For the day that’s in it, 4/20, the aptly named Fly High Society have put together an EP called Fly Thai Green, featuring four blunted and toking new tracks from Bolts, Monto, Iglooghost & Tre’bore. Mary Jane is their muse and appropriately, as well as being released on cassette with a sticker pack and Bandcamp, UK purchases come with a complementary lighter.
My fellow Irish music blogger and Newbridge man Barry Gruff has put together GruffWuff, a 19-track compilation of new and unreleased music to celebrate his 5 years writing about music on his blog.
GruffWuff features music from Anderson, SertOne, Oh Boland, Monto, The Expert, Captain Moonlight, Knoxville Morning and more. It’s a good overview of the kind of music Barry likes. He has a predilection for ’90s-sounding indie and alternative music with an emphasis on Welsh music so that explains the addition of Mr Huw. Here’s to another 5 years!
“Initially I thought an idea like this was just a pipe dream but the enthusiasm that met my initial inquiries bowled me over, I couldn’t believe how eager everyone was to get involved. Blogging has become quite a big part of my life over the past number of years and I wanted to do something really special to mark the occasion, and I think with ‘GruffWuff’, that has been achieved”. Adding “It’s been curated and compiled by myself and Stephen Connelly. The thinking behind the project was pretty simple; we wanted to shine a light, brief as it may be, on some of the acts that have lit up the blog over the past few years.”
GruffWuff is out now on Bandcamp for name your price fee.
Sufjan Stevens’ seventh album called Carrie & Lowell due on March 27th. The album is named after his mother and stepfather and addresses his mother’s death in 2012. It strips back his sound to arrangements that would be more akin to the folk style of Seven Swans than the bombastic busyness of The Age of Adz.
‘No Shade In The Shadow Of The Cross’, the first song is an indication of that, a contemplative finger-picked song.
The album will be played for the first time at listening parties and the Dublin one will take place where Stevens’ first Irish gig took place in October 2004 – the Douglas Hyde Gallery. On Tuesday March 10th, a very limited number of fans will get to hear the album two weeks before hand. To gain access to the party, pre-order the album on CD or vinyl from Tower Records on Dawson Street (also online) and you will get two wristbands to the event where the album will be played through wireless headphones.
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2. Yumi Zouma – ‘Song For Zoe & Gwen’
Breezy NZ synth-pop.
The New Zealand band are really pulling their sound up by the bootstraps and making a formerly crowded dreamy Balearic pop space all their own. ‘Song For Zoe & Gwen’ is from the band’s new EP II, and it also features a recent track of the week, ‘Alena’.
Factual song note: Zoe, the track’s protagonist, was Charlie Ryder’s (from Yumi Zouma) date to the 7th form ball.
New album Hairless Toys is inspired by NY ’80s drag ball culture. The love for Roisin Murphy has remained undiminished in recent years if my social network friends are any judge. Last year, the Italian pop covers EP gave us something different from the singer but we all want to hear Murphy do her thing in original format.
So joy then as Roisin will be releasing a new solo album called Hairless Toys, out in Pay on PIAS, inspired by the documentary Paris Is Burning a 1990 film which looked at the LGBT drag ball culture in New York clubs.
“I was deeply moved by this film. ‘I had to run this far from home’ – it’s about the outcasts who could never fit into mainstream society and how they created a safe place in the drag ‘Ball’ scene of New York in the ‘80s. ‘Will we live on? The children of La Beija’ refers to the ‘house’ of Pepper La Beija, who was one of the most notable figures on the scene, Pepper is also quoted in Malcolm McLaren’s song on the same subject ‘Deep In Vogue’. The culture was a flamboyant reaction to persecution and disillusionment, the imagination and bravery of these kids is simply awe-inspiring. I envisioned ‘Gone Fishing’ almost as a song from a Broadway musical version of this story. The making of one’s own world, a safer world and the creation of a new, better family in music or youth culture is a theme I touch upon elsewhere on my album Hairless Toys.”
This song could go either way but Garratt, who sounds a bit like Ed Sheeran being conducted by Pharrell at points, but I’m guessing the song works because Garrett is both author and creator, and while it’s a bit weird to hear dubstep-style synth rides in 2015, Garrett’s “artistry” shines through with his impassion falsetto and a second-half of pleasing digital exploration and vocal layers that wouldn’t be on most pop songs.
The track is featured on his EP The Synesthesiac out in April. ‘The Love You’re Given’
It’s taken me about three years to let go of the fact that Action Bronson sounds a lot like Ghostface with a whooping cough but his upcoming major label album Mr Wonderful might be the one to convince me. It started with that freestyle, the artwork by and then ‘Terry’ an The Alchemist-produced track with a beach-bluesy synth vibe and lines about the Iron Chef’s secret ingredient because Bronson has a cookery show with Vice called Fuck, That’s Delicious.
6. Heems – ‘Home’ feat. Dev Hynes/Blood Orange
Das Racist rapper moves forward.
The pairing of occasional jokey rapper Heems and Dev Hynes might seem like an odd one but it sounds like Heems is going into new emotional territory for his debut Eat Pray Thug out in March. “All I got is the sweater that you left, the letters that I kept,” begins the track to an unmistakable smooth, late-night Dev Hynes production before Heems spills his guts to a former lover by singing rather than rapping. “Shawty, listen, quit your bitching / be my remix to ignition,” is one way of winning someone back.
And yes, you’re right he DOES look like Matt Berry in that pic.
The Nialler9 TXFM show airs every Thursday night at 10pm for two hours. You can listen live on 105.2FM, online, the TXFM app or if you missed it, on the listen back function on the site, as per below. The show starts six minutes in, right after the news in each hour. Click the buttons to launch the TXFM site autoplaying links.
Break Bread is a fortnightly beat cypher challenging numerous producers to make a beat with set samples, limitations and rules.
The idea is simple. Every two weeks, a contributing producer sets the ground rules and picks the samples that everyone else must use. After two weeks, the finished tracks are posted online for all to hear and to download.
SertOne and Monto came up with the concept originally while on the Lightbox tour last year. “Myself and Monto wanted a challenge to force us to practice our craft and push ourselves outside our normal parameters hence the rules,” says Sert. “The rules and sample(s) are set by a different member every edition, in the hope that this forces creativity and for everyone to try something new.” (more…)
It’s not hard to figure out why Ciara has always been a remix-friendly artist. Her hook-laden future-facing R&B pop songs are always on the cutting-edge of the genre and her lack of general ubiquity means she stays appreciated at a general level without people getting too sick of her tracks.
And here’s another piece of evidence. Monto has transformed Ciara’s 2012 track ‘Got Me Good’ into a lower-frequency synth-bass jam. Good work from Ross O’Sullivan. The track is offered as a free download as part of Melted Music’s 2nd birthday of which there’s also a SertOne remix of Willow Beats offered.
If you buy either the Best Boy EP from Monto (stream here) or SertOne’s Shapes In The Sky EP, the two Melted Music heads are offering two great tracks for free download. Sert’s ‘Bald Mountain’ is an atmospheric starter that kicks into a soundtrack-style musical motif filled with the possibility of shady malevolence. It reminds me of the Dust Brothers’ soundtrack to Fight Club somewhat.
On his new EP Best Boy out today, Waterford-based Wicklow producer Ross O’Sullivan aka Monto releases four tracks on the jazzy side of electronic and beat productions. The percussion is varied; short-sharp beats click-clacks, handclaps, snaps and head-nodding rhythms. The synths are chameleons, changing their tune frequently, keeping things non-linear leaving you guessing what’s coming or where the track is going. The bassline almost feel sampled from well-known tunes, ‘FTW’ reminds me of A Tribe Called Quest’s ‘Sucka Nigga’ and in that regard also, these tracks could form the basis of some rhyming. ‘All Is Well’ is the last track on the EP and a good representation of what it has to offer. Best Boy EP is out today on Melted Music via Bandcamp and streaming in full below.
The LYFSTYL blog is back in the compilation game with another superb free download release called Dreams. As perhaps a testament to Irish producers at the moment, two of the highlights come from this country, REID’s head-nodder ‘Ver’ and Monto’s insanely good rework of Clu’s ‘Willow’ which itself is made from the remnants of ‘Whip My Hair’ chopped and screwed vocals. I’m particularly fond of the Daft Punk / celestial ’80s synth solo.
Elsewhere, young Californian producer Beat Culture’s uplifting collaboration with Steffaloo is a winner (also check his recent album Tokyo Dreamer) but really, this is a great overview of what’s on offer from all of these disparate producers at the moment.
In which I invent a new word, Aoife and I talk about Azealia Banks (that’s her above drawn by 400 Facts), why Grimes reminds me of Opus III, why Chairlift are great, Twitter fights with Zomby, Icelandic intentions and pronunciations, a load of brilliant Irish electronica and some Shangaan electro.
If you read this blog (or indeed a handful of otherIrishmusicblogs) on a regular basis, you’ll be aware of the burgeoning solo electronic producer talent that has cropped up in the last year or so. It’s a lonely process most of the time, being a beatkid so a disparate group of these individuals have got together and format an alliance called Lightbox, based on their combined penchant for using visual-based music hardware like Kaoss Pads and Monomes.
Its members: Bantum, Monto, Reid, SertOne, Simon Bird, Tenaka and visuals partner Feel Good Lost have combined to put on a tour in February in Dublin (Sat February 25th, The Twisted Pepper), Cork (TBC The Pavilion), Galway (Thurs 1st March, The Roisin Dubh), Belfast (TBC), Waterford (TBC) and Limerick (Sun February 26th, The Wicked Chicken).
Each date will be proceeded by a hardware/software workshop and DJ sets by others such as myself, Jim Carroll, Logikparty and Ian Maleney. Lightbox have set up a Fundit page where they are hoping to keep the costs of the tour and tour dates down for everyone. Rewards for funders range from exclusive CDs, goodie bags, DJ sets, masterclasses and house parties.
After the jump, you’ll find my favourite current track from each producer along with Feel Good Lost’s new video for Labyrinth Ear.
36 tracks from 36 countries. Every month, MAP (Music Alliance Pact) asks music bloggers to represent their home country and to pick a track that represents a nation. The results are posted on all of those blogs on the 15th of each month, downloadable in one file or playable one by one on each blog.
A superb mix of Irish-heavy music from promising young Dublin producer Monto. Been hearing good things about this guy and his tunes on Soundcloud are just getting better and better lately. This mix has a lot of his bootleg mixes and original tunes as well as tracks from Sertone, Moths, Lemonada, Dlyrious, Lecs Luther, Maverick Sabre and more.