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Director A.G. Rojas has delivered a video that features a raw struggle between a cop and a black kid and in doing so brings physical humanity to makes it a powerful video. The cop is played by Shea Whigham who you might recognise as Eli from Boardwalk Empire and the kid by Keith Stanfield who will play Snoop Dogg in the upcoming Straight Outta Compton film.

Said the director:

“When Run The Jewels sent me this track, I knew we had the opportunity to create a film that means something. I felt a sense of responsibility to do just that. We had to exploit the lyrics and aggression and emotion of the track, and translate that into a film that would ignite a valuable and productive conversation about racially motivated violence in this country. It’s provocative, and we all knew this, so we were tasked with making something that expressed the intensity of senseless violence without eclipsing our humanity. For me, it was important to write a story that didn’t paint a simplistic portrait of the characters of the Cop and Kid. They’re not stereotypes. They’re people – complex, real people and, as such, the power had to shift between them at certain points throughout the story. The film begins and it feels like they have been fighting for days, they’re exhausted, not a single punch is thrown, their violence is communicated through clumsy, raw emotion. They’ve already fought their way past their judgments and learned hatred toward one another. Our goal was to highlight the futility of the violence, not celebrate it.”

For El-P of Run the Jewels “this is a vision of a seemingly never-ending struggle whose participants are pitted against each other by forces originating outside of themselves.”

Adds partner Killer Mike “this video represents the futile and exhausting existence of a purgatory-like law enforcement system. There is no neat solution at the end because there is no neat solution in the real world. However, there is an opportunity to dialogue and change the way communities are policed in this country. Salutes to AG Rojas for his unique take on the subject matter and to Shea and Keith for giving us their all and bringing it to life.”

Run The Jewels was my favourite album of 2014 and they’re playing Forbidden Fruit.

Posted on March 26th, 2015

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binaries

We last heard from Niamh Hegarty as part of the band Hunk. Under a new solo guise as Binaries, she has a new single coming out on Soft Power Records on March 30th which were recorded with Henry Kohen in Los Angeles and mixed by Chris Somers of Elastic Sleep in One Chance Out Studios in Cork, Ireland.

‘Double Star’ is the A-side, built on a looping guitar riff with a tendency to sound like Warpaint or further back, a softer grunge album cut.

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It was 1999 the last time Leftfield released an album. The duo of Neil Barnes and Paul Daley released two classic albums in Leftism and Rhythm & Stealth.

Daley didn’t return when the Leftfield name was brought back to life to play festivals (Barnes is DJing as Leftfield at the upcoming BD Festival) but however, there is a new Leftfield album on the way called Alternative Life Source and it will feature TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, Ofei, Sleaford Mods and Channy Leaneagh of Poliça.

That all sounds very much like the standard of The Prodigy and the Chemical Bros ten years ago roping in guest stars for a full-length. I don’t know how to feel about it. For now, the one track we do have ears on ‘Universal Everything’, is a pulsing techno monster that sounds a lot like Modeselektor. How do we feel about Leftfield returning? 👍 or 👎

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Fight Like Apes have just returned from SXSW in Texas, and they’re ready for more action, as it appears their long-awaited third album, which will be self-titled, is coming out on Alcopop! Records on May 15th.

‘Pretty Keen On Centerfolds’ got its first play on radio yesterday. The song first appeared as a demo a couple of years back. True to the band’s effervescent synth punk-pop style, the song is a bright three minutes with May Kay sounding at her best singing of Tubular Bells and Centrefolds but “no-one’s gonna love me for that”.

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Just as exciting as the prospect of new music from the xx is a solo album from their producer Jamie xx who has revealed two pieces of music from exactly that.

In Colour, the album is out in June on Young Turks and Jamie gave Annie Mac two tracks to play last night. ‘Loud Places’ features Romy Madley-Croft and has bright piano summery chords with trademark Jamie percussion and Romy vocal delivery that recalls The Avalanches in its sampled chorus.

‘Gosh’ meanwhile is a much harder cut, that recalls old-school jungle and drum and bass, like a Jamie version of Four Tet’s ‘Parallel Jalebi’ but it transforms into something akin to Orbital. You can hear it on last night’s show after 24 minutes.

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It’s been a good few years since we heard from Ambience Affair (they dropped the definite article), the Dublin-based band. They were a duo, they swelled to a trio and now, the band are a four-piece with Jamie Clarke (guitar, vocals), Marc Gallagher (percussion), Yvonne Ryan (bass guitar, vocals) and Conor Deasy (guitar, vocals).

‘Prophet’ is their first song in eons, at least three years, and it’s from the band’s forthcoming album on Bluestack Records. It’s not a radical departure style-wise with the band going by ‘Prophet’ alone but there are extra embellishments in the arrangements and vocals palpably felt throughout the song.

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Well here’s a surprise. Paddy Hanna is the singer of the band Grand Pocket Orchestra and he released a fine solo album last year called Leafy Stiletto.

He’s back with ‘Austria’, a song which takes an indie marching rhythm and reveals Hanna’s crooner tendencies in his voice, previously unheard. It’s an interesting development for the singer and musician.

lakker

Lakker have been a regular name on the Irish electronic scene almost since I first started going to gigs in Dublin put on by Alphabet Set in the basement of a pub on High Street beside Christchurch Cathedral about 13 years ago.

Ian McDonnell (who makes music as Eomac) and Dara Smith have had a good few years that were perhaps encouraged by Aphex Twin playing their tunes in his live set, as he did at Forbidden Fruit in 2011 (the set is on Soundcloud).

Recently, the duo have released singles with Blueprint, Stroboscopic Artefacts and R&S. It’s the latter, the Belgian label which originally released Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works 85-92 and Model 500 which rebooted a few years ago to release the likes of James Blake and Space Dimension Controller, which will release Lakker’s second full length, called Tundra on

There’s a nice interview with the guys on FACT this week and there’s also a track from it to hear – ‘Three Songs’ which in a nice roundabout way, harks back to early Aphex Ambient Works in its playful synth mode, as opposed to the likes of the towering ‘Mountain Divide’ which also features on Tundra.

Watch Trinity Orchestra perform a Gorillaz medley

Trinity College student band the Trinity Orchestra have put out two versions of the big ensemble performing a medley of Gorillaz’ Demon Days tracks – one in the studio and one live version.

The project was arranged by Éna Brennan and produced by Kevin Bluett, with the help of the committee of Trinity Orchestra, Rob Kearns, and Seamus Sutton.

The orchestra are playing a new setlist at Forbidden Fruit on the Sunday this year and they’re giving away tickets at http://gorillaz.trinityorchestra.com.

You may spot the singer from Spies in there among the performers.

Posted on March 25th, 2015

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