A music blog from Ireland.
On 9 December, Lethal Dialect returns to the Workman’s Club to perform the material of his LD50 albums in their entirety, which will be the last time a full set of both albums will be played live. From the well-known numbers like Keep It Real, Get To My Dreams, Sun Soaked and The National which aired on RTE’s hit crime drama Love/Hate to personal favourites Metamorphosis and Snakes and Reptiles, all the material released so far will get a last airing in 2012. Also on the bill are the fellow hip hop enthusiasts and friends he’s worked closely alongside; co-conspirator Costello, producer and MC GI and Jacknife J who are responsible the albums’ high quality and many of the beats on the best tracks, soulful Willa Lee whose stunning vocal marked Get To My Dreams as one of the most memorable tracks on an album that was already bursting with replay value. Orla Keogh’s vocal on Sun Soaked came later in the year and hinted at a lighter note on the forthcoming third album, while Tommy Hand and 4Real are nothing short of incendiary on stage.
Lethal Dialect has played a huge part in the listening flavour of 2012 for me. Immaculately-produced and with an unrelenting lyricism that was both introspective and self-assured, Paulie Alwright’s carefully catalogued episodes and experiences of life in Dublin’s northside were delivered in a distinctive accent with uncanny ease and the music struck through my preconceptions of Irish hip hop like a battering ram through balsa wood. After coming across his first album LD50 late last year by way of the Keep It Real video, there wasn’t long to wait for the follow-up LD50 2, and I was so fired up by what I heard that it became one of the few album streams to debut here on Harmless Noise. With a few exceptions (Ri Ra, MJEX, Sons Phonetic, Jee4ce), Irish hip hop up to that point had struck me as try-hard posturing for the most part, mainly because the only stuff that was getting recognition came in the form of fecking eejits making a show of themselves. But as with all good things in life, it was just a matter of time and patience before something better came along and I feel that we’ve been amply rewarded. Along with the LD50 series from Lethal Dialect, this year has also heard a new album from Costello along with regular output from GI and more to follow from Jacknife J & Jambo, and now that the ball is rolling there I’d be hard-pressed to find any other genre in this country with a similar glut of new talent that can change the landscape of the music scene so drastically. 2013 will hear more from Lethal Dialect and Co but there’s no doubt in my mind and on this blog that 2012 was the year the harvest of homegrown hip hop came up bountiful.
Both LD50 1 and 2 are available to download free from Bandcamp. Admission to the gig at the Workman’s Club on 9 December is €8.