The Next Day
David Bowie’s choice for his first release in 10 years, the introspective Where Are We Now? relocated him, in its first line, instantly back in Berlin where he made the albums whose blend of artistic experimentation, synthetic textures and pop and non-pop songwriting feel most relevant to the contemporary musical landscape. Then came the leaked artwork, a brutal, almost clumsy appropriation of the Heroes cover and a worrying comment from producer T...read more
The idea that live music will somehow save musicians livelihoods has probably been worn the whole way through at this stage. How many people believe it now? Certainly few musicians do, as they see crowds get stretched too thin and their wallets stretched even thinner. Costs go up, guarantees go down, unless you're already a well established act. Even big-name indie acts can struggle. They have to spend more time on the road, along with every other band in the world, always carving out another fe...read more
Taking their cues from hardcore, noise-rock and Beefheart at his weirdest, Leipzig's three headed noiz juggernaut Don Vito return to these shores for a free midnight show upstairs in Whelans on Thursday the 18th of April, along with Daikiri from France, and our own Turning Down Sex.
We caught up with them during their current European jaunt for a few words ahead of their Dublin gig.
Unlike a lot of noise-rock bands, you guys seem less concerne...read more
Language is power. The idea is a well worn truism at this stage but there are times when it is important to remember it. Language can be used to dominate and to undermine, to keep something or someone in their place. The words we use and don't use have connotations beyond their apparently essential “meaning”. In any fight for equal rights, from civil rights to feminism to the LGBT movement, one of the first things to be confronted is language. It's also often one of the reasons for splits wi...read more
Maybe it's the Joinery's Fund:It success yesterday morning, maybe it's because yesterday was Budget day in the UK. Maybe it's Amanda Palmer's TED talk and the reaction to it. Maybe it's the post-SXSW feeling in the air, maybe it's the closure of the Boston Phoenix, maybe it's the death of another great musician who couldn't afford proper healthcare in America. Whatever the reason, the question of money and the value of the arts is very much of the moment. Last night I read this piece by Elmo Kee...read more
The Irish are a nation of emigrants. After a brief respite, we're back to boats and planes as vehicles for careers and lives. But Dublin's still a great place to live, regardless of how small it m...read more
The last of the class of 2010 – the ‘cloud rap’ ones rather than the teen rebels or Adderall weirdos – are too late to change the paradigm, but they don’t need to. When they own their catchword genre – and they do – they make decent smoke music, but read more…
While Watch The Throne was almost gaudy in its opulence and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was sincere in its projection of artistry, imprint compilation Cruel Summer comes across as Kanye’s idea of what a modern rap record sounds like.
Continuing its monthly mission to listen to rap music and put it in a handy catch-up mix, it’s The Sound Of One Beat Slapping. Nas and Rick Ross had marquee albums, both of which were good, Kendrick continued to clean up and various other people made music that slaps. In recognition of his multi-million dollar deal, Riff Raff is included too. Apologies if you missed out on the chance to buy his snake. Enjoy.
Boredom is a feeling even more universal than love, and there is power in the music that channels it. Loping languidly between songs about rich people, minor lovers in life’s soap opera and offhand dealings with the bigger things in life, Channel Orange is a paean to microdrama. For something read more…
Totally Dublin’s monthly rap mix returns to wrap up June and look to July. Harry Fraud remains busy, producing the guts of the Meyhem Lauren tape and all of the Smoke DZA album as well as a track on the new Maybach Music album (not featured here). Otherwise, young lads, older lads and even an Irish lad have been busy. In the immortal words of Rick Ross, “If Michael Jackson was here today, he’d want you to smoke one.” So enjoy.
With production by DOOM, Statik Selektah and even J Dilla, Brooklyn rapper Joey Badass presents more of the mutation of New New York rap that manages to co-opt coolness without rejecting traditional musical and lyrical influences. It’s not a crime to enjoy a new rapper who listens to Nas, though, read more…
Spaceghostpurrp emerges from the murk that smothered his earlier releases, but not the darkness and atmosphere, with his Memphis-and-Mortal Kombat music being given listenable treatment for this first time. With slightly more clarity, his beats almost reach the point of despairing London post-dubstep in mood, which might help amongst his read more…
Some debuts are interesting because of the potential displayed in the unpolished music. K.R.I.T. went through that already, however, on three album quality mixtapes, and his major label debut presents a complete rapper, dripping confidence to match his unquestioned ability. Tracks like Cool 2 Be Southern and I Got This read more…