Rebel Phoenix – So Clear
This man’s workrate is unmatched in Irish hip-hop at the moment. He’s the rapper’s rapper of the city and is the perfect bridge between the Workin Class records sound that was at its height five or six years ago and a newer experimental sound of Hip Hop being made in Dublin. His deep brooding voice and dizzying flow make this perfect music to bump while cruising through the city at night. Expect bigger and better things from him next year.
This record has been in my head all year. The bassline would give any man, woman or child a serious case of Bass face. Dublins answer to a Pharell Williams record. It’s the kind of song that calls you to a dancefloor.
The brilliant visuals for this record which were tinged in Irish kitchen kitsch, but this might distract the listener from realising how tough and hard the production and rapping is on the record. It’s harder than a dockers fist holding a coffin nail. After the massive success of Let The Dead Bury The Dead, the family are exploring where to take their sound and this is a perfect mix of Irish African culture and grime that their music has been hailed as.
Kojaque – Wifi Code
The Dano McCormack of Rap swung open the top door of a caravan swinging a bouquet of roses a lá Morrissey on Top of The Pops complaining about a girl asking him about Tame Impala. In essence this is everything I’ve grown to love about Kojaque’s records and visuals, the sheer lack of any fucks given, the rejection of macho bravado bullshit and a taste for the obscure. Unlike some of his contemporaries, Kojaque’s scattered flow and double-entendre rhymes have some actual meaning behind them to decipher even if it is just some whimsical jokes. A departure from his regular jazzy, boom bap style, ‘Wifi Code’ carries over his brilliant sense of humour and style to a hard trap beat.
Loah is the fuckin truth. I’ve never seen someone command a stage with such serenity as her. I’d seen her at her EP launch in the Sugar Club a couple months back. The place was packed to the rafters and yet between pauses in songs you could’ve heard a pin drop. This song has the soul and the passion delivered in every note of a woman breaking free of a failed relationship. The dichotomy of the chorus being powerful and sonically uplifting yet married to Loah’s refrain of “I am nothing, nothing at all” is just deadly songwriting conveying the mix of emotions that come with ending a relationship. Loah is deadly and this song is deadly.
Sequence – TNM
The absolute top rankin’ don juan of Irish afrobeat. Truss No Man is was an absolute scorcher all summer and got hockeyed out the car stereo. The hook is as infectious as a J Hus banger and truth be told there’s has been nothing of this style, of this standard in Dublin to my knowledge. I want to see what Sequence comes with next.
Jambo – Dimensions
Jambo is one of these Irish rappers that has been around for donkeys and yet is still slept on. His name commands respect in certain Hip Hop circles in Dublin as a serious lyricist. As some Dublin rap of this style can be inaccessible or tired when it’s themes are so insular, Jambo is truly unique in his vivid portrayal of the scheme and the side of Dublin most people don’t see. Dimensions is a creeping trap record about balancing life between the all too familiar trappings of street life and the hunger to make something of yourself as an artist. You can hear Jambo’s determination on using his music to live a more positive life while using his almost cinematic style of writing to portray his surroundings. The whole Trapped album is flames as well.
Killa Yan – Like I Used To
You’d have to be hiding under a gigantic rock to have not come across the plethora of talent and banging records coming out of Diffusion Lab this year with big records from Soulé and Jafaris, Rushes and Day_S but another singer on their roster Killa Yan released this record in June. It’s haunting yet smooth production reflects Killa Yan’s sweet vocals with a remorseful story of a relationship breakdown. I really hope I hear more from this youngfella next year.
Rubber Bandits – Sonny
This is not only one of my favourite records this year but also one of the most beautfilly bizarre and poignant records out of Ireland. It mixes Irish trad, African rhythms, acid house baselines and Jonny Cooper Clarke-esque lyrics to speak on one of the leading causes of death of young people in Ireland. I feel somehow awkward dancing to a song about youngfellas hanging themselves but that’s the point and maybe even the genius of The Bandits music, to challenge societal attitudes by reflecting issues on back on society, making us laugh or scratch our heads or both. Young people are dying by the scores in Ireland by suicide and Sonny at its core lifts shame and stigma off those who’ve taken their lives while singing to people who it affects.
I’d tossed up between this and I Love you Sadie because of it’s ridiculously catchy chorus but Out of My Hands might be one of the most politically charged and visceral records of Irish society in 2017. The production has hints of Massive Attack using a powerful and haunting rhythm to give the sense of discomfort the protagonist has in even hearing about refugees or the 8th amendment. The song captures a psyche so prevalent in Irish life at the moment that claims that they are not being spoken to or about yet are constantly appeased by the media in their thinking. The lyrics are impeccable. The concept is refreshing and delivered superb. Karen’s vocals are sorrowful yet angelic and the harmonies are only rapih as well.
Posted on December 14th, 2017
The first bands to play the eir Other Voices Festival in association with Heineken in Dingle from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd December have been revealed.
Adding to the magic in Dingle will be:
- Columbia Mills
- Other Creatures
- Super Silly
- Come On Live Long
- Waldorf and Cannon
- Cian Ó’Cíobháin
- Mango and MathMan
- R. Kitt.
The 13 venues used in the town are An Díseart, Nellie Fred’s, An Droichead Beag, John Benny’s, The Marina Inn, McCarthy’s, An Chonair, Dingle Brewing Company, Paul Geaney’s, Adams, Bean in Dingle, Kennedy’s and Murphy’s.
More music Trail acts will be announced in the coming weeks. There will be 70 free events as part of the festival (head to www.othervoices.ie and register for Festival wristbands).
Venues will be hosting the eir live-stream from the main filmed gigs from St. James’ Church.
Jim Carroll’s Banter will return and is set to feature conversations with playwright Enda Walsh, Rough Trade’s Geoff Travis and Jeannette Lee, documentary director Emer Reynolds, AVA Festival’s Sarah McBriar, cultural anthropologist Genevieve Bell, writer Sinead Gleeson will present the arts review of the year and Caitlín Nic Gabhann and Ciarán Ó’Maonaigh will be exploring traditional music in contemporary times.
The Dingle Cookery School are organising food stalls in the town also for the weekend.
Posted on November 2nd, 2017
Death In Vegas
Saturday, Warehouse Stage, 6pm
It’s not quite clear what a Death In Vegas live show will be in 2017 as it’s been 5 years since Richard Fearless has played a live set that we can verify what was played. Recent years have seen the project head down a more esoteric electronic direction with last year’s Transmission album feeling like the work of a producer in a bunker underground. There was always a dystopian outlook to the music but now it’s less countered by euphoria. Airing of any of the first 3 albums from the unfortunately named project would be welcome but unexpected. Fearless will also be participating in the RBAM talks at 3.15pm on Sunday and DJing an after-party set at Wah Wah Club on South William Street on Saturday night.
Mango and Mathman
Satuday, Industries Hall, 8:45pm
Northside Dublin MC Mango Dassle is a former member of The Animators collective and he’s really stepped up his profile this year with superb live shows at Electric Picnic with producer Mathman, where the pair displayed an Irish grime sound that felt like its own thing as opposed to a satelite of the UK scene.
Saturday & Sunday, Industries Hall, 9:30pm
If you’re looking for something a bit more interactive this weekend head to Bingo Loco, Ireland’s only “Bingo Rave”. It’s pretty self-explanatory: bingo, rave, dildos as prizes, chugging beer, karaoke battles and classic tunes. It follows Sing Along Social’s singing pop battle party on the same stage on Sunday.
Sunday 5:30pm, Red Bull Music Academy Stage
It’s always good to see a female DJ smash it at a festival as the sight is still rare. If Peggy Gou’s stellar performance at this years Dekmantel Festival is anything to go by then this should be an hour and a half set to feed all of your dancefloor needs.
Sunday, Main Stage, 7:40pm
Dublin born-UK based Bonzai has developed her own soulful-electronic sound at the age of only 20. An energetic set from this lady is to be expected.Her latest song is the poppier vibe of ‘Feel Alright’.
Sunday, Warehouse Stage, 6:00pm
Dominic Maker and Kai Campos give off waves of rhythm on their third Mount Kimbie album What Love Survives this year, exploring a more 80’s inspired electronic, post-punk sound, they return after last year’s in-between album set and this time, the songs are out in the ether.
Sunday, Warehouse Stage, 7:15pm
French native Jeremy Underground is known for delivering a well varied set, expect everything from soul, house, techno, funk, and jazz. I just hope his hotel room is up to scratch.
Posted on October 27th, 2017
Earlier this year, the Dublin MC and former member of The Animators dropped the superb grimey single ‘Badman’.
On new single ‘What Are You Sayin?’, Mango teams up with Mathman once more on an atmospheric grime beat and is taken from the forthcoming album Casual Work.
Watch the video directed by Chris Corcoran:
Posted on November 14th, 2016