Monday, August 30, 2010

Live Review: Bear in Heaven, Halves at Crawdaddy

Lee Ranaldo to headline Clonakilty guitar festival

Yes, Lee Ranaldo of the legendary Sonic Youth will be headlining the Clonakilty International Guitar Festival 2010, which takes place from September 16th-19th. Not only will he be playing a show, he'll also be doing a 'workshop/masterclass'.

Ranaldo is one of the most influential guitarists of the post-punk era. Having spent time working with avant-garde guitarist Glenn Branca in his 'orchestra for guitars', he joined with one of Branca's other disciples, Thurston Moore, in forming Sonic Youth, who would take Branca's teachings and practice of using alternative guitar tunings on board. The Youth gradually developed their sound from the harsh, no-wave-influenced approach of their early records, eventually hitting on a monumental creative peak with the seminal Daydream Nation. Since then they've continued to release excellent records and inspire any number of new bands.

Incidentally, Ranaldo's lyrics directly inspired the name of this here blog. Needless to say I'm a big fan.

Full details of the festival here:

Electric Picnic preview: (Unknown Day)

Some of the artists haven't yet been allocated a day, or at least hadn't been when I started this thing. So here's the best of that lot:


Eclectic, unpredictable and massively underrated, Daniel Victor Snaith took on the moniker Caribou after previously being known as Manitoba, but the quality of his output hasn't dropped: his latest record Swim is one of the albums of the year so far.

Caribou - Odessa by cityslang


Bristol-based producer has released a string of superb 12"s as well as the acclaimed LP Jarvik Mindstate, blurring the lines between dubstep, techno and dubbed-out soul.


Experimental, no-wave-influenced electronic act who became the first band to be invited to play All Tomorrow's Parties in 2005. They've also recently been picked up on by the influential Altered Zones.

THREAD PULLS - MIX // JULY 2010 by SkinnyWolves


Atmospheric shoegaze-influenced soundscapes from this Galway-based band.

Low Sea - Never Yours by Nialler9


This Carlow-based duo deal in dreamy, hazy electronica. They released a free covers EP earlier this year, Desecrations, which included superb versions of tunes by the Pixies and Rollerskate Skinny.

<a href="">Wave Of Mutilation by The Holy Roman Army</a>

<a href="">Berlin by The Holy Roman Army</a>


West-of-Ireland based duo whose debut LP Paraphrase Accolade was released earlier this year to much acclaim. Organic, Four Tet-influenced electronics.

<a href="">Goni by Nouveaunoise</a>


Haunting ambient electronica from this mysterious Dublin artist, who late last year released the higly-rated I Dreamed I Was A Footstep In The Trail Of A Murderer. He's also released a steady stream of free music online.

Left For Dead by Hunter-Gatherer


Dublin-base artist who shares sonic similarities to critics' darling Ariel Pink, his skewed aesthetic approach taking in influences like leftfield electronica, movie themes and lo-fi pop.

WOLF005 - Patrick Kelleher & His Cold Dead Hands - Contact Sports 7" by SkinnyWolves

Electric Picnic preview: Sunday


The Bristol collective are easily one of the most important and influential British acts of the last 20 years, and their Friday night set at the festival in 2006 was the stuff of legend. Mixing dark, moody trip-hop and dub-influenced electronica with stunning visuals, you can also expect some heavyweight guest vocalists (last time around Liz Frazer and Horace Andy joined them in Stradbally).


The solo project of enigmatic Knife frontwoman Karen Dreijr, Fever Ray played Oxegen last year to a shed of bemused dance-heads in an unfortunate example of wrong place, wrong time. Stradbally should be more up her alley. Fever Ray's dark, claustrophobic music draws on unsettling images of motherhood and post-natal depression, while in the live setting the experience becomes even more surreal: at Oxegen Dreijr donned a massive Indian headdress, her band came attired in similarly ritualistic manner, and lasers were added for good measure. Prepare to immerse yourself in a nightmarish netherworld.


A terrific live band, their self-titled debut featured a string of infectious, nu-rave leaning dance-punk tunes.


The former goth-garage rockers who threw a curveball with their acclaimed second LP Primary Colours, which drew on influences like My Bloody Valentine, Neu! and Bauhaus. Be warned, though: they're an inconsistent live band.


An invigorating mixture of spiky garage-punk and skewed psych-rock.


Former G-funk keyboardist who last year released the acclaimed Toeachizown, a collection of smooth, trippy synth-funk.


Influential early-80's NYC-based post-punk act who reformed and were taken under the DFA umbrella in recent years. Lay down some spacious, echoing grooves.


Texas-based project of Alan Palomo, also known as the artist VEGA. His brand of laid-back, hazy electronica has been grouped under the chillwave banner along with artists like Memory Tapes and Washed Out.


The Waterford-based band have been described as an 'Irish Grizzly Bear', and seriously impress live with their intricate, swelling arrangements.


True to his name, brings distinctive, larger-than-life vocals to his excellent folk compositions. Reminiscent of Dylan at times.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Electric Picnic preview: Saturday


One of the most influential electronic acts of the 1990's, rumours of Leftfield's imminent reformation and festival appearances seem to have been circulating forever, and if ever there was an act who suited a festival down to the ground, then here they are and here it is. Expect their 1995 masterpiece Leftism to feature prominently - and perhaps a certain J. Lydon will be joining them onstage for 'Open Up'?


A certain volcano put paid to their scheduled Tripod show in April, and although the common consensus was that this Picnic appearance would be their last live performance in Ireland, some further U-turning by James Murphy has made things less clear. Whatever, they're sure to turn Stradbally into a giant, blissful dancefloor.


She's had a fantastic year, with her third album The Nameless reaching number 1 on an independent label and garnering widespread critical acclaim. Her set at the Picnic promises to be the icing on the cake.

Army Of Tears by schlafshane


The ever-controversial duo throw all subtlety out the window with their live sets: expect pummelling, harsh electro-noise terrorism.


This one's going to be emotional. Scott-Heron's late 70's/early 80's spoken-word and poetry works are regarded as a formative influence on hip-hop and black activism, but his last decade has been more distinguished by prison sentences and drug addiction. That was until the 2010 release of I'm New Here, a revelatory record featuring wary, weather-beaten, Waits-ish testimonials like 'Me and the Devil Blues' and 'New York is Killing Me'.


Picnic regulars at this stage, the Chip have the tunes to get people dancing. In particular, this year's comeback single 'One Night Stand' fits right in alongside previous classics like 'Ready For The Floor' and 'Over and Over'.


Should give Janelle Monae a run for her money in the pop-tastic stakes. Her three-part album Body Talk is currently on the second installment.


The face-melting post-rockers are going to bring the noise. Be there.

1. Set Guitars To Kill - And So I Watch you From Afar by TOOLBOX ROCKS


One of the most influential and acclaimed artists on the dubstep/grime scene, Joker's bright, funk-influenced sound is so unique that he's coined his own term for it: 'purple sound'. He's joined by Nomad on MC duties.


The all-female trio from Vermont deal in haunting three-piece folk harmonies.

Mountain Man - Soft Skin by Bella Union

Mountain Man - Animal Tracks by Bella Union


By all accounts one of the highlight's of May's Primavera Sound festival, it's dark, bleak music (dealing with doomed love affairs on cancer wards) but it's evidently cathartic.


Jape is already one of Stradbally's favourite sons, but as part of the instrumental collective Redneck Manifesto, it's a whole other ball-game. Defiantly independent and now signed to the excellent Richter Collective label, their thrilling, dazzling brand of post-rock has arguably been the biggest influence on the domestic Irish scene in the last few years, certainly if the music of many of their new labelmates is anything to go by. Math-rock, electronic flourishes and heavy guitar assaults will be the order of the day. It's a no-brainer.

<a href="">Tomb of the Dudes by The Redneck Manifesto</a>

Electric Picnic preview: Friday

The excitement is truly building now. Here's a quick rundown of the artists not to miss, starting with Friday's line-up.


Moody indie-rockers are known for their frequently raucous live sets, and packed their tent to bursting point last time they played the Picnic. Just don't be that guy who asks them to play 'Freebird'.


The Sex Pistols' appearance at EP08 was one of the most divisive in the history of the festival, but there'll be a whole lot more goodwill coming the way of John Lydon's newly-reformed Public Image Ltd. The pioneering post-punk outfit's influence has grown and grown down the years, and with an eclectic sound that draws on reggae, dub, punk and krautrock, they should go down a storm at the Picnic.


Mark 'E' Everett and co are touring on the back of a quick-fire trilogy of albums. A surprisingly fun live band considering the often solemn nature of E's songwriting, this set is more likely to focus on their rockier material than the folky stuff.


New material from the subtle, layered Total Life Forever is likely to be mixed with reliable rave-ups such as 'Balloons'

Foals - Spanish Sahara / This Orient by subpop


I almost put this in begrudgingly, because so many people are banging on about this one that I've got a funny feeling it's going to turn out a damp squib. That's probably me just being contrary, though - Monae is the pop sensation of the moment.

janelle monae / the archandroid by weworemasks


The Sigur Ros frontman's live shows have frequently being described as magical and awe-inspiring. He's touring behind this year's Go.

Go Do by Jónsi


The Canadians are touring behind new album The Five Ghosts, but expect them to dip into their 2004 masterwork Set Yourself on Fire as well.


Seeing Luke Temple and co. playing the otherwordly 'Fangela' at Primavera Sound this year to a crowd of enchanted punters was one of the highlights of that weekend. Expect spiky psych-rock, hyperactive David-Byrne-isms and polyrhythmic Afro-pop-influenced tunes.


The precocious young singer-songwriter from London has twice been nominated for a Mercury Prize, and the evocative quality of her compositions as well as her delicate but expressive vocals illustrate why.

Reviews: Lake R▲dio, Jamaica

<a href="">13093 by LAKE R&#9650;DIO</a>

Friday, August 27, 2010

Review: Women - Public Strain

Women - Eyesore by latitude32

Review: Fight Like Apes - The Body of Christ and the Legs of Tina Turner

Review on State:

Hoo Ha Henry by rubyworks

Holy Fuck for Whelan's

Their new album is a bit meh to be honest, but let's not let that get in the way of a good time eh? Holy Fuck return to Ireland for a show in Whelan's on November 19th. Tickets 18 euro.

Enemies, Roisin Dubh

I went along to the Roisin Dubh in Galway last night to check out Enemies, who were playing support to North Atlantic Oscillation. Considering they seemed to have left half their equipment behind and had to borrow some from fellow support band Moon, it was an extremely impressive set. As good as their album - We've Been Talking - is (and it's very good), they truly come into their own live. The interplay between the musicians is wonderful as they lock into post-rock grooves, switching tempo and keeping you guessing in much the same way as labelmates The Redneck Manifesto, except Enemies' instrumentals are more emotive and cinematic (as much as I'm overusing this comparison lately, think Mogwai) than the Rednecks' more physical, danceable fare. 'Nag Champa' is one of their older tunes, so I kind of feel bad about singling it out, but it still sounds utterly amazing.

As for the headliners, what they were doing seemed pretty cool but to be honest I was too completely knackered and frazzled to take it in properly, which is why this is more of an informal post than a formal review.

So yeah. Enemies. Great band.

Logikparty sign to Richter Collective, launch EP

Is the Richter Collective the greatest record label in the world at this point in time? I would have to say yes. They've now gone and signed the very excellent Logikparty, just in time for the release of their High Risk Narcissist EP. The 7-track EP will be a joint release between Richter Collective and Logikparty's own label, White Plague Records. Release date: September 10th. The limited edition 10" vinyl (plus digital download) comes with artwork by Dublin illustrator Niall McCormack.

The EP launch will take place on September 11th at Block T, Smithfield, Dublin 7, with support from special guests Squarehead and Patrick Kelleher. That's a quality line-up right there.

Sample two tracks from the EP:

Logikparty - "High Risk Narcissist" EP Sampler by richtercollective

High Risk Narcissist can be pre-ordered now from

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Subliminal Transmissions on Drowned in Sound

And so Drowned in Sound's spotlight on dubstep/grime/funky/whatever continues. Subliminal Transmissions will be a monthly column focusing on 'UK-centric post-garage music'. With Sonic Router's Rory Gibb penning the first feature, we're in good hands. The first Subliminal Transmissions features a mix giving 'a decent overview of some of this summer’s best and most anticipated releases, and giving a reasonable point at which to begin the wallet-destroying practice of 12” acquisition.' Track list:

Digital Mystikz – Unexpected [DMZ]
Pariah – Crossed Out [R&S]
George Fitzgerald – Fernweh [unreleased]
Ramadanman – Fall Short [Swamp81]
Superisk – Find Your Way [forthcoming Punch Drunk]
Joe – Untitled [Apple Pips]
Low Density Matter/LHF – Blue Steel [Keysound]
Simon/Off – Bilals Echo [Elevate]
Mau’lin – Tripwall [unreleased]
Al Tourettes – The Next Meal [If Symptoms Persist]
Hyetal – Phoenix [forthcoming Orca]
To Rococo Rot – Fridays (Shackleton’s West Green Road Remix) [Domino]
Cooly G – Phat Si [Hyperdub]
Kidkut – Lilt [Apple Pips]
WickedA – A Nie Dvamata S Bobi Piem Kafe (Ramadanman Refix) [white]
Ikonika – Shouldn’t Be Here [forthcoming Planet Mu]
Jackal Youth – Bruk [Reduction]
FaltyDL – Because You [Planet Mu]
Joe – Level Crossing [Hessle Audio]
Peverelist – Better Ways Of Living [Punch Drunk]
Scuba – Golden (Melisa Puga’s Howeverdoyouwant Vocal Mix) [unreleased]

Download from here:

Stop Making Seance: witch house mix

Over at Not For Resale (, Meatbreak's put together a witch house mix. In his own words:

"So this Witch House stuff is about to whip into a full eldritch storm when the TriAngle twin release and SALEM albums drop in September. Best not be sitting on the Hate side of the fence when that hits. This has taken me ages to do and I’ve surprised myself by missing out some of my favourite tracks from massive scene shiners like White Ring, TEARIST, Passions, SLEEP∞OVER and others, but I wanted it to be a tight, focused & fully effective freak of a mix instead of a full primer style overview, which I think it is now; but trust me, it hurt to do it. Someone already told me I should do another one with just the hits. Maybe.

So much to say about this; such little inclination to decry the hate; if you keep up with the blog you’ll have read my opinions and know my position. This is a sound I’ve been waiting for for years – it’s been in my head forever and if you’ve heard about Witch House / Haunted House / Spook / Ghost Drone / Drag or whatever it’s getting called on the blogs you read you’ll have the gist of the genre – multi-roomed subterranean crypto-occultism with an indecipherable debased aesthetic.

Listen to this mix and tell me there’s not meat to chew off them bones"

The tracklist:

De/Void – The Spooning Couple (Self-Release)
†‡† - gOth bb (Self-Release)
SALEM – King Night (King Night, IAMSOUND)
Dream Boat – Your Beaches (Fevers Ep, AMDisc)
/// ▲▲▲\\\ - Tetanus Wine (_v_o_i_d_, Disaro)
Balam Acab – Heavy Living Things (Self-Release)
Dir†yprid3 - sOmethiNgiNtheway (cobain) (CDr, Disaro)
Modern Witch – Cinema (Beko Box 1, Beko)
oOoOO – Seaww (Emotion 7“, Disaro)
▲ - Pyr▲mid (Self-Release)
Mater Suspiria Vision - Seduction of the Armageddon Witches (Self-Release)
xix – Deep Void (Self-Release)
GuMMy†Be▲R! - We Live Here (3-Track Promo, Self-Release)
GR†LLGR†LL - ...sLOwLickiN... (wayne) (CDr, Disaro)

You bet I copied and pasted that. The mix is available to download from here:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Peverelist, Nouveaunoise, Patrick Kelleher and more for Electric Picnic

Just when you think the line-up is more or less complete, eh? The Body & Soul stage at Electric Picnic have announced a slew of acts who'll be playing in Stradbally. The new additions include Bristol dubstep figurehead Peverelist, Irish electronic duo Nouveaunoise and the off-kilter pop sounds of Patrick Kelleher. List:

John Cooper Clarke
Timber Timbre
John Smith
Thread Pulls
The Low Sea
Jennifer Evans
Daithi O Dronai
Jimmy Penguin
Martin Hayes & Denis Cahill
Iarla O Lionaird
Spook of the Thirteenth Lock
Holy Roman Army
Johnny Flynn
I Draw Slow
Lisa O’Neill
Ultan Conlon
Kill Krinkle Club
Twin Kranes
Hunter Gatherer
Natural History Museum
Patrick Kelleher
Butterfly Explosion
Deaf Joe
Maud in Cahoots

Incidentally, the Holy Roman Army's highly recommended covers EP Desecrations is still available to download from Bandcamp.

<a href="">Goni by Nouveaunoise</a>

<a href="">Wave Of Mutilation by The Holy Roman Army</a>

Review: Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Hawk

Lee and Nancy are back!

Isobel Campbell And Mark Lanegan - "Come Undone" by Some Kind of Awesome

Live Review: Telepathe - Whelan's, Dublin

Bit of a disappointing one.

Monday, August 16, 2010

25 Tracks: a Dubstep Chronology Mixtape on Drowned in Sound

The influential Drowned in Sound website is celebrating its tenth birthday, and as part of that they're running a series of articles this week on dubstep and its numerous offshoots and mutations. First up is an excellent retrospective mix/article by Rory Gibbs:

"Although it's difficult to ascertain the exact reasons why dubstep in particular has proved such a fertile ground for such focused experimentation, it's probably got a lot to do with the amount of space inherent in its structure. When those spaces first developed, leaving chasms between kicks, snares and gulping maws of sub-bass, it reflected the grimly identikit nature of the semi-urban cityscape surrounding its creators.

But later on, as producers from outside those regions adopted its influence, those gaps left room for other synthesised sounds to creep in. And unlike, say, jungle, which was already tightly packed with overlapping layers of sound, adding extra elements - toxic synths, found sound, swung percussion - posed less risk of overcomplicating dubstep into an indistinct, undanceable mess. It posed a perfect opportunity for a huge range of electronic musicians to imprint entirely unique stamps on its basic form; the seemingly endless array of permutations doing the rounds today offers pretty strong evidence to support this notion."

The tracklist of the mix:

Groove Chronicles - Stone Cold
Horsepower Productions - Hdn
Benga - Amber
Toasty - The Knowledge
Vex'd - Venus
Digital Mystikz - Neverland
Burial - South London Boroughs
Kode9 - 9 Samurai
Pinch - Qawwali
Skream - I (Loefah Remix)
Skream - Midnight Request Line
Shackleton - New Dawn
Peverelist - Erstwhile Rhythm
2562 - 'Channel Two'
Trg - Broken Heart (Martyn's Dcm Remix)
Pangaea - You & I
Ramadanman - Humber
Appleblim - Vansan
Geiom - Reminissin' - Kode9 Refix
Untold - Anaconda
Ikonika - Please
Joker - Gully Brook Lane
Brackles - Rawkus
Scuba - Latch
Joy Orbison - So Derobe

Download/stream/article available here:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Electric Whipcrack is now on the Facebook.

come visit!/pages/Electric-Whipcrack/145853045432714?v=wall

Download: My Bloody Valentine live set, 1989

Over at, there's a My Bloody Valentine live set from 1989 available to download. Recorded in Lyon in March of that year, the set list is as follows:

01. You Never Should
02. Cigarette in Your Bed
03. Sueisfine
04. Cupid Come
05. Lose My Breath
06. Nothing Much to Lose
07. Thorn
08. I Can See it (But I can't Feel It)
09. Soft as Snow (But Warm Inside)
10. Feed Me With Your Kiss
11. (When You Wake) You're Still in a Dream
12. Slow
13. You Made Me Realise
14. Lovely Sweet Darlene

Download from here:

In terms of sheer sensory overload, nothing compares to the time i saw MBV live in the Auditorium at last year's Primavera Sound festival. Easily the loudest band I've subjected my ears to. Apparently the sound system in the Auditorium was completely destroyed afterwards, or so I've heard. Here's a video of what was probably the highlight of that very set:

You can tell just by watching this, it's like being in the centre of a hurricane. Not for the faint-hearted.

Here's a quieter one from way back, one of their very best songs.

Sheer beauty...It galls me a bit that I've seen them three times since they've reformed and haven't got to hear this tune live, but Kevin Shields isn't too fond of mixing up his setlists unfortunately.

Soft Focus interview: Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon

Not sure about this guy's interview technique, but Thurston and Kim are as engaging as ever.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tunes of the week

No Age - 'Glitter'

No Age - Glitter by subpop

Arcade Fire - 'Suburban War'

Suburban War by Dillsnufus

Sam Prekop - 'The Silhouettes'

mp3 here:

Car Crash Set - 'Fall from Grace'

Hard Mix - 'Memories'

Mount Kimbie - 'At Least' (Instra:mental remix)

Gold Panda - 'Snow & Taxis'

Snow & Taxis by Gold Panda

BALAM ACAB - 'Regret Making Mistakes'

mp3 here:

Grouper - 'Hold'

GROUPER -- Hold by ROOM40

BEAK> - 'Wulfstan'

Pantha Du Prince - 'Steiner Im Flug'

Liars - 'A Visit From Drum'

Video: Ash and We Are Scientists - 'Only in Dreams'

This is pretty cool. Ash and We Are Scientists with a version of Weezer's 'Only in Dreams'. And yes, that's Bloc Party's Russell Lissack, who's touring with Ash as an extra guitarist.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stream: Groom - Marriage

Dublin band Groom recently featured on the excellent Popical Island compilation. Their new album Marriage is now available to stream on Bandcamp. It's physically released on August 21st, but can also be downloaded right now from the same site. Check it out:

<a href="">Don't Park Your Heart Here by Groom</a>

The album launch takes place August 21st in The Lower Deck, Portobello, with support from fellow Popical Island acts Land Lovers and Yeh Deadlies. Admission of ten euro includes a copy of the album. Bargain!