2015 According to The Expert

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One of my proudest achievements on the blog this year, or any year for that matter, is the release of 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.

It was a truly fantastic way to mark 5 years of BarryGruff and I am incredibly grateful to everyone involved and the overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic response. As 2015 draws to a close, I have enlisted help from people who made the compilation what it was, to chat about their favourite moments and sounds from year, and up next is The Expert.

Dublin’s hip hop producer extraordinaire The Expert (aka Cian Galvin), the production half of Messiah J & The Expert, has been has been producing beats for over fifteen years and it shows. His solo output, debut album included, 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.

Before we take a look at his 2015 sound selections, you should check out The Expert’s superb fantastic debut album, Dynamic Drift and his GruffWuff inclusion, ‘Swapsies’ – of which you can download here for FREE.

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2015 According to Stephen Connelly

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One of my proudest achievements on the blog this year, or any year for that matter, is the release of 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.

It was a truly fantastic way to mark 5 years of BarryGruff and I am incredibly grateful to everyone involved and the overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic response. As 2015 draws to a close, I have enlisted help from people who made the compilation what it was, to chat about their favourite moments and sounds from year, and up next, Stephen Connelly.

As was the case with any amount of gigs and whatnot, Stevie was my right hand man on GruffWuff and it wouldn’t have happened without him (or if it did, it wouldn’t have been half as good). His artwork was the final piece of the jigsaw, and it’s fuckin’ great (even if everyone on Broadsheet didn’t agree – the internet is a cruel mistress). A pleasure to work with as always, I’d like to thank him for all his work and enthusiasm toward GruffWuff, cheers buddy. When he’s not being hassled into doing stuff with me, among other things, he plays in Knoxville Morning, makes excellent video’s for bands and tries his best at 5-a-side. Now, time to take a look at his 2015 sound selections….

What was your personal high point of this year, musical and/or otherwise?

Three events stand out:

1. Really enjoyed working so close on the Gruffwuff compilation. Great to see so many bands getting behind the blog and also the great feedback we received.

 

2. It’s only really hitting me now that I got make the video for A Lazarus Soul’s latest single, ‘Mercury Hit a High’. I fucking love that band and to be able to contribute to one of my favourite albums was an incredible feeling.

3. Gig of the year has to go to Lynched in The Crane Bar in Galway. I was an emotional wreck by the end of the show, spent the week wrecking friends heads about how good it was going to be and they didn’t disappoint. Hadn’t got a buzz off Irish folk music since L.A.P.D. played the Electric Picnic a few years back.

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2015 According to Captain Moonlight

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One of my proudest achievements on the blog this year, or any year for that matter, is the release of 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.

It was a truly fantastic way to mark 5 years of BarryGruff and I am incredibly grateful to everyone involved and the overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic response. As 2015 draws to a close, I have enlisted help from people who made the compilation what it was, to chat about their favourite moments and sounds from year, and up next, it’s Captain Moonlight.

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. One of my favourite artists over the past decade, and gent too.

Before we take a look at his 2015 sound selections, you should check out Captain Moonlight’s previous, excellent albums and his GruffWuff inclusion, ‘What Is Property’ – of which you can download here for FREE.

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2015 According to Knoxville Morning

Knoxville Morning 2015

One of my proudest achievements on the blog this year, or any year for that matter, is the release of 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.

It was a truly fantastic way to mark 5 years of BarryGruff and I am incredibly grateful to everyone involved and the overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic response. As 2015 draws to a close, I have enlisted help from people who made the compilation what it was, to chat about their favourite moments and sounds from year, and up next is Ciaran Dwyer, of Knoxville Morning.

The Knoxville Morning project was inspired by a trip around the USA taken 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. A longtime BarryGruff favourite that never cease to deliver, again and again.

Before we take a look at his 2015 sound selections, you should check out Knoxville Morning’s fabulous self-titled debut LP, and their GruffWuff inclusion, ‘Bridget’ – of which you can download here for FREE.

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2015 According to Seth Mowshowitz from Fold

One of my proudest achievements on the blog this year, or any year for that matter, is the release of 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.

It was a truly fantastic way to mark 5 years of BarryGruff and I am incredibly grateful to everyone involved and the overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic response. As 2015 draws to a close, I have enlisted help from people who made the compilation what it was, to chat about their favourite moments and sounds from year, and up next is Seth Mowshowitz, from Fold.

Leeds based Trip Hop / Breakbeat / Hip-Hop outfit Fold have the propensity for producing the magnificent. The inventive and experimental quartet pride themselves on live production, ceating incredible music while blending their enviable creativity with a social consciousness. In a similar sort of vein to Public Service Broadcasting, spoken word samples are set to real drums, bass, guitar and a blend of triggered samples, together they combine for an utterly stunning sound of funk, groove, urgency and cool. Long-standing BarryGruff favourites, Fold are one of the most unique and exciting acts around.

Before we take a look at his 2015 sound selections, you should check out Fold’s superb self-titled debut album, and their GruffWuff inclusion, ‘That’s It’ – of which you can download here for FREE.

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2015 According to Mr Huw

Mr Huw Du Llun

One of my proudest achievements on the blog this year, or any year for that matter, is the release of 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.

It was a truly fantastic way to mark 5 years of BarryGruff and I am incredibly grateful to everyone involved and the overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic response. As 2015 draws to a close, I have enlisted help from people who made the compilation what it was, to chat about their favourite moments and sounds from year, and up next is Mr Huw.

Welsh maestro Mr Huw is an artist to be treasured, cherished and of course, enjoyed. Welsh lends itself to music rather well, regardless of whether you can understand it or not, and he is one of the most prolific and finest exponents of Welsh language music out there. Huw’s rough and unpolished, DIY style indie/post-punk has a glorious Half Man Half Biscuit aesthetic to it and generally packed with powerful rhythms, pointed riffs and broached with some infectious melodies and peppered with hooks you could hang your hat on. Mr Huw is an absolute gem! 

Before we take a look at his 2015 sound selections, you should check out his sublime Du Llun EP (which roughly translates as ‘Black Monday’), and Mr Huw’s GruffWuff inclusion, ‘Bai Neb Ond Fy Hun’ – of which you can download here for FREE.

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2015 According to Disconcerting P

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One of my proudest achievements on the blog this year, or any year for that matter, is the release of 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.

It was a truly fantastic way to mark 5 years of BarryGruff and I am incredibly grateful to everyone involved and the overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic response. As 2015 draws to a close, I have enlisted help from people who made the compilation what it was, to chat about their favourite moments and sounds from year, and up first is Padraig McCauley of Disconcerting P.

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. It’s been said many times, but how someone with an abundance of talent and dearth of great tunes can remain in the shadows for so long, is a bloody mystery.

Before we take a look at his 2015 sound selections, you should check out his wonderful Shakin EP, and Disconcerting P’s GruffWuff inclusion, ‘Treated You Rough’ – of which you can download here for FREE.

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BarryGruff Playlist October 2015

October 2015

A now regular monthly feature, whereby we round up all the blog action with a nice, neat and handy playlist of tracks featured during the month.

October was another busy month. We we’re introduced to Primitive World, Soft Serve, Auramics, Jade Statues, New Pope, Mesa Luna & Silver Matter. There were excellent new singles from Totalitarian, The Statics, Cuinciu, Juice, Martha Ffion & Queen of Jeans. And we had tunes from Field Music, Nancy Leticia & Fold ahead of their respective, new and forthcoming albums. There as also the not so small matter of an interview with Super Furry Animals’ resident electronic and keyboard wizard, Cian Ciaran – read it here.

Oh, and there were two new episodes of ‘Millions Like Us’, Justin Beats & I’s new music podcast extravaganza for 604now (if you missed them, why not check out episodes #3 & #4 here). You can also subscribe to ‘Millions Like Us’ on iTunes & Podcast Republic or find us on Facebook & Twitter.

Well then, that’s that for another month – listen to BarryGruff’s October 2015 playlist below. Enjoy!

 

BarryGruff Playlist August 2015

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A now regular monthly feature, whereby we round up all the blog action with a nice, neat and handy playlist of tracks featured during the month.

August was pretty damn good! We had new tunes from Anderson, The Foetals, The Annulments and DRINKS ahead of their respective, forthcoming new albums. There were excellent new singles from SALES, Cornershop, Imploded View, Foreign/National and Silverbacks, and EPs from Mr Huw & Dog Legs. Oh, and Johnny Feeney shared his albums of the year so far too.

Also featured on this month’s playlist are great tracks from Martha Ffion, Sh-Shakes, SQRD, BUCK, and Ghost Culture’s, Ghostpoet remix . So, August, pretty good alright.

Listen to BarryGruff’s August 2015 playlist below.

Favourite New Sounds of 2014

 

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Originally published for Dukla Prague Away Kit on November 27th 2014 – where by I shared some of my favourite new musical discoveries from 2014. Pretty self-explanatory this….

David Harks

“Infectious, upbeat and colourful..”

Hailing from Brighton in the UK, David Harks, is a singer-songwriter who creates lush elegant electronic-pop music. Harks left quite an impression throughout 2013 with a number of beautiful, blissful and uplifting singles. The pièce de résistance of this heart-pumping, well-whisked blend of soul and pop, with electronic undertones being ‘Illusion’. Hushed, inviting and transfixing vocals float upon a beautifully warm melody. Flowering beats and percussion, usher a soft hypnotic psychedelic feel and a simply irresistible listen. Infectious, upbeat and colourful, with tender vocals, it is a soul-filled, synth-kissed, soothing sound with flourishes of warmth. David Harks’ is definitely worth some of your time and one to keep your eye on in future.

Distant Cousin

“Hazy chants, swirling synth and subtle melodic embellishments”

Earlier this year LA-based producer Distant Cousin released his promising and stylistically diverse self-titled debut EP. Both pensively cinematic and reflective, it delves headlong into a textural depth that goes far beyond the constraints of one single genre. Done with majestic progression, he paves a winding path through a chilling hinterland of electronica, techno and even hip-hop. Of which, ‘Floating/Above Nothing’ is a perfect example of this exemplary touch. Opening in bubbling slow-burning fashion, the murky origins are expanded upon by hazy chants, swirling synth and subtle melodic embellishments. Chugging relentlessly toward a deep and mysterious well of rich sounds, then bang, we have lift off. A heavy bassline and mutating synthwork laid over a thick bed of bristling percussion as the euphoric underbelly comes to the fore, only relenting to allow the poignant spoken sample ring through. Utterly captivating beat and synth work. Exciting times lie ahead.

Oh Boland

“With every rumbling note their music proves ever more captivating and palatable..”

Oh Boland are a garage rock trio – Niall Murphy, Éanna Mac Donnchadha and Simon McDonagh – from Tuam, Co. Galway.

Admittedly formed close to two years ago, their charms having remained elusive (to me anyway) till January of this year, a discovery I’m all the better for. The trio’s rough, ragged and somewhat abrasive sound borrows from an earthy mix of garage rock, indie, pop and some local guitar flavours. To date they released two EPs Oh! & Ho!, and this year’s super spilt release with Me and My Dog. Taken from the latter, ‘Tidy Is’, a rollicking indie rock number with crashing drums and rumbling guitars, pretty much captures the essence of this band. 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 utterly fuckin’ brilliant, which is all the more reason to treasure them. With a debut LP on the horizon they’re one’s to keep an eye out for in the new year. Listen here.

Mowbird

“Hurled together with exuberant bursts of energy, and a sheen of poppy harmonies..”

Welsh lo-fi-fuzz pop wizards Mowbird specialize in scuzzy, charming, soul-consuming guitar jams.

Fusing a predilection for fuzz pop, with parts surf-rock, slacker indie and some garage punk nuances to create fun filled blasts of sub 3 minute, easy to listen to tunes. There is a real spontaneity and energy to their sound; a theme running throughout their dedut LP Islander. It kind of feels unrehearsed and unplanned as it goes where feels right without putting a single foot wrong, with ‘Return to the Sea’, ‘Islander’ and ‘Empress’ are exemplary exponents of this prowess. Hurled together with exuberant bursts of energy, and a sheen of poppy harmonies, melodies, catchy hooks and some stunning organ work (an intrinsic part of their sound), and you’ve got yourself absolute joyous amalgam of sounds that lives in the moment. Quite simply one of the finest things crafted in Wrexham since Mickey Thomas’ free kick against Arsenal in ’91. Listen here.

The Careers

“There is a scrappy imperfection and absence of glossy production..”

The Careers are a garage- rock band comprised of four young men – Luke O’Neill, Eoin Conway, James Moone & Fergal Hennessy – from Cork.

They’ve a certain penchant for the past and sound as though they were raised on a steady diet of ‘6os rock and roll and garage bands. They’re a rock ‘n roll band, plain and simple. To date, they’ve released one EP, Atomic Cosmosaurus, recorded in the drummer’s shed, it’s filled with lively and stomping gems of the fuzzy, garagey variety. These scratchy, rough and ragged home recordings are endearing in their unique imperfection, and pleasing to the ear and an eminently repeatable experience. While there is a scrappy imperfection and absence of glossy production to their sound, the execution is tight, as any number of examples from the EP are testament to – from the bashed kickdrums and turbulent guitar riffs of ‘Won’t Go Far’ to the slinking swagger of ‘Try [Try, (Try)]’ or stomping retro-fitted rock ‘n roller ‘All The All The Whiles’. Combining a clever use of great riffs, driving rhythms and catchy hooks and melodies, The Careers have struck an incredible balance between sounding familiar, yet wholly original at the same time. Hopefully we’re hearing more from them soon. Listen here.