Friday, November 14, 2008

Worries Again

As I mentioned here, I'm playing this Sunday night at Worries Outanational in the Button Factory in Temple Bar. I haven't played any reggae out in a good while so I'm looking forward to this one and I have a killer 90's roots and dancehall selection lined up featuring tons of Garnett Silk, and yes - Tiger.

It's free in. Doors at about 10.30, I'll be playing at about 11.30 -12.00 for an hour or so, so get down there if you don't want to miss one of my (increasingly) rare live sets.

Hope to see you there!

Caught in the Bryars

Gavin Bryars on Jesus' blood:

"Here was a man, very fragile, someone who was living rough on the streets towards the end of his life. But he was singing this phrase beautifully in tune, with very nice phrasing, even though he has rather a tremulous voice. And at the same time there is this simple optimism in the voice. There's a kind of humanity and dignity in it. Yet here you have someone living in complete adversity. It was that combination of musicality and simple faith which I found incredibly touching.

"There is a dangerous borderline between that and kitsch - you might say, between sentimentality at its worst and sentimentality at its best. People often fight shy of the sentimental and find it rather trite and manipulative - but I can be touched by extraordinarily sentimental things.

"I used to work as a bass player and I would accompany cabaret singers and comedians. All kinds of people. One person would sing something as ordinary as Danny Boy incredibly beautifully, and then someone else would do it and it would seem a cheap gesture. There's a fine line, and for me that old man's voice hovers on just the right side of that line."

From yesterday's Irish Times.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Masters of Mastering

So, you've just completed your dubstep/d+b/electronic masterpiece and are about to send it off to get 1000 12"s pressed but you're worried that the sound from your playstation/gameboy/laptop minijack may not translate too well onto vinyl... what do you do?

Well - Subverts' Macc and Scope have recently started up a small mastering studio catering especially for the likes of you. For a reasonable fee these two will take your badly produced, over compressed and distorted low-fi efforts, and using their decades of audio experience and racks of specialised equipment translate them into something that will sound (at the very least) passable, or (more than likely) crystal clear on wax - thus saving you the expense of remastering to vinyl when your test presses come back sounding like they've been trodden through dogshit and then left in a skip for 6 months.

We've sent a few bits and pieces over to the lads and been very impressed with the results - they are efficient, they put a lot of work and dedication in regardless of the size of the project and, most importantly, they are affordable for those of us running small independent labels with little or no profit margin (everyone in other words). Those of you familiar with SC will already be well aware of the appalling level of audio geekery this duo habitually indulge in, but if you're looking for confirmation, just check out the studio sub-forum or their impressive list of testimonials.

Get over to SC:mastering and check 'em out - no job too big or small!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

RTE Radio One Killin' it

Now that's a title I never thought id find myself writing.

I commented about the irony of (essentially) conservative and traditional radio stations being the main outlet of radical and extreme music on the Irish airwaves some time back. Other than Irish language station Raidi╠Ď Na Life, the FM dial here is populated pretty much by rubbish MOR gash of various varieties with commercial monstrosities Spin and Phantom emerging like stinking rats from the sewer as the only survivors of the great pirate meltdown near the start of the decade - a meltdown which wiped my old Alta mater Power FM off the map when they went off the air in a doomed attempt to gain a license... Strange as it is that state run organisations are taking over musical territories once inhabitated by pirates its good to know that there is still some decent stuff to listen to whilst cleaning up the kitchen in the evening, and three shows have caught my ears recently:

Sound Stories
Presented by Luke Clancy, this is a fantastic show exploring the outer realms of recording, featuring everything from 'the unsettling effect of the disembodied voice' and 'the infrasonic rumbles of the African elephant' to the 'strangely sped-up temporal world of our avian cousins'. I cant recommend this show enough to fans of field recordings, electro acoustics, ambient and all round sonic strangeness. Thursdays at 8.30 - though the current series is now over.

Nigel Wood's Wide World
Excellent 'World' music show which I stumbled across a few months back. All kinds of traditional sounds but mainly contemporary pop and folk from around the globe. Nigel seems to have an impressive wealth of knowledge about the music, so you get some intelligent commentary too. Fridays at 9.

Rebel Music: Reggae Story
This 5 part documentary type show finished last week, and yes, it had an obligatory Bob Marely episode, yes they skimped over dub and dancehall, and yes I have many issues with the formatting, the presenters and the selection of tunes, but all said, it was a noteworthy attempt by RTE to break some new ground...


All of these shows can be listened to on the links provided above - big up Neilo for the heads up on some of this stuff.