Digging through bandcamp.com for the best in Irish underground sounds — this week fro leftfield electronics to headbutt grindcore.
Toronto-based Dubliner Sinead Bermingham is a producer and multi-instrumentalist whose creations are teeming with organic life amid the electronics.
Through intricate programming, acoustic harp, wispy vocals and trickling water effects, she creates a psychedelic sonic world that’s not a million miles from Alexandra Drewchin’s creations as Eartheater.
Her new album is called Enchantment, and it’s a genuinely bewitching, magical left turn that fully leans into the title.
Front End Synthetics
Front End Synthetics have been unearthing leftfield electronics from their Dublin base since 2000, with a lot of activity on Bandcamp in 2020 — including new releases and digital resurrections of 12-inches, CDRs and one-off CD compilations that might not have survived the streaming arms race.
So while you can indulge in recent techno, electro, drones and outlier electronica from the likes of the Butthole Surfers-nodding Whirling Hall of Knives, Sunken Foal, Education, Spectac, Omni, Neanderthal Chum and Ordnance Survey, there’s plenty in the vaults, including their first decade round-up FES Is Ten, and the awesome 2001 Ambulance! EP.
The artwork on most of their 2020 releases seem to be Rorschach tests of sorts featuring metal implements, like extreme metal band Carcass on mushrooms. But I only see a bunch of daffodils in the new EP by Neanderthal Chum, so I’m not too worried.
They’re keeping up the eclectic and rapid release rate by putting out an epic new work by avant-garde composer, producer, and intermedia artist Daniel Figgis, Engine Detail — out on October 31.
Extreme metal is often politically charged, especially when it comes to grindcore. But while you can unpack the underlying polemic buried under Napalm Death’s feral growls, sometimes a surface level sonic atrocity is enough.
Belfast solo artist Kim Karkrashian (10/10 for the name!) makes self-professed “angry, stupid, dissonant grindcore… laughing at anything and everyone in the process”, and his 2018 debut album was called Eternal Fuck Off.
He does have songs called Jim Wells and Arlene, after the DUP goons, and his album Coronamania has UK health minister clown Matt Hancock on the cover, so he’s at least aiming his festering vocals and drum machine blastbeats at all the right targets. Belfast grindcore hasn’t been this much nasty craic since the mighty Lesshelp’s first tape demos in the 90s.