My favourite songs of the past month – all in one place.

Listen on Spotify


1.

The NYC-based Korean producer Kathy Yaeji Lee has released two EPs of house-pop music on the God Mode label (Shamir) and ‘raingurl’ is the standout in her discography so far. It’s at once – a banger, introspective and playful (‘oh yeah, hey dog, hey what’s up?).


Jai and A.K Paul returned with an actual Paul Institute last month and two new songs on their roster. The best of the two is from A.K Paul and and Ruthven (a firefighter from Lewisham) with ‘Evil’ – a Prince-esque slice of synthesized electronic Linndrum pop of the off-kilter kind.


Straight up, I manage this band but here’s why – Christy Leech and Aimie Mallon’s electronic house-pop is a rush, it starts dance parties of percussive melodic energy. ‘ Don’t Need It Now’ is only their second single but expect mauch more in 2018.


Fort Romeau has one of the most consistent outputs of any electronic act aronund and this year’s Emulators EP is one of his best. ‘Emu’ is an example of what he does best – building and releasing tension with synths and sirens.


Berlin-based American producer Avalon Emerson released this evocative track on the Whities label. It’s a building slice of arpeggiated magic, a rush as the title suggests.


Pharrell ditches his run of happy-go-lucky solo material for a return to the NERD sound that made his name as a producer (along with the other two members Chad Hugo and Shay Haley). Here they team up with Rihanna with trademark NERD boom bap beats and tight production but it’s Rihanna who owns the track, rapping like the boss she is.


From a new Glue EP, comes this mechanised weapon from the two Belfast boys who know how to cut through the noise like few other producers.


Derry producer Andy Morrison’s Sapa Inca Delirium as The Cyclist is a late addition to the end-of-year lists. ‘Inhale / Exhale’ is a fast-paced nine-minute track with passages of jilting bass, percussion swerves and Harper’s calming influence on the latter half of the song.


9.

Golden Teacher – Spiritron

Scottish band Golden Teacher have a Chk Chk Chk vibe going on with them and their just-released debut album No Luscious Life is a fun release of electronic funk and afrodisco vibes. I featured the ESG-esque punk funk of the album opener already but this one has been on repeat all month.


10.

I Am The Cosmos – Nothing But Love

Ross Turner and Cian Murphy’s I Am The Cosmos have moved their music to an analogue house vein as heard on the new Nothing But Love EP. Each track on the EP  has something to recommend it but the undulating sonics of the title track with backing vocals by Maria Somerville are doing it for me at the moment.


Pages: 1 2 3

Posted on February 1st, 2018

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My favourite songs of the past month – all in one place.

Listen on Spotify


1.

The NYC-based Korean producer Kathy Yaeji Lee has released two EPs of house-pop music on the God Mode label (Shamir) and ‘raingurl’ is the standout in her discography so far. It’s at once – a banger, introspective and playful (‘oh yeah, hey dog, hey what’s up?).


Jai and A.K Paul returned with an actual Paul Institute last month and two new songs on their roster. The best of the two is from A.K Paul and and Ruthven (a firefighter from Lewisham) with ‘Evil’ – a Prince-esque slice of synthesized electronic Linndrum pop of the off-kilter kind.


Straight up, I manage this band but here’s why – Christy Leech and Aimie Mallon’s electronic house-pop is a rush, it starts dance parties of percussive melodic energy. ‘ Don’t Need It Now’ is only their second single but expect mauch more in 2018.


Fort Romeau has one of the most consistent outputs of any electronic act aronund and this year’s Emulators EP is one of his best. ‘Emu’ is an example of what he does best – building and releasing tension with synths and sirens.


Berlin-based American producer Avalon Emerson released this evocative track on the Whities label. It’s a building slice of arpeggiated magic, a rush as the title suggests.


Pharrell ditches his run of happy-go-lucky solo material for a return to the NERD sound that made his name as a producer (along with the other two members Chad Hugo and Shay Haley). Here they team up with Rihanna with trademark NERD boom bap beats and tight production but it’s Rihanna who owns the track, rapping like the boss she is.


From a new Glue EP, comes this mechanised weapon from the two Belfast boys who know how to cut through the noise like few other producers.


Derry producer Andy Morrison’s Sapa Inca Delirium as The Cyclist is a late addition to the end-of-year lists. ‘Inhale / Exhale’ is a fast-paced nine-minute track with passages of jilting bass, percussion swerves and Harper’s calming influence on the latter half of the song.


9.

Golden Teacher – Spiritron

Scottish band Golden Teacher have a Chk Chk Chk vibe going on with them and their just-released debut album No Luscious Life is a fun release of electronic funk and afrodisco vibes. I featured the ESG-esque punk funk of the album opener already but this one has been on repeat all month.


10.

I Am The Cosmos – Nothing But Love

Ross Turner and Cian Murphy’s I Am The Cosmos have moved their music to an analogue house vein as heard on the new Nothing But Love EP. Each track on the EP  has something to recommend it but the undulating sonics of the title track with backing vocals by Maria Somerville are doing it for me at the moment.


Pages: 1 2 3

Posted on December 6th, 2017

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My favourite songs of the past month – all in one place.

Listen on Spotify


1.

Fever Ray – To The Moon And Back

After 9 years away, Karin Dreijer returned with her first album as Fever Ray last week, Plunge. ‘To The Moon And Back’ was the first taste from it and it is the album’s most pop moment. More than that though, the song’s familiar electro mechanised beat is the most Knife-esque thing on the album. “I played something catchy / You leaned forward and kissed me,” Dreijer sings on a euphoric reintroduction doused in enough oddness for it to be totally of her own universe.


2.

Lankum – Déanta In Eireann

From one of my albums of the past week (and a band who announced a Vicar Street show yesterday) comes this standout from Between The Earth & The Sky about Ireland. The 8-minute ‘Deanta in Eireann’ that could be about nearly any time in Irish history but are applicable to the now – migration, a government who doesn’t care about the little people and using your Irish charm abroad but it turns the song’s gaze back on the homeland – “if the Dáil are the pimps, then we are the whores” and in the end, you’ll want to stand up and declare the song our new antagonistic national anthem.


3.

Daphni – Vulture

One of the few songs on Dan Snaith’s new Daphni album Joli Mai that didn’t feature on this summer’s Fabriclive mix, ‘Vulture’ is a bubbling pot of horror synth, bass rumbles, mechanised percussion and effects.


4.

Julien Baker – Turn Out The Lights

21 year-old songwriter signed to Matador Records who was my new artist of the week for the Irish Times recently, hits some big highs on her second album with the title track vividly shares her pain. The gig on November 9th is sold out.


5.

Four Tet – Lush

A mellow and melodic highlight from Kieran Hebden’s largely understated new record New Energy.


6.

King Krule – Dum Surfer

The most menacing cut from The Ooz, Archy Marshall’s newest as King Krule is saying something. Marshall’s voice moves between ominous hedonism, speedy narrator caught in a night of gambling, car crashes, puking and shit bands. A seedy modern villainous jazz song.


7.

St. Vincent – Pills

Annie Clark’s Masseduction is a barrage of percussive sonics and skilled guitar music. ‘Pills’ is the album’s most fizzy-pop moment with its nursery-rhyme chorus about pharmaceutical dependence contrasted with buzzed-up guitars and outro that shakes out the song’s vigorous energy with a coda that features Kamasi Washington on sax and offers more than a handful of hope.


8.

DJ Seinfeld – Time Spent Away From You

Previews of Mr lo-fi house himself’s forthcoming album on November 3rd have raised expectations for an already buzzed about artist. Tracks like this proves their is substance beyond the style and movement tag applied to the Swedish producer.


9.

Tribal Dance – Flongo

Math rock makes a return to the Irish music scene! Tribal Dance reminds me of all the Richter Collective gigs, the music of Not Squares and Cap Pas Cap that had a big hold on what was going on in the country 10 years ago. ‘Flongo’ is this Dublin trio’s debut single and features the rhythmic tautness of early Foals with a bassline in a rush to the finish.


10.

Gorillaz & Little Simz – Garage Palace

An uncharacteristic banger from Gorillaz with UK rapper Little Simz on vocals. This is a fresh thing.


Pages: 1 2 3

Posted on November 2nd, 2017

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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.

See a list of Hidden Agenda’s upcoming events including Erol Alkan, Jackmaster, Fort Romeau and David August.

Here are his top 10 tracks of 2016:


1.

Nicolas Jaar – ‘No’

From his new album Sirens and this was the standout track for me. Whether it’s solo or as Darkside, he always delivers. It was toss up between this track or ‘Three Sides of Nazareth’. Looking forward to seeing the next live show, he is always unreal. Darkside is in my top 3 Hidden Agenda gigs of all time.


2.

Radiohead – ‘Burn The Witch’

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.


3.

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.


4.

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?


5.

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.


6.

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?


7.

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.


8.

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.


9.

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.


10.

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.


Posted on December 8th, 2016

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