Strange Passion

My second hand knowledge of post-punk from the early ’80s comes almost entirely from Simon Reynolds’ excellent book Rip It Up & Start Again. It covers the period of 1978 to 1984 where as a reaction to punk, bands delved into a more idiosyncratic form of music-making, a discordant complex style characterised by razor-sharp muscular guitar lines and the use of synthesizers. Notable bands of the subgenre include Public Image Limited, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Pere Ubu, Gang Of Four and Devo. Depending on your age you might be more familar with the resurgence of the guitar tropes of the genre with bands like Franz Ferdinand, The Strokes, Bloc Party et al in the middle of the last decade.

Posted on July 31st, 2012



Popical Island #3 – Listen to Side B

Side A of Popical Island #3 appeared for your streaming pleasure on Monday. 48 hours is just enough time for you to fit in a big digestable listen so Side B is now ready for your indie-pop gluttonous ears and it relies more on distortion pedals, singalong choruses, broken drumsticks, bass and drums being best mates, in-band disagreements and agreements; and a big squeeze of lo-fi rock dynamics.
Listen to the stream and see Saturday’s stage times…→

Posted on July 4th, 2012


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Darren from Last Days of 1984 put me onto this compilation seeing as I’ve shared a love of Shangaan cassette tapes recently (a few are available in Elastic Witch).

The nine-track compilation Music from Saharan Cellphones on the SahelSounds label, as the title suggests, is music that comes from cellphone memory cards. Cheap mobile phones are popular in West Africa so it makes sense to use in-built memory cards to share your music collection via Bluetooth or similar with others when there’s no internet access, Wi-Fi or 3G available (no not even an Edge network! Madness.)


After establishing a pocket of Ireland’s musical space all to themselves with Volume #1 a year ago, the Popical Island collective have checked back with the finest of the country’s indie-pop and alternative bands, and enlisted some new ones to bring us Volume #2, which will be released on June 25th on CD and download.

Coming in at 18-songs, the compilation serves as a snapshot of 2011 in Irish independent pop (and rock): including Land Lovers, We Are Losers, Ginnels, Pantone247, Goodly Thousands, Squarehead, Groom, Jonny Fun And The Hesitations, Grand Pocket Orchestra, Rhino Magic, Hello Moon, Michael Knight, Sea Pinks, Yeh Deadlies, Retarded Cop and others. All of the songs were recorded in away from regular studios so no trickery is afoot, it’s all about the DIY recordings.

Here’s Tieranniesaur’s funky strut of a contribution – ‘Here Be Monsters':

08-Tieranniesaur – Here Be Monsters by popical_island

As with last year’s launch, Volume #2 gets an all-day and night launch party in Whelan’s on Saturday 25th of June. Not only will you able to get the hand-packaged CD but the badges you can see in the video will be available for purchase along with a download code too. Keep an eye out here in June for an exclusive stream.


Blissful Allusion is an electronic compilation put together by the LYFSTYL Music Blog featuring exclusive tracks from Moths, Sun Glitters, Teen Daze, Kohwi and more. Listen below or grab the download.


Los Angeles label Proximal Records will release “a cross-section of LA’s finest beat talents” on August 10th with the Proximity One: Narrative Of A City compilation which features tracks from Dam Funk, Daedelus, Teebs, TOKiMonsta, and Proximal’s own Sahy Uhns, Benedek, Lawrence Grey, Wake and BearClaw.

Dam Funk – A Day at the Carnival

Posted on July 21st, 2010


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Pastor Mbhobho

Pastor Mbhobho - the crazy priest of SA House.

With the eyes and ears of the world on South Africa for the World Cup at the moment, it’s a good time to see what’s cracking there musically. I interviewed a few of the kwaito stars last month and I’ve much more exciting stuff to come but here is a compilation which serves as a superb intro to the sound of young South Africa. The producers represented on Ayobaness (a phrase used to express excitement in Joburg) showcase a brand of South African house music which is all their own but globally reaching at the same time.

DJ Mujava’s ‘Township Funk’ was the first big tune to hit internationally from the Pretoria region of SA and he is represented here as is South African heavyweight producer DJ Cleo. Most of the other names here are unknown to most but that doesn’t diminish how great Ayobaness! The Sound of South African House represents the pulse of South African music. It’s out now on Out Here Records. Check out the EP sampler which showcases the UK funky-esque stuff as well as the more minimal techno leaning ‘Just in Time’ from Aero Manelo.

Stream the whole album on Myspace.

[ iTunes | eMusic | Label Site ]


Posted on June 23rd, 2010



Nigeria Special
Nigeria Special

My recommendation for the week is the 2 part compilation Nigeria Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-sounds & Nigerian Blues 1970-76. on Soundway records. It’s a superb document of the vibrant and diverse music scene in Nigeria in the early to mid ‘70s. I bought both vinyls myself, it really is the type of compilation perfect for Vinyl.

Nigeria is most often linked with Afro-beat, Juju & Apala but the musical heritage of Nigeria is much deeper than the Yoruba speaking styles that emanated in the west of the country. This compilation presents some of the best un-reissued and forgotten sounds from Nigeria that have previously been overlooked. The two CD’s cover some of the many styles that emerged and flourished in the early ‘70s. This is by no means meant to be a definitive collection but merely a snapshot of some of the vast amount of music that remains lost since first being issued 30 years ago. This was a time when younger bands expounding Rock, Jazz and Funk were colliding with the older more established Highlife scene of the 50’s & 60’s producing some unique & highly original recordings.

Soundway records label boss and Compiler Miles Cleret has spent five years working on this compilation (and the planned spin-off compilations)– travelling to Nigeria, interviewing musicians, label owners and distributors – tracking down the forgotten sounds of ‘70s Nigeria in dusty warehouses, studios and markets. He uncovered so much amazing music that the project became a double CD (with two accompanying spin-off albums to come). Over two hours of rare tracks from seminal artists like Celestine Ukwu, the Funkees, Victor Uwaifo, Tunji Oyelana, Bola Johnson, Etubom Rex Williams, as well as many unsung heroes. The CDs are accompanied by a 32-page booklet with rare photos, cover art and historical information on the musicians, giving an in-depth look at the scene and its influences. The Vinyl release is split into 2 separate high quality double gatefold LPs.

If you like The Ethiopiques Series, get your hands on these releases.


Celestine Ukwu & His Philosophers National Band – Okwukwe Na Nchekwube


More info and buy links

Posted on March 14th, 2008