A regular dig through bandcamp.com for independent Irish treats.
Sometimes amid the spiralling uncertainty, fatigue and claustrophobia around “these times”, you need a a music straightener.
What generally works for me is extreme noise/ metal violation or serene ambience and minimalism.
This round goes to Dublin duo Mount Alaska, who double-dropped the former last Friday.
Their prescription included new track Undulate, as well as a 16-track Spotify playlist of the music that’s inspired them this year — ambient, neoclassical, electronic and piano.
Undulate is a logical follow-up to last year’s debut album Wave Atlas:
Season One, with its delicate, cloudless piano and electronic murmurs.
Last year when I heard the album I was calling for them to collaborate with Nils Frahm on a soundtrack to some new Scandi-noir drama, but head rubs like this are needed more right now.
Patrúin is a Dublinbased eelctronic label where you’ll also find plenty of ambient balms, but also some Braindance-Rephlex experimentation.
Releases are sparse so far, but the EPs from Cool Uncle and the NIN-winking Tren Rezno come packaged with some nicely designed T-shirts and 12-inch sleeves.
New release For MASI is a charity compilation with all proceeds going to the
Movement of AsylumSeekers in Ireland, to help them end Ireland’s inhumane Direct Provision system.
Dublin-based singers and fiddlers Lucie Azconaga and Consuelo Nerea Breschi are French and Italian, but they’re channelling ancient Celtic spirits on their left-field take on Irish, English and Scottish trad.
It’s corner-of-the=Cobbletone magic, threaded with Lankum-style drones, the pagan psychedelia of the Wicker Man soundtrack, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’s soundtracks and
Lisa O’Neill’s devastating storytelling.
They’re fundraising for a new album on Bandcamp now with a load of collaborators, including Junior Brother, Ian Lynch of Lankum and Anna Mieke — with songs based on all the artists’ experiences of 2020.
Any label named after Dan Akroyd’s aristocratic buffoon Louis Winthorpe III from Trading Places gets my vote from day one, so thankfully the acid, electro and techno delights here are “singularly unique and sculptured in design”.
Winthorpe’s big hitters have been cult acid hero Roy of the Ravers and Irish electro heroes Defekt and Cignol, and they’ve just announced their first comp featuring Lee Kelly, Crispy Jason, Ngoni Egan and Splitradix.