So, the day has finally arrived; ‘GruffWuff‘ is out now!
I’ve been itching to share this with everyone and I very, happy this day has finally arrived. The past five years have been very interesting and for the most part, ever so much fun. I think this is a pretty special way to mark the occasion and I really hope you all enjoy the compilation as much as I do. Initially I thought an idea such as this was just a pipe dream and one that would remain just that. However, the enthusiasm that met my initial inquiries bowled me over, I couldn’t believe how eager everyone was. It is something that’ll stay with me forever and it means an awful lot. Hopefully it will shine a light, brief as it maybe on some of the acts that have brought me the most joy over the past few years.
Thanks to Stevie for all his assistance, Caroline for all her support and putting up with me, Peter Lee for mastering & all the artists who provided tracks for the compilation. A huge amount of credit must go to the artists involved for their eagerness and the ever so brilliant music.
So, to mark 5 years of BarryGruff, here is ‘GruffWuff'; a 19 track compilation of new, previously unreleased and exclusive recordings from some of my very favourite acts over the past 5 years of blogging. There is an act by act guide after the jump, I really hope everyone enjoys this as much as we did putting it together.
It’s yours now, just ‘name your price’ – which includes zero, so technically it’s free.
Fold – ‘That’s It’
Leeds based Trip Hop / Breakbeat / Hip-Hop outfit Fold have the propensity for producing the magnificent. Priding themselves on live production, spoken word samples are set to real drums, bass, guitar and a blend of triggered samples – in tandem they combine for an utterly stunning sound of funk, groove , urgency and cool. ‘That’s It’ is a case in point, and outstanding additions to their unique and ever growing catalog.
Oh Boland – ‘White Boy’
Oh Boland are a garage rock trio – Niall Murphy, Éanna Mac Donnchadha and Simon McDonagh – from Tuam, Co. Galway. Theirs is a rough, ragged and somewhat abrasive sound, with every rumbling note their music proves ever more captivating and palatable, as it screeches and howls harmonically as the sheer thrashing nature rings through. Bands of this ilk are relatively rare commodity Ireland and rarely are they so brilliant. A pure treasure.
Seazoo – ‘Dig’ (Demo Version)
In their relatively short life as a band – since April 2013 – North Walian five-piece Seazoo have impressed at every turn with their multifarious concoction of charming, sprightly indie-pop. Their music is a colourful, curious and smile inducing mix of guitar and keyboard noise, delightful fuzz and smiley melodies, filled with booning vitality; infectious doesn’t even cover the half of it. A band to be treasured and enjoyed.
Mr Huw – ‘Bai Neb Ond Fy Hun’
Welsh is a language that lends itself to music rather well, regardless of whether you can understand it or not, and Mr Huw is one of the most prolific and finest exponents of Welsh language musician there is. Huw’s ragged and edgy DIY style indie/post-punk tunes are filled with pointed riffs and broached with some swoonful, melodic bliss. Mr Huw is an absolute gem!
Dan Amor – ‘Can’t Sleep’
Performing in both Welsh and English, Dan Amor slips between the two, retaining his own sound and style, infused with Welsh culture. Drawn to obscure and different sounds and worked to shape beautifully frail songs, that radiate a lingering warmth. Recalling snippets from Syd Barrett’s fractured solo years or early Graham Coxon, it’s reflective, unassuming and adorable, with a classic pop twist and a joy to behold.
Oisin McCole – ‘Far From The Sea’
An outstanding and undeniably talented folk singer and songwriter, Oisin McCole has managed to remain rather illusive outside his native Dublin. McCole’s lo-fi blues / folk blend is refreshingly humble and entirely devoid of ostentatious. His songs are beautifully written and constructed, never sounding contrived or over-produced, and posses an incredibly intimate sound and personal touch. A seriously talented songwriter, deserving of far greater attention.
Anderson – ‘Things We Have In Common (Acoustic)’
Anderson is the moniker of Dublin musician and songwriter Daniel Anderson, who’s meticulously crafted songs manage a perfect balance from peppy and positive, to the melancholic. This is a folksy sound with irresistible classic ‘60s/’70s pop melodies, draped in Anderson’s intuitive song-writing and storytelling abilities. A national treasure, one that Ireland just hasn’t woken up to yet.
Knoxville Morning – ‘Bridget’
The Knoxville Morning project was inspired by a trip around the USA by chief troublemaker Ciaran Dwyer, the result of which is a combination of sweet folk, country and Americana. While it certainly wears it’s US influences on it’s sleeve, Ciaran’s intuitive storytelling remains a cornerstone as does their home town roots. Long standing BarryGruff favourites that never cease to deliver, time after time.
Nathan Conway – ‘Babycheeno’
Nathan Conway is one of Ireland’s most underrated songwriters, a veritable treasure throve of magical songs. Taking old folk, gospel and good time rock n roll, to create a beautiful, timeless and assured soulful country sound. Conway’s intuitive storytelling and striking vocals bringing it all home, painting vivid pictures with his words. Beautiful, timeless and assured.
Disconcerting P – ‘Treated You Rough’
Disconcerting P AKA Padraig McCauley has impressed as much as any Irish artist over the past few years – prolific, passionate and prodigious – McCauley’s already amassed a pretty impressive back catalogue. As a songwriter, singer and performer, he entertains us through a vast range of extensive influences and genre splicing styles, carefully crafted into soothing, dreamy and jaunty americana/country tinged jams. For someone with such an abundance of talent and dearth of great tunes, it is perplexing how he’s remained in the shadows for so long.
The Expert – ‘Swapsies’
Expert by name, expert by nature, The Expert, the production half of Messiah J & The Expert, has been has been producing beats for over fifteen years and it shows. His more recent solo output has been astoundingly good; gloriously smooth, head nodding adventures, spliced and diced into infectious beat filled jams. A supreme talent, an expert you might say.
SertOne – ‘Seventeen’
Liverpool-based Irish producer SertOne has been one of Ireland’s finest producers for some time. Always fresh, original, innovative and thoroughly enjoyable, and that’s the way we like it. It’s splendidly slick and riveting beat music, indebted to Hip Hop as much as the electronic side of production. Layered warm textures meet twitchy percussion and rhythms, stabs of synth for a wholly irresistible listen. A class act. No doubt about it.
Imploded View – ‘Barry’s Game’
From his Longford hideaway, operating under the guise of Imploded View, Jerome McCormick has proven a reliable source of experimental, sometimes abstract but always interesting electronic music. Sometimes dark and moody, while often bouncy, playful and jovial, Imploded View has you covered whatever your mood. His compositions are always top class.
Channel Swimmer – ‘Racket’
Channel Swimmer is the alias of Birmingham based Welsh beatsmith Mathew Mayes. A master of manipulation, sound manipulation that is, his is a world of lavish exploration through genres, styles and eras. Meticulously crafted, you will be lost in a sea of breathtakingly lush layers, choice samples and snappy beats, maintaining a shimmering warm glow of sheer joy happiness . ‘Racket’ is an exemplary display of his marvellous touch.
Monto – ‘Yeuh’
Wicklow producer Monto has been one of Ireland’s most exciting young producers for some time. From his earliest beginnings, his talent was as clear as day. Heavily indebted to hip-hop, beats are his forte, pure and simple. Monto has a knack for taken on a tranquil head-nodding wander through seductive samples and rich and celestial sounds. A real master at work.
Open Window – ‘003 (Africa)’
Formerly going under the guises of Sliab Cuinciu & Cuinciu, Open Window is the latest name for Wicklow producer Ross McDonald’s superlative electronic output. To date he has impressed no end with a magnificent sound that draws inspiration from a wealth of hip hop, synth pop, disco and electronic influences. No matter what name he chooses as an alias, McDonald is firmly perched at the top end of a rather talented bunch of emerging homegrown electronic producers.
Captain Moonlight – ‘What Is Property?’
Obsessive about politics, philosophy, literature, music and hurling, Kilkenny rapper Captain Moonlight, has long been one of Irish Hip Hop’s shining lights. Never one to shirk saying what’s on his mind, he tackles serious political issues, creating intelligent, hard-hitting, often humorous hip-hop in the process.
GEM_DOS – ‘Mag D’Allen’
Originally from South East London, GEM_DOS is a hard one to place in one genre or another. Broadly speaking this is electronica but it is peppered with techno and drum and bass elements throughout. Each new release is a little different to what’s gone before and experimentation has become his forte; a trait evident on his inclusion.
Hippies Vs Ghosts – ‘Three Shadows’
Since hurtling on to the scene close to two years ago, Hippies Vs Ghosts, the side project from We Are Animal guitarist & vocalist, Owain Ginsberg, has regularly and monumentally blown us away with his kaleidoscopic, instrumental Morricone meets krautrock sound. It has been a fruitful two years, during which he’s served up numerous quality EPs, one off tracks and a sublime debut album, Mother Tongue. It’s fair to say keep tabs on Hippies Vs Ghosts has been nothing short of breathtakingly exciting.