2017 Best of | Best songs | Best albums | Irish albums | Irish songs | Club tracks | Guest selections

Here are my 25 favourite Irish albums from 2017 whittled down from a shortlist of 40 or so. Number 1 was a surefire since I heard it earlier this year but there were a few late addition entries released in the last few months that made it near the top.

Tower Records


Otherkin – OK

It’s increasingly hard to stand out in rock music in 2017 beyond genre die-hards and Otherkin are the pick of the Irish bunch when it comes to old-fashioned guitar music (though Fangclub and Gypsies On The Autobahn came close). There’s not much radical at play here – these are catchy very well-produced rock’n’roll songs you’d imagine could soundtrack an ad with ease.


Fionn Regan

Five years since his last full-length and it sounds like time away has left Fionn Regan with a renewed sense of purpose. The Meetings Of The Waters feels like a stepping stone to a new path for Regan. Ditching the Dylan-influence completely, the album largely features meditative spacious folk music that sustains quietly like smouldering embers and a centrepiece of three tracks with more layered rock music-style songs.


Having moved from pensive singer-songwriter to elegiac composer/songwriter a few albums ago, the Galway artist Crowley has transitioned once again, with the help of The Gloaming’s Thomas Bartlett who produced Dark Eyed Messenger. Barlett counselled Crowley to make the album without his trusted guitar. He obliged and the results sound utterly beguiling.


The Gloaming fiddle player’s latest project saw him convene in an 18th century house in Bantry with frequent collaborator Dennis Cahill (guitars) and New Yorkers Doug Wieselman (bass clarinet, Anthony & The Johnsons and Laurie Anderson) and Liz Knowles (hardanger d’amore), with a fire going at both sides of The Blue Room (the album is called after it) and the quartet’s recording process involved playing each traditional piece repeatedly and allowing something different to emerge in the process. Another worthy inclusion from a master.


Keith Mannion’s SPLH project has morphed from bedroom electronic solo endeavour to a full live band in recent years and this year’s album When I See You…Ice Cream! on Strange Brew Rekkids is an affirmation of his new inclusive ethos. It may have still been recorded in his Donegal bedroom but appearances from Whipping Boy’s Fearghal McKee, Gaze Is Ghost offers contrast to Mannion’s own wobblyevoice on a playful and lo-fi-leaning album.


Dublin experimental veterans’ sixth studio long-player takes them deeper,darker and longer. Written in 2015 as a single longform piece for a once-off performance in Dublin’s now-defunct Joinery venue, Tough Love is a diptych of 20 plus minute tracks of dense krautrock dystopian synth-dirge dramatics.

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Posted on December 12th, 2017


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This is only a selection of new music – dig into more or follow the Spotify playlists.

Nialler9 Weekly playlist


Golden Teacher – Sauciehall Withdrawal

Scottish band Golden Teacher have a Chk Chk Chk vibe going on with them and their just-released debut album No Luscious Life is a fun release of electronic funk and afrodisco vibes. This album opener sets out their ESG-esque punk funk stall. Give me more.


Bicep – Metro

From a new Glue EP, comes this mechanised weapon from the two Belfast boys who know how to cut through the noise like few other producers.


IDER – Body Love

The London-based duo of Megan Markwick and Lily Somerville have been becoming increasingly reliable for releasing sweet electronic-tinged harmonic pop and ‘Body Love’ is further proof.


Yaeji – Drink I’m Sippin On

New York City and Seoul-based producer Kathy Yaeji Lee just releasesd EP2, on the Godmode label, the same imprint run by Nick Sylvester that brought you Shamir (before he signed to XL or turned to drab indie). ‘Drink I’m Sippin On’ is a low-slung percussive trap-esque electronic song with ice-cold house and pop shades with Korean as the main language.


Avalon Emerson – One More Fluorescent Rush

Fresh from her appearance in Dublin over the weekend, Avalon Emerson released this evocative track on the Whities label. It’s a building slice of arpeggiated magic, a rush as the title suggests. I’ll definitely be playing it at Lumo on Friday.


The Juan Maclean – The Brighter The Light

A new track from DFA stalwart that stretches itself out brightly across eight minutes of piano house accompanied by three remixes by Australia’s Len Liese , DJ Tennis and Octo Octa. While The Juan Maclean is both John Maclean and Nancy Wang, the latter has been busy with a certain LCD so that explains the deeper club nature of this track. A new Juan Maclean album will be released in 2018.


YouandEwan – Stranger (Glad Eye mix)

YouandEwan’s There Is No Right Time was a sleeper album hit in 2016, marking Yorkshire’s Ewan Smith as a versatile producer. For this new release for Luna Via, the tracks are deeper house cuts and ‘Stranger (Glad Eye mix)’ is almost like his take on Luke Vibert’s ‘I Love Acid’ in its hypnotic construction.


Complete Walkthru – About to Get Laze

From a new release on Irish label, First Second, New Yorker Max McFerren’s Complete Walkthru project has a throwback breaks club feel on the lead track ‘About to Get Laze’.


The Cyclist – Inhale / Exhale feat. Tanaya Harper

Another track recommendation to follow up last week’s, from the new album Sapa Inca Delirium from The Cyclist. ‘Inhale / Exhale’ is a fast-paced nine-minute track with passages of jilting bass, percussion swerves and Harper’s calming influence on the latter half of the song.


Joe Goddard – Ordinary Madness (Jeremy Greenspan Big Big Loves remix)

From the Electric Lines Remix EP 1, also featuring reworks by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smyth, Rimbaudian (DJ Seinfeld) and Wajeed comes the Junior Boys take on the trck, which has suitably Junior Boys vibes.

3 New Music flavours:

All song added in the past week: Nialler9 Weekly.

The larger three-month New Music Playlist.

New Irish Music Playlist

Check out the regularly updated Spotify playlists.

Posted on November 6th, 2017

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This is only a selection of new music – dig into more or follow the Spotify playlists.

Nialler9 Weekly playlist


Tune-yards – Look At Your Hands

Now officially a duo of Merril Garbus and Nate Brenner, tune-yards will release a fourth record called I can feel you creep into my private life on January 19th. The sound of this song ‘Look At Your Hands’ is a nice taster, it’s more focused, danceable and electronic-leaning while retaining some of that Afro looped pop exuberance that is a key part of the Tune-yards identity.

“Thematically, the twelve new songs tackle race, politics, intersectional feminism and environmental prophecies head on. But in the billows of intense subject matter, the album arrives as Tune-Yards’ most immediate and upbeat music yet – this is music to dance to.|


Pink Kink – ‘Munchie Magic’

A Liverpool band whose second single equates a desire for fast food with oral sex, ‘Munchie Magic’ is a gang-shouting slice of glittering shouty neon pop.


Lankum – Déanta In Eireann

From one of my albums of the past week (and a band who announced a Vicar Street show this morning) comes this standout from Between The Earth & The Sky about Ireland. The 8-minute ‘Deanta in Eireann’ that could be about nearly any time in Irish history but are applicable to the now – migration, a government who doesn’t care about the little people and using your Irish charm abroad but it turns the song’s gaze back on the homeland – “if the Dáil are the pimps, then we are the whores” and in the end, you’ll want to stand up and declare the song our new antagonistic national anthem.


Marcus Marr – High Times

THE DFA producer that brought us the absolute dancefloor riproar of ‘Rocketship’ brings the funk and house on this new track. Reminds me of early Daft Punk.


Gorillaz & Little Simz – Garage Palace

An uncharacteristic banger from Gorillaz with UK rapper Little Simz on vocals. This is a fresh thing.


Bibio – ‘Phantom Brickworks III’

Bibio has a new album out Friday called Phantom Brickworks and it’s a collection of mostly improvised ambient pieces that are quite evocative.

Phantom Brickworks is a collection of mostly improvised musical pieces, that for some years now, have provided me with a mental portal into places and times – some real, some imaginary, some a combination of both. Human beings are highly sensitive to the atmospheres of places, which can be enhanced or dramatically altered when you learn about the context of their history. Echoes and voices can sometimes be heard, in some way or another. Places sometimes have things to say.” Bibio


The Cyclist – When We All Break Down

Derry producer Andrew Morrison dropped his new album Sapa Inca Delirium last Friday and his stated aim was to bring some warmth into electronic music. On one of the album highlights, he hooks up with Joni, who recorded her vocals in one take over some percussive synth dance music with a nod to garage and drum ‘n’ bass.


Hamilton Leithauser & Angel Olsen – Wild Hunger

Olsen’s been on fire on the collaboration front lately and here, her turn with the Walkmen singer is a great match as his retro singing style is reinforced when she appears.


Young Fathers – Lord

Glasgow trio Young Fathers have finished recording their third album and so they’ve shared the closing cut from it to coincide with some UK dates. You can’t dance to it they want you to know. It is a slow alt-gospel ballad in their unique style.


Teen Ravine – Steady On

Toronto act Teen Ravine bring the crystallised dream pop vibes from an upcoming album.

3 New Music flavours:

All song added in the past week: Nialler9 Weekly.

The larger three-month New Music Playlist.

New Irish Music Playlist

Check out the regularly updated Spotify playlists.

Posted on November 1st, 2017

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A few weeks ago, Jealous Of The Birds singer-songwriter Naomi Hamilton teamed up with Derry electronic composer Ryan Vail on the square-waved ‘Love Is A Crow’.

As part of the EP package out Friday, The Cyclist alongside Die Hexen has remixed the track. Here’s the first listen of The Cyclist textured beat and bass-focused remix of Ryan Vail & Jealous Of The Bird’s ‘Love Is A Crow’:

Ryan Vail plays an A/V BYOB show with Homebeat in DLight Studios on Thursday evening in Dublin alongside Hvmmingbyrd and Wastefellow.

Posted on February 22nd, 2017

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Open Ear is a festival that started last year on Sherkin Island off the coast of West Cork and it returns in June 2nd-4th for a weekend of “experimental, ambient, electronica, neo-classical, hip hop / beats, techno, noise and more.”

With a capacity of 300, this year’s lineup features:

  • Mike Slott
  • The Cyclist
  • Eomac
  • The Smoke Clears
  • Naive Ted
  • Automatic Tasty
  • Ambulance
  • Whirling Hall of Knives
  • Cignol
  • February + Mars
  • Cáit
  • Simon Conway
  • LOLZ
  • PCP
  • Be Honest
    & more

Tickets on the first tier sold out this morning but second are available from €110.

Posted on February 10th, 2017


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Dublin’s All City Records is launching a sublabel to release music beyond their norm of hip-hop-lead beat releases from Onra, Knwledge, Hud Mo and Ras G among others.

Jheri Tracks is a label intended for dancefloor 12″s with a regular release schedule in the works.

To mark the new label,  All City dropped a seven-track vinyl sampler and an 18-track comp called Mini-Disc (yes it’s on Minidisc too) featuring The Cyclist, Lumigraph, Sias (Frank B), West to West and more.

The guys also hosted a Jheri Tracks special on NTS last week.


Mini-disc Tracklisting:

1. Evan Jones – My Days
2. Ghost – Herron
3. Sias – Lakota
4. Baby Air – Summer Love
5. Úbung – Yllek R
6. Eazy Haze – 800 Dub
7. Life’s Track – Unconventional Sound
8. Serpico – Serpico!
9. West To West – Eternal Ways
10. The Cyclist – Tech Tape Reels
11. Joe Herrick – Din Dun Dun Dundun
12. Bastiengoat – Boytek
13. Cambo – Phantom Liquidity
14. Lumigraph – Pizzatalk
15. Melly – No Right Turn
16. Linckoln – Little Launch
17. DE – Sunrise
18. Basic House – Bouncing Bomb

Vinyl Sampler Tracklisting:

A1. The Cyclist – Tech Tape Reels
A2. Lumigraph – Pizzatalk
A3. Cambo – Phantom Liquidity
B1. Evan Jones – My Days
B2. West To West – Eternal Ways
B3. Bastien Goat – Boytek
B4. D.E. – Sunrise


Posted on January 29th, 2016


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Daire Carolan is the founder of the Dublin label First Second, he’s a DJ and he works with All City.  The next First Second 12″ is due out in the new year and will be distributed by Lobster Distribution. You can catch him supporting Helena Hauff, one of his picks below, this Saturday in the Buttoner. Here are his top ten tracks of the year.

1. Japan Blues – ‘Spurned My Colour’ (Berceuse Heroique)

‘Spurned My Colour’ by Japan Blues definitely sneaked into my top ten this year as it literally only came out a few weeks ago on Berceuse Heroique. Japan Blues is a project by Japanese record collecting expert Howard Williams. Known by some Londoner’s for working behind the desk at Honest Jon’s but known by others for putting some slick Japanese inspirational cuts together. I couldn’t really pick one tune out of his but this is the one that was playing when I wrote this. So definitely worth checking out all his stuff… aaannnd why not check out his All City mix why you are at.

2. Henry Wu – ‘Croydon Depot’ (Rhythm Section)

If you are a regular in All City records I’m sure you are very used to seeing a fine selection of Bradley Zero’s Rhythm Sections label in the shop. With solid releases from the likes of Al Dobson Jr, Prequel, Retiree, Choas in the CBD and more in the back catalogue it seems to have been a good year for them. For me personally, the Henry Wu that came out not too long ago is by the far the stand out. ‘Croydon Depot’ is just vibes, just a really nice swing to it or something.

3. Project Pablo – ‘Always’ (1080p)

Project Pablo is another one of the many artists popping out of Canada. There is so much good stuff coming out of there at the moment be it Pender Street Steppers, Jack J, Cloudface, Minimal Violence, Jock Club and so on. This record is definitely a perfect example of that. Having been originally released on tape then re-released on a 12” soon after , I Want To Believe is such an exceptional record but if I had to pick one tune on there it would have to be ‘Always’.

4. Herva – ‘Pressure Bumps’ (All City Records)

Herva has had one solid year for sure. After releasing How To Mind Your Own on All City at the start of the year he went on to release an album on Delsin,  do a few records on Bosconi, remix Nick Hoppner on Ostgut Ton and topped it all off with another album just out now on Planet Mu. The chap’s output is insane and I’ve a mad amount of respect for him. ‘Pressure Bumps’ is a driving broke up techno beat which definitely shows off Herva’s many talents as a producer and I’d highly recommend checking out that entire record.

5. Helena Hauff – ‘Spur’ (Werkdiscs)

Helena Hauff has gone from a residency at Hamburg’s Golden Pudel to being one of the most talked about DJs and producers in the underground electronic scene. ‘Spur’ is one of the hands down standout tracks on her debut album Discreet Desires which was out sometime in the Autumn on Actress’ Werkdiscs imprint. It kind of reminds of some very retro electro or something. Definitely been giving it the rinse in any of my sets as of late.

6. Huerco S – ‘Rushing To Paradise’ (Proibito)

“Chilled out music you can dance to,” is probably the best way I would describe ‘Rushing To Paradise’ by Huerco S. Its such a perfect record to open a set with at a festival in the summer time or something. It has this building energy to it. So good.

7. Galcher Lustwerk – ‘Parlay’ (Galcher Lustwerk)

Galcher Lustwerk is just vibes. I got to play with him sometime ago last year and I thought the way he would be just mixing and doing these slick vocals over his set on the mic was the coolest thing. One stand out part of that gig was when he started singing ‘Parlay’ which I sadly couldn’t find anywhere months after then this year he dropped it out on his own Galcher Lustwerk label… I’ve been playing it religiously since.

8. MB – ‘A Well Oiled Party’ (no Label)

Listen to the Wino Boys.

9. The Cyclist – ‘Hot House’ (Music Is For Losers)

Andrew Morrison aka The Cyclist is one of those producers who just has his sound down/ I’ve been very lucky to work with the man over the last few years helping put out his excellent Buz Ludzha 12” as well as his killer album Flourish last year on All City records. ‘Hot House’ has a very oldskool mixtape house sound to it. It could be something that was made years ago – that’s what I really like about it. Can’t wait for his next 12” on 100% Silk to drop too.

10. Laurel Halo – ‘Focus I’ (Honest Jon’s)

Laurel Halo has to be one of my favourite producers at the moment. Ever since I heard her Chance Of Rain album on Hyperdub in 2013 I had it on repeat for months. Honest Jon’s have just put out her latest offering In Situ which is a mix of funky, dubby, broken beat techno if thats what you can call it. ‘Focus’ is a really nice warm up track on the record. Definitely one to play at the Bernard Shaw or something or for an opening set. The whole album is good in general. Highly recommend it.

Posted on December 9th, 2015


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After its initial somewhat bewildering grime-heavy debut Dublin live show , Boiler Room returns to the city as part of its partnership with Generator Hostels in Europe.

It happens on Thursday December 3rd and will feature a solid lineup:

New Jackson
The House Of Disco’s Magnier
Sias (Frank B’s other project)
The Cyclist

It’ll be streamed live at https://boilerroom.tv/generator/dublin/.


Posted on November 20th, 2015


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My favourite songs of the month. Get the majority of them as a continuous playlists below.

The songs

  1. Julio Bashmore – ‘Holding On’ feat. Sam Dew
  2. Roots Manuva – ‘Facety 2.11′ Production by Four Tet
  3. Le Galaxie –Le Club
  4. St. Vincent – ‘Teenage Talk’
  5. Samantha Urbani – ‘1 2 3 4′
  6. Tame Impala – ‘Cause I’m A Man’
  7. Wet – ‘Deadwater’
  8. George FitzGerald – ‘Call It Love (If You Want To)'[Feat. Lawrence Hart]
  9. King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard – ‘The River’
  10. The Cyclist – ‘Heart of Stone’
  11. Young Wonder – ‘Sweet Dreaming’
  12. Braids – ‘Miniskirt’
  13. Hot Chip – ‘Need You Now’
  14. Lianne La Havas – ‘Unstoppable’
  15. Oddisee – ‘That’s Love’
  16. Ratatat – ‘Cream on Chrome’
  17. Shit Robot – ‘Where It’s At’ feat. Reggie Watts
  18. Ben Khan – ‘1000’
  19. Oh Wonder – ‘Midnight Moon’
  20. EMBRZ – ‘Silent’
  21. Towkio – ‘Reflection’ (prod. Kaytranada)
  22. Torres – ‘Cowboy Guilt’
  23. i am niamh – ‘Wonderland’
  24. Tell No Foxx – ‘Dust’
  25. Tourist – ‘Holding On’ featuring Niia & Josef Salvat
  26. Made In Heights – ‘Forgiveness’
  27. Tei Shi – ‘Go Slow’
  28. Future Islands – ‘The Chase‘
  29. Young Fathers – ‘Sirens’
  30. Cinema – ‘Horizon’

Playmoss playlist (Soundcloud + Youtube)



Posted on May 5th, 2015


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Bank Holidays always mess with schedules, and so does illness. I was inflicted with the latter on the former this weekend so things were slow for me. All good now though.

Here are the top 10 tracks of the last week:

  1. Roots Manuva – ‘Facety 2.11’ Production by Four Tet
  2. Georgia – ‘Move Systems’
  3. Hot Chip – ‘Need You Now’
  4. Oh Wonder – ‘Midnight Moon’
  5. Tourist – ‘Holding On’ featuring Niia & Josef Salvat
  6. Ciaran Lavery & Ryan Vail – ‘Nick Cave’s Band’
  7. Tame Impala – ‘Cause I’m A Man’
  8. Tei Shi – ‘Go Slow’
  9. The Cyclist – ‘Heart Of Stone’
  10. Throwing Snow – ‘Lumen’

Like your new music on Spotify instead? Follow the Nialler9 New Music playlist on Spotify. Updated weekly.

Posted on April 7th, 2015

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As broadcast last night, as it is every Thursday from 10pm to midnight on TXFM, which celebrated its first birthday this week. The show starts about six minutes into the first hour.

TXFM Show – April 2nd: Major Lazer, Jamie xx, Grimes, Fort Romeau, Girlpool, Cashmere Cat and more. by Nialler9 on Mixcloud

Part One

  1. Major Lazer – ‘Lean On’ (feat. MØ & DJ Snake)
  2. Hudson Mohawke – ‘Very First Breath’ (feat. Irfane)
  3. Hot Chip – ‘Need You Now’
  4. Waterstrider – ‘Nowhere Now’
  5. Courtney Barnett – ‘An Illustration of Loneliness’ (Sleepless in New York)
  6. Girlpool – ‘Chinatown’
  7. Jamie xx – ‘Loud Places’ (featuring Romy)
  8. Idris Muhammad – ‘Could Heaven Ever Be Like This’
  9. Super Furry Animals – ‘Hermann Loves Pauline’ (Monday’s SFA OK night in Dublin)
  10. Warpaint – ‘No Way Out’ (Redux)
  11. Grimes – ‘Realiti’
  12. Yumi Zouma – ‘Song for Zoe & Gwen’
  13. The National – ‘Sunshine on My Back’
  14. Landshapes – ‘Ader’

Part Two 

  1. The Mighty Stef – ‘Everybody Needs A Grave’
  2. Cashmere Cat – ‘Adore’ (feat. Ariana Grande)
  3. Frank Ocean – ‘Thinking Bout You’
  4. Georgia – ‘Move Systems’
  5. Tourist – ‘Holding On ft. Josef Salvat + Niia’
  6. Ben Khan – ‘1000’
  7. Tei Shi – ‘Go Slow’
  8. Róisín Murphy – ‘Exploitation’
  9. Kendrick Lamar – ‘Momma’
  10. Jamie xx – ‘Gosh’
  11. The Cyclist – ‘Heart of Stone’
  12. Fort Romeau – ‘Not A Word’ (with New Jackson)
  13. Skepta – ‘Shutdown’
  14. Roots Manuva – ‘Facety 2:11’
  15. Leftfield – ‘Phat Planet’

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

Posted on April 3rd, 2015

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Derry producer The Cyclist has a new 7-track LP called Flourish out this week on Dublin’s All City label. His 2013 album Bones In Motion found a home on Stones Throw and this new one delves deeper into his own corroded sounding form of electronic dancefloor music. So much so that it sounds like very little else. Check out the Flourish minimix below and a video for the track ‘Daisy Spirals’.

The LP is streaming on Pitchfork Advance.


Posted on November 11th, 2014



All City Records have put out their end of year mix courtesy of DJ Tu-ki featuring 39 tracks that made their year including the likes of MachineDrum, Madlib/Freddie Gibbs, Lapalux, Pusha T, Mano Le Tough, FKA Twigs, Frank B, Laszlo Dancehall, El-P / Killer Mike, Laurel Halo, Addison Groove, Special Request and more. It’s a solid 67 minutes of electronic, house and hip-hop.

All City’s Olan O’Brien also sent on 10 releases that made his musical year in 2013. Drop into the shop in Temple Bar (or online) and browse their excellent collection of vinyl as typified by the mix above and the tracks below. Also pick up All City’s excellent Amada LP, a compilation you can win in the last day of voting in the Readers’ Poll.

Lots of love for London label and shop Trilogy Tapes label here.

Rezzett – The Rezzett EP (Trilogy Tapes)

Knxwledge – Kauliflower LP (All City)

Anthony Naples – El Portal EP (Trilogy Tapes)

MGun – The Near Future (Trilogy Tapes)

Vereker – Rosite (L.I.E.S)

Boya – Boya EP (Mr Saturday Night)

John Heckle – Baiyun Mountain EP (MOS)

Mammane Sani – La Musique Électronique Du Niger (Mississippi)

Mammane Sani Abdullaye is a legendary name amongst Niger’s avant garde. A pioneer of early West African electronic music, for over 30 years his instrumentals have filled the airwaves. The instrumental background drones of radio broadcasts and instrumental segue ways of TV intermissions borrow heavily from his repertoire. The dreamy organ instrumentals drift by sans comment, yet are known to all.

This is his first album from 1978.

The Cyclist – Bones in Motion (Leaving Records)

V/A – Purple Snow: Forecasting The Minneapolis Sound (Numero Group)

Posted on December 18th, 2013


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Derry’s Andrew Morrison makes music under the name The Cyclist and his latest album Bones in Motion just came out on Stones Throw/Leaving Records.

Morrison says The Cyclist project is “an attempt to get to a time in electronic music, where everything sounds warmer, like with the more techno-ey tunes by Throbbing Gristle maybe a bit like what Geogaddi by Boards of Canada got across, but with a whole other meaning with a more danceable edge of New Order. This needed to be done and needs to be done more. let’s call it Tape Throb for now.”


Posted on April 3rd, 2013