness, credit where credit’s due Jack has championed it.
A really good sad song?
T-Connection ‘Heaven In Your Eyes’ – all time favourite slow / sad jam.
Your first vinyl purchase and what do you remember about it?
I strangely can’t remember my first vinyl purchase truth be told so it must not have been ‘that’ special a moment but it would have been in All City and I would have been around 14 years old.. In fact I THINK I may have bought Dirt Style Records’ DJ Q-Bert’s Toasted Marshmellow Breaks purely because of the cover sleeve and I was big into graffiti at the time but I don’t think I really bought anything significant til I was like 16 when I got my MPC.
A song guaranteed to get people on the dance floor?
‘Tonight I’m Alright’ – Narada Michael Walden (Joey Negro Spirit Of ’79 Mix) always gets people up. Needs to be dropped correctly though.
A track you’ve played that cleared the floor?
Anything by Joy Orbison.
A song that’s always likely to get played when you DJ?
For a long time it was ‘Let’s Dance And Freak’ by Kerrier District but now I think my set staple would be Mike Delgado ‘Birdmans Revenge’ (Rhythm Masters Remix).
Song of the year so far?
Leon Vynehall – ‘It’s Just (House Of Dupree)’
A new artist/label are you most excited about..
There is very little I haven’t been loving from Marquis Hawkes, the guy’s production rate seems insane and all of it is great. DABJ would be a label I am ALWAYS happy to get new promos from and play out close to 90% of it.
What song did you hear this year that you wish you’d written?
Hudson Mohawke – ‘Forever One’
What’s your favourite Irish release of late?
It hasn’t been released as far as I am aware just yet but this guy OMID who I found on Sound cloud has some fucking amazing material including one track in particular I have been playing religiously called ‘Motown’. The vibe is very raw techno house stuff ala Levon Vincent or
Moodymann but his stuff really impressed me. He has release on First Second which is a great new imprint from Dublin too.
There’s a cool night taking place in the RHA Gallery on Wednesday 24 September called Blue Moon Lost Wednesday. It’s curated by Orlaith Ross of Making Space and the RHA and features experimental live music, DJs and more in the gallery. Live bands include Ships, Lets Set Sail, Maria Somerville and Margie Lewis while DJs include This Greedy Pig and Sally Cinnamon and me, Nialler9.
Alex Ridha aka Boys Noize is collaborating with Chilly Gonzales as Octave Minds but he plays a solo show at The Academy on Friday 14th November. Tickets €22.90 plus fees.
KÖLSCH, the man behind ‘Goldfisch’ is playing a DJ set at the Button Factory on Friday November 7th. Tickets €15 plus any fees. 11pm show.
Amber Run, the Nottingham band responsible for the bootiful ‘I Found’ are making their Irish debut on November 12th at Whelan’s. Tickets €15 plus fees.
Folk trio The Staves are back in Whelan’s on Thursday October 23rd. Tickets are €22 plus fees on sale this Friday. A track from their new EP was produced by Justin Vernon. They’re also in Dolan’s Limerick on the 24th.
Krystal Klear is back in Dublin for a gig on 26th October, a Bank Holiday weekend. It’s at The Academy and tickets are €19.90 plus fees.
Gruff Rhys has added a second Peppercanister gig on December 17th.
English indie/pop musician Bipolar Sunshine is returning after Longitude to play Whelans next March 26th. Tickets are €14.35 plus fees.
London-based rockers Cheatahs play their first headline show at The Workman’s Club on Wednesday, 26 November.Tickets €11.75 on sale now.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After his absolute whopper of a first tune ‘Squad’ on his own label, Cold Tonic, Krystal Klear returns for a second release leading with a song simply called ‘Dance 7FS’.
It’s the A-side of Tonic002, a sonic aggravator and dancefloor weapon. It’s available on vinyl pre-order now and out on April 14th. ‘Fumur Tue’ features on the b-side and can be heard until later tonight on Benji B.
One way to get people’s attention by providing a real gutbusting noisy palate cleanser to kick off the year which is what Dublin band Girl Band do here on a “a stomping, fuzzy six minutes of ballsy post-punk rock noise.”
2. A$AP NAST feat. Method Man – ‘Trillmatic’
A$AP Mob once again proving they are pretty good at this good track malarkey by taking rap back to the old school. 20 years ago, Nas’ seminal Illmatic album was released and ‘Trillmatic’ embodies the spirit of New York rap of that era. Not only does the song have Method Man but A$AP Nast totally sounds like Raekwon on this one. Nice touches on the ’90s references in the video including BRICK PHONE.
3. Krystal Klear – ‘SQUAD’ –
Krystal Klear returns in a harder guise with ‘SQUAD’, the first release on his own label Cold Tonic and a big synth room shaker. This is BIG. Out on February 3rd.
4. Kaleida – ‘Tropea’
Another track that got lost in the December throwback, Vocalist Christina Wood and producer Cicely Goulder make up London duo who have a debut EP coming out soon. ‘Tropea’ is an elegant electronic track that vocally recalls, Polica. Check out their other track ‘Think’.
5. Broods – ‘Never Gonna Change’
A New Zealand brother/sister duo to add to the grown up electronic pop pile, except this one was produced by Lorde producer and co-writer Joel Little.
Lachlan Bostock and Alex Nicholls are Mansionair, a pretty new production duo from Sydney and this is their first track. Featuring indie-rock band Revier , the song has a similar slow-burning atmosphere to London Grammar. The track unfolds in a space between subtle electronic techniques and full-band dynamics.
You can hear the influence of Annie Clark’s recent collaborative album with David Byrne on this new track ‘Digital Witness’ from the new self-titled St. Vincent album specifically in the use of that album’s slurpy brass but also in the song’s more coasting rhythmical time. The lyrics reflect a society that increasingly documenting its every movement willingly via social media via lines like “If I can’t show it / If you can’t see me / What’s the point of doing anything?”. I wouldn’t know what that feels like…
Danish bald man Tomas Barfod has signed to Secretly Canadian and will release a second album later this year. Lead single ‘Pulsing’ is out February 14th (aww) and is as the title suggests, a pulsing electronic pop number with Nina Kinert on some sweet vocals. AMAZING FACT: THOMAS BARFOD’S ALBUM WILL FEATURE CHARLES OF CHARLES & EDDIE FAME.
DJ DJ Booth, a producer who has collaborated with Slugabed and whose recent EP was called Todd Edwards Falling Down the Stairs also does a fine line in edits and remixes and he’s reworked EP2 track ‘Water Me‘ into something that could possibly be played by DJs.
Chaz Bundick aka Toro Y Moi joins the Canadian boys on the vocals for ‘Come Alive’, an ’80s electro jam true to the duo’s style and from their forthcoming White Women album. Apparently if you Shazam this track, you’ll get a free download of the Salva remix.
A new track from Manchester-based Irish producer Krystal Klear fresh from his slot at Longitude this past weekend. He’s collaborated with Jenna G before on ‘More Attention’ but ‘Addiction’, which gets a release on September 1st through Rinse, goes straight in for a more disco vibe. The video features a commuting girl daydreaming she’s in a dance troupe while listening to the track.
Longitude Festival’s lineup is pretty close in taste to the music featured regularly on this blog so with that in mind, here’s five of my must-see recommendations per day for the Marlay Park festival. There’s also a Spotify playlist of Longitude artists at the end of the post along with the site map and time table.
See you at my Longitude DJ set at 3:30pm on Sunday at the Red Bull Music Academy stage and later on that night at the Afterparty in The Academy. Check out the stage times for the weekend.
Two blocks from the start of the High Line park in Chelsea, New York’s affluent gay neighbourhood on West 18th Street, the Red Bull Music Academy’s New York edition occupies four of the eight floors of the Monahan Express Company Building. Over the entire month of May, the address serves as the headquarters of an ambitious operation that has been happening in various cities around the world since 1998.
When RBMA moves out at the end of this month, it leaves behind it nine state-of-the-art recording studios purpose-built for the ephemeral occasion. There’s a massive SSL J-series mixing desk in the basement control room. The RBMA Radio studio sits beside the canteen where the Academy participants eat their meals. There’s a 50-seat auditorium, various lounge areas, and downstairs, there’s even an art installation which samples live birds in a cage which is played to entrants of the building when they open the glass doorway. Every day, Red Bull produce an impressive newspaper called The Daily Note as well as a wealth of photography and video material for their website. While it’s physically and architecturally impressive, most of it won’t be left behind come the end of May.