The Choice Music Prize is this year the RTÉ Choice Music Prize for the first time and the announcement of the 10 Irish albums were revealed a short time ago on 2FM’s Tracy Clifford Show by Tony Clayton Lea, chairman of the judging panel.

The 10 albums shortlisted by the judges for Irish album of the year are:

Shortlisted albums

All Tvvins – IIVV (Warner Music)
Bantum – Move (Self Released)
Wallis Bird – Home (Mount Silver / Caroline International)
The Divine Comedy – Foreverland (Divine Comedy Records)
Lisa Hannigan – At Swim (Hoop Recordings)
Katie Kim – Salt (Art For Blind Records)
James Vincent McMorrow – We Move (Faction Records)
Overhead, The Albatross – Learning to Growl (Self Released)
Rusangano Family – Let The Dead Bury The Dead (Self Released)
We Cut Corners – The Cadences Of Others (Delphi)

A Spotify playlist of all albums

The winning act will receive €10,000, a prize fund which has been provided by The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA). All of the shortlisted acts will receive a specially commissioned award. RAAP, Culture Ireland & Golden Discs are also official project partners.

2FM has promised to play Irish music all day from 6am to midnight today to mark the announcement along with live cessions from SOAK and Delorentos and a two-hour special on this year’s RTÉ Choice Music Prize, Irish Album of the Year 2016 shortlist, presented by Conor Behan from 8-10pm.

Live event

Shortlisted albums will also be featured throughout in the lead up to the live choice prize event on Thursday March 9th in Vicar Street.
Tickets for the Choice Music Prize live event are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and at http://www.ticketmaster.ie priced €26.50 including booking fee.

Judging Panel

Louise Bruton – Freelance & Irish Times
Brian Coney – Editor, The Thin Air
Maire Dineen – Súgradh Productions (Imeall TG4/Body & Soul)
Suzanne Doyle – Music, Film & Television Consultant
Dan Hegarty – 2FM
Paddy McKenna – Editor, Joe.ie
Cathal Murray – RTE Radio 1
Barbara Nic D – Classic Hits 4FM
Colm O’Regan – Hot Press
Niall Power – Head of Music Beat FM
Eva Short – Deputy Editor, Trinity News

Irish Song of The Year 2016

The shortlist for the RTÉ Choice Music Prize – Irish Song of The Year 2016 will be announced on Wednesday 1st February, 2017. A Special event featuring exclusive performances from both Album of the Year and Song of the Year nominees will be held in Dublin that evening in the Workman’s Club.

Previous winners of the Choice Music Prize

2015: Soak
2014: The Gloaming
2013: Villagers
2012: Jape
2011: Delorentos
2010: Two Door Cinema Club
2009: Adrian Crowley
2008: Jape
2007: Super Extra Bonus Party
2006: The Divine Comedy
2005: Julie Feeney

Posted on January 11th, 2017

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St. Patrick Festival have announced two gigs to take place around the holiday that will feature new and contemporary Irish talent from March 16th to 19th.

Both take place on Saturday 18th March at 8pm.

Young Blood

The Beat and Voices of our Generation @ National Concert Hall

Featuring musicians, poets, storytellers and rappers: Rusangano Family, Hare Squead, Kojey Radical and Stephen James Smith. (€18)
Tickets from NCH

Music For 18 Machines

@ St. Patrick’s Cathedral

One of the gig highlights of 2016 was Simon Cullen and Somadrone’s reimagining of Steve Reich’s minimal 1976 piece Music for 18 Musicians using 18 synthesisers instead of 18 musicians. (€18). Tickets from St. Patrick’s Festival

Posted on January 4th, 2017

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Girl Band announced a special gig in aid of Pieta House for Vicar Street on February 17th 2017 earlier this month.

Today, they’ve announced their guests and they are:

Lynched, Rusangano Family & DJ sets by James Vincent McMorrow, Geoff Travis (Rough Trade) & Aisling O’Riordan.

Solid.

Tickets priced €30 are on sale now Ticketmaster.ie & usual outlets nationwide.

Posted on November 30th, 2016

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From December 9th – 11th in The Kino in Cork, promoters Southern Hospitality Board present three nights of their favourite acts, both Irish and international including Rusangano Family, The Altered Hours, Rozi Plain, Bantum, The Bonk, Shaker Hymn and Anna Mieke Bishop.

A weekend ticket is €36 but you can win two weekend passes worth twice that in the widget below.

Kino Weekender

Individual shows

The Sudden Club : Rusangano Family + BantumFriday 9th December, 7.30pm
Price: €16
The Sudden Club: The Altered Hours + The Bonk
Saturday 10th December, 7.30pm
Price: €13
The Sudden Club: Rozi Plain + The Shaker Hymn + Anna Mieke BishopSunday 11th December, 7.30pm
Price: €12

Posted on November 25th, 2016

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Cork producer Ruairi Lynch aka Bantum is back with news of the followup to his 2013 debut album Legion.

Move, will be released this Friday digitally and features guest appearances from Rusangano Family, CC Brez, Senita and Farah Elle. Bantum’s recent collaboration with Loah, ‘Take It’ also features.

‘Feel Your Rhythm’ is an alchemic result of a three-way collaboration between Lynch, singer Senita Appiakorang (Shookrah, Lakerama) and Rusangano Family’s God Knows and MuRli.

The album is the result of two years work. Of the process, Ruairi says:

“I wrote the first line of the title track – “Move” – nearly 2 years ago. The arrangement came quickly but I had a sound in my head that I couldn’t quite get, so it was scrapped. I had to relearn a thing or two. After some exploration I found another sound in mind. This became “Take It” with Loah, which also sparked the idea for “Voodoo Sweat” with CC Brez and Louize Carroll. “Pacing” also came from those sessions, taking direct inspiration from the late Conor Walsh (who the song is dedicated to) and Jon Hopkins.

Farah Elle came on the recommendation of her brother, and within 2 days of sending her the track we had “Feel It Out”. A chance trip to London led me to Adam Townsend, otherwise known as Weisman. A shared appreciation of all things Moderat/Thom Yorke led me to send him the demo that would eventually become “Already There”. “Feel Your Rhythm” was a track I had initially worked on with Senita, but it needed more. God Knows from Rusangano Family insisted I send on any ideas, and this was the one.

Now, the first track I started became the last one to finish. On the insistence of a friend I dug out that first scrapped instrumental and reworked it. I didn’t really expect to have this bunch of songs, let alone one or two. I have my friends to thank for that. “

Bantum – Move Tracklisting

  1. Move
  2. Pacing
  3. Feel Your Rhythm [feat. Rusangano Family & Senita]
  4. Feel It Out [feat. Farah Elle]
  5. Take It [feat. Loah] [extended version]
  6. Voodoo Sweat [feat. CC Brez & Louize Carroll]
  7. Already There [feat. Weisman]

Bantum Live dates

Friday 9.12.2016 :: The Kino, Cork [w/ Rusangano Family]
Friday 16.12.2016 :: Dublin [details TBA]
Wednesday 21.12.2016 :: Dolans, Limerick [w/ Rusangano Family]

BantumBandcamp | Spotify | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

Posted on October 17th, 2016

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After selling out two Bello Bar shows, Wicklow band Enemies have set their sights higher with a big gig in Vicar Street. The band have a new album called Valuables on the way and they’ll play Vicar Street on December 18th.
With the imminent announcement of their new album “Valuables”, Enemies will play their biggest headline show to date at Dublin’s Vicar St on December 18th. Tickets priced €20 go on sale this Friday 23 September at 9am through www.ticketmaster.ie & usual outlets nationwide.


Rusangano Family continue to impress everywhere they play so after playing the Fringe Festival last week they’ve announced two show in Whelan’s, Dublin (Saturday November 26th) and Dolan’s, Limerick for the end of the year (Wednesday December 21st).


Fantasy 12 is a exhibition of album artwork by Hen’s Teeth Prints, This Greedy Pig & Choice Cuts which asks the question “If you could release a record from any iconic artist (past or present), what would the cover look like?”

Participants include artists responsible for artwork by MF Doom, William Onyeabor, Aphex Twin, Prince, Anderson .Paak, Björk and Fela Kuti. See the website.

The work will be exhibited in The Copper House Gallery and will launch on October 13th. The opening night will ring in a week of live music, DJs, talks, screenings, and record fairs.


Syria Vibes on Friday October 7th at The Grand Social will kick off raising funds for the medical clinic and ambulance service in Northern Syria, as witnessed first hand by DJ Calvin James (Scoop Foundation) and reported on RTE.

Playing on the night across three floors will be Interskalactic, Contour, Zaska, Dogs, Vinyl Love (smoking area), DJ Deece, Malibu Club, Calvin James, Charlie Garrett, Long Island Sound, AJ and Boots & Kats.


Nightmares On Wax and Marshall Jefferson are lined up for the Pygmalion’s Halloween gig.


State.ie & Hope Collective are teaming up again after last year’s event with We Shall Overcome – A Celebration of DIY on Sunday 9th October in The Workman’s Club – 4pm. An all ages punk show in support of Oxfam & Dublin Simon Community.

Marking twenty years since Hope hosted their first festival of DIY at the City Arts Centre, the 2016 edition will bring together musicians from across the punk generations – all of whom have a desire to do things on their own terms. Admission is via cash donation to Oxfam and items such as new underwear / socks / hats / gloves for Dublin Simon Community.

The line-up features Bill Blood, Carol Hodge, Ed Wenn, Mhaol, Not Monsters, Simon Wells, the Objectorz. More info.


A music night for Amatrice is a night at the Tivoli Back Stage in Francis street on Sunday the 9th of October supporting Save the Children Italy fund raising campaign for the victims of the 24th of August earthquake in Central Italy. Music on the night comes from Ajo Arkestra, Marcella Savini duo, Peter sheekey trio, Annalisa Monticelli, Anne Marie Kelly and more.


Scottish anthemic indie band Frightened Rabbit are playing The Academy Dublin, Sunday February 5th 2017. Tickets €26.50 includes booking fee on sale Friday September 23rd at 10am from Ticketmaster.


Posted on September 22nd, 2016

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One of the main highlights of Electric Picnic for many, Rusangano Family struck while the iron is hot (and the rest of us were asleep) in releasing a new video for their Let The Dead Bury The Dead track – ‘Soul Food’ yesterday.

Directed by Dave Tynan (Just Sayin’ / Jape), it was shot in the Burren with the band and their friends and features an insert of spoken word in the middle, as seen in their stage show.

Posted on September 6th, 2016

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Electric Picnic just added a final glut of acts to the sold-out festival in Stradbally.

The new additions are:

  • Skepta
  • James Bay
  • Bell X1
  • Walking On Cars
  • Adam Beyer
  • Abc
  • Gorgon City
  • The Lightning Seeds
  • Lindsey Stirling
  • Oh Wonder
  • Mothers
  • Hermitage Green
  • Picture This
  • Rejjie Snow
  • Ryan Sheridan
  • Wyvern Lingo
  • Brian Deady
  • New Jackson
  • King Kong Company
  • Rusangano Family
  • Daithí
  • Otherkin
  • Pleasure Beach
  • Saint Sister
  • Talos
  • Hare Squead
  • District 8 Djs
  • Neon Wolf
  • Cc Brez
  • Barq
  • Eve Belle
  • Sample Answer
  • Wild // Youth
  • Fangclub
  • Áine Cahill
  • Tim Chadwick
  • Trinity Orchestra
  • Dublin Gospel Choir

Don’t forget you can win VIP tickets to the sold out festival on Nialler9.

Previous Picnic announcements.

Posted on August 19th, 2016

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MynameisjOhn, MuRli and God Knows first appeared in 2014 with an album called Rusangano / Family , an LP title that laid out where the collective exist and where they’ve come from: Ireland, Zimbabwe and Togo; Clare and Limerick.

The title is the same word in two languages. It suggests two heritages, different cultures united by a connection, which the album explored thrillingly.

For album two Let The Dead Bury The Dead, the trio are still exploring the fertile ground between two cultural polarities. In a year of national identity, they explore what it means to be Irish in 2016, what it means to be an African immigrant in this land.

If music is a window into the soul, rap music is a stone thrown through one, such is the directness afforded by rapping as a storytelling and message conveyor. MuRli and God Knows exploit this: baring themselves in their music, exploring their very selves, for us and their own understanding.

Musically, things are in good hands. Let The Dead Bury The Dead is buttressed by the experienced production hand of MynameisjOhn who weaves percussive electronics, grime, bass music, Dilla-style soul, Afrobeat guitars and DJ-style rhythmic switches during tracks. MynameisjOhn keeps it moving: Afrobeat on opener ‘Kierkegaard’, Shangaan-style electro ultra-fast rhythms on ‘Soul Food’ and ambient bass music on ‘Surviving The Times’.

‘Lights Out’ riffs on their influences (“Rusangano presents Non-national With an Attitude Volume One”) before exploring what they thought identity meant and in the process encapsulating everything that is wrong with most Irish rap – “Thought I had to be American, thought I had to be English, everything else but Irish.”

‘Heathrow’ may have been released last year but its impact does not diminish with familiarity. With a menacing drum-heavy production and an anti-immigrant Irish sample, God Knows and MuRli effectively convey the sense of displacement of a migrant, trying to better himself against the odds. “Just silence in the customs / just prayers in the bathrooms / Black cleaners in staff rooms / Now patience and passport when they ask you on entry / When they ask you on entry…”

God Knows reappears to affirm the obvious and yet makes a powerful parallel to Irish history, that gets me every time.

“It’s not all black and white, zebras and pandas / Shifra’s and Sika’s, asylum seekers / Sugar daddies in slippers, spooning Nubian grim reapers / This is where history finds us, our history binds us / No blacks, no dogs, no Irish.”

Familial expectations loom large over the album. ‘Blabber Mouth’ is a mournful back and forth between parent and child about the choice to pursue rap as a career – “My friend Ben’s son’s already tipped to become the Irish Obama / And all you do is making up lies on paper, calling it drama.”

Determination shines through. ‘Bon Voyage’ follows that thread “I told my Mama that I’m gonna be greatest / That’s why you see me moving had to search for greener pastures.”

Moving away from your home is a journey, no matter the distance, and you lose things on the way. Intended or not, things slip away. “I still wanna make you proud you just don’t know / you think you I lost my language and I lost my soul,” raps God Knows on ‘Losing My French’.

Yet, things are gained.

That idea is right there in the title. Let the Dead Bury the Dead. Move forward. “Seek life by letting what is dead bury itself,” as Rusangano’s press release puts it.

That’s what makes Rusangano Family so exciting and vital. They are questioning, uncovering, showing us perspectives and experiences unknown to ourselves and at the same time, by doing what they do so well, are proposing new ways forward. Let The Dead Bury The Dead because we’ve seen and heard a glimpse of our future.

Buy the album from Bandcamp.

Rusangano Family tour dates

Cork – Kino – 8th of April.
Dublin – Sugar Club – 9th of April
Limerick – Dolans – 22nd of April
Clonakilty – De Barras – 23rd of April.

Posted on April 8th, 2016

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