While we’re still sharpening the knives over the Golfgate gombeens and still none the wiser about ‘wet pubs’, you’ve another chance to soak up some Irish music on the latest Bandcamp Friday, when the digital music platform waives its fees and gives 100% to artists.
Here’s a list of independent Irish acts and labels with recent releases, who deserve a few pints’ worth of your cash.
One of Ireland’s loudest bands have been quietly getting their debut album ready for release, drip-feeding singles in the absence of sweaty clubs with speakers to blow.
Staring At Clocks is out in November, and the singles Test Trip and Gaslight double down on their USP of grungy noise-rock offset by shoe- gaze/dreampop hooks. There’ll be more screaming on that album, though.
Bristol-based Irish label Rua Sound puts out “high velocity electronic music aimed squarely at the dance floor”, and that velocity will hit you with all manner of time signatures.
Flitting from old skool jungle to future dub and mechanised bass music, it’s a workout for the head as well as the feet.
Latest release is Arcane’s Labyrinth EP, out today, and Rua boss Rob Flynn also has an unreal Spotify playlist called Half-time Jungle that’s he’s always updating with “bangorz”.
DOLLAR PICKLE RECORDS
The self-proclaimed “world’s biggest North Kerry noise label”, Dollar Pickle revels in an anarchic shitposting vibe, with most of their 90-odd releases on Bandcamp taking a snide swipe at crap Irish tropes and sacred cows.
So we might have bastardised versions of country & Irish, a ‘Bryan Dobson’ album called
Scumpig Fuckpocalypse featuring Dobbo’s lines through a harsh noise mincer, or a quarantine comp called Thatcher Is Still Dead. Won’t be on the jukebox in a Danny Healy-Rae pub.
FLY HIGH SOCIETY
If you’ve been anywhere near social media over the last few months (who hasn’t ffs), you’ll know God Knows’ Who’s Asking EP I & II has been a bit of a ‘moment’ in Irish hip-hop.
On the EP, and its following South West Allstars and East Coast remixes, the MC rounded up a hit squad of rising artists for a blitz of collabs and posse cuts, featuring Denise Chaila, his Rusangano brother MuRli, Mango, Nealo, Hazey Haze, Bella Ciao and loads more, knocked into shape with Fly High Society beats.
Founded by Bolts and Portadown producer SertOne, Fly High are all about rugged hiphop and future bass, but their latest release by Aratita Electronik Jazz Quintet goes down a spiritual jazz path — with one track on the Deosil EP called The Coltrane Prayer.
Kiev-born, Baltomore-raised and Leitrim-based artist Natalia Beylis is a musical traveller of sorts, with her releases all sonic postcards with an evocative sense of time and place.
It could be a field recordings of bird- song, a water tap in Wexford, or Antwerp Central Station, or a collection of recordings of her playing randomly-found pianos around Ireland, Holland or Morocco, but she captures the beauty in these fleeting moments.
Don’t be coming for bangers, but a sensory time-out — you know you need it.
CURSED MONK RECORDS
Galway DIY label Cursed Monk Records is a go-to hovel of weirdo heaviness — from doom metal to sludge, to ritual drone music and electrocuting noise.
The label was started in 2017 as an outlet for Irish acts, but these Cursed ones now feature acts from all over the world (“the darker, weirder and heavier the better”).
I don’t mean to go on a Peter Kay ‘remember this’ bender, but Sunken Foal’s recent confectionary-themed album Hexose and following EPs brought back plenty of primary
school tuck shop vibes — odes to Caramacs, Bounty bars, Kimberley Mikados in the form of velvet-whipped electronica and delicate synth soundtracks. His label Countersunk has plenty of other sweet stuff, from his Press Charges and Natural History Museum projects, the 101 Beats Per Minute compila- tions featuring a rake of electronic producers, and even (“unsanctioned”) Autechre covers.