Loose Joints is new podcast hosted by Nialler9 and Sally Cinnamon talking to people about the music they love: old and new. For our first episode, we are joined by DJ, artist and photographer Aidan Kelly.
We discuss what really goes on in the DFA house, the majesty and tragedy of Amy, the return of Jazz music, Aidan’s desire to have a cup of tea with Liz Fraser in Bewley’s, why Sally thought Talking Heads were a band for kids and why Paul Simon would make a great secondary school teacher. Some NSFW language in there too.
Plaid, the long-time Warp Records electronic duo have just released a new album The Digging Remedy (listen below) and that means new live shows.
Longtime Dublin promoters of Plaid, U:mack are bringing the duo to Whelan’s on September 10th and there’s a special stage setup for the show:
For this performance, Plaid will be performing behind a partial screen made up of 40 triangles and will be using newly developed software to project images & video clips onto each of the triangles triggered by the music. They will be joined by guitarist & co- writer Benet Walsh.
Update: It’s 2016, I found this post and enjoyed it. I’ve now added a Spotify playlist of all of the albums available.
Below is a list of my favourite records of the ten years between the turn of the millenium, the year 2000 and 2010. Ranking these albums was led by a) what the album means to me and b) how often I’d listen to it. Each and every one of these albums blew me away repeatedly at some time between the ages of 18 and 27. Each one has something special going for it, something magical that brings me back to it. For that I can only thank the creators of each.
Without further ado, here are my favourite 50 albums from the decade. And remember, you can’t be wrong if they are your favourites.
Cian Ó Cíobháin is the man behind the long-running An Taobh Tuathail radio show on RnaG every Monday to Friday from 10pm to midnight. His Galway club night with Cyril Briscoe 110th Street just turned sweet sixteen. The dude is also available for weddings.
As for the show, there will be two ATT Christmas specials broadcast on Christmas Eve and Christmas day from 10pm to midnight.
In the meantime, here are his choices for his songs of 2014.
From her extraordinary Under The Skin soundtrack to Jonathan Glazer’s film, this gauzy-dreamy, otherworldly composition is easily my tune of the year. It somehow evokes Loveless-era MBV, Angelo Badalamenti and elements of Bernard Herrmann’s film music. I only recently discovered that the movie is based on a book by Michel Faber. I am currently engrossed in his most recent novel ‘The Book Of Strange New Things’.
2. HTRK – ‘Give It Up’
Over a minimal, slow-mo, low-slung groove emerges that beautiful fragile voice. The refrain ‘This time I’m gonna love you much better’ is pregnant with regret and lost opportunity. Not to mention a hint of menace that’s bordering on the sexual. Ballard would’ve approved.
3. LesLord – ‘Dave Toole’
Last year poet Marcus Mac Conghail wrote a poem called ‘Ceol Baile’ (home music), where he embarks on a road trip while listening to my radio show. His observations are punctuated by my music selections and commentary. Earlier this year, he sent me a recording of himself reading the poem and asked was there anything I could do with it. I contacted two producers, one being Dubliner Les Ó Dochartaigh, who is one of our most imaginative sound-magicians. He got the go-ahead from the poet to “rip it up” whatever way he wished to. I was naturally apprehensive that I wouldn’t like the end product, having gone to the trouble of asking him to work with the recording. My fears were short-lived. I would go as far as to say as it’s one of his finest works. It really is an astonishing piece of sound art. I love so many things about it, including the plaintive piano that weaves its way into the track’s closing moments. It’s available on his latest LP Uimhir A Dó.
Footnote: Dave Toole, by the way, is how one or two non-Irish listeners who contacted the show over the years, addressed me, having misheard the words ‘An Taobh Tuathail’. One listener in the UK emailed me wondering if this was the first ‘meta’ ATT tune. I suspect it could be.
4. Aphex Twin – ‘minipops 67’ [120.2][source field mix]
My first reaction upon hearing his comeback track was one of relief that, thankfully, it didn’t tarnish his flawless reputation. Then I got more into it. Finally, there came the dawning that it simply is one of the tunes of the year on account of its complexity, its simplicity and its proud, beating (mini)pop heart.
5. Ariel Pink – ‘Not Enough Violence’
It’s so hard to pick one track out of Ariel Pink’s breathtaking new album, as I’ve only been listening to it a few weeks. The album is simply breathless with ideas. Some of the best tracks ‘Lipstick’, ‘White Freckles’, Black Ballerina’ – in the spirit of ABBA – contain so many riffs that lesser artists might never think to conceive over entire careers. However, I’ve gone with this one. It plunders – perhaps for the first time in music history – from a treasure trove of influences, that includes Nirvana’s ‘In Bloom’, The Cure, the intonations of Andrew Eldritch from the Sisters Of Mercy, Robert Wyatt, the dynamics of the kind of techno championed by the Berghain mafia, the drums from ‘Running Up That Hill’, vintage BBC Radiophonic recordings, sky-scraping shoegaze & 80s power-pop. Ariel Pink is my magpie of the year.
6. Augustus & John – ‘Crosslines’
Produced in Galway by Mike Smalle (he of B-Movie Lightning / Cane141 infamy) and Matteo Grassi, this is a subtle, light-as-a-feather approach to timeless electro-pop, much in the vein of ‘Ghost Trains’, Erlend Oye’s collaboration with Morgan Geist a few years back. Criminally ignored by most people, the Crosslines EP should be on everyone’s listening devices. Oh, and for the record, neither of the composers had ever heard the track ‘Ghost Trains’, until well after this tune was mastered. Or so I’ve been assured.
7. Plaid – ‘Nafovanny’
Another comeback album from giants of Warp’s towering back catalogue. This track is my highlight off Reachy Prints. From the plaintive note that appears, seemingly out of nowhere, at 2.30, into the sky-scraping riff that follows it – simultaneously both melancholic & joyful – this tune sums up the temporality of all things. Like doing your utmost to lose yourself in the beauty of the finest summer evening, but knowing the experience will – by the immutable laws of physics – only ever be fleeting.
8. Loric – ‘Under Sharer’
Techno at its most psychedelic. This track is alive with ideas. That sublimated disco vocal that occasionally swims to the surface before sinking again beneath that wall of drums. I’d wager it’ll still sound fresh in a decade’s time.
9. FKA twigs – ‘Two Weeks’
The lady has her detractors, certainly in the circles that music snobs habitually frequent, but – it has to be said – this is probably one of the best songs ever written about having sex while high on drugs.
10. Kode9 – ‘Pink Sham Pain Down The Drain’
From the Hyperdub compilation ’10.3’, here’s a track that somehow everybody managed to ignore this year.
Kind of in the vein of the Mica Levi track I mentioned, it has that ethereal, quite-not-there quality that has me instantly scrambling to hear it again as soon as the last precious note gently peters out.
Plaid were one of the acts that brought me into the world of electronic music. They played regularly in Dublin at festivals like DEAF and in the Temple Bar Music Centre and they always had a strong visual aesthetic (courtesy of Bob Jaroc mainly) to match their melodic and unique music.
It’s been over three years since we heard new music from Plaid. 2011’s Scintilli wasn’t one I gave a lot of time to for whatever reason. They’re back with the followup Reachy Prints, this month digitally and next month on vinyl. ‘Hawkmoth’ is the first track from it, a typically jaunty outing for the UK duo.
Oxford’s Trophy Wife wanted to push themselves on their new EP so they chose the title from the term Bruxism (an involuntary clenching of the teeth), took inspiration from their sleep disorders and recorded each song on the EP with a different producer. While Ewan Pearson, James Yuill and Yannis from Foals produced a track each, the pick of the bunch is ‘Canopy Shade’ a sprightly pop tune recorded with Warp electronic legends Plaid (who’s new album Scintilla is out this week).
I’m also quite enjoying the video for ‘Wolf’ (produced by Yannis). Ones to watch.
Welcome back and round of applause to Plaid who will finally return to making their own music (outside of soundtrack work) on September 23rd when Warp release the followup to 2006’s multimedia album Greedy Baby entitled Scintilla. Apparently, the title means ‘I am many sparks’ in Latin and is something that Ed Handley and Andy Turner include in a chant every morning for two hours before working in the studio. What’s wrong with reading the paper or checking your emails?
The duo aren’t giving much away with their new video ’35 Summers’ directed by Richie Burridge. It’s a twinkling ambient piece that holds Plaid’s trademark dissonant melody shifts but you can guess a lot of thought has gone into it if their claim that each beat on Scintilla took a day to construct from early 2009 to 2011. Does that suggest then taking that while an album at 120bpm at 45 minutes long equals 5400 beats then there are approximately 910 beats on the whole of Scintilla? Sounds like an ambient album.
A list of personally recommended events taking place over the next seven days in Dublin. All times are 7.30pm/8pm unless stated. Feel free to leave your picks in the comments. Tracks can be heard in the full post.
Highlights this week include Plaid, Adebisi Shank, Lorn, Megafaun and Girls.
Sunday 25th October – The Button Factory, Dublin. Tickets €25 From Road, Sound Cellar, Spindizzy, City Discs & online at www.tickets.ie/umack
Plaid set will be a Classics set taken from the best of their back catalogue including tracks that have not been played for ten years – pretty excited about this. Both Clark and Bibio have released great albums this year: Clark’s Totems Flare (listen to his bonkers Friendly Fires remix here) and Bibio’s magically schizophrenic Ambivalence Avenue. I haven’t listened to Tim Exile much recently apart from ‘Don’t Think We’re One’ from Listening Tree, his album also released this year. This is going to be a hell of a show.
U:mack presents one of my favourite electronic acts live in Crawdaddy. Plaid receive regular plays in our house, most notably Double Figure and Spokes. The last time I caught them was the DEAF festival when they had the robot-arm camera visual thing alongside visuals by Bob Jaroc. 2008 is the duo’s 20th year working together and you can expect songs from their new album on the 14th March 6th June. They
Plaid are very much a visual-friendly act evident in 2006’s collaboration with Jaroc on the DVD Greedy Baby. Admire this beautifully hypnotic video for “The Launching of Big Face”. (more…)