Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Girl Talk...

You can download superior mashup artist Girl Talk's new album, 'All Day' here:

This album went up as a free download yesterday and led to Girl Talk being the most Googled name on the internet. It's a delicious mash up of samples from Neil Diamond, Yeah Yeah Yeah's, Rage Against the Machine, Beyonce. It's got a hyper, manic effect which I love and more samples and segues than a performance from Wagner on X-Factor.  

Check out this track, Get It Get It, sampling Lady Gaga's Bad Romance over Aphex Twin's Windowlicker before bleeding into Missy Elliot rapping over Daft Punks Digital Love. Delicious! 

Hot Chip collaboration with Bernard Summers...

Check out this class new video from a collaboration with the two main dudes from Hot Chip and Bernard Summers, of New Order and Joy Division fame. The track 'Didn't Know What Love Was' is sponsored by Converse.

The video is directed by Andreas Nilsson (Fever Ray and MGMT) and has a bit of a Micheal Gondry vibe going on. Enjoy...

You remember this cracking tune from Santogold, Julian Casablancas and NERD for Converse in 2008? 'My Drive Thru', love it!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

M.I.A. Dublin gig Review...

Here's my review of M.I.A's excellent show at Dublin's Tripod on Friday 12th November 2010. This is the full version, subbed and shortened version appears here:

Photo by Alessio Michelini

AU is glancing around at a lot of empty space in Dublin's Tripod venue tonight and wondering if the M.I.A. backlash has properly kicked in. It's pushing on 9pm and the venue is only a quarter full. Hell doesn't she have any fans left? 

Maya Arulpragasam, exploded onto the scene in 2005 with her mouthwateringly eclectic debut, Arular. M.I.A. sounded like no one else, mashing up elements of hip-hop, grime, world music, street culture and political activism and cleverly contextualizing it all by making the personal the political. She raised political awareness about the rights of the Tamil people in her native Sri Lanka through her lyrics and artwork (her father is believed to have been involved with the Tamil Tigers). 

M.I.A's dress sense was also wild- all clashing prints and hand me downs, what she called 'a refugee uniform'. In 2007 she dropped the epic Kala, which contained the smash hit 'Paper Planes' and also garnered rave reviews. At this stage rapper Nas had declared her 'the future'. 

Fast forward to May 2010 (just two months before her much anticipated third album, /\/\/\Y/\ was released) and M.I.A's credibility was blown apart by Lynn Hirschberg's controversial interview in The New York Times. It portrayed the singer as a spoilt rich kid, living a charmed life in an LA mansion with a heir to the Bronfman liquor fortune who was vague and ill- informed about her political arguements. The article dealt a serious blow to her credibility, how could she be singing about the plight of the third world, when she was so far removed from it? It didn't help matters that M.I.A. retaliated by tweeting the journalist's number.

Tonight, she is in Dublin for the first time in three years and will go onto play a much hyped sell out date with Sleigh Bells at The Warehouse Project in Manchester, the following night.  

We needn't have doubted her, by the time the first rumblings of 'Born Free' rock the place, the venue is heaving with excited looking fans. M.I.A. rocks onto the stage looking every bit the slacker fashionista- dressed in black and white patterned leggings, a loose fitting white shirt with black triangles, black shades and a neon pink lipstick which pops out every time the lights go down. 

'Born Free' is a raucous punk call to arms, with M.I.A. as our commander in chief. Blood splatters flash up on the screen, strobe lights go wild and her female DJ pumps out bass so loud it must be illegal in several countries. The singer has such a commanding stage presence, disaffected yet intense and powerful. 

No one seems too fussed about the furore over the banned video for the song or even all the bad press that M.I.A's being getting, everyone's just here for the music and a good time. 

When she sings it sounds muffled and at times it looks like it could all just be a mime act but not even this dampens the atmosphere. 

M.I.A. tests out tunes on the decks first, judging the crowds reaction. There's no diva behaviour here, just a eagerness to please. Notably the tunes that go down best are from the first and second albums. M.I.A. fans are a loyal bunch and sing every word to early tunes like 'Xr2', 'Pull up the People' and 'Galang'. They still sound fresh and years ahead of their time. The party atmosphere is aided by two redneck/refugee looking male dancers who shake their limbs so loose they look like they're dislocating muscles in the process. The visuals, strobe lights and female DJ dropping dirty Drum and Bass beats all add up to give the gig a really futuristic feel. 

The punk aesthetics of /\/\/\Y/\ shine through in the visuals for the attitude laden 'Illy Girl', M.I.A. runs down a highway followed by a disorientating, shaky camera. It's easy to see why the singer was nominated for the Alternative Turner Prize in 2001. Another song is backed by a transfixing visual of M.I.A. defying gravity and floating around the inside of a car, curled up in the foetal position. It's discombobulating and looks like she's admist a car crash. 

The singer doesn't come off as the icy, unapproachable rich bitch the NY times portrayed her as. She jumps into the crowd, shakes the crowds hands and for 'Boyz' she invites an army of fans onstage to dance with her. The overexcited teens drape their arms around M.I.A. and sing along, too busy documenting the experience on their cameras for Facebook to actually enjoy the moment. The fun atmosphere is infectious. 

The anthemic 'Paper Planes' lifts the roof off, with everyone punching their fists in the air at the gunshot sounds.

AU came here all cynical and judgemental but we've been won over by M.I.A's ballziness. We're going home to give /\/\/\Y/\ a few more listens and hope she can come back with the goods for album number four. 

Sunday, 14 November 2010


I love art and music so I was pretty excited to hear about this project combining the two.

Electromagnetic Phenomenon- Portrait of a Broadcaster is a promising two part project by artist Garrett Phelan, involving one of Ireland's finest DJ's Donal Dineen . 

For all of last week Donal broadcast his Today FM show, The Small Hours from 12-2am live from the Context Art Gallery in Derry and members of the public came in to watch. You can listen back to Donal charming shows here . It's really, really beautiful stuff. 

The second part of the project is a video installation based on and documenting Dineen's broadcasts. This will be on view in the gallery from the 15th Nov- 30th November. 

The artist choose Donal Dineen because he regards him as:

"someone whose iconic voice represents integrity and seriousness to his core audience, many of whom have developed their musical knowledge with him over many years. The project exists as an analogy between Energy, Electricity, Voice, the Power of the Mind and Other Matter." 

"Whilst acknowledging the importance of the content of Donal Dineen’s radio programme, Phelan focuses this portrait on the resonance of the broadcaster’s voice, its mediation to the outside world via the microphone, the wires and the transmission of the FM signal into the ether." 

"The aesthetic of this work represents the unknown properties of the electromagnetic signal once it travels beyond human understanding and how it relates back to us throughout its infinite, sublime and mystical journey." 

Anyone who has listened to the show will know what Garrett means here. Dineen has such a soothing voice, with an almost hypnotic quality, who plays sublime heartfelt music that exists on a higher plane than your average hype laden radio shows. I for one am so glad independent shows like this still exist. 

Love the flyer and invites for the show too, as seen above. 

More info on the artist here: 

Here's an image courtesy of the artist, Garret Phelan's website: 
Photodrawing ‘ELECTROMAGNETIC PHENOMENON - Portrait of a Broadcaster – Donal Dineen 2010.’, spirit marker on photograph, 20.3 x 15.2cm, 201


Hey guys, just back from a stonking weekend of fun down in Dublin. Saw M.I.A. in Tripod on Friday. Screw all the bad press, she rocked the place and had a pretty powerful presence. It was one of those messy, sweaty gigs where everyone was just there for a good time. I'm doing a review of the gig for AU, so I'll stick it up here. Caught The Rubberbandits on Saturday in The Twisted Pepper who were every bit as hilarious and weird as I had hoped. Unfortunately my camera died when I was about to take the first picture, FAIL!

Here's MIA shakin her stuff: 

Now onto that free music. It's from Nouveau Noise, two Dublin/Galway guys who produce quality ambient dreamy electronica, which is my favourite kind. You can get their 2 track EP Panaka for free at their bandcamp site here. How gorgeous is the artwork?

Let me know what you think of the tracks.  If you like them enough you can buy the album Paraphrase Accolade for E3 on Digital and E5 in CD Format here. I bought it after their stunning show at Crescent Arts Centre a few months back. It's top stuff. Gogeddit!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Stream Sounds of System Breakdown...

Sounds of System Breakdown are another Dublin favourite of mine. They make music in the vein of the finest electro rock. Think LCD Soundsystem and Daft Punk with plenty of meaty bleeps n beeps n hooks- they're just pure class. For a limited SOSB are streaming their entire album over here:

I think I'm right in saying I did the first interview with the lads back in 2006 and after catching a live show I was hooked. It started out as a one man live electronic act, with Rob alternating between his laptop and guitar, and has since acquired more band members and instruments.

Get over there and listen, you're gonna love it!

If you're too lazy check this out, Electrolysis and Mood Enhancers...

Cap Pas Cap...

At home in my rents today gettin' the RTE into me. I'd forgotten how great Fair City is for the schneer. Damien had to go to the doc's after getting a horrific looking burn on his arm. 'I was ironing and the err sheets wrapped up around my arm and the iron burned me,' he told the doctor. His missus, Suzanne, was looking pretty evil, like she'd give him more of the same if he didn't shut up. What's going on with Fairly Shitty? It's all gone a bit Eastenders.

Anyways in music news...

One of my favourite Dublin band's of recent years, Cap Pas Cap, have just released the video for their new single Friends and it's classsss. It's from their debut album 'Haunted Light' to be released this Friday. Pre-order here: Whoop!

Cap Pas Cap have always stood out for me. They're a poppy good time band with a dark sleek edge. Their songs from 2006's Not Not is Fine EP still stand up for me.

The guys are just fresh from a slot at, what I think is Belfast's best new music club night, Animal Disco, last Friday night. I was dying to go but was otherwise occupied bustin' out some funk and soul tunes down at Belfast Funk & Soul.

Have a look here at the Friends vidyo here:

Here's an oldie but a goodie. 2006's 'Said Say It' directed by my old lecturer and Doyles Dublin Dj supremo, Nicky Coughlan. Amazin!

Here's another one for good measure. It can't hurt can it? 2008's 'We Are Men'. Get 'em intaya!

EP launch is @ the Workman's Club, Dublin on Nov 13th.

Friday, 5 November 2010


Some laydeez making their way down to Belfast Funk & Soul

I'm gunna be DJing down at one of the best nights out in Belfast tonight, Belfast Funk & Soul tonight from 9.30 to 11pm. I'm going be playing a mix of moderhn tunes and some old motown and funk and soul classics. It's a really, really fun set and I've been singing along and grooving to it all week. 

So that's McHugh's basement bar from 9.30, there'll be Funk and Soul resident Dj's Lewis and Maria spinning tunes till the early hours too. 

See you there for a boogie!