A music blog from Ireland.
So much fun doing this; these ten producers are going hard at their craft, and it’s been nothing short of pure joy to kick back and let them power up the musical batteries as these beats blast out, reminding me just how exhilarating it is to discover fresh, new music that stands out above all the other glorious noises apparent in Irish music right now. Maybe you’ve heard of them, or maybe not, but I highly recommend checking out these tracks to find the boat-floating best that do it for you: from hip hop to grime, trap, drum’n'bass, jungle, techno, house and even the tongue-in-cheek Tumblrwave, this is proof that Ireland’s golden age of music is shining on and even after five years running full-tilt at the global gauntlet, there’s still a wealth of new talent on offer.
Based in Amsterdam but hailing from Dublin, Lewis James released Desire For Infinity earlier in September after a couple of EPs previously, but in this full-length album the insight and skill of this producer comes to the fore in ten bass-heavy tracks of devastatingly good quality. Check the midpoint track Worse and SertOne‘s featured remix of the same.
Cornerboy hails from Cork and has a Soundcloud account that’s quite literally stacked with beats, and a hell of a pedigree to go with them. For a relative unknown, the producer’s work has been used by some serious talent of the UK hip hop and grime scene, with three tracks on Soundcloud being used by Joe Grind, most notable of which is the absolute monster of a beat in Godzillas, which features verses from rappers Giggs and Ghetts.
Paper Penguin‘s Stuffed Nose has been on regular rotation here since he sent the track my way a few weeks ago, though I’m damned if I can tell you what genre it falls into. It broods and stews itself into an infernal terror of a track that never goes where you’d expect it to. The sound of end times.
NeoCamp is Irish producer Luke Howlin, based in New York, who makes cheeky internet-inspired dark pop tunes that dip into everything that’s cool and collected on the social media platforms across the web, with a little extra dash of Celtic spirit to keep that home base strong at heart.
Another emergent property is Bloom, the Belfast-based producer with a dark grime and R’n'B background who’s now moving into unchartered territories of his own devising. Having released the Maze Temple EP in April on Lost Codes, he’s been making some major waves in the past year: FACT Mag have picked up on him in a big way – check this mix from July and earlier interview – and this month he announced he’d joined the excellent booking agents Elastic Artists, responsible for handling some of the best electronic acts in the world today.
Naxos Opera is probably the rawest of this bunch, with just three tracks and no discernible online presence as of yet, but there’s no doubt he’s on to something with the abstract hip hop beats with their freely-moving synths.
Supremely promising, Embrz is Jack Casey of Maynooth, whose most recent track Make Your Way is an absolute beaut that wends its way from a big house beat to glorious watery interlude before the big dancefloor dreams return…and if he keeps on at this rate, they’ll soon be coming true.
With one of the most diverse backgrounds, stretching from jazz to jungle, Exit Introvert is one I’ve been listening to for a good while now, never seeming to get the necessary time to really dig deep into the many layers of styles and influences that shape his work. Recent EP Phases is the best piece of work I’ve heard from him so far, with Let It Go ft. Bad Bones an indubitable highlight.
Auxiliary Phoenix is the moniker of turntablist and “wonky” beatmaker James Strain from Carlow who recently released an album called Skribbl on Little League Records. One of the stand-out moments on the album appears in the extraterrestrial Surrounded By Lights, a recently-loved collaboration with Delaware’s Gentle Jones.
Love Is A Gift, the debut album by Obamabo, was recently featured here on Harmless Noise, a stunning collection of tracks from the Cork/Galway/Savannah-based producer, one of my favourite releases of the year. And what better a way to finish this feature than on a high with his free, brand-new remix of Letting Go by LA beatmaker Unconventional Science. Trip-hop? Trap? Trap-hop? He doesn’t miss a trick.
This was originally meant to be a post about five individuals but once I started, I couldn’t stop. Check all these artists out, snoop their pages, suss out the freebies and buy what you like. Shouts to @Shapeyfiend and Declan of !Kaboogie for tips on Cornerboy and Lewis James respectively, and to the producers who mailed me directly with their work and their patience as I sat back and absorbed all this great stuff.