Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Few bands have won such deserved praise as the XX

On the night after Jamie XX took to the stage at Forbidden Fruits in Dublin (I wasn’t there, and I don’t want to think about how good it could have been), it occurred to me just how important that he, Jamie Smith, and his bandmates Romy Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim have become to music in just two short years. By now, we all know how good their debut album was, but one thing that had eluded some critics at the time – and what I would consider their best asset – was their uncanny ability to identify and exploit the precise direction that contemporary music was going in.  The sparse, dubstep and Rn’B-inspired sounds on the record can now be seen in artists as varied as Katy B (who has got plenty of abuse on this site) and (the excellent) James Blake. In short, their next album will probably be another brilliant, cutting-edge piece of 24-carat lovely gold.

Both Gil and Jamie enjoyed huge success from their recent collaboration

Not much is known about when the band will get together to record a new LP, but the signs are promising, given Jamie’s sublime collaboration with the late, great Gil Scott-Heron. We’re New Here served the dual purpose of augmenting the XX’s status as one of the most forward-thinking outfits on the planet, while exposing the Godfather of Hip-Hop’s wonderfully dark oeuvre to a new generation. Heron left this world during a time when his music was being rediscovered, a fitting way for a largely-forgotten legend to go out. Jamie has kept our lust for XX-related stuff  ticking over with some great remixes over the past few months, such as this faltydl-hip-love-jamie-xx-remix as well as this great mix with Oneman for Fact Magazine These may possibly give us an idea as to the creative direction of the next XX album, and although neither of their two singers possess the same charisma as Gil Scott Heron, it never stopped them before. I’m going to do something a little bit unwise and predict with absolute certainty that the 2nd XX album will be a MASSIVE success, both creatively and commercially. Anyone who can do this deserves to be exceedingly wealthy… 


90’s cheese-dance: a retrospective

Posted: November 25, 2010 by undergroundfisherman in Music, Uncategorized
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Remember all those tunes in underage discos? Sandstorm, Maniac 2000? Imagine if someone came out with songs like that now, how would it go down in today’s club scene, where most of the tunes are average to say the least. It’s weird to listen to these “classics” again, out of their original context.

Bomfunk MC’s – Freestyler

This was released in 1999, and 11 years on,it’s got 8.2 million views on Youtube! Nostalgia for shite is human nature I suppose. It wasn’t bad at the time but it sounds completely different now, the clothes, hair, everything. 

Delerium – Silence

Another one from roughly the same era, I remember this being top of the dance charts on Top 30 Hits for weeks on end 

Mark McCabe – Maniac 2000

At the time, I really didn’t realise how cheap and shitty the whole song/video/location was. Amazingly catchy, but desperate stuff altogether.  YEAH YEAH FUNKY YEAH!

Darude – Sandstorm

A classic of this era, it is actually pretty good, but it got so overplayed it lost all its impact (what you might call Seven Nation Army Syndrome), and in fairness, an amazing 16 million people can’t be wrong! 

Anyone see this song as a precursor to a certain modern-day floorfiller?…

Cool Tunes for Cool People

Posted: October 25, 2010 by undergroundfisherman in Music
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Right, so next time someone asks you “what kind of music are you into?” just mention any one of these artists and they will definitely ride you… if that’s what you want.


This girl makes great music, who'da thunk it?

Electronica has been dominated by men from day one, and girls are especially few and far between in the field of electro/future dubstep. This hasn’t stopped Ikonika from becoming one of the coolest new artists to emerge from the last year or so. Glitchy, wobbly, relaxing and stimulating all at the same time… 

Tame Impala

You can never go wrong with a bit of low-key psychedelia, and these Australian lads hit the nail on the head when they released their debut album, Innerspeaker, earlier this year. 


OK, they’re a bit sad and whiny for my tastes, but this post is all about name-dropping cool artists… Deerhunter released this new album, Halcyon Digest, recently, go check it out if you’re into this kinda thing. 

Jamie Vex’d

Jamie Vex'd - A cool bastard

We’ve covered Flying Lotus, Joy Orbison (I think) and Mount Kimbie already on Universalgrassroots, and if you like them, you’re going to love Jamie Vex’d – another pioneer of experimental, trippy electronica which is hard to put into a tangible category of its own.


Hit the scene at the very beginning of the whole “Brooklyn” thing. (97% of all new bands are now from Brooklyn according to a poll I just made up) and most of the artists that came after them happened to be pale imitators of their look and sound…

…. except for TV on the Radio also from Brooklyn, equally cool, but a totally different vibe altogether. 

Since its been a while since I’ve had time to post up anything on this here blog I though I’d put up some of the tunes that seem to be making the most noise on blogs and elsewhere on the internet. So here they are;


Nightmares On Wax

The Black Keys


Pretty Lights


Magnetic Man – Of course I had to stick in the lastest helping from the heavyweights of Dubstep, Skream, Benga and Artwork to show the direction these guys have decided to bring a more mainstream kind of dubstep, wankers.

Obscure Dubstep Stuff

Posted: September 2, 2010 by undergroundfisherman in Music

The cool thing about the internet is that once you get yourself some decks and other, em, music equpment, you can make tunes and put them up on Youtube and thousands of people will come across it. Here’s a few really good dubstep tunes I’ve found on my journeys through the internet, by people nobody has heard of.

Gorillaz – Rhinestone Eyes (Hooky’s Dubstep Remix)

One of Plastic Beach‘s best tunes, now featuring a bone-crunching drop.

Purky – Waka Waka

This one had got a bit of a demo feel to it, but it’s pretty cool all the same.

OriginalBunglist – Special K

Don’t know how I came across this one either, he’s clearly an unsigned dude trying to get noticed (got my attention anyways), and the results are pretty impressive. Cool samples and the obligatory driving bassline make this a winner.

Trampa – Daleks

Erring more on the “filth” side of things, the Facebook page simply entitled Dubstep can be fairly hit-and-miss. There’s definitely some good stuff on it though, this is the work of one young gent they’re trying to promote at the moment.

Universalgrassroots is delighted and honoured to have the exclusive on this very exciting bit of news. It is now official that the west of Ireand duo, Niall Conway from Easkey Co. Sligo and Conor Gaffney from Boyle Co. Roscommon, will be playing the Body and Soul stage at the annual music and arts festival in Stradbally Co. Laois.

After gaining much momentum playing successful gigs around the country such as at The Knockanstockan festival, The Liquid Lounge in Cork, and their album launch at Academy 2 (Photos here:, aswel as receiving radio play on 2fm, 2xfm, and phantom radio amongst others the duo have only being going forward and the announcement of a slot at The Electric Picnic rounds up a year of hard work and great gigs.

Their debut album Paraphrase Accolade (released at the start of summer) was really the catalyst for their sudden burst to life after becoming somewhat dormant a couple of years ago. The album has received rave reviews from many corners of the media world and has helped them gave many new fans near and far. Here’s a review from State Magazine:–-paraphrase-accolade/

A digital copy of their album can be got here:

A hard copy of the album in a sliky vinyl style case can also be bought from Tower Records for something under €10!

More Tunes!

Posted: August 10, 2010 by undergroundfisherman in Music
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One of the great difficulties in life, for me at least, is that moment when you’re on Youtube and you simply can’t decide what tune to put on. You’ve got every song from the last 50 years available to you and your mind goes blank. So, here’s a few old and new ones to get you back on the right track if you should ever face this very postmodern conundrum.

Panda Bear – Slow Motion

Panda Bear's new album is coming out soon, and it's looking pretty good

Everyone knows Animal Collective are pretty class, so it’ll come as no surprise that when Noah Lennox, one of AC’s members, creates a solo album (called Tomboy, his fourth as Panda Bear), it’s going to be pretty cool. The album comes out in September, but you can make do with this until then

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

The title track from their new album, which came out this week. They sound a bit more upbeat than previously, and going by the other songs I’ve heard from the album, it looks like another triumph from the Canadian septet.

The Kinks – Mr Churchill Says

They’re probably my favourite band from their era, and this song from their 1969 album Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire), is a brilliant, prog-pop number which really held up well over the years.

Vaski – Terror

One of the recurring themes on Universalgrassroots is the future of dubstep, whether it’ll just become assimilated into a wider electronic scene, or stay true to its original sound. This great track, which I found on the Dubstep Dublin facebook page, is pretty dark but not in the new, almost unlistenable way that seems to be getting ever more popular for some reason.

Boney M – Sunny

Don’t look at this as an ironic, “it’s uncool so it’s cool” way, this is just a great song, plain and simple. Boney M had some shocking tunes, but I can forgive any band a thousand sins for just one moment of redemption like this. It will instantly put you in good form.

Kanye West – Power

He might be stone mad, but Kanye's a forward-thinking musician

As time goes on, he just becomes more and more egotistical and downright strange. But musically at least, he’s really innovative and interesting. Somehow I can’t imagine 50 Cent releasing a video or song like this, and for that alone, he deserves credit. In fairness to him, he does help breathe life into an otherwise stale hip-hop scene. Kanye’s unshakeable belief in himself really comes through in this song, and it’s pretty good despite/because of this.