It’s that time of year when every music website, publication and blog (including this one) are busy compiling end of year lists. This time around, I thought I’d shift the focus to the bands and artist’s who’ve played a ‘BarryGruff Presents’ show this year and ask them for their ‘favourite album of 2012’, ‘favourite song of 2012’ & ‘favourite Irish song of the year’.
Enough chat from me, here’s Cormac Brady (SEBP/DJ extraordinaire) and his picks from the year that was 2012.
Album of the year: El-P – ‘Cancer for Cure’
Cancer for Cure is an intense piece of work, dealing with paranoia, escapism through substance abuse, loss, and ultimately the idea that we, society, are the world’s greatest problem. That’s not to say it’s un-listenable though. This album is a beast, it has enough venom and satire to tackle the subject matter in a manner that leaves you revitalized – this is a fight record, not a whinge. The lyrical delivery is sharp, aggressive and unapologetic, featuring a rake of top emcees that move comfortably within the boundaries of El-P’s dystopia. Killer Mike and Despot weigh in on Tougher Colder Killer, while Danny Brown and Mr Muthafuckin’ eXquire feature on ‘Oh Hail No’, a cleverly titled ode to telling religion and blind allegiance where to shove it – “I’ve been told I was put here to fail, never ask me to hail”
El-P’s skills as a producer take on a new edge with each album he releases, Cancer for Cure hits hard, hi hats rattle in the background as bombastic hits rupture the abrasive synthlines. It’s the type of album you want to play loud as fuck and shove in people’s faces. I can’t write about this album without also mentioning R.A.P Music by Killer Mike. Another incredible album produced by El-P, reminiscent of Bomb Squad and confirming that Killer Mike is the best emcee in hip hop right now. Check it out. Anyway, the reason I picked C4C as my album of the year is because I’ve listened to it the most. Bam.
Favourite song of 2012: Baauer – Harlem Shake
I didn’t pick this tune on the basis of its poetic endeavor I could probably re-evaluate my decision here and pick another tune for very different reasons, but I won’t. Times are hard, we all need to lighten the fuck up and party more, this tune sound-tracked some great nights for me this year, so why not pick it? Throw it on loud and jump around with your mates before they all emigrate.
Favourite Irish song of 2012: Knoxville Morning – ‘Lighthouse Song’
The tune I’ve picked here is by my mate Ciaran, released under his Knoxville Morning project. It was the highlight of that record for me. It’s a heartwarming tune sang in an honest way and it speaks of a sanctuary from the madness that we all need.