Toby Kaar is one of Irish music’s brightest talents. With a reputation based on a series of live shows that usually result in journalists and bloggers using words like “incendiary”, the scene waits in taut anticipation for some original material. Thanks to his BA being based in Bath (that’s a lot of B’s), that material has been quite a while coming and, on top of that, non-festival live outings in recent times have been all too rare. Thankfully, his first headline show in Dublin in aaaages is this Saturday in the Twisted Pepper. You can find all the details for that gig here and we guess we’ll just have to keep holding our breath for those new tracks. Maybe we’ll get a sneak-peak on Saturday…
Anyway, let Toby fill you in on his playlist:
Is there anything left to say about record shops? Probably not. Physical recordings are screwed, the economy’s probably to blame, you’re probably to blame too because you pirate all your music, but it’s all the industry’s fault, whatever. All that stuff has been blogged into the ground.
I do think, though, that a lot of these conversations miss the point about the purpose of a record store – they’re not just conduits for getting albums from artist to listener, they’re also acts of curation in themselves. The owners have a proper investment in records, so you’ll find stuff that’s been selected with a lot of care and experience, stuff you would probably never have heard otherwise.
When I started going to Plugd, I began to take a lot more responsibility for finding music that I really loved, rather than taking whatever was thrown my way. And that was really important to me, because otherwise I would still be listening to Of Montreal or some shit like that. Grimes, probably.
So yeah, without further ado, here are 12 tracks I came across randomly in Plugd.
– Toby Kaar
Rosy Parlane – Iris
I’m only going to include two Type releases in this list because you could make a whole list of amazing records that label has put out. This one stands out to me, as it’s just so intricately textured and balanced. I think the album’s just one long track, but it’s very engrossing, all the same. I used to listen to this kind of stuff all the time, just drones and rain sounds. Great.
Xela – Under the Glow of Streetlights
One of my favourite albums ever, bought after I asked Albert for something like Stars of the Lid (how this sounds anything like them is beyond me, he must have been higgggghhhh). There’s a lot of stuff going on in this album, bits of glitch, almost hip hop style vocal snatches, a load of ambient pads. John Twells ended up going all goth with later albums, which I didn’t enjoy so much, but this album still gets played a lot.
Oh No – Heavy
I looked at this album cover in Plugd for months before deciding to buy it. It’s great, a load of Persian sampling beats, all about 2 minutes long and all of them just really… dope. Only later did I find that this track is pretty much just an edit of some track called Ince Ince by Selda Bagcan. Still, Oh No made it knock harder and for that I love him.
Prefuse 73 – Pagina Dos
I had heard a lot of Prefuse before I got this EP, but this release largely went under the radar, which is strange because I think it’s great cover to cover. This is the best track on the release, from the already playful guitar of Nick Zammuto to the clicks and claps that make the beat to the strange chopped vocal harmonies. It just kinda sums up everything that’s great about Prefuse 73 in 2 and a half minutes.
Mouthus – Vacation Eyes
I’m pretty sure I bought this album while hungover. It sounds like a hangover. The almost suspended animation feel of the drones has a really bizarre effect on me when I listen to it. Time seems to slow down or something. It’s a really dirty album, loads of guitars that sound like they’re chewing metal. Generally I’m not into this kinda stuff, but this album has this dreamy feel to it that makes it one of the exceptions to my “no horrible sounding shit” rule.
Alice Coltrane – Isis and Osiris (Live)
Who doesn’t love this album? Nobody. Nobody doesn’t love this album. Another one I picked up on a whim, probably after FlyLo started talking about her. The Eastern influences are really evident in this track, with both Coltrane and Sanders playing in almost a raga style. The loose arrangements that seem to fall in and out of congruence is just so cool. This album has been a really big influence on the stuff I’ve been making recently.
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