Castle – ‘Live Action’ (Prod. Has-Lo)

Castle 2014

Last year Castle debuted with Gasface, an enigmatic intro to the North Carolina MC/producer’s talent. It offered everything needed from a hip hop record; style, substance, beats, slick production and meaningful lyricism. 

Castle is back with a ‘new’ LP, Return of the Gasface (The Has-Lo Passages), which sees his gruff delivery, frank observations cheeky sense of humour undergo a full-length redo from labelmate Has Lo. Such a fan was he of Gasface, that Has Lo re-envisioned an entirely new identity for it, getting Castle to re-record verses, adding his own verses and production style, to create something that sounds a lot different to your usual remix project. The first taste of Gasface re-imagined is ‘Live Action’, originally called ‘No Prep Time’, it indicated in no small way that the reworking is a more than worthwhile exercise. ‘Live Action’ is injected with a new spirit and it’s strength lies in the execution, particularly the two artists willingness work together in tandem for a common goal. Has Lo’s production is flawless, bouncy beats entrance you while the pauses and breaks are perfectly timed to compliment Castle’s delivery and flow. Realized at the most opportune moments, it reinforces what Castle’s got to say, sounding more authoritative and speaking with an authority that makes you pay attention. 

Return of the Gasface (The Has-Lo Passages) is released on March 18th with original artwork by Josh Bayer. For now though, you can sample the delight that is ‘Live Action’.

Telegram – ‘Rule Number One’

Photo: David Wala

Photo: David Wala

London four-piece Telegram were responsible for one of the most exciting and scintillating debut singles of 2013, ‘Follow’.

‘Follow’ was an unrestrained savage blast of tripped-out psych-punk and the kraut-glam-psych enthusiasts are back with a follow-up ‘Rule Number One’. The pace and ferocity is upped considerably and the distortion pedals are certainly put through their paces. It’s brutal yet beautiful, as this intense psych-punk blitz is tempered by their subtle glam influences. Matt Saunders distinctive brogue aid his vocals, which ring in your ear above the scuzzy riffs and pounding drum-lines. Another phenomenal tune which effortlessly combine all their influences into something akin to falling through an endless, swirling technicolour vortex. Top stuff once again from Telegram.

You can download ‘Rule Number One’ below for FREE & you catch them in the flesh when they support Miles Kane in the Academy, Dublin on April 3rd.

Gruff Rhys – ‘American Interior’

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Gruff Rhys is back with a new album, American Interior, and will be accompanied by a book, documentary film and app for a “multisensory experience telling the incredible true story of John Evans”.

The Super Furries frontman’s latest record is inspired by the unusual journey of 18th century explorer John Evans, a young farmhand from Snowdonia who traveled through lands that would eventually become part of today’s USA, in search of a Welsh-speaking Native American tribe called The Madogwys living there. Lead single and title track from the upcoming LP, ‘American Interior’ reminds us how captivating a storyteller Rhys is, who wistfully spins a narrative of being carried through new worlds and visions amid the luscious and beautiful instrumentation. The song suggests that beyond all the chatter about multimedia extravaganza – an exciting album’s worth of new material is on the horizon. 

American Interior is released via Turnstile on 5th May – check out the title track for yourself below.

Keys – ‘Bad Girls’

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Keys (formerly The Keys) have unveiled their brand new single ‘Bad Girls’, the first to be taken from forthcoming album Ring The Changes, due sometime this May through See Monkey Do Monkey Records.

The band, who hail from the Welsh capital of Cardiff, are kindly giving away new single, ‘Bad Girls’, as a free download. Apparently inspired by Matth Keys’ late night journeys home from college, where he’d be propositioned by ‘ladies of the night. Whatever the case, the single is a glorious, swooning psych-surf pop brew, a tune so catchy, it will stick in your head for days. The surf pop and psych influences run free, harmonious, melodic and subtle; but swirled with psychedelic patterns and freewheeling colourful splashes. It’s fair to say this would sit rather comfortably alongside the likes of Super Furry Animals, The Coral and The Bees. 

You can download ‘Bad Girls’ below & Ring The Changes will be released later this year via See Monkey Do Monkey Records.

Imploded View – ‘Mixed View’

Imploded View

From his Longford hideaway, operating under the guise of Imploded View, Jerome McCormick has proven a reliable source of experimental, sometimes abstract but always interesting electronic music.

McCormick’s preference has always been atmospheric, downtempo and minimalist electronic compositions with sparse sounds, synths and all manner of analogue trickery. Dark, moody and immediately emotive, the music rarely if ever, emerges from first gear, preferring to meander through a vast and cloudy world of dreamy, chilled sounds and ambient dreamscapes. Having released album #2, Anomoly Domine only last year, this latest work from the Imploded View camp is something quite different. 

Mixed View is a remix package (plus two new originals) which sees the entrusting of remix duties to R.S.A.G, Christ, VHS Head, Daithi & Yimino. Of them, the standout’s are R.S.A.G’s rework of ‘The Keeping’ and VHS Head’s remix of ‘Julia Taxi’. R.S.A.G takes probably the most playful and laid-back of all Imploded View’s works and adds pep to its step so to speak, giving it a new lease of life with an irresistible groove, bounce and a swaggering cool confidence of David Holmes or Primal Scream. VHS Head meanwhile, takes the dark, moody melancholy of ‘Julia Taxi’ and turns it into a fascinating, futuristic and impermeable concoction imbued between rumbling sonic road trip of its psychedelic whirls and the dense ear-shaking beats and crunching bass. Just two choice cuts from a thoroughly worthwhile and enjoyable EP. 

Mixed View is out now and available here

We Cut Corners – ‘Best Friend’

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We Cut Corners will release their second album Think Nothing on April 25th (May 12th in the UK) through Delphi and having already shared ‘YKK‘ and ‘Every Thief‘, ahead of the LPs release, we now have latest single, ‘Best Friend’.

The Dublin duo’s previous two tracks showcased both their quieter and more rocky dispositions, something of a blueprint set out by their debut album, Today I Realised I Could Go Home Backwards. ‘Best Friend’ is most certainly the latter. A short, sharp two minute blast of seething, sneery and raspy indie-rock. In fact, this is the most hostile and aggression fueled WCC have sounded, and things are nicely poised for the album’s release in April. They have also teamed up with Kijek/Adamski again for another wonderful animated video, the people responsible for their much praised ‘A Pirate’s Life’ video.

‘Best Friend’ is out now as a digital download and there’s plenty of shows planned for April and May too (check ’em here).

BarryGruff Unplugged: Paddy Hanna + Wayfarer :: Saturday, March 1st :: The Liffey Studio, Newbridge

Paddy Hanna Newbridge 2014

BarryGruff Unplugged #3: Paddy Hanna + Wayfarer | March 1st – The Liffey Studio, Newbridge –  Doors: 7:30pm | €5/€7

Following the success of previous BarryGruff Unplugged shows, we’re back with round #3 on March 1st. Part three looks an exciting proposition with Paddy Hanna and Wayfarer joining us in the intimate surroundings of The Liffey Studio.

The show is €5 if you book in advance or €7 on the night. The cheap list is limited so if you would like to reserve a spot, email your name to: barrygruff[at]gmail[dot]com – with ‘Cheap List’ in the subject title.

:: Paddy Hanna ::

Probably best known as lead singer in Grand Pocket Orchestra and drummer in No Monster Club, this year however, Paddy Hanna has stepped out on his own, releasing his debut solo album ‘Leafy Stilleto’ and attracting rave reviews in the Irish media since its release in January. The young man from Dublin is in a somewhat more laid back and relaxed mood than before, creating a warm and well-structured collection of gorgeous indie tunes. He was brilliant at Electric Picnic and since then we’ve been working hard to bring Paddy Hanna to Newbridge, and delighted we finally got our man.

:: Wayfarer ::

Wayfarer are folk duo Sam Devlin & Rachel Boland from Co. Kildare. The name might be familiar, having played a few BarryGruff shows, wooing audiences in the process, with their beautiful country folk sounds and alluring harmonies. They have been busy working on a forthcoming EP but thankfully found time to squeeze in a much welcome Newbridge show.