Two years ago, I ran a series of guest posts from people involved in Irish music featuring their top 5 Irish acts at that moment. This time around, I thought I’d shift the focus to international and ask a similar question – “Who are your top 5 new artists of 2011?”. Musicians, bloggers, record shop owners, journalists, bookers and radio presenters will all be answering that question.

Gib Cassidy is the proprietor behind Elastic Witch, Dublin’s newest independent record shop and hang out space based in Twisted Pepper on Abbey Street. He’s also the drummer in Logikparty, is one of the friendliest people in Dublin and well-reknowned for his great hair. You can browse Gib’s catalogue of vinyl, CDs and cassette here if you’re not based in Dublin. Do try and pop in though. Gib will order in vinyl for you no problem. Here are his top 5 new artists of 2011:


Autumn of this year saw the release of the debut album, on the legendary Warp Records, from Glaswegian Russell Whyte aka Rustie. He’s been around for a couple of years at this stage but I think it’s probably fair to say this year has been his ‘breakthrough’ year.

Glass Swords is a real gem. In some parts it sounds as if a commercially successful ’90s dance producer took a time machine into the future (5 or 6 years ago) and got a brief taste of dubstep. In others, there are the euphoric, almost ‘hair metal’ synth riffs, on tunes like ‘Cry Flames’ and ‘Ultra Thizz’ that would put Eddie Van Halen to shame.

Familiarity-is-the-mother-of-originality on this record. Old-school rave (complete with high pitched vocal samples), nu-school R ‘n’ B, lots of bass and lots of fun make this one of the best things for me this year. If the likes of Squarepusher and Plaid flew the flag for the 20th century ‘futurist’ music on Warp Records then Rustie surely takes the baton for the 21st century. Worth bearing in mind that the guy is in his early 20s too.

The future is bright…