The Alarmist

Posted: 2011-10-08 19:23   |  More posts about art music

Easily the best Irish band at the moment - here's a video of them performing "Clapper".

You can listen to a full EP from them here.


A Winged Victory For The Sullen

Posted: 2011-10-07 13:33   |  More posts about art music

Performing the opening track from their self-titled album in their first live radio session:


You could lose your mind in here; your money too

Posted: 2010-12-13 23:07   |  More posts about art music

Been listening to this an awful lot in the past few days. A little gem that this new recommendation service brought up. Enjoy!

(Ned Collette - The Country With A Smile)


The Videogame Music Preservation Foundation

Posted: 2010-08-20 18:24   |  More posts about art computer games computers downloads electronic internet music

A friend came across this website a few weeks ago, and I was very excited about it - an archive of plenty of video game music (mainly for DOS, which is what I grew up with), all recorded properly in order to maximise the nostalgia, and made available in ogg format.

I contacted the guy who runs it about setting up a torrent of the entire archive, and he very kindly obliged. You can get the entire collection here (~4.4GB in total). Enjoy!


For a soldier he leads a very fine life and he always is blessed with a charming young wife

Posted: 2010-07-17 16:01   |  More posts about art ireland music poetry war words

Paul Brady's legendary 1977 recording of the old Irish anti-recruitment song Arthur McBride:



Bloody Sunday

Posted: 2010-06-15 20:21   |  More posts about ireland music news politics religion the troubles

Today, the Saville Report into the events of Bloody Sunday was published. You can read it in full here. British Prime Minister David Cameron summed up:

  • No warning had been given to any civilians before the soldiers opened fire
  • None of the soldiers fired in response to attacks by petrol bombers or stone throwers
  • Some of those killed or injured were clearly fleeing or going to help those injured or dying
  • None of the casualties was posing a threat or doing anything that would justify their shooting
  • Many of the soldiers lied about their actions
  • The events of Bloody Sunday were not premeditated
  • Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein, was present at the time of the violence and "probably armed with a sub-machine gun" but did not engage in "any activity that provided any of the soldiers with any justification for opening fire"

The inquiry ran for 12 years at an ultimate expense of £195M. Its findings have been widely greeted positively.

What I post today is not directly connected but certainly not unrelated: a debate -- I use the term loosely -- between Fintan O'Toole of the Irish Times and members of the Wolfe Tones, an Irish rebel music band who have enjoyed a long, successful career. Fintan contends their music and their style of performing are inherently racist and filled with hate-speech, while the Wolfe Tones assert that... Well, that Fintan is lacking a sense of humour, that his knowledge of the history of The Troubles is lacking and that he shouldn't be able to consider himself Irish.

While even after having watched it countless times, to me it is completely obvious who wins this farce of a "debate", the Youtube comments tell a different story:

In any event, here is the "debate", in full:




Posted: 2010-06-05 12:26   |  More posts about art electronic experimental music oddities

I've been listening to Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti a lot today, after having discovered them through this boomkat review. The album is absolutely stunning and while discussing it with a friend, it raised the question of a recently very prominent and fashionable trend in underground music: emulating sounds of the past, not just in style but in their entire aesthetic altogether. (See Nite Jewel, Best Coast, The Advisory Circle, etc.)

The concept of Hauntology was then brought to my attention by a knowledgeable member of the electronic music community. From Wikipedia:

The idea suggests that the present exists only with respect to the past, and that society after the end of history will begin to orient itself towards ideas and aesthetics that are thought of as rustic, bizarre or "old-timey"; that is, towards the "ghost" of the past. In this, it is has some similarity with the cyberpunk literary movement. Derrida holds that because of this intellectual realignment, the end of history will be unsatisfactory and untenable.

The name and concept fundamentally come from Marx's assertion that a "spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of communism." Derrida holds that the spirit of Karl Marx is even more relevant after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the demise of communism, that the West's separation from the ignorance of the suffering still present in the world will "haunt" it and provide the impetus for a fresh interest in communism.



Music discoveries of 2009 - Part I

Posted: 2010-06-03 18:11   |  More posts about art music

Something I've been meaning to get around to for a while. Well, here it is. 2009 was a particularly good year for finding good music, new and old, so I'm going to share some of my most treasured discoveries here. Being anything but a fan of music journalism, I'll let the music speak for itself, adding as few words as possible.

This first installation in the series will focus on more "traditional" music in comparison to the music that will be featured in the following parts. In other words: plenty of singing; plenty of guitars and drums.



Best EP of 2010?

Posted: 2010-05-24 19:19   |  More posts about art experimental music videos

So far, at least. Grouper's split release with Roy Montgomery, of which her part is the stunning Vessel EP, is a masterpiece. The other day I came across the official video for "Hold The Way", the third track of her EP. Directed by Weston Currie, it begins with a short version of the first track, "Hollow Press", overlaid with a distorted recording of some speech, before the song begins for real. Extremely dark, it fits the music perfectly. Enjoy:


Tricks with python and music

Posted: 2010-05-22 17:30   |  More posts about art code computer science computers experimental music oddities

From Music Machinery:

One of my favorite hacks at last weekend’s Music Hack Day is Tristan’s Swinger.  The Swinger is a bit of python code that takes any song and makes it swing.  It does this be taking each beat and time-stretching the first half of each beat while time-shrinking the second half.  It has quite a magical effect.  Some examples:

Every Breath You Take (swing version) by TeeJay Sweet Child O' Mine (Swing Version) by plamere

You can find more examples in the original blog post. The results really are truly impressive. I'm looking forward to playing with Tristan Jehan's code, and also having a look at his PhD thesis:
Machines have the power and potential to make expressive music on their own. This thesis aims to computationally model the process of creating music using experience from listening to examples. Our unbiased signal-based solution models the life cycle of listening, composing, and performing, turning the machine into an active musician, instead of simply an instrument. We accomplish this through an analysis-synthesis technique by combined perceptual and structural modeling of the musical surface, which leads to a minimal data representation.

Fascinating stuff!