SURGEON & LADY STARLIGHT, District 8, Dublin.
One of the most unlikely tag teams of recent years — this partnership was forged when Lady Gaga collaborator Lady Starlight gave a shout-out to techno pioneer Surgeon at a Gaga gig in his home city Birmingham, and he happened to be in the crowd.
After grabbing her after the show and bonding over a few studio sessions, the pair ended up supporting Gaga at her ArtRAVE show in Paris, to the dismay of techno purists. Even Dave Clarke joined in the chorus of boos.
The shrieking mobs jumped the gun, though, with Clarke leading the U-turns after watching the pair’s raw, banging improvised analogue techno set.
Far from being a novelty, they’re full-on collaborators these days, and they’ll ramp up the filth even further for the District 8 crew.
CLONAKILTY INTERNATIONAL GUITAR FESTIVAL, various venues, Clonakilty, until Sunday
The Redneck Manifesto’s only gig of the year may have grabbed all the headlines for this one, but the Clonakilty International Guitar Festival is one of Cork’s most-loved music weekenders.
Now in its 12th edition, organisers point out that it’s not all “starch-collared and stuffy-nosed” musos huddled in dark corners stroking beards, but a genuine, non-profit celebration of the guitar — from “virtuosos to noodlers”.
Bar the Rednecks (pictured), guests include Wyvern Lingo, Bill Shanley, Steve Cooney and loads more.
RAGING SPEEDHORN, Voodoo Lounge, Dublin, tomorrow, & Voodoo, Belfast, Sunday
You’d think after nearly a decade out of the game, UK metal act Raging Speedhorn would’ve gone a bit limp, but their new album Lost Ritual is a vicious, sprawling beast of a thing.
The follow-up to 2007’s Before the Sea Was Built is another balancing act between downtuned sludge, hardcore and fear-inducing stoner rock — with frontman still doing his best Phil Anselmo impression from Pantera’s glory days.
The album landed after a Pledge campaign by the Northampton act, and there won’t be many asking for their money back.
RUSANGANO FAMILY, Spiegeltent, Dublin Fringe Festival, Sunday
Rusangano Family’s debut album Let The Dead Bury the Dead was a perfect gift to everyone who’d been raving about the hip-hop trio for a few years, with a trail of killer festival gigs, support slots and EPs behind them.
Producer Mynameisjohn and rapper God knows were the initial fuse as a duo, with MC Murli the last piece who’s slotted in perfectly. The first-generation immigrants from Zimbabwe and Togo touch on identity crisis while celebrating Ireland’s increasing multiculturism.
Mynameisjohn’s production is a nod to crate-digging hip-hop trailblazers like RZA, Onra and Prefuse 73, with ragga, soul and Afrobeat among his go-to templates.
If their live reputation preceded the album’s release, the raucous launch at the Sugar Club, followed by WTF shows at Body & Soul and the Picnic, sealed the deal as Ireland’s biggest success of 2016.
Flatbush Zombies, The Academy, Dublin, Tuesday
Dodgy pun or not, Flatbush Zombies’ debut studio album is one of the most singular hip-hop releases of the year , following a two deadly mixtapes and a cult following going back five years.
New York trio (Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice and Erick Arc Elliott) aren’t afraid to touch on spiritualism, street talk and mental health struggles, but it’s all through a cosmic, psychedelic prism – from their comic book personas to Elliott’s productions that veer between orchestral to free jazz, trap and the kind of gritty, scuffed beats favoured by Gonjasufi.
- Original version in Irish Star