Weekly Playlist

A new look weekly roundup of tracks returns in playlist form for your aural pleasure. What d’you think?

Mp3: The RootsDear God 2.0

‘Dear God 2.0’ is the lead single from The Roots eagerly anticipated 9th studio album How I Got Over.  The track re-imagines the Monsters Of Folk original and features Yim Yames from My Morning Jacket, Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis from Bright Eyes and M. Ward. The last album was absolutely fantastic and this has the appetite well and truly whet.

Mp3: Primary 1 Hold Me Down (The Shoes Remix)

The jury is still out on Primary 1 who were recently added to the Oxegen bill, there is no such indecision with this remix by The Shoes, unanimous verdict – TUNE.

Mp3: We Are Scientists Break It Up

Big fan of With Love And Squalor in 2005, less a fan of follow-up Brain Thrust Mastery, do you see where this is going? Actually the first taster from their new album is pretty good and has renewed my interest somewhat even it does sound a little like Inspiral Carpets.

Mp3: The FallO.F.Y.C Showcase

Your Future Our Clutter is what seems like The Fall’s millionth album (actually 28th). The amazing part is they still sound fresh and never fail to impress under the stewardship of lead man Mark E Smith and this track falls soundly into that category. The late great John Peel’s description of them being “always different, always the same” is certainly apt.

RSAGThe Roamer

‘The Roamer’ is the first single from Be It Right Or Wrong, the follow-up to RSAG’s Organic Sampler, again instituted is Kilkenny man Jeremy Hickey’s DIY ethic which sees him perform entirely by himself. On this evidence there has been a minor change of tact to a softer less abrasive sound.

Foals This Orient (Starkey Remix)

I have yet to give Foals new album Total Life Forever the full attention it probably deserves but this remix by Starkey certainly has, it’s pretty awesome as they say.

Akala – DoubleThink

Akala’s third studio album DoubleThink reaffirms his position as one of the most articulate, intelligent and talented MC’s on the planet tackling racism, sexism, religion, the futility of ‘celebrity’ without missing a beat; offering an alternative to the macho gun and bling orientated mainstream of Hip-Hop. This album is more experimental and forward thinking than previous releases with the concept inspired by novels like George Orwell’s ‘1984’, as a result many of the songs deliver a dystopian vision of the future.

What makes this album so significant and important is the lyrics and perfect delivery, Akala utilises every breath to sound his insightful and meaningful message, sometimes agitated, angry, hopeful but always passionate, clear and brutally honest. Musically he continue to plough his own furrow refusing to be pigeonholed strictly within the grime genre successfully fusing it with electro and rock, no mean feat as many an artist has failed to blend these utterly different styles, all adding purveyed self belief that he can overcome any obstacle or societal oppression.

Akala is a refreshing and thought-provoking voice, let’s hope he’s not the only one.

Akala – XXL

Akala – Yours and my Children

BarryGruff May Mix

I’m thrilled to bring you the first ever mix specially crafted for the readers of barrygruff. The mix comes straight from the hands of my good mate Gavin Elsted of SEBP fame (see I know people) and is the result of a chat over a few pints in our local watering hole in Newbridge when I began this blogging malarky, there’s a wee bit of added hometown pride with this too.

It clocks in at a cool 39 minutes loaded with super fantastic tunes including personal favourites, Alex Metric’s remix of ‘Stylo’ oh yeah. It’s been playing here all day and I’m really, really getting a buzz from this – shame on me for forgetting how brilliant Kill Bill Vol. 4 is, just the thing to brighten up your Sunday!

BarryGruff May Mix


I Want You – Gary Low
Stylo (Alex Metric Remix) – Gorillaz
NASA – Futurecop
Parisian Goldfish – Flying Lotus
Fancy Footwork – Chromeo
Kill Bill Vol. 4 – Modeselektor
Tenderoni (MSTRKRFT Remix) – Chromeo
Standing in the Way of Control (Soulwax remix) – The Gossip
Battlestations (Jape Edit) – Fight Like Apes
Heartbreaker – MSTRKRFT
Diana Won’t – Dimlite

Cheers Gav

Video: Not Squares – Release the Bees

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Belfast’s Not Squares are certainly a band on the rise. Freshly signed to The Richter Collective, probably the most exciting and interesting label in Ireland at the minute, they released the single Asylum earlier in the year. So with a Glastonbury appearence in the bag this week they have gone one better again with ‘Release the Bees’, simply a 7.59 monstourous shuddering beast of a track – the video is pretty ‘epic’ stuff too. More please.

Mp3: Not Squares – ‘Asylum’

Jaydiohead ‘Ignorant Swan Medley’

I wouldn’t be a big fan of either Radiohead or Jay-Z but mash them together and add a dash of brilliance from producer Max Tannone, the man behind Mos Dub, and you have yourself a winner. The album came out last year but this excellent and stylish video produced and directed by Jason Cacioppo has just been released. If you like what you hear you can pick up the full mash-up album Jaydiohead for free.

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Jaydiohead – Ignorant Swan

Mondkopf – Deaf House EP

I first became aware of  Mondkopf via Nialler9 who aptly proclaimed him the “bastard child of Moderat and M83′, I’d be inclined to agree. The 23 year-old French producer is certainly a rising star and last years impressive Galaxy of Nowhere cemented his status, with a new EP on the way for release in July it’s likely you will be hear lots more about this guy.

The EP is full of crunchy beats and complex orchestrations and you can here it below, any odds on an Electric Picnic performance?

Mondkopf – Deaf House EP

Deaf House EP will be released 5th July

New Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire need little introduction, I loved Funeral but had more mixed relationship with Neon Bible which was probably more to do with me rather than them. Anyway Zane Lowe debuted two songs from forthcoming 12″ (he’s making a habit of this sort of thing) while it’s also been announced via their website third album The Suburbs will be released on August 2nd.

‘The Suburbs’ is pretty much what we’ve come to expect from them with really catchy piano lead, it will be running around your head all day. ‘Month of May’ meanwhile is much more intriguing with its uncharacteristic urgent punk vibe, it even has the 1,2,3,4’s, a la Rodney Trotters attempts at music with Mental Mickey. It’s certainly different but I’m liking it!

Third album The Suburbs will be released on August 2nd (UK) /3rd (US). You can pre-order it here.

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

Arcade Fire – Month of May

New: Klaxons – Flashover

It’s been almost 3 years since Klaxons burst onto the music scene with dazzling live sets and the rather impressive debut album Myths Of The Near Future. Where did they go? Their second album was shelved by Polydor for apparently being too “experimental” whatever that means?

Some overdue new material from the forthcoming second album was released last night. It’s produced by Ross Robinson who has worked with Sepultura and Slipknot which might explain why it’s loud and heavy, not exactly what we had come to expect from them but good non the less.

Klaxons – Flashover

It reminds me of something but can’t for the life of me place it!

The Rags – A National Light

Over the past number of years Dublin band The Rags have released a  string of brilliant (if underrated) singles and played scores of impressive live shows, but the long-awaited album appeared to elude them until now and A National Light has certainly been worth the wait.

It’s refreshing to discover a band dealing with the everyday complexities of Irish life and the many issues, social and political which are often left to the preserve of the folk fraternity. Their style and sensibilities has much in common with those of The Libertines and The Smiths, having the ability to comment substantially on social issues while wrapping it up with beautiful poetic lyrics, catchy hooks and cracking tunes.

While there are outside influences its rooted deeply in Dublin, through lyrical content and the distinctive raspy vocal delivery, akin to a Dublin Johnny Rotten. It is the marriage of these two strands that hits the spot. Opener ‘Uniforms & Neckties’ is an angry, stinging attack on the modern money and material obsessed rat race and ‘A National Light’, with a little help from James Joyce declares a dream where parliament is ‘sacked’ and a new ownership the city. Whilst the record is quite angry and forceful it’s still very upbeat, steering clear from the pitfalls of angst, winge ridden rock which has destroyed many an Irish band, instead delivering enjoyable and formidable sound.

This might have arrived just in time with a country full of anger and despair they can provide some respite that we are not the only ones. You might not always agree with what they say, but like so many great song writers he is baring his soul to the world for all to see and that kind of truthfulness and honest can’t be knocked.

The Rags – A National Light

The Rags – Razors & Ropes

A National Light is released Friday 28th May and it’s launched in Whelan’s on Saturday 29th May @ 8pm

[Pre-Order from Itunes|Tickets]

Video: PVT (formerly Pivot) – Window

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New videos are arriving like buses this week. Very excited about PVT’s new album Church With No Magic after hearing this great new tune. Really enjoyed their last album under previous moniker ‘Pivot’ and was lucky enough to catch them at Electric Picnic a few years back where they were on top form. Apparently they had to change their name after “the result of an unexpected legal claim from a band in the United States that used the same name”, new name or not it’s a great tune, roll on August 6th.

Church With No Magic will be released on August 6th.