The Meteor Choice Music Prize in association with IMRO and IRMA, will announce the nominees for Irish Song of the Year 2014 next Tuesday 27th. The night will feature acoustic performances from some of the nominated acts as revealed on the night and takes place in the Workman’s Club from 7pm.

I have 5 pairs of tickets to the event to give away.

The ten songs chosen by judges will then go to a public vote on meteor.ie from next week.

Enter the comp via Gleam. My votes for Irish songs of the year would be this lot.

Win tickets to Meteor's Song of the year announcement

The album shortlist features:

Aphex Twin – Syro (Warp)
Delorentos – Night Becomes Light (Universal Ireland)
The Gloaming – The Gloaming (Real World)
Hozier – Hozier (Rubyworks/Universal)
James Vincent McMorrow – Post Tropical (Faction)
Sinead O’ Connor – I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss (Nettwerk)
Damien Rice – My Favourite Faded Fantasy (Warner Music)
The Riptide Movement – Getting Through (Universal Ireland)
U2 – Songs of Innocence (Island)
We Cut Corners – Think Nothing (Delphi)

Spotify Playlist


From the very first time I heard Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ ‘Uptown Funk’ back in November, I couldn’t help but admire the influences the pair were mining for the track. Particularly, I’m thinking 80s funk: whether it’s the Minneapolis funk pioneered by Prince along with Morris Day and The Time or the vocoder electro-funk of Zapp And Roger, or Cameo, either way, there’s a lot of fun to be had spotting the influences.

Here are 10 tracks that ‘Uptown Funk’ is inspired by, takes influence from or reminds me of and here’s a longer Spotify playlist featuring those tracks.

1. Morris Day and The Time – ‘Jungle Love’

Prince and Morris Day were high school buddies who were in a band together in school. Prince basically started The Time and Morris joined after and Prince focused on his solo career after that. The pair would go on to define the Minneapolis funk sound. Day and his band The Time famously appeared in the film Purple Rain and they’ve a couple of fun albums I’d recommend. Minneapolis funk is the most immediate influence many people hear when listening to ‘Uptown Funk’.

2. Zapp – ‘More Bounce To The Ounce’

If you’re like me you may have heard Zapp (or Zapp and Roger as they are sometimes known) on the soundtrack to Napoleon Dynamite or as sampled by the Beastie Boys on ‘Hey Ladies’ from their sample-bouillabaisse Paul’s Boutique. The Ohio band were characterised by Roger Troutman’s talkbox vocals and an electro-funk sound that would be influential on the west coast G-funk rap movement in the early 90s which culminated in Troutman providing the hook for Tupac’s ‘California Love’. Their song ‘So Ruff, So Tuff’ (which was the song on Napoleon Dynamite) was also sampled on the Beastie Boys’

3. David Christie – ‘Saddle Up’

The French singer’s 1982 sounds a bit like 80s Paul McCartney’s ‘Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time’ but despite Mccartney’s credentials ‘Saddle Up’ is much funkier. It’s all about that bassline.

4. The Gap Band – ‘Early in The Morning’

The funk band from Oklahoma was started by three brothers: Ronnie, Robert and Charlie (who sang on Kanye’s ‘Bound II’ on Jools last year). They had a 43-year long history until they retired in 2010 when Robert died. This track has similarities in the rhythms, drums and some of that dancing swing.

5. Earth, Wind & Fire – ‘Getaway’

The famous American funk band are responsible for many hits – ‘Boogie Wonderland’, ‘Let’s Groove’, ‘September’ and ‘After The Love Has Gone’ but it’s ‘Getaway’, and specifically the horn section of that disco funk track that can be most obviously heard on ‘Uptown Funk’.

6. Duran Duran – ‘Notorious’

Ronson told the Guardian in an interview that his father, who was in the 80s rock band Foreigner, asked him if the guitar in ‘Uptown Funk’ was Nile Rodgers. It wasn’t but Ronson’s guitar lick isn’t a million miles away from Rodgers work, particularly to these ears, Duran Duran’s ‘Notorious’.

See also: ‘Let’s Dance’.

7. The Sequence – ‘Funk You Up’

The line “Uptown Funk You Up” that Mars sings could be from anywhere due to it being used in funk vernacular over the years but the cadence of it does closely align with this 1979 track from The Sequence, an all-female trio of Angie Brown Stone (Angie B, now just Angie Stone, a Grammy-winning long-standing recording artist), Gwendolyn Chisolm (Blondy) and Cheryl Cook (Cheryl The Pearl). The Sequence were the second release on Sugarhill Records after the song that brought hip-hop to a larger consciousness – ‘Rapper’s Delight’.

7. Skyy – ‘Call Me’

Cited by others as a closer influence to the guitar riff, this New York band also known as New York Skyy released this in 1981 and it was their biggest hit.

8. Brass Construction -‘Get Up To Get Down’

The 1979 funk track from the New York band has a similar style.

9. One Way – ‘Let’s Talk’

A 1985 funk hit from a Detroit band embodies the spirit of Ronson and Mars’ track.

10. The Bar-Kays – ‘Too Hot To Stop Part 1′

The late 60s/early 70s group were known for backing Isaac Hayes and their Stax Records recording career. This song opened their 1976 album Too Hot To Stop and a parallel between its double time rhythm is found in ‘Uptown Funk’ as is its “too hot” title.


Bitch Falcon

As broadcast last night, as it is every Thursday from 10pm to midnight TXFM.

TXFM news: Today FM’s Paul McLoone is starting a Saturday show every week at 6pm on the station called Another Side where he’ll focus on a major recording artist’s work with an emphasis on some of their lesser known or heard music.

You can listen live on Thursdays to the show on 105.2FM, online, the iOs app, Android app or if you missed it, along with all the other shows, via the listen back section

Part One

Part Two


  1. Penguin Prison – ‘Calling Out’
  2. Jape – ‘Séance Of Light’
  3. Purity Ring – ‘Begin Again’
  4. The Go! Team – ‘The Scene Between’
  5. The Staves – ‘Steady’
  6. Inni-K – ‘Come with Me’
  7. #throwbackthursday: Broadcast – ‘Tears In the Typing Pool’
  8. Oh Wonder – ‘Dazzle’
  9. #albumoftheweek: Panda Bear – ‘Boys Latin’
  10. Ghostpoet – ‘Off Peak Dreams’
  11. Bitch Falcon – ‘Wolfstooth’
  12. Twerps – ‘Back to You’
  13. Zun Zun Egui – ‘African Tree’
  14. Skelocrats – ‘Lyin’ Eyes’
  15. Le Galaxie – ‘Lucy Is Here’
  16. Vallis Alps – ‘Young’
  17. D’Angelo – ‘Sugah Daddy’
  18. Beastie Boys / Nas – ‘Too Many Rappers’
  19. MuRli – ‘Both Sides’ (feat. God Knows) [Prod. by mynameisjOhn]
  20. Doomtree – ‘Gray Duck’
  21. Joey Bada$$ – ‘Teach Me (feat. Kiesza)’
  22. Chynna – ‘Glen Coco’
  23. Villain Park – ‘We Out To Get The Money’ (Prod. Smoke Dawg)
  24. Future Brown – ‘Room 302′ (feat. Tink)
  25. John Carpenter – ‘Vortex’
  26. Jack Garratt – ‘The Love You’re Given’
  27. #albumoftheweek: Panda Bear – ‘Lonely Wanderer’

Posted on January 16th, 2015


Artists: , , , , , , , , , ,


Dan Snaith shared an 1000-song playlist that’ll serve as your background playlist for any situation from rap to soul to funk to psychedelia and beyond. It’s something else. From Minnie Ripperton to Shuggie Otis to Liquid Liquid to Pusha T, this is a musical education.


The first Nialler9 show of 2015 was broadcast last Thursday at 10pm on TXFM. The two hour show leaned forward and featured some of the best new music coming out in the first months of the new year: from All We Are to Emmy The Great; Laura Marling to Jape, Marina & The Diamonds to Lapsley, Dan Deacon to Panda Bear. HAve a listen below.

You can listen live on Thursdays to the show on 105.2FM, online, the iOs app, Android app or if you missed it, along with all the other shows, via the listen back section

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Best of 2014 : Albums | SongsReaders Irish Albums | Readers Irish songs | Remixes | Videos 

Artwork by Stephen Maurice Graham.

Here’s my favourite list of the year to do: my songs of 2014 All I ask is that if you discover something through it, leave me a comment below and let me know. Listen on Spotify or browse below. I’m taking an extended Christmas break until January 13th. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

Listen on Spotify

Top 100 songs of 2014

1.Caribou – ‘Can’t Do Without You’

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Best of 2014 : Albums | Songs | Readers Irish Albums | Readers Irish songs | Remixes | Videos 


Artwork by Stephen Maurice Graham.

My favourite albums of the year features a sixth album career highlights from a psychedelic mathematician, a fourth album breakthrough for a rubbernecking sweat-drenched band, the return of Aphex Twin, a Wicklow man who seemed to take over the music world, two great Irish rap albums, an album about an imagined trip through China, two very different R&B debut albums, lounge-time electronica from Norway, Annie Clark’s continued ascension through ambition, a collaborative effort from Iceland and the Faroe Islands and a marquee buddy rap album that said more about the state of America than anything else this year and had a brash kick-ass time doing it.

There’s a Spotify playlist available for it all but click down to get some context for each album from 10 to 1. Top 100 songs of the year tomorrow.

Spotify Best Albums of 2014 playlist

30. Little Dragon – Nabuma Rubberband
29. Ratking – So It Goes
28. Shabazz Palaces –  Lese Majesty
27. The Bug – Angels & Devils
26. Lone – Reality Testing
25. DJ Dodger Stadium – Friend Of Mine
24. Flying Lotus – You’re Dead
23. Hundred Waters – The Moon Rang Like A Bell
22. Lethal Dialect x Jackknife J – 1988
21. Hozier – Hozier
20. Warpaint – Warpaint
19. The Gloaming – The Gloaming
18. Fatima Al Qadiri – Asiatisch
17. Sinkane – Mean Love
16. Dorian Concept – Joined Ends
15. James Vincent McMorrow – Post Tropical
14. Fatima – Yellow Memories
13. Todd Terje - It’s Album Time!
12. Alt-J – This Is All Yours
11. St Vincent – St. Vincent

10. Aphex Twin – Syro

AFXRichard D James’ first album in 13 years.

“We know now that the contents of Syro is just some of the material recorded in the intervening years in one of James’ many studios. The oldest track stretch back six or seven years, using a massive 138 pieces of musical equipment (all listed in spiral on the artwork).

“What appears before it also echoes the heavier side of Druqks but repeated listens reveal new textures, new moods, new avenues explored by James. The trademark eeriness of melody and general cheeky humour is still evident throughout but the greatest part of a new Aphex Twin record is that is truly allows you to get lost in its puzzle, a completely different musical terrain even when there are expected imprints of ambient works, electro, acid, jungle and squiggly funk.

“The 10 minute experience of ‘XMAS_EVET10 [120][thanaton3 mix]’ feels different every time with environmental listening experiences changing the focus and feel (headphones, outdoors, late-night) as all the best electronic music can do. Syro still offers much to explore, many repeat listens in.

“And that is the key to why Aphex Twin is pored over so minutely, because he goes into such detail in his music. James’ intricate compositional skills remains his biggest asset. While his sounds have been copied over the years, his brain is still peerless.”

Listen: Spotify


Stevie G is a DJ, radio presenter and all-round legend from Cork; a lover of soul, hip-hop, disco and R&B, a maker of tracks, a mentor, a promoter and label owner. Here are his 10 favourite tracks of the year.

1. Gregory Porter – ‘Musical Genocide’ (Ludovic Navarre mix)

This one crept by virtually ignored but it was a very significant record in some ways. A limited 7 inch dropped from the sky on Record Store Day, and a guy even more reclusive than D’Angelo managed to submit a remix. Ludovic Navarre is the man behind St Germain and some amazing jazz, soul and house music, but he has been out of the spotlight for over 10 years. Gregory Porter is one of the finest jazz singers and writers of his generation and the original of this was a good example of a great artist who has something important to say too. The remix uses subtle bits of the Roy Ayers produced “Daylight” by Ramp (a hip-hop staple since the days of A Tribe Called Quest), and it’s a beautiful combination.

2. Saun & Starr – ‘Hot Shot’

We are always slaves to the past but soul music, like jazz, is producing great new artists and music too. These two have backed Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings live but their debut single on Daptone is an irresistible brass infected jam that is typical of the label. I was inspired by labels such as Daptone in starting my own Soul Jamz record label this summer and we released “Deep Down south” with Christiana soon after, hopefully the first of many singles. Shookrah are another Cork band worth mentioning here, but in truth, there’s loads of good soul music out there if you dig.

3. D’Angelo & the Vanguard – ‘Prayer’

“I believe that some day we will rise”. It could have been almost anything from this album; a stunning reminder that he’s still got it. And then some. Soul music probably needed this shot in the arm, as it will throw more light on many of the other artists doing very good stuff. Sonically it is incredible and it keeps up an impressive record of one great record every decade!

4. Ilovemakkonen – Tuesday’ (Drake remix)

I played this for weeks and weeks before it got any bites, but that moment when it hit home was special. I actually play every Tuesday night, to a young student crowd, and they are very open to newer hip-hop and r&b so it works out. This, the Rae Sremmurd singles, Future, Tyga, Schoolboy Q, Young Thug, Tinashe and many more were all big for me in quite a productive year for low slung throwaway minimal music.

5. Run the Jewels – ‘Love Again’ (Akinyele Back)

“I think I’m in love again”.

Many hip-hop fans are reluctant to move past the ’90s; but if there’s one group capable of waking them from their slumber it’s Run the Jewels. El-P and Killer Mike are pretty much veterans of the game at this stage, but their two albums together have helped ensure things are still going on an upward trajectory. They’ve got a lot to say, and were among the most vocal rappers after a turbulent year which included tragedies such as Ferguson. Special shouts to Danny Brown and Dej Loaf for great singles as well.

In Ireland, we had some great hip-hop too. Mynameisjohn, Lethal Dialect and Corkman Trigger all coming out with impressive albums, while the likes of Deviant and Naive Ted, Spekultiv Fixtion, Jimmy Penguin and others continued to represent prolifically for the underground. Also, domestically, a few of us helped set up anam recordings to release music from Tommy KD, a recovering addict who has enlisted the legendary Hazo and DJ Mek in his team and who is already causing a stir too. Keeping it real for 2014.

6. Lorde  – “Tennis Court” (Flume Remix)

I’m a big fan of this track in it’s original form, but this remix bangs and brings back some great memories of 2014, particularly my set at Body and Soul Festival in June. SertOne’s remix of Hannah Diamond’s ‘Pink and Blue’ is another that killed it in 14.

7. Flying Lotus featuring Kendrick Lamar – ‘Never Catch Me’

Lots of the best jazz these days is made by electronic artists, or even hip-hoppers who grew up discovering jazz through sampling and rap. We now have jazz artists covering hip-hop classics and it’s all gone full circle, as bands like BadbadnotGood have shown really well. FlyLo’s jazz credentials are in his family tree, but his Brainfeeder label showcases some amazing music from Thundercat, who is an essential element of the FlyLo sound, as well as Ras G and more. Taylor McFerrin made one of the jazz albums of the year on Brainfeeder, with the long awaited “Early Riser”, while FlyLo’s latest opus did not disappoint either. He managed to once again get big names like Snoop and Herbie Hancock to compliment his sound, and this track with Kendrick offers a big hint of what is to come from the Compton rapper, as he prepares to deliver one of the most eagerly awaited rap albums in years in the the next few months

8. James Vincent McMorrow – ‘When I Leave

Beautiful track, which he released on soundcloud, and which is on the bonus version of “Post Tropical”. Also worth mentioning Talos here. He released a couple of great singles on Feel Good Lost and there’s plenty more where that came from.