Electric Picnic returns to Stradbally this weekend and as always there is a nice balance right between international and homegrown acts.
After doing an overall preview I decided to put together a wee mix as a snap shot of some of the Irish acts playing this year. You can download the mix and listen to it before going or on the way to EP – you know the kind of thing. There’s so much quality on offer here.
The tracklisting with stages, days and times is after the jump. It wouldn’t allow me to upload ASIWYFA but you can stream it below instead. Enjoy!
No doubt you have all been busy with highlighters at the ready, making your own lists of acts to see at Electric Picnicthis weekend. The line-up is pretty amazing and they have got a nice balance between international and homegrown acts.
Here is a brief run through a few of the acts I’m hoping to see. If I was to list all the acts worth seeing I’d be here till next week. Feel free to post your own recommendations in the comments below, it is always greatly appreciated.
PS – There is a special feature on the Irish acts playing coming soon too.
Their timeless acoustic folk/roots songs are a great way to kick off the weekend. The duo of Mark McCausland and Oisin Leech have been a firm favourite since releasing the enchanting Trails of the Lonely (Part I & III) in 2008.
Ska and reggae legend Jimmy Cliff’s career has spanned over four decades. I saw him play a few years back and he was absolutely amazing, judging by his performance at Glastonbury we can expect the same. How can anyone argue with songs like ‘Wonderful World, Beautiful People’, ‘The Hard They Come’, ‘You Can Get It If You Really Want’ and ‘Vietnam’?
The DFA signed Dubliner’s debut album, From The Cradle To The Rave, was one of last years standouts. Shit Robot was also one of highlights at Oxegen this year. The set, show and sound was amazing, such a shame so few people witnessed it. One must feel that his 80′s infused electro house will be much more palatable to the EP crowd. Hopefully.
With the astounding depth of talent coming out of Newbridge right now, introducing this talent is becoming something of a regular occurrence.
Kaleid(aka Peter Fleming) is a 19 year old musician originally from Dublin but now living in Newbridge. His sound is heavily indebted to dubstep and bass and evolved from a love of hip-hop, drum and bass and house.
He began life djing at parties but over the past 12 months has taken to making his own sounds. His latest cut ‘Lime’ is superb and captures what he’s all about; a steady building minimal track full of glitchy beats with a slight spacey feel.
Kaleid is currently a resident DJ at ‘Decoy Dublin’. You can catch a one hour feature for Whiplash on RTE Pulse, September 30th.
With a new issue of Lookleft set to hit shelves across Ireland very soon it is about time I shared an interview I did with Sertone in the current issue. Lookleft is available in every Easons north/south & other selected retailers.
Gareth McAlinden aka Sertone received widespread praise for the release of his excellent debut EP The View From Above EP on Belfast hip-hop label MeltedMusic in February. He is riginally from Portadown but now based in Liverpool (via Bedford), where he moved to attend university four years ago. Barry Healy caught up with the 22 year old instrumental hip-hop and electronica producer who took time out to answer some questions for LookLeft.
LL: Is there much more opportunities for you and your music in Liverpool than Ireland?
Sertone: “It’s funny because one of the main reasons I decided on England was I thought there would be more music opportunities. At that time the UK seemed to have a much bigger and healthier hip hop scene. The first year in Liverpool I kind of just sat back and watched how the city worked, trying to figure out who was who etc. Now I’m playing regularly and running a night in Liverpool trying to promote ‘beat music’. The Irish electronic scene is amazing right now with acts like Solar Bears, Sunken Foal, Moths, Frankie Bingo, and the whole grime/step scene in Dublin being pushed by Colz, Major Grave and Shatterfreak.”
LL: How long have you been making music? How did you get started?
Sertone: “I started DJing at 11, messing around with pause tapes and video game music making applications until around the age of 15 or so when I got a copy of cubase and it has grown from there. I always tried to make ‘weirder’ more experimental beats for rappers to distinguish myself, only a handful of MCs ever took notice. I kind of gave up on making music to be heard by anyone else and concentrated on making stuff purely for me. Since then things have really started to move forward.”
LL: Your music has a rather unique sound, how did you get into hip-hop and electronic music?
Sertone: “Thank you, I’m glad to have been able to etch out a unique sound. Hip Hop was my first love, like anything I develop a passion for I’m enthused to know everything I possibly can. I spent ten years listening to every type of hip hop I could find. This led to me to all the music that went into creating hip hop and whatever it’s spawned. Groups like Portishead and Massive Attack pointed me to search for more electronic music.”
LL: Many people mightn’t associate Portadown with this sound, is there a healthy electronic/hip-hop ‘scene’ in the North?
Sertone: “Yeah moving between Portadown, Liverpool and Bedford the last four years meant it’s been hard to put where I am into the music. On ‘Past, Present, Future’ I used a sample which had vocals about Belfast in it to show people where I’m from. Also, I found the sample just as I started working on the EP for Melted Music who are based in Belfast, so it felt like fate! Probably the most notable electronic act from the North is Boxcutter and there are some great local heads like Defcon. Two notable MCs are Belfast’s Sketch Nine and long time collaborator and peer Jee4ce who’s a rapper, producer, video director and all round creative genius.”
LL: You released your debut EP The View From Above in February, how was the response?
Sertone: “The response was really overwhelming to be honest! I didn’t expect anywhere near the level of exposure or positivity it received. I expected it to be listened to by friends and some of their friends, when it started to get covered by MTV, BBC, AU and Hotpress it picked up pace quickly. There’s been a few surreal moments the past few months; hearing the whole CD being played in a random bar, Boy George tweeting me to say he enjoyed it and my mum phoning to say she had heard ‘Past, Present, Future’ on BBC Radio when she was driving home.”
LL: You have been compared to artists like RJD2, J Dilla & Flying Lotus you must be pretty chuffed?
Sertone: “To me that’s the greatest compliment. When I saw those kinds of names being mentioned in the same articles as mine I was blown away. Obviously they were all big influences when I started making music. I hope my music doesn’t come across as an imitation of those artists and in some small way that I’ve been able to put my twist on it.”
LL: And the rest of 2011?
Sertone: “I just released Versions, a collection of 15 remixes which is available for free at sertone.bandcamp.com. I’m touring the UK and Ireland this summer and perhaps starting on a follow up to The View From Above EP. Just more music really!”
Dublin 5 piece, Ghost Estateswere formed from the remnants of two pretty different bands, SickBoy and 8Ball.
Named after the post ‘Celtic Tiger’ Ireland phenomena of unoccupied and unfinished housing projects, this coming together of forces results in a mish mash of different styles which works ever so well.
Debut single ‘Paris’ is electronic, euphoric in places while haunting and poppy in others, while second single ’Forever or Never’, couldn’t be more different. It is a sublime slice of chipper indie rock, a la The Rifles etc. from across the water (my favourite of the two cuts).
A lot of potential here and with a debut album recorded and expected in the near future, these guys are ones to watch out for.
Catch them live at Electric Picnic next week or HWCH in October.
Attaque is a young producer from Colchester who has already been getting heavy support from Tiga, Fake Blood, Erol Alkan and Brodinski.
Now relocated to a studio in Brighton he has quite the talent for making hard-edged techno tunes – minimal yet rich and not to far from Laurent Garnier or Simian Mobile Disco’s ’1000 Horses Can’t Be Wrong’ or ‘Gizzard’ stuff. Going by these latest few offerings we should expect be hearing a lot more from this promising up and comer in the future.
His first EP, Light Falls, will be released on London’s Bad Life label. You can grab his latest track, ‘False’, below.
Last week I was introduced to promising Dublin-based teenager Alex Chiedu aka Lecs Luther.
One week on and he has dropped a video for ‘Luther’. This is seriously slick hip-hop and the video, filmed in Brighton, works really well. Also on a side note, it’s always good to see someone rocking an old school Candy Liverpool jersey.
No word on when his Fish & Chips EP is going to be released but it is something to get very excited about.
Lasertom & The Blast Crew were one of the highlights from Castlepalooza this year and by far the best new discovery of the weekend. Anyone going to Electric Picnic next week would be wise to catch their set.
There’s not much info on Lasertom & The Blast Crew apart from it is the latest project of former Les Bien member and Synth Eastwood collective man, Simon Cullen. Cullen, along with friends, make spacey slow-burning DFA-esque tunes mixed with an array of trumpets, disco, funk, electro-punk and gospel.
Lasertom’s Two Sides EP was released back in March and plans are already in motion for a long player in time for Christmas.
Irish duo Nouveaunoise return with a new name Nouveaun and 5-track EP called Sequence Consequence.
Recorded in Dublin, Berlin and Madrid, it is the band’s first official follow-up since the release of their debut album Paraphrase Accolade in 2010. The EP is preceded by new single ‘Believe’. It is a little different than their previous work with a big beat approach preferred this time around.
You can download ‘Believe’ for free now and Sequence Consequence is out on September 5th.
The other day I was wondering what ever happened to Liverpool songstress Candie Payne. Following the release of her impressive debut record I Wish I Could Have Loved You More, things went quiet. It was strange really because both the album and her vocal talents deserved much more notoriety.
It turns out that toward the end 2010 Payne teamed up with The Zutons’ guitarist Paul Molloy for new musical project, The Big House. Their pooled musical experience has created a unique take on folk, roots and alt country, much different to what both made their names for.
No word yet on releases but they recorded a session including ‘Canyon Home in the Sun’ for Dave Monks show on BBC Radio Merseyside a while back. Take a listen below.