Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Future Shuttle - 'Fog Spelunk'

Somewhere inbetween the haunted drones of Grouper and the expansive synths of Oneohtrix Point Never lies this superb track from New York trio Future Shuttle.

Future Shuttle - "Fog Spelunk" from Haunted Internet on Vimeo.

Future Shuttle: "Fog Spelunk" by alteredzones

Taken from their EP Water's Edge, which is streaming via Altered Zones

Future Shuttle: Water's Edge by alteredzones

DeclanQKelly - Yzz EP

"Recorded with a cracked guitar one evening in September 2011", the Yzz EP is a minimal, quietly entrancing collection of short instrumental pieces. The guitar tone creates a warm ambience, with the Galway-based musician picking out subtle, hypnotic melodies on tracks like 'Chickpeas' and 'Phalanx Glove'. The excellent 'Krakatoan Rebuttal' is reminiscent of the likes of Julian Lynch, while 'Eat-Them Hawk' adds electronic textures to the mix.

Yzz EP by DeclanQKelly

It's available as a name-your-price download from his Bandcamp, with some nice artwork included as part of the package.

DeclanQKelly recently took part in Ed Devane's Stop/Run night in Galway, and talks about it here:

"By the second or third day I had completely dispelled any notions of using anything other than what I could find in the pharmacy or what sound I could coax from the instrument. Thuswise began the laborious (word of the day today) but enjoyable process of exploring the pharmacy and recording the sound of various objects found therein such as: a foot spa; several 20p coins; extractor fans; taps; fridge shelves; phone tones; door creaks and so on. Also there are several snippets of Ed assembling and testing the instrument, as well as some of my fellow participants jamming on the yoke. Eventually I ended up with a 15-minute track that I then played back at the show through the zither's speakers while playing some semi-rehearsed music on the zither-machine's strings. To my absolute unending glee, I found a cassette tape in a drawer entitled "Lipotrim - Refeeding and Maintenance" which I played over everything and which added some nice, comical (hopefully...) moments to the whole yoke."

DeclanQKelly by Stop/Run

Here's a video of Bitwise + Madek's contribution on the night:

Stop/Run:Galway - Bitwise + Madek from Ed Devane on Vimeo.

Sticking with DeclanQKelly: it's also worth checking out The Elephant Vanishes, his collaboration with Aaron Coyne, aka Yawning Chasm :

Untitled by The Elephant Vanishes

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tenaka - EPhemeral EP ; Datadrip/Bantum

Tenaka's 2009 EPonymously Titled EP was a moody, low-key and very impressive release. His new material sees him take his sound in another direction. The EPhemeral EP mixes new tracks with reworked older tracks, and sees him collaborate with a number of other Irish musicians. The overall sound is airy, dreamy and evocative. 'Home' features two of Galway's brightest talents in Daithi and Elaine Mai - the former providing unobtrusive but atmospheric violin plucks, the latter's vocals as beguiling as ever; while the arrangement swells and unfurls. 'Open Out' is a brooding, darkly pulsing re-work of a song from his his first EP, this time featuring input from Carlow duo Holy Roman Army.

'Universe i' is a highlight, with Sorcha Brennan of Sleep Thieves proving her vocals are as adaptable to a dark, melancholic backdrop as they are to the bouncy synth-pop of her own band. Meanwhile, the distinctive vocal tones of Sacred Animals can be heard on 'The Alaskan', which is also a re-jigged tune from the prior EP. EPhemeral is rounded off with Tenaka's remix of Daithi's 'The Dog', which takes the original's distinctive nu-trad sound and lends it a dose of low-end groove. The EP is available to download (name your price) from Bandcamp.

EPhemeral EP by Tenaka

A short film has also been made for the two tracks ('Throw Sevens' and 'The Alaskan') that together make up the lead single from the EP ('Ephemeral'). It's created by Musea Murison and directed by Cormac O Conaire.

'Ephemeral' created by Musea Murison and directed by Cormac O Conaire from Tenaka on Vimeo.

Tonight (Friday 16th) Tenaka plays Shebeen Chic along with Datadrip and Bantum. It's the launch night for Datadrip's Collision EP, a promising release that combines pulsing electronics and noisy squall that at certain moments puts you in mind of the likes of Fuck Buttons. The standout track is the short-but-very-sweet 'Wild Neon'. The EP - along with earlier EP Works - is available for free download from Bandcamp.

Wild Neon by datadrip

Bantum, meanwhile, has three EPs available for free download from his Bandcamp, the latest of which is this year's Slide EP, which features the throbbing, irresistible electro groove of the title track as well as two other busy, colourful creations.

Slide by BANTUM

video - Junior85 - 'Alrightok'

junior85 "alrightok" from junior85 on Vimeo.

Junior85 recently played the Community of Independents gig in Whelan's along with Patrick Kelleher & his Cold Dead Hands, Owensie, Windings, Axis Of and Lafaro. 'Alrightok' is a song he made especially for the gig, and he's made a video to go along with it.

"A friend asked me if I had any videos of how I make the tracks live so I'm making one using this song... The song is made completely live using X-station, Electro Timbales and guitar pedals."

Alrightok by junior85

'Alrightok' can be downloaded from his free music archive along with loads of other stuff. A particular personal favourite is the Stance Gives You Balance EP , a collaboration between himself and DeclanQKelly (under the name Hogan Grip), which is conceptually based around a golfing manual and features lingering, hypnotic, oddly haunting compositions.

"Inspired first by the exquisite line drawings and evocative chapter names and later (upon closer examination of the book’s actual text) by Hogan’s avuncular, firm-but-fair teaching technique and his touching dedication to a friend (Henry Picard) in the opening chapter, the band Hogan Grip came to fruition

Hogan Grip - Stance Gives You Power by junior85

The aforementioned Community of Independents gig was filmed for use in a documentary, but for now you can check out photos from the gig by Danielle Graham

George Fitzgerald - RA podcast

London-based producer George Fitzgerald has suffered at times from a very close similarity to Joy Orbison, but as time goes on his sound is becoming more distinctive and his tunes more undeniable - the excellent 'Reset' being a personal favourite. His recent podcast for Resident Advisor features 'a disparate mix of house, garage and techno', with plenty of forthcoming material from Scuba's Hotflush label (who released two Fitzgerald 12"s) as well as numbers from up-and-coming producer Jack Dixon and Appleblim's superb 'Moonlight'.

download the mix at

Tim Hecker - Incurably Optimistic! - Alien8 Recordings
Sigha - The Politics of Dying - Our Circula Sound
Appleblim - Moonlight - forthcoming Vitalik
Braille - A Meaning - forthcoming Hotflush
Josh Wink - Sixth Sense - S3
George FitzGerald - Feel Like (Rough Mix) - forthcoming Hotflush
Jack Dixon - Low Tide (Rick Grant remix) - CDR
DFRNT - True (Jack Dixon remix) - Nu Directions
Jazz Neversleeps - Diepgank - On Point
George FitzGerald - Shackled - forthcoming Hotflush
Scuba - Adrenaline - forthcoming Hotflush
SCB - Overlay - forthcoming Hotflush
SBTRKT - Wildfire (Objekt Dub Mix) - Young Turks
George FitzGerald - Reset - Aus
George FitzGerald - Hearts - forthcoming ManMakeMusic

George Fitzgerald - Reset by BOILER ROOM

Tri Angle records: the story so far

Balam Acab's Wander/Wonder is the latest excellent release from Robin Carolan's Tri Angle Records imprint, with Ayshay's Warn U EP to follow before the end of the month and Water Border's Harbored Mantras due in October.

Ayshay - WARN-U by TriAngleRecords

Water Borders - What Wiwant by TriAngleRecords

Of the latter release, Boomkat says: "the San Fran-hailing duo of Amitai and Loric use the rhythms of contemporary ritual dance music to resurrect the occult soul of Coil and their cabal in unique and succinctly pop balanced new forms. A couple of mixtapes - both self-released and for the brilliant DIS magazine - display their influences quite clearly, working in a circle of influence ranging from Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson's eerie Threshold HouseBoys Choir to James Blake's chamber pop and the rhythm schematics of Doc Daneeka or DJ Elmoe, and it's fair to say this album sums up all of those and more."

It really has been exciting to watch the development of Tri Angle over the last year: the label has well and truly outgrown its initial association with 'witch house', each successive release offering something new. I interviewed Carolan for State a couple of months back, and since then my enthusiasm for the label has only grown, with Clams Casino's Rainforest EP and Balam Acab's album taking things to the next level. Here's a recap of the Tri Angle back catalogue so far, starting with the free-to-download Let Me Shine For You mixtape:

Tri Angle Records presents Let Me Shine For You

"Inspired in part by Lindsay Lohan’s grotesquely fascinating black hole existence and in part by my unwavering belief in the power of pop music as an artform, I saw an opportunity to create something interesting with her music, and decided to ask some friends to reinterpret some of Lindsay’s songs. “Tri Angle Records Presents: Let Me Shine for You” is the result. Even though we are all fond of Lindsay in our own ways, there is no FREE LINDSAY agenda here. We all love pop music and this is merely an experiment. All of our intentions are very sincere."

Tri Angle Records Presents: Let Me Shine for You by DISmagazine

Balam Acab - See Birds

"this isn’t dark or sinister music; in fact, it’s incredibly serene, full of crystalline shapes viewed from underneath water, ripples filtering their form as just out of sight vocals, synths and harps get refracted through its surface." - FACT

Balam Acab - See Birds (Moon) by TriAngleRecords

oOoOO - oOoOO EP

"Tracks like 'Hearts' with its Fever Ray-meets-Cassie feel or the arcane hooks of 'Burnout Eyes' have the mark of a scarily intuitive Pop genius, knowingly built with the most conventional structures yet nudged at all the crucial moments with choruses that beguile like a shy, lo-fi version of Kate Bush's finest or enrapture like David Sylvian at his most melancholy, perpetually toying with the tuning for spine chilling and perspective re-aligning effect." - Boomkat

Burnout eyess by oOoOO

How To Dress Well - Love Remains

"The songs here are deliberately lo-fi, filled with bits of feedback and vocals that seem to crackle if they dare to reach above a whisper. But unlike many of his peers on, say, Olde English Spelling Bee, Krell's tracks don't feel formal exercises. These are pop songs. Just listen to the fuzzy, but ever-present thump of the live track, "Walking This Dumb." He's a crowd-pleaser at heart." - Resident Advisor

Holy Other - With U

"The debut EP from Manchester's Holy Other takes the label's aesthetic deeper into 4/4 territory than it's gone before, but otherwise it's Tri Angle music par excellence, with glum, shuffling beats, vaporous vocal samples and a slow wash of synthesizers. Once you acclimate yourself to the ever-present fog of vocals and reverb, there's a nice range of styles on display." - Resident Advisor


Clams Casino - Rainforest

"Rainforest is an isolationist hip-hop epic that accords perfectly with the Tri Angle aesthetic while also affirming and deepening Clams' singular production style" - Boomkat

Balam Acab - Wander/Wonder

from State:

Balam Acab - Wander/Wonder (Tri Angle)

'Balam Acab’s full-length debut Wander/Wonder comes almost exactly a year after the release of his See Birds EP, the record that first announced his distinctive sound and served as the first ‘proper’ release on Tri Angle Records (strictly speaking it followed the Let Me Shine For You mixtape). The young producer (real name Alec Koone) has honed his craft in the meantime, with Wander/Wonder boasting an exquisitely textured aesthetic that’s a step up from the loop-based atmospherics of its predecessor.

Tri Angle’s releases so far have followed each other as seamlessly as a well-sequenced album, all sharing a certain loose aesthetic but each providing an enticing and unique sound of its own. In many ways Wander/Wonder sounds like a sequel or natural successor to Clams Casino’s superb Rainforest EP: both records have a deep, immersive ambience, feature distorted hip/trip-hop rhythms and are threaded together by themes of nature (as with See Birds, aquatic samples permeate Wander/Wonder). Balam Acab’s approach, however, has a more delicate beauty to it. Tracks like ‘Expect’ and ‘Now Time’ are characterised by wispy, dreamlike vocals and almost-classical structures, with recurring piano motifs.

At the risk of descending into journalistic cliches, this isn’t background music, it demands good speakers or headphones to get the full effect. One of the main developments in Koone’s music is an increased use of space and sense of depth: it’s less claustrophobic and more fully realised than on See Birds; less mechanised and more organic. The pitch-shifted vocals as well as some of the more melodic arrangements nod to R&B, while there are also shades of shoegaze, drone and James Blake’s Klavierwerke detectable in its heady, hypnotic sonic brew.

Closing track ‘Fragile Hope’ is possibly the most striking of all, its atmospheric, haunting ambience punctuated by ghostly echoes of ‘Regret Making Mistakes’ – a neatly circular touch. Wander/Wonder is the kind of album that will transport you to a whole other headspace if you allow it to. What’s more, it’s yet further evidence that Tri Angle is by now a reliable quality stamp; a byword for a unique vision of pop music that’s consistently being redefined and re-interpreted.'


Apart #2 - Balam Acab from dre間am on Vimeo.

Hello Moon - Only Count The Sunny Hours

from AU:

Hello Moon - Only Count The Sunny Hours (Any Other City)

'One of the highlights of the second compilation from Dublin indie-pop collective Popical Island was from a relative newcomer: ‘Barefoot’, a charmingly off-kilter contribution from Dublin four-piece Hello Moon. Their debut album is very much in the same vein, wearing its love of melodic, chiming pop songs on its scuffed sleeve. Only Count The Sunny Hours shifts between sweeping lo-fi sugar rushes (‘Vanity’, ‘Here I Am’) and dreamily hypnotic numbers (‘Measure Of Me’, ‘Sievehead’). Even when the irresistible boy/girl vocals are taken out of the mix, they make it work (on the jangly, jaunty instrumental ‘The Calculus Affair’). And just when you think the well of melodies might be running dry, along comes the wondrous, swooning closing track ‘Awkward Hugs’.' (8/10)

Sievehead by Hello Moon

Awkward Hugs by Hello Moon

Hello Moon play the upcoming Hard Working Class Heroes festival in Dublin.