Monday, March 27, 2006

The City Is Awash With Live Music

The city is set to be awash with a flood of live music in coming weeks, with several major gigs taking place. The world of left-field electronica sees a Planet Mu/Warp/Leechrum showcase on this coming Friday and Autechre take up the laptops in the same venue a week later. The Irish underground will be bubbling away as usual, with some added froth dished out on top with the prestigious touching down of DC era hardcore hero Ian McKaye with his new folk outfit The Evens. Regular gig merchant collectives Organised Ideas and Gz continue their useage of one of the cities hidden gems venue wise in the Bohs Bar with a mashed up night of musical difference with Kilkenny hip-hop deviants Captain Moonlight waxing lyrically alongside the chugging stoner rock drone of Mongolia who consist of the guitar player from Easpa Measa, and the drummer of demised hardcore greats Knifed.

The Redneck Manifesto will also be launching their new mini album in Vicar St on the same night. The madness of the Leechrum gig can be preceeded by checking out some of the cream of the indie underground who remain outside the remit of jounalistic wasters like Hot Press, with rising stars the Betamax Format delivering their brand of searing synths with straggly haired, rocked out thumpeders Oak, in a free gig put on by the Ballroom Of Romance in the Lower Deck in Portobello. Like a phoenix from the ashes, legandary gig collective Hope Promotions are back to present us with a nice hungover evening by putting on Ian Mckayes new band The Evens in an all ages gig in St Nicholas Of Myra Community Centre which is about two minutes from my door.

Blogwise I'll have a preview slash profile of Autechre alongside a review of their new album by the time the gig is on which is I can only assume sold out. So if anyone wants to give me a pass... Hopefully, I'll get one done for the Leechrum event too, there's a review of the new Coldcut album in the pipeline as well seeing as they too are going to be throwing some soundwaves on these shores next month. My system needs to work its way through V For Vendetta but expect a review mid week. And oddly enough, there's bound to be a another muppet of the month soon when I catch sight of a victim and more TV tantrums in the making from a bored bloke stuck at home on a Friday night rural style.

Upcoming Gigs This Week:

Thursday March 30th, Mongolia, Captain Moonlight, Dograck, Dropping Bombs, Swing Youth, Boh's Bar, Phibsborough, Doors : 8pm, five yo yo's in
The Redneck Manifesto, Waiting Room, Si Schroeder, Vicar Street €18.50 including free 2 track CD
Skinny Wolves Club presents Decal (Live with David Lacey), Northstation, Tremors w/ Guest DJs Gib (U:Mack) & Emmet (Lazybird) Doors 9 until 3am. First band 9.30pm.This is in the Hub, on Eustace St

Friday March 31st,
Oak, Betamax Format, Coldspoon Conspiracy and more at the Ballroom of Romance. Lower Deck, Rathmines. free in. Doors 8pm
Vex'd, Chris Clarke, Milanesse, The Person, T-Woc and more in TBMC, courtesy of Mantua and Leechrum. Doors 11pm, €16 yo yos.
Saturday, April 1st, The Evens, St Nicholas Of Myra, Carmens Hall (Off Francis St)

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Dispatches Number 9 - 100000

So I haven't blogged about the south east asia adventures in some time now, to be fair there was an extensive time where I had no access at all to the internet and another short while where the price was so inhibitive that I could only come on for the shortest time. But still here I am less then two weeks from the end and in yet another country. Laos. Who knows anything about Laos, any one any one? seriously who has been here. After the 1975 communist revolution the borders were closed and only ten years ago reopened. Initially getting in the country was a feat onto itself, you could only come in on organised tours. This was all speculating on human rights violations - keeping the westerns out. But now after a 13 hour train ride fom Bangkok (which I might add we stopped it in its tracks at 5:20 in the morning, with sleepy eyes we nervously mentioned to the armed worker that we don't yet have a ticket and he smiles, laughs when we say we are going to the end of the line and charges us around 3 euros. 3 euros- 13 hours!) you arrive in a town on the north east of Thailand. Take a bus over the friendship bridge that the Australians paid for, get your phone taken at the back of a fruit stand, fill out a few forms, pay a bit of american money and you are in for 15 days.

This country is so sleepy and relaxed, my heart beat has dropped during my acclimitisation to the culture. We arrived in the capital during the 8th national congress of the revolutionary party. Communist flag and Laos flag covering all buildings and streets. Laos also being an ex French collony has beautiful collonial buildings everywhere, great cheese, bread, wine etc and all these luxuries for the budget of a crusty punk.

We spent the first day treating our selves. We had taken sleep very little in the past week or so, early trains, over night buses getting us from the most sourthern part of thailand to laos in a few days. And before that we spent a week camping on beaches (1 euro a night). so we went to this herbal sauna and massage. 2 1/2 hours for only 3 or so euros! We could harldy understand this city, everything was so beautiful, people laughing all around us, the food was the best I have had since I got here and at prices; well I think you get the point.

We leave this wonderful capital city on yet another night bus (we loved traveling with the locals, somehow we seem to never have any tourists with us) to this absolutely fabulous world heritage city. Again the French influence is beautiful and since they have serious funds for keeping the city looking good, they do! Here we do things like take a private kayak trip down the river and many rapids and paddle under the cliffs of insanity. We show up at a rain forest with furious waterfalls and pools and again are the only ones there. Its in the off season and we go places on the off times but I tell you its worth it, swimming in paridise and no annoying american accents.

I have come to realise that I don't take photos of the most beautiful things. So when I'm taking loads its more to do with expectations I guess. The cliffs of insanity (yes it is a Princess Bride reference and if you have read or seen it you will understand that it is impossible to capture them on film.) Part of me wishes I had an underwater camera, especially when we were at the marine park. but the joy of not taking photos is, you get to fully enjoy what you are seeing and experience it for yourslef and not for all those who want a picture and a story.

Stories I have more then I could share . . .but three weeks of non blogging will keep them in my mind and diary alone. Tomorrow, a full day cooking class . . . yes that means next time you come over for dinner I will subject you to Laos food!

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Electric Picnic Line Up Announced.

The Electric PicnicFor a few years I refused to be herded around corporate festivals, the end of story for me was the banning of campfires which tore the soul out of the festive experience. Those days were poverty for the soul- unfortunate enough to miss the Feiles, barely getting a glimpse in on the last "Day Trip To Tipp" and forced to survive on a diet of Slanes and Oxygen. Casting my thoughts back to life in the bog, this time of year was always filled with promise as the papers were scanned for announcements of upcoming festival dates. Little of that has really changed for anyone I know.

Well, roll up, roll up, the guessing game is over and we can all finally now rush out and join the paniced lines looking for tickets despite having nearly a whole season to get them sorted. The Electric Picnic website has just issued full details of the hotly discussed festival line up, and it is looking nowhere near as impressive as last years. Saying that would be leaping ahead like a like on Xmas day giddy to unravel its Barbie, as with all festivals there is bound to be more acts announced in the run up to the festival and thats usually where the kick in the balls comes in for late ticket buyers.

SO FAR ITS: Basement Jaxx, Massive Attack, New Order, Pet Shop Boys, Groove Armada, Anthony and the Johnsons, DJ Shadow, Damien Rice, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Frames, Devendra Banhart, Super Furry Animals, Belle & Sebastian, Rufus Wainwright (solo), Bloc Party, Alabama 3, The Rapture, Mad Professor, Saul Williams, Tom Vek, Gang of Four, David Kitt, Jim Noir, Rachid Taha, Elbow, Graham Coxon, Deus, The Boy Least Likely To, The Rags, The Dublin Gospel Choir, topped off with that friend of all things Electric – Gary Numan. And it doesn’t end here, the legendary Blue Nile - this is their only performance in the world this year.

The festival organisers are also falling all over themselves with several new gimicks added on this years. One being a whole new area within the festival site called the Big Tree which is "nature foundation being set up by Damien Rice and will feature a carbon neutral oasis of music, arts and organic food. " Sounds awful. Something that is bound to bring on something of a mini-revolution in the world of female urinary habits is the organisers installation of female urinals to cut back on queing times, slap a p-mate between your legs, open the waters into its miniture trough and "hey look - I'm pissing standing up - was there anything else you said I couldn't do?"

And there was me reared down the road from Stradbally and left with the impression it was just a breeding ground for rabid GAA fans and alcoholic priests.

Elsewhere: If anyone is interested, I published a collection of photos from today's demo organised to make the 21st birthday of Terence Wheelock who is one of many young people to die in Garda custody, under my Indymedia hat.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Radiohead To Play Marley Park In Late August.

With Autechre making their way over to the Music Centre in early April, its fitting that news should come through today of band who's lead singer was once tempted call one album of their experimental, genre bending highs LP4, in a sly nod to Autechre. Yes, thats right - take warning, ho ho, take warning word has just come down to us via NME that Radiohead will be playing Marley Park on August 24th. Green Plastic is as good a place as any to keep up todate on all things Radiohead if so pushed. With that announced and all prospects for post-gig tales of fence hopping to rival dramatic tales of going over the Berlin Wall opened up, we can only hope that the rumoured line up for the Electric Picnic is even partially true. The Sigla blog's the best bet to hear first off what the Electric Picnic line up is going to be.

Online music links: Influenced by an artistic post punk vibe, Dublin band Cap Pas Caps, strike me as a Dexter Laboratory's botched experiment in cross-breeding Le Tigre with Sonic Youth, they'll be playing the Skinny Wolves club on April 15th.


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Government Warning: Traktor Is Addictive.

And video games were meant to be bad for you? Government really should place a warning "read me" on any copies of Traktor kids are installing about the place, preferably with a required registration number that can only be received after prolonged analysis of the stability of the human mind when faced with addictive substances. Anyway, any of ye non-existent readers who had a quick ear gawk at those Aaron Spectre mixes linked to earlier in the week, can understand why anybody would want to leg it out, grab a bundle of ragga, grime and breaks immaterial vinyls (mp3s to you and me) and throw together their own po-faced, coffee stained, and nicotine drenched skanking mix. Bless whatever American house promoters are having their free mix hosting facilities shat all over by this "amoral egotist" to quote a friend, I'm sure they are bemused at worst.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Psytrance In The Voodoo/Trendies In Arran Sweaters.

Cobble StoneI had a Canadian staying over on irregular intevals for the past two weeks or so, with an indefatigable push of his will I found myself dragged along to the Cobblestone last Wednesday to wind down his last night in the country, in that most common of Irish cliches - the folk bar. Man I was shocked to see the Cobblestone packed to the rafters with an odd blend of American tourists seeking the real Ireland, a smattering of the usual suspect lefties, the barstool "RA-hiding scumbag" brigade, gaelgoirs a-go-go and what can only be described as an odd divergence from the Electric City/techno muso set look, who had pulled on an Arran sweater over a goatee and slap head look best exemplified by Moby. These were the folk revivalists, who hang around what is without doubt a regular night in the Cobblestone. Packed, packed, packed, no air to breath and a quick escape to the smoking section and fresh air the only reaction of the same. Wandering back inside and the place is boucing, the fiddles and accordians have been bagged away and out comes this crowd of Cork looking hippies, and world music types who are pounding away beats on a selection of bongo drums. The bongoloids and Irish folk. So obvious, but so unthought of. I'd never have imagined finding myself comparing Irish lilting to beat boxing with total random strangers, but there I was...

Lets push things forward, a contributer to IE-dance recently surmised psytrance as "all things that involve glow in the dark flecky crap." Someone else slightly more metaphorically minded identifyed the tendency of smaller sub-cultural adherants to go on an almost religious binge of proletysing sounds to all around in describing psytrance as the music equivalent of Scientology. Now there's a fine strain of breakcore jihad on this blog, but psytrance on the other hand has always struck me as a willfully moronic, regressive return to all that was probably worse about dance music, that daft leap forward in conciousness people associated with drug intake and worse again, the mental desire to fast forward it by laying out parties with all the design skills of a drunk five year old gee-eyed with the smell of magic markers and a fine set of day-glo poster paint to splash around on their mothers walls...

On Friday cue a mini rash of emails bickering back and forth after I haphazardly sent a mail in with the purpose of finding out what the hell was the randomness I stumbled into in the Voodoo Lounge while in pursuit of a party. It turns out the gig wasn't run by any of the usual psytrance pushers in the city (Neutronyx, Druid Circle, and Spud). It was an experimental "happening" created for an artist called Mark Q, called Propaganda and QPop, a "
synthetic electric nite of live wires based on Industrial sounds and installations visual projections" which meant scupltures made out of TV's with electro blimps pulsating through them in time with the electro tinged trance flowing out of the speakers, perfectly formed to allow that sort of robotic idiocy that accompanies E binged prone music, a repeatition of movement that bores me quite easily. All of this was some attempt to explore the connection between man and machine, with naked shop window dummies splayed across the stage and a dancer called Bandia in a skin thight glow in the dark lycra outfit with some sort of spiraling head flailing her arms wildly moving across the stage . There can be no excuse for the long hair DJ bloke, bedecked in a silver tracksuit, a black cut off shirt and some form of jump boots attached to him via silver masking tape. There was then a prog psy-trance set by Psy-AM (Walking with the Shaman/SPUD) followed by a live set of electro pop trance by Mark Q (QPop)."

Anyone who can do this to another wise staid TBMC deserves some degree of respect. Not my cup of tea, and probably something that was given a massive boost by the lapse in legislation around magic mushrooms not so long ago.

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

All Of Ye Who Stand In Front Of Broadband Shall Witness MP3 Mixes Fall On You.

Fine - I can see the transformative effect of the net in assisting the networked organizational models of social movements. That's as obvious as the piss flowing past your shoes on the top deck of the 77a on a Saturday night. But people don't really sit at home having it large to online dj mixes with their mates? Either way online mixes are one of the best methods available to delve into new sonic territory. With this in mind, Aaron Spectre (aka Drumcorps) is somebody who delivers sets firmly tinged with a neo-ragga nonsense that veers from the full on amen assault that is the standard of breakcore to deep throated vocal melodies along the "babylon boi" mould riping it along pounding dance hall bass lines. Is it any wonder Peel started champioing this bloke in the weeks before his death? He played the Ice Bar in Dublin not so long ago and earned some props from Pitchfork when this mix came to their attention, and there's more from Mashit acts over here. In my books his Life We Promote mix is better than the Pitchfork endorsed Bastard Mix, with a raging metal guitar sample spilling in behind some driVen breaks at 8m39s, it'll leave ya begging for more. This really is the stuff of digital DJ-ing shuttling back and forth between perfectly beat mapped tracks, think Bong-ra with the rock guitars and hip-hop vocals dropped for some ragga ranting ala the Bug (which he uses) at a frantic pace, pounding amens and death metal.

And now for something completely different. Ebauche is a Dublin based producer, who travels in much the same world of many of the other oddities to be found in Dublin left of centre electronica scene, playing regular gigs at Lazybird and the Ice Bar and working as part of the Alphabet Set collective. Back in October he released his first full length album called Incomplete Watch Movement which is a heads down collection of ambient soundscapes to make your head twirl, before going plonk on the desk as you are shuttled off to sleep. This stuff really washes all over you, and is freely available over here.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Myspace The Movie&How To Be An Emo.

Up until four months ago, I still thought they were just flocks of goths who were burgeoning towards shedding the misplaced angst of their teenage years, with all the assumptions that bands that Kerrang (or whatever its modern equivilent) covered were less commercial than those on MTV before venturing into a the bolder terrain of post-DC school hardcore. Turns out they weren't goths, they were emos. And they weren't about to get into DC school hardcore, they were already listening to one bastardised school of the post-Minor Threat wave with a linage that goes back to Rites Of Spring and Mckayes own Embrace.

Emo represents in short hardcore with the growl sacrificed for a tortured teenage whine, the politicised lyrics replaced with ones that would lead any ex-girlfriend to register a barring order with the cops. Teenage depression and males adopting a sensitive exterior in order to score girls is back in fashion, and if there's anywhere to do this best - its over on Myspace. A site that while simultaneously allowing the exploration of a world of new music and responsibile for the rise of the Arctic Monkeys also provides a worrying opportunity to engage in online stalking on a mass level. Suprisingly, with a musical genre dedicated to the idolation and objectifaction of women - it should be no surprise that myspace is equally stomping ground for the emo kids. Thankfully, someone has recognised the potentiality for pisstaking on a grand scale with this whole lark and set to work on a movie. Of course, if there's any problems becoming emo - here's a one stop guide.

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Paddy's Day - As Expected.

Newstalk: So you're over from America - are you concerned there'll be riots, that Irish people are drinking too much or that there'll be trouble?

American Tourist:
Well thats what its all about, right? I'm sure if there are riots they'll be for a good cause, right?

For anyone expecting a Bahktin-esque collapse in the social order along the lines of the medieval carnival - you'd do much better to look towards our celebrations of halloween. Every neighbourhoods youth, hidden away in their rooms and at the backs of buildings comes out to the front, lights fire and throws fireworks. Paddy's Day me arse, give me Halloween any day. Illegality on a mass scale, and few figures of authority in place to organise our festivities. Like many others, I'll be avoiding town tonight, with all its crass commercialism as a virtuous as the piss in driven snow, and taking it easy in a party in a mates gaff with a bottle of the cities finest social lubricant in hand.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Breakcore Special On Radio Neuromantek Tonight.

If I have a readership (and who'd think that?) they have been spoilt with links to music these past few days. Around 2002, there used be a little electro night called Neuromantek that was well worth going to if you could manage the journey from town to the Thomas St House up past NCAD. I did it a bare handful of times, and moaned about it all the way trust, getting lost in one of the more barren looking, junkie infested areas of the city more often than not. What waited up there, as always in the Thomas St House before its demolition, was a night that fairly thumped all round with spliffs being smoked freely inside and nutters dancing on tables. These days Neuromantek exists only as a gig collective, with its main organ being a radio show hosted on Radio Na Life. Due to laziness and almost permanent access to broadband with its universe of online radio I don't fidget around with a coat hanger jammed into the back of my stereo enough, to give the show a regular listen. But anytime I have - has definitely been worth it. Tonight maybe one of those nights, as notice of an all breakcore session came in on IE-Dance this savo. Radio Neuromantek is hosted by Krossphader, Mick Harvey and Paul Watts on Radio Na Lifé, every tuesday from 10pm till midnight, hopefully the live stream will be working tonight. No chance of some auld MP3s masquerading as podcasts there lads even? Guess IMRO would be on their case.

Well, tonight, it's an all-breakcore show, brought to you by Krossie and special guest mentaller DJ Melodymasher (his mum calls him Ed Murphy). Check out what's on his mind, musically and otherwise, here.
Melodymasher recently supported Arron Spectre in the Ice Bar and a junglist/breakcore set he played there back in December is available over on the Alphabet Set. In other news, I've just given the Nialler9 hosted live set of Super Extra Bonus Party strutting their stuff a listen, its well worth a gander. Nialler9 describes it as "some refreshingly upbeat electronica from the jangly tones of "Spanik" to the bouncy energetic "Mushie Shake", and the ethereal "Softly" which samples Dublin singer songwriter Nina Hynes." While im on the topic of radio - when moving to Dublin in 2001, even at that stage the city was packed with pirates, with Future FM and even Power still on the go. Not to mention Phantom of course. What the hell happened there? Either way Powerfm have an impressive archive of their shows availbile in mp3 format.

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Readers Lambast Arctic Monkey's Review In NME

I have an apathy to the Arctic Monkeys that doesn't really bear explanation. Someone freshly obsessing over the meaning of music while heading into the hormonal melting pot of early puberty will lavishly scrawl the name of the Artic Monkey's on their bag, they are sort of an ideal "first band" to go all fanboy on. Not surprisingly, much of this hype has been generated by the NME. How perfect a band comes along, who even in this age of downloading, sound like they have an album collection consisting solely of Oasis, Stereophonics, The Jam and god knows how many buried Britpop acts. Equally they seem only to delighted to share a car ride with their dad as he blasts out his drive time classic rock tapes. NME must have fucking come all over themselves, its the end product of the linage of bands they've hyped and a good swallowing of the influences from their "NME Originals" series. Their exertions to "Get off the bandwagon and put down the album" and "there's only music cos there's no ringtones" are lyrics that fit perfectly into the pseudo generational angst being foisted on us by NME hacks time after time.

I don't actually know anyone who still reads NME, most of the people I hang around with admit to being regular consumers of what was the UK's main music inkie up until sometime in the very late 1990's. NME was the magazine that turned me onto Asian Dub Foundation through a live review and to Atari Teenage Riot by a scene profile of Berlin's digital hardcore scene, and thus in a one of those odd musical twists led me straight out of its grip as a musical influence. As an early teen barometer of taste it was also the very paper that rammed Kula Shaker down our throats, not only that but it drowned them in cat shite for flavoring and still watched as we fed gleefully on them. In this hypermediated reality, with options to digest literature far and wide, it says something about the sheer power of NME's draw that a whole handful of my peers can remember the exact moment we cut loose with it totally. Dropping even the effort of bothering to browse it in stores. That was the moment "nu-glam" muppets Gaydad were announced on its cover as the "savior's of rock."

Thankfully these days the fuckers can't get away unassaulted for such idiocy, not only as a result of blogs and other music related sites, but due to them having to morph their own organs to the will of the net, to the will of popular participation. This struck me first reading their review of the Arctic Monkeys debut. Here's some generational angst, expressed by a site user: "fuck you NME - fuck you for making me hate a musical genre that I once loved. If musical style has receded to find its inspiration in the past, I worry for its future." Most viciously of all someone called Cripple Crow writes "*drops this record into the 'What was NME thinking?!' drawer along with Vines, Menswear and Gay Dad and waits for them to disappear*"

If anything is pissing me off about popular music these days it is the generation of these artificial scenes with absolutely no geographic base apart from the fantasies of a few over exuberant fan/journalists in the NME. Such a distrust I have of the music industry (including press) to churn out crap bands that it usually takes me six months before overcoming my immediate prejudices of anything remotely contaminated with this new British wave to even sample a hearful of its constituent elements after the initial hype dies away. Its happened with them all, from Franz Ferdinand to Arctic Monkeys. And Bloc Party are the only ones who seem to be doing anything worthwhile, so maybe my initial process of distrust has proved itself as an adequate filtering device.

At least Pitchfork can point to something organic in Montreal, but I see fuck all point in turning to the NME for coverage of something like Grime, its coverage of even cross-overs like Lady SOV and Dizzee Rascal is atrocious, consisting of gig listings and little more. If someone like Simon Reynolds was accelerated into his passion for music via the crude intellectualism of a left wing NME in the early 1980's, things have certainly come along way since Derrida was mentioned alongside reviews of Scritti Polliti and the paper sided with the Red Wedge against Thatcherism. The collapse of any vitality of criticism in the paper occurred just as Neil Kinnock lost the '87 election, with an interview with him appearing on the front cover. One of the oldrottenhat crew informs me, senior management didn't like this brash polticising of the magazine and sacked reams of the journalists that defined its style during this era after they refused to withdraw it. Then the rot of dire commercialism and hopping from magazine selling band to Kula Shaker and back again set in, we just read through the finer moments of its colapse in the mid to late 1990's.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Interview and Video Of Tim Exile On His Production Methods

Following on from some precursory thoughts on just how boring drum and bass can be and left running all over the net to find some drum and bass hard edged enough to match the beats being drilled out by Krust last Saturday, I dug out an album I hadn't' listened to in a few months and left my recently acquired Krust and Die's I Kamanchi aside. If you want your dnb hard chawed enough to make your neighbour's think your running a crack den, Exile's Pro Agoinst is the place to start. The track "Big Bad Purple Bad Boy" is exactly the sort of explosive infusion of chopped, beat matched vocal warbling, scuttery amens and mind damaging bass I was looking for. Enduser deserves an honourable mention for this one as well, with his Bollywood Breaks being typical of a style that transverses genre in search of eerie samples to layer over beats ranging from ragga tinged to filthy breaks.

But I'm going to leave aside the aesthetic side of the music in this post to scrap underneath to expose some of the methods used my Exile in producing his tracks. Why the hell would I do this? I was 14 when and in the front row to watch Liam Howlett pound the shit out of 6ft high racks of synths and analogue samplers at Semple Stadium for the last "Day Trip to Tip" nearly a decade ago, seeing as some of the most exciting gigs I've been to in the past 12 months have mainly consisted of laptops looking like they were being man-handled by overly stylish nerds, many of my tradionalist assumptions on music production goes straight out the window. But there are still those that impulsively hold on to these atavistic conceptions of what "live" music is, be they aspiring Whealans treading indie kids ridiculing the artificiality of electronic music or house music gits and other associated DJ's disturbed by the increasing omnipresence of laptops and entire record collections accumulated at the rate of your megabyte download speed instead of your age.

With this in mind the Native Instruments website has fascinating technical interview along with an accompanying video with Planet Mu's Tim Exile on his use of Reaktor 5 in a live setting. Exile frequented these shores last to headline a gig in the Belvedere last year, supported by natives like The Person. He engages in the generation of hyper editing drum and bass that has earned ill thought out comparisons with the likes of Squarepusher and Aphex Twin from Pitchfork. Exile sees himself as fitting into the drum and bass scene solely "with a pinch of cynicism, a fair bit of disbelief and a large portion of resignation."

Some internet goodies courtesy of Little Big: if you're lucky you might get this live video working, until then there's a bit of fucking around with Evol Intent and Exile tunes on this site. As ever the BBC can be expected to provide a live mash up with Rob da Bank here, as well as an extensive interview on production again. There's an mp3 of a typically mentalist Exile set from Bristol, after your salivating over that you'd do worst than gawking at this feature and interview on Exile that'll do up far more justice than my ramblings at Speakers Push The Air. For those of us suddenly inspired to start fecking around like rhythmless tools with digital audio software, this may be no bad place to start. They've even provided a very generous selection of over 1000 samples.

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Boom Cha! Boom Cha! DJ Krust Stomps The Music Centre.

Remedy who have brought over some of electronic music's biggest crossovers in the past year must have dropped the ball on the promotion for Saturday's DJ Krust gig in what I've heard venomously termed the Temple Bar Destruction of Music Centre. From Wedensday on their mailout list there was 250 offers of guest list passes for anyone bothered emailing in, then on Friday there was a kind mail announcing the adding of a "plus one" to anyone who got one of the original free passes.

In his Pitchfork column on Drum and Bass this month, Jess Harvell bemoans how it has come to feel "like a "fake genre" when compared to the organic vitality of a genre like Grime with its panaromic host of competing pirate stations, and a constant state of innovation germinating on dubplates before eventually crossing over in the form of an easily consumable Lady Soverign . Dnb remains "strung together via the grace of the internet rather than weekly jaunts to the club, pirate radio sessions, or chatting with the counterman at Hard Wax. But this is just life in a post-rave world where electronic music just doesn't matter to the mass culture as much as it did during the '90s."

This article was in lodged in the back of my unusually sober mind entering the main arena of the little black box that is the TBMC to see a total of 10 people sitting around while some bloke hammered out some dinner party drum and bass. With Bassbin's regular club-night becoming subsumed to the saturday night Pogo event in the the Pod Complex, the only thing I could assume was that Dnb was a dead genre in the city Well it seems Pogo just had Fabio over, who alongside Grooverider was one of the legandary pioneers of the genre. You can check out his radio show here. And by 12:30 the Krust gig had packed up, and it was easy to forget the two boring DnB Dj's who had meandered off with themselves into the land of what the good Dr Groove terms "drum and bass samurais."

Krust being one of the founders of Reprazent with Roni Size and that lot, you'd have to hope for something a little special. Not having a clue what to expect from him, I could only fear his mentionings of jazz and association with Goldie remixes in various interviews. This was pounding stuff, typically immaculately produced dnb verring on the hard step end of things with similarities with Knifehandchops violent "boom cha..boom cha" minus the intense acid techno tinged with gabber blast offs being the most ready made comparison in my musical lexicon. The distorted fuzzy bass lines had a deep industrial clang as if they had just survived the digestive tract of Steve Albini with these flightly little intense snare rattles shooting forth over the top that reminded me in parts of Venetian Snares later stuff. All round - sound! This is probably the third Remedy gig I've gotten a blag for - so joining that mail out list should be an immediate priority for any skimpers out there.

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Chancing Your Arm Productions Presents: Kill All Walking Haircuts: Mix 1.

With its unworkable and fundamentally unitelligeible system of capturing loops and its crossfading being about as instinctive as a man trying to make pillow talk to a baboon after a session of jungle rutting I've gone and jacked in my copy of PCDJ for a version of Traktor which contains a wonderful little system for sampling and looping from tracks. Its main drawback being that I use an older version, with just two decks so there's a limit to how you can fuck around with layering.

Anyway, so here's a mix done using it. Tracks on it range from marching breaks of
Koma and Bones' "Power Cut", Chevron "Running out of Time" and Enduser's "More Distant Drums" to an exhausting sped up Meltbananna leading into Hellfish, then a voyage into old skool stylee rave and hardcore along the vintage of Shitmat and The Prodigy. "On A Ragga Tip" gets a look in too. Sure enjoy it there now lad and let us know if it's good, shit or indifferent.

Download your exclusive mix today!

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Puget Sound Exit Stage In Crawdaddy.

Last weekend saw one of the city's finest underground bands deliver a blistering set, in a Crawdaddy rightly reduced to a sweat box, as a crowd surfing/moshing horde of hardcore kids and left of the centre indie kids turned out in their hordes to bid farewell to Puget Sound. Puget Sound have been around since 1996, coming for the most part from the DIY/hardcore scene that they were destined never to leave. Starting off with tracks like "Rebellion" in an angsty ska punk that had fed itself on the corpse of Kurt Cobain and broke with much of the street punk aesthetic that was the best known expression of the Dublin punk scene in the mid ninties through bands like Striknien DC. The sheer technical control wielded by this trio over their assorted instruments by the end of their stint really was something to behold, completely seperating them from hordes of generic hardcore bands springing up as a result of the DS13 wave of inspiration from Scandanavia or the more retrograde standard crust/d-beat bands that breed like flies in every punk scene. The term jazz punk has beed bandied about as an apt description for the meandering journeys around the fret board that characterised the bass, sped along by the insane time keeping of the drummer with his famous cow-bell. This is that same drummer who busks using Ballygowan water cooler bottles on Grafton St.

With support coming from Estel and stoner rock merchants Mongolia, for €7 this was a gig that would leave regrets if I had flaked off and missed it. Over the years Puget Sound have put themselves to the use of many fundraisers for left libertarian concerns, last summer they played to about 400 people at a solidarity gathering in Rossport. The first hardcore show I waddled along to was in The Temple on Dorset St, given a free copy of Puget's debut on the door in as a bonus for the albums launch it was breathtaking to finally come across a music scene which didn't involve posturing around the side of the dancefloor, with a majority of gig goers getting caught up in the splattery of the moshing and skanking . Whatever about their DIY ethics, that the Dublin music scene and press failed to pick up on the weight of excitment generated at Puget Sound gigs in their heyday is astounding. Tracks like Silicone Antichrist placed the band in the position of puppeteers to dance floors packed with sweat kids skanking it up, before the sudden explosion of chords would transform them into a mosh . Not to worry, I'm sure the next generation of singer songer writers or posing indie bands made up of walking hair cuts is only just around the corner. Damn this was a fucking good band - they will be missed.

Photos from Thumped here.

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Sixty Seconds On Film: March'06

Okay - so whats the deal? Well the plan is to do some pretty succint reviews of the films I see each month in one post, and then start another similar thread at the start of the next month. Films can be both contemporary, recent and old.
Previous Sixty Seconds On Films: Feb and Jan'06

A fast paced violent thriller that bares all the traces of a RPG video game and is heavily indebted for its style to the manga orginal that spawned it. Alongside The Ring, Oldboy has a lot to be thanked for in popularising the Asia Extreme cinema releases on this side of the globe. Oldboy is ideal for the twist fethists, with them coming at the pace of trains and as sick as a dog after having its biscuits soaked in whiskey.

Munich. Something of a thriller masquerading as a docu-drama from the Speilberg stable over. Using an exploration of the Mossad agents used by the Israeli state to wipe out members of the Black September organisation as a means of exploring both the human psyschology at work amidst the terrrorists and their mirror image in the secret state. There's an unfortunate trend with critics whereby they fall all over themselves, salviating at the mouth using terms like "brave" whenever a mainstream director touches on historical material. Munich is a case in point. Cue tonnes of slow mo flashbacks, close ups of Baners eyes as he struggles with his demons and the suggestions of haunted nights. A classic scene involves Baner trying to shag his wife but his mind remains ravaged with thoughts of the Munich massacre and leads to an inabilty to come. If this is what passes for sensitive treatments then I must be a barbarian. Tawdry stuff indeed.

The Sixth Sense. I'll kill the bastard that told me the ending...

Office Space. Brilliant off beat comedy from Mike Judge, that evocatively brings to life the office culture of the Dilbert cubicle universe and sets its inhabitants off like clock work dolls to entertain you with their wacky ways. Wacky? Now there's a word if spotted in a review should turn you off it straight away, in this case Office Case deserves it. Not just nice, but fucking savage lad.

Crash. Preachy but sharp LA based drama focussing on racial tensions that spiral out of control amongst a screenwriters shipload of archetypes. A movie that dramatically frays at the end with all the put upon outrage of a CSPE class, and something of a resemblence to the fairy tale panoraa of a city's life in Steve Martin's La Story.


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Thursday, March 02, 2006

One Site To Unite Them All.

Okay, so for those of us who fancy ourselves as musical critics of any shape or size, the location of tunes within particular genres is always permanently debatable. Now one site will solve all. Ishkur's Guide to electronic music is an insaneley comprehensive guide to the various sub-genres of house, techno, breakbeat, jungle and hardcore. Laid out like a map of the London Underground you click a genre and a spiraling chart opens up with various stops along the way, a heavily opinionated description of the genre locates it within its linage and a succession of definitive samples is provided just to prove the point. The ragga one is particularly typical of the style: "if you are white do not try to inundate your ryhmes with an annoying faux rasta chatta. You sound like a god damn retard." Ah the harsh voice of a man moved by his music. This is somewhere to really introduce yourself to new music, equally to pick up some bullshit off hand one liners as well to pass yourself off as something of a walking

A Slice Of Class who picked up on this link, also recommends this nifty little documentary on that most engrained of samples in electronical music culture - the amen break.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Leechrum Gig: Maybe This Breakcore Thing Could Go Nathan Barley?

James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem rants and raves about the overbearing wieght of 50 years of pop culture crushing down on his shoulders with the expectation of originality, of being "there." The insurgent popularity of breakcore among underground music fans in numerous cities is definitely a response to this existential crisis of music fans. When half the internet can fall for a KLF stunt claiming the Libertines were faked you know there is a crisis in music's heart - there are no more scenes, nothing is happening, at least with breakcore people shut up and dance. But it could go all Nathan Barley.

The "breakcore uk" massive has been spreading through word of mouth, with interest being obvious in the increased amounts of Bong-ra and Enduser records clogging up boxs in alternative city centre stores. NWODTELM from Toronto and Heres My Card Records honcho resident in Brightin lead the charge with a hellish cacophony of noise from a set based on loops played back on cassette tapes, part gabber, part breaks with one mentalist collage using songs with the word "jump" in them to instigate the obvious on the dancefloor.

Chevron did just as well dropping his most rough and violent "Running Out Of Time" as the second track illustrates what an uppity set this was with a wide range of new material being showcased at the expense of some of the material off "Everythings Exactly The Same." Any time I've seen him Chevron has struck me as predictable and boring, but this was a complete break with form largely due to the revision of his set which puts his live shows in the same bracket as his production, top notch.

Shitmat the mash up mentalist was up next, none of his ideas should work, but believe me it does on record. Live is another question, with one speaker cutting out all night and a psyched Shitmat in his underwear struggling to maintain anything resembling a set. Shitmat has delivered some whirling fly by night sets maintaining a simple 4x4 throughout while processing tracks on the fly. At the breakcore binge of Overkill at the London Electrowerkz, it was a similar story - but when he does drop his tunes in a co-herant manner which he managed to do for some time, the place went ape.

Updated to add: Wavioli, a regular contributer to Thumped has added a great Flickr set from the night over here.

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Soundtracksforthem specialises in iconoclastic takes on culture, politics, and more shite from the underbelly of your keyboard. A still-born group blog with a recent surge of different contributers but mainly maintained by James R. Big up all the contributers and posse regardless of churn out rate: Kyle Browne, Reeuq, Cogsy, Chief, X-ie phader/Krossie, Howard Devoto, Dara, Ronan and Mark Furlong. Send your wishes and aspirations to

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