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Stephen Manning is a booker, promoter and DJ with Hidden Agenda club who book fine regular nights of electronic acts of both local and international, mainly in Wah Wah Club and District 8. Hidden Agena also booked stages at Metropolis Festival and Forbidden Fruit. This is his latest mix.
Worth the wait and I love the haunting strings on this. I actually became a Radiohead fan by default as a 15 year old when my mam went into the Record Sleeve in Navan to get me a birthday present and said ‘my son loves music what do you recommend?’ and he gave her The Bends album. So thanks Mam and Record Sleeve guy, otherwise Id still be listening to the Prodigy.
Palms Trax – Cloud City’
This guy can do no wrong. His Dekmantel set was awesome and this track is a belter. I am a sucker for piano riffs and Moroder baselines and ‘Cloud City’ delivers on both counts. I supported him earlier in the year at the Button Factory and was in full fan boy mode which probably freaked him out. I nearly left him off the list as he scratched my last record when he took it off the turntable.
Leon Vynehall – ‘Blush’
Criminally underrated producer who is destined for big things. This song is from the album Rojus and has been played at 90% of Hidden Agenda gigs this year, DJ Deece plays this on repeat. Rojus is the lithuanian word for ‘paradise’. You learn something new every day eh?
A Tribe Called Quest – ‘A Space Program’
Most hip-hop gigs are shite but Q-Tip is one of the exceptions to the rule and his Dublin gig in 2009 is easily one of the most memorable gigs I was ever at. I was definitely sceptical that the new album would be of any use but thankfully it’s ace. It cements their status as greatest hip-hop band ever.
Hope Sandoval And The Warm Inventions – ‘Let Me Get There’ feat Kurt Vile
I caught Kurt Vile at Body & Soul a few years ago and became an instant fan. This song is lush and who doesn’t love a good duet?
David Bowie – ‘Blackstar’
This gets better with every listen. Futuristic jazz from a true genius and this track from the album of the same name adds to his incredible legacy. A man with more styles than Peter Marks.
Midland – ‘Final Credits’
High energy fist pumper from the versatile Midland. I have played this at festivals and clubs and it never fails. Guaranteed taps aff. It takes a lot for me to buy a track on vinyl these days but I shelled out for this gem.
Dele Sosimi – ‘Too Much Information’ [Laolu remix]
Pure dance floor heat, hotter than a McDonalds apple pie. Every time someone plays this I ask what it is and then remember that I bought it. Sounds great when played LOUD.
Romare – ‘All Night’
One of my favourite producers and this track has a baseline to die for. His recent album (Love Songs Part 2) has lots of blues and jazz samples and flows really. Was raging I missed his recent set in Wah Wah Club.
After a week’s holiday, there were many albums for me to unravel and unpack upon my return not least Solange’s Seat At The Table, an album that takes the charged racial atmosphere of American in 2016 and produces a spiritual, political artistic statement on black lives, culture and family on an album teeming with music of black origin: R&B, soul, funk and gospel. Much of the music draws on restraint but an early highlight ‘Cranes In The Sky’ (See also the Sampha-featuring ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’, ‘Mad’ and ‘Junie’ for starters )
Banks – ‘Mind Games’
On her second album The Altar, Jillian Banks has really found her voice and projects it with a dominance that wasn’t present on her debut. Drawing on her emotions as strength, ‘Mind Games’ is indicative of her current more enjoyable phase, a more forceful, less-obvious superior alt R&B pop sound.
Nicolas Jaar – ‘Three Sides Of Nazareth’
Another surprise album release last week, Sirens, at 41 minutes and 6 tracks, is perhaps Nicolas Jaar’s most cohesive album. It finds him dabbling in new textures, like the ten-minute krautgrooving Suicide-esque motorik ‘Three Sides Of Nazareth’.
Tash Sultana – ‘Jungle’
A sprightly guitar pop hit from the land down under. With a history of busking, 21 year-old Melbourne artist Tash Sultana does it all herself on her new single ‘Jungle’, a refreshing bedroom pop number. Sultana has two singles out but Triple J support and buzz has lead her to sell out her six Melbourne and Sydney shows. One to watch and inbound for European dates too.
Amber Coffman – ‘All To Myself’
With new Dirty Projectors music out last month, Amber Coffman, the member who has demonstrated the most interest in collaborating elsewhere (Major Lazer, Frank Ocean, Snoop Dogg), Now she turns her attention to her solo album, coming on Columbia, called City of No Reply. ‘All To Myself’ is a warm and graceful intro to what’s to come.
Meltybrains? – Know My Name
Ireland’s finest ebullient experimentalists return with a diptych. Part one is an ambient dub track while part two is an electronic freakout that is reminiscent of the Super Furry Animals. Know their name. A new EP Kiss Yourself is out in November.
Bad Sea – Solid Air
Bad Sea’s two members, Ciara Thompson and Alan Farrell met on Tinder but quickly decided to pursue musical interests together over romantic ones. The band’s first single has elements of ’50s pop, indie and classic rock’n’roll. They claim its inspired by Angel Olsen and Carly Rae Jepsen and there is certainly some of the former’s vintage aesthetic in the air.
Danny Brown – ‘Ain’t It Funny’
Rapper Danny Brown’s third album Atrocity Exhibition is his most sonically polychromatic (fitting for a Warp Release) and features guests Kendrick, Petite Noir, Kelela, B-Real of Cypress Hill and Ab-Soul. ‘Ain’t It Funny’ six tracks in, is a blast of chase scene horns and Brown’s frenetic energy.
Midnight Magic – ‘I Gotta Feeling’
Nine-piece New York disco band Midnight Magic return with a sure-footed new single that falls somewhere between classic ’80s electro and disco. See? They are not only responsible for ‘Beam Me Up’. Wisely though, they asked the guy that made that song such a club hit – Jacques Renault to produce it.
Nicolas Jaar made a new mix along with Dixon, Steffi, Ben UFO and Omar-S to mark Resident Advisor’s 500 installment of their podcast. I haven’t listened to the others yet but I thoroughly enjoyed Jaar’s mix which leans on the atmospheric side with sampled dialogue, experimental and neo-classical music interweaving with beats. The likes of Steve Reich, Alva Noto, How To Dress Well and Talk Talk feature.
“Mix was recorded in December 2015, in Brooklyn, New York. Picture is from those new machines at passport control at JFK.”
Nicolas Jaar’s Resident Advisor mix track list
Kayan Kalhor & Ali Bahraini Fard – Between the Heavens and Me
Alva Noto – Module 1
Ø – Syvâys
ENA – Divided 10
Ancestral Voices – Vine Of The Soul
Lydia Lunch – Conspiracy Of Women
Talk Talk – The Rainbow
Lashun Pace – I know I’ve Been Changed
Terekke – Wav1
Angel – Dark Matter Leak
Barn Owl – Lotus Cloud
Keith Jarrett – You Don’t Know What Love Is
Diseño Corbusier – Chiquillo & Golpe de Amistad
Against All Logic – LKJ
Kobayashi Maru – Typical Male Behavior
Steve Reich – Come Out
AAL – Fourteen Steps To A Better Life
Angel – Out
How To Dress Well/Lorenzo Senni – Words I Don’t Remember (Original dub)
Skee Mask – Cylo
Nicolas Jaar – No One Is Looking At U
Terry Riley – Harp Of New Albion
Muslimgauze – Untitled
Marcel Khalife & Mahmoud Darwish – Ahmad Emerges From Ancient Wounds
Nicolas Jaar – Swim
Dialogue: $13 Opera For Peace
Sound of two orange-tufted sunbirds running into each other mid-flight (Inaudible)
As part of Darkside, the young Chilean American experimental musician Nico Jar ramped up the spectacle but kept the music on the experimental side. His solo works shares that project’s ambient electronic style and Jaar gives the sense he’s always searching for more in himself. His latest release is Nymphs II, which shows where he’s at now – it’s heady experimental electronic compositions for feet and heads.
2. Tei Shi
Somewhere Else Stage: 8pm – 8:45pm
Probably the one true American buzz band of the festival, Tei Shi is the name chosen by Argentinian-born NYC-based Glass Animals collaborator Valerie Teicher whose music moves between siren synth pop and gentle harmonic pop.
Nicolas Jaar has a new two-track EP out on 12″ on his Other People label today.
As is expected from the Chilean/American man, it’s a textured 15 minute listen with nods to experimental side on part one – ‘The Three Sides of Audrey and Why She’s All Alone Now’ and his more rhythmically-driven side on side two’s ‘No One is Looking at U’.
Florence + The Machine’s ‘What Kind Of Man’ was a return to form for Ms. Welch with a stomping callback to her early work and a fine setup for new album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.
As part of the run up to the album, Nicolas Jaar has come in and teared the song apart spending 12 minutes building and deconstructing a dirty disco beat all over Florence’s vocals. Or as Jaar has tagged it himself “#dark jungle disco death squad suede sex”. Seems fair:
Nicolas Jaar is only 24 years of age but has cultivated a reputation for sonic composition that crosses the divide between dance, electronic, ambient, jazz and neo-classical. The Chilean/American’s outlook is worldly, his music is otherworldly (just like his label, which is called Other People).
Darkside, his collaboration with Dave Harrington, his latest project, was arrived at naturally after the acclaimed debut album Space Is Only Noise. The pair came to Darkside with a depth of musical knowledge and experience that most bands just do not have.
Last year’s Darkside full-length Psychic was an engaging sonic record that touched on ambience, electronic, classic and psychedelic rock. But live, months later, that minimal meandering record is brought to full glowing gargantuan light.
If, like me, you were expecting chilled Tuesday night grooves (the first time I saw Darkside at Sonar By Day it was exactly that) from the show, think again.
Last night’s set at Hidden Agenda in the Button Factory in Dublin was an applicable blend between sensory ambience and groove-based dance music. Where Psychic spends much of its time building up to a groove and disintegrating, those subtle changes in tempo where a song kicks from a build to a beat were festival-sized. ‘Paper Trails’ swirls from a funk organ passage to beats, lilting on record but room-shaking here.
Jaar and Harrington’s musical inventiveness means less reliance on sticking to a 4/4 beat even when employing it to such big effect. Harrington’s funk guitar lines stick close to the groove at times, while most other times, the solos over percussive hits and synths are old-school bar blues riffs. That lends the music a timeless, weightless quality.
There’s an attention to detail from all perspectives. The band bring in their own sound desk and visual setup which, was intricate, moody and muted. Like the flip of a coin on an axis (and the album’s front cover), a giant circular mirror reflects light and motion back onto the audience. Actual smoke and mirrors.
‘Golden Arrow’ is 11 minutes on record but could have easily doubled that length last night. It was hard to tell where songs ended and others began. There were fluid movements between each. Whether they diverted into a house jam breakdown, a scrape of ambient noise, dance-funk, or plodding pleasantness, it was all utterly engaging.
It was hard not to get carried away at a show like this. Jaar is a future artist working in the present and Harrington is his perfect foil, focused but with a loose grip. Where Jaar’s own show features a willingness to experiment on stage, Harrington helps focus the range of sonic explorations to the understated palette that Darkside occupies.
Where there were moments that the music felt peerless other times, it reminded me of Air’s Virgin Suicides soundtrack, foreboding, stalking yet teeming with much more physicality. It was less referential to the past.
The only conclusion you can draw from seeing something so masterful is that everyone else has to step up to Darkside’s level now. You can catch them again at Body & Soul.