‘Tour de Picnic’ – The Bicylce Diares #3

It’s a couple of weeks into this 90km ‘Tour de Picnic’ malarkey and things are going pretty well even if I didn’t get any real-time on the bike last week due to two broken pedals. It provided the perfect opportunity to get some sponsorship in, it’s about raising funds for Temple Street Children’s Hospital after all. Sponsorship has gone very well since the last time with the total amount received up to an impressive €327 – Thanks to everyone, you know who you are. If you would like to sponsor you can go to my charity page.

I managed to get out on the bike this week with the express purpose of increasing from two weeks ago’s 36km inaugural cycle. I kind of had a plan as I left Newbridge the back way once more through Barretstown and Tankards Garden heading towards Naas. Instead of heading into Naas I turned off at Jigginstown House towards Kilcullen in an attempt to cover some of the actual ‘tour’ which will pass this way.

Continue reading

Video: Mount Kimbie – ‘Would Know’

You forgot a username for the YouTube shortcode

I’ve just begun sinking my teeth into Mount Kimbie’s album Crooks and Lovers. It’s pretty experimental stuff with a variety of dub, electronica, guitars and ambience, certainly worth a listen but while its way too early comprehensively report on the album here’s the new video for ‘Would Know’.

The Charlatans ‘Love is Ending’

You forgot a username for the YouTube shortcode

To be honest apart from a live reputation mainly due to the quality of their back catalogue it seemed the best years were well and truly behind The Charlatans. Ahead of their 11th studio album in September they have returned with new single ‘Love is Ending’ which sees them return to their roots somewhat and produce what is without doubt their best track for many years.

Who We Touch will be released 7 September but for now check out the video directed by The Jesus & Mary Chain’s Douglas Hart.

The Chemical Brothers ‘Further’

The Chemical Brothers had a pretty straightforward approach to making albums blending dance floor fillers with expansive melodic psychedelic tracks and well-known collaborations wherever possible. This formula only came unstuck recently with a number of lacklustre and mediocre albums which placed 7th album Further as watershed moment in The Chemical Brothers career.

They’ve gone back to the drawing board and dispensed with the swarm of guest vocalists which often clouded more recent works. Free from the burden of creating tunes to suit collaborators their undoubted talent is let loose to full effect. This rediscovered independence has allowed them to create a more patient album of substance, concentrating on building slowly to memorable crescendos which are all wrapped up nicely in melodic psychedelic vibes.

The high points here are the techno styled ‘Horse Power’, hazy meandering and summery ‘Swoon’ and the choppy and fun ‘Dissolve’. Further is a record set to simmer rather than boil but like good food it takes time and effort – they have well and truly blown away the cobwebs and started again.

The Chemical Brothers – Swoon

The Chemical Brothers – Dissolve

Return of The Bees ‘Silver Line’

The return of everyone’s favourite Isle of Wight export The Bees is not before time. It follows 2007’s superb Octopus and 2008’s mixtape affair Sound Selection.  They are one of the most under-rated, overlooked but talented bands to emerge in the past few years and hopefully they will once again deliver a refreshing alternative to existing ‘indie scene’ with their genre defying mix of 60′s rock, folk, reggae, soul and jazz.

First out of the traps is ‘Silver Line’, a pretty simple but beautifully mellow downbeat meandering folky song with touches of their unique speciality, eccentricity – it’s early days but this has me pretty excited.

But what do you think?

Mp3: The Bees – Silver Line

Continue reading

Erol Alkan ‘Hard Summer Mix’

Erol Alkan has recorded a live and exclusive rousing 60 minute mix for the Hard Summer Party, which he will be co-headlining in LA on Saturday 7th August. By live the man himself sums it up best as “You know, 2 decks and a mixer. No ableton / Warts and ALL”.

The tracklisting hasn’t been made available yet for some reason but I’m sure you will be familiar with many of the tunes on offer and it just so happens we have it here, so get your ears round this.

Erol Alkan’s ‘Hard Summer Mix’

Inbox Jukebox: Tone Idle, Red Army, Kid Adrift & Live at Kalibou Beach

Live at Kalibou Beach

With an almost overwhelming amount of emails coming through each day it’s hard to post everything that’s good. This is an attempt at rectifying this problem and showing some love to the ones which deserve yours and my attention.

Mp3: Live at Kalibou BeachSlushball

Live at Kalibou Beach are electro duo Dhom and May from Dresden, Germany who “like guitars, some screaming, toy guns, stars and jumping in pools”. This eccentricity is certainly replicated in their music, a rather quirky, uplifting but industrial brand of electro pop with flashes of 8-bit blips. They follow-up last years debut album Brilliant Eyes with Herz Esbjerg in August.

Red Army – Hashrock

Red Army (aka James Fuhring) is no newbie, playing and creating drum & bass since the late nineties and has even hooked up with the maestro Alec Empire. Drum & bass can sometimes seem severely repetitive but thankfully there’s none of that on show here –  much more complex dark, sweeping, forceful and punchy stuff.

Tone Idle – Roll The Drums

Based in the South East of England Tone Idle are duo James Matlock and Marc Manning. These guys have been making bass-filled synth-accented electro tunes together for about 9 months and have also worked closely with A1 Bassline, Tek-One, Joy Orbison and Kavsrave. With a pile of fresh music waiting for release later this year this is surely only the beginning of the story.

Kid Adrift – Static

Glasgow’s Kid Adrift is walking the fine line between rock and electro which can sometimes blow up in your face. That’s not the case here and he’s very much his own man. It is big, dirty and screaming with influences of dubstep and drum & bass – lots of blips, beeps, bass, guitar hooks and catchy vocals galore. ‘Static’ is taken from Oxytocin EP is out now.

The Like ‘Release Me’

The Like could quite possibly be one of the best 60’s bands there never was. Their latest record Release Me is a brimmy with cheerful, inoffensive well-crafted, catchy songs of the 60’s pop variety with more vocal harmonies, “Ooos” and “Ahhhs” than you can shake a stick at.

This certainly won’t be boldy breaking new musical boundaries as the LA girls have for all intense and puropse made a record with a real retro vibe, yet not at one time does it feel old, stale or tired. It sounds very much like what you’d imagine 60’s music to sound like (if that’s not too confusing) and is likely down to producer Mark Ronson’s knack for getting this sound spot on a la Amy Winehouse or Candie Payne.

Cheery times.

Mp3: The Like – Release Me

The Like – He’s Not A Boy

The Mighty Stef ‘Thank Christ for the Kids’ [For Free]

Dublin’s finest troubadour The Mighty Stef has just announce he is giving away his new single ‘Thank Christ for the Kids’ as a free download on his site. It’s his first new material since releasing the splendid 100 Midnights early last year and it once again conveys the varied musical talents Stef possess, making music being true to himself and his lyrics. Definitely one of Ireland’s best talents at present, lets hope there’s a new album to boot.

Go to his site to download the ‘Thank Christ for the Kids’ for free now

The Mighty Stef – Thank Christ For The Kids

The Hives ‘Civilization’s Dying’

It’s Sunday, I’m pretty tired but are The Hives cheating with other people’s songs?

The first and last most of us heard of The Hives was the release of Your New Favourite Band in 2001 but apparently they’ve been banging out records pretty regular over the years unbeknownst to myself . The reacquaintance comes in the shape of cover of 1981’s ‘Civilization’s Dying’  by the Indianapolis punk band Zero Boys. The Hives’ version is more polished than the original and sounds a lot like now defunct Dublin Band The Things but to choose  a blazing rant of a song about the world going down the toilet is certainly pretty apt – good stuff.

Civilisation’s Dying is taken from the Tarred and Feathered EP out now.

The Hives – Civilization’s Dying

Continue reading