Archive for the ‘Music Festivals’ 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 http://www.factmag.com/2011/04/13/fact-mix-239-jamie-xx-oneman/. 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… 

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:https://universalgrassroots.wordpress.com/2010/07/04/nouveaunoise-launch-party/), 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: http://www.state.ie/2010/07/album-reviews/nouveaunoise-–-paraphrase-accolade/

A digital copy of their album can be got here: http://nouveaunoise.bandcamp.com/album/paraphrase-accolade

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

http://www.myspace.com/nouveaunoise

http://breakingtunes.com/nouveaunoise

http://www.facebook.com/nouveaunoise?ref=ts

It’s a scientific fact that the fundamental cause of everything in existence is energy i.e. that at the sub-atomic and quantum level everything is vibrating energy (if you don’t believe this then your essentially a Hiroshima/Nagasaki denier, amongst other things!). A familiar maths equation which backs up this claim is E = Mc2. ‘E’ here is energy, ‘M’ is matter, and ‘c’ is the speed of light, squared. Einstein’s special theory of relativity equation proves that at the basis of all matter is energy and that, we musn’t forget, light plays a very important role too but we’ll get to that in a bit.

One important fact to know here is that every single thing in existence has a natural vibration to it.

Illustration showing the positions of the seven chakras

That’s everything, from our atoms to the earth to the universe. Ben Stewarts controversial and thought provoking film Estoric Agenda notes this and also highlights another interesting fact. He points out that every human being has a set of Harmonic Focal Points, which is attested to by many in western medicine as well as eastern religious and medical praticises, which correlate with the earths very own vibrational frequencies. These Harmonic Focal Points are better known to us as Chakras and are generally symbolised by the image of the Lotus Flower. This is around about the area that you start getting into arguments about pseudo-sciences with science graduates but bare with me as I tread on this all too frequently condensending ground in which science sometimes shows its darker side.

The general idea behind them is that on our all bodies there are seven points at which vibrations accumulate and in Eastern philosophies these are used to bring health and balance to the physical and spiritual body. In the Western world these seven Chakra points correlate with the nervous and endocrine systems. As Anodea Judith writes in her book Wheels of Life “On a physical level, chakras correspond to nerve ganglia, where there is a high degree of nervous activity, and also to glands in the endocrine system.” The earth also has seven Chakra points at equally distant locations from each other on each continent.

Getting back to a more pragmatic explaination of all this then, the earth has a solid molten iron crystal which resonates at approximatley 7 Hz. We also know that the earth is covered in energy vortexes in which electromagnetic energy eminates. It is the oscillation of the different frequencies in this electromagnetic wave that gives us different forms of electromagnetic radiation such as (we didn’t forget) our friend light. Oscillations at lower frequencies are radio waves and at the highest frequencies gamma rays. Knowing this may help put into perspective just how much of whats going on in the universe our senses don’t and can’t concieve. When these are gridded and aligned, converging spots correlate to the chakras of the human body. Some of the places where these energy vortexes converge along the equator are actually the cause of radio and compass malfunctions such as at Bermuda.

Electromagnetic spectrum with light highlighted

The Original Solfeggio Scale was a scale which was based on the frequencies of the earth and was used by the church in the ancient gregorian chants. That’s why those chants have those droning sounds; the different frequencies the earth resonates at are meant to relate to a certain emotion, for example singing at the frequency of 741 Hz was meant to awaken intuition.

Of course today one very popular way we manipulate energy and frequencies is to create that special atmosphere at a music concert or festival. The bands pouring out of human energy through electrified instruments translated into soundwaves which stirs the energy in the listener which in turn feeds the band again creates that atmosphere where everyone feels like one. And that’s what its all about really. Good vibrations.

Sligo Jazz Festival

Posted: July 8, 2010 by fonnaguschakra in Music, Music Festivals
Tags: , ,

As well as already buzzing from the wins over Mayo and Galway in the Championship and the fact that The Wailers are coming to Ballymote in September (https://universalgrassroots.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/music-and-arts-festival-for-sligo/), Sligo will be having its now anual Jazz Festival in just a couple of weeks, further demostrating how dynamic this small county is.

Sligo Jazz 2010 combines education, inspiration and entertainment by marrying together Ireland’s biggest jazz summer school with a festival line up of world class performers. Running from the 20th July to the 25th the nightly gigs and jam sessions will accompany the summer school that makes up the project and will include workshops and masterclasses amongst other activities.

For festival info see www.sligojazz.ie and for info on the summer school see www.sligojazzproject.com

If you don’t have the money, or indeed the inclination to wade through a gang of 16 year-olds in tracksuits at next weekend’s Oxegen, a great, affordable, and altogether more interesting alternative is the KnockanStockan Festival at the Blessington Lakes, Co Wicklow. Now in its fourth year, the festival runs between Friday, July 23, and Sunday the 25th. It’s a really interesting concept, organised from the ground up, with a “by the people, for the people” ethos. It couldn’t be more laid-back or down-to-earth, and it celebrates all that is good within the emerging Irish music scene.

History of Harry are one of over 100 bands that are heading to the KnockanStockan Festival in Co Wicklow

Oxegen this most certainly is not. There’s nothing pretentious about it, and the organisers won’t try to squeeze every red cent out of your pocket. You won’t find any rip-off burger vans or merch-peddlers, this really is all about the music.  The first big difference is the price: 75 euro for the three days (85 for a campervan ticket). The other big difference is the emphasis on home-grown artists, rather than the onslaught of drab overseas acts that we see on so many other festival lineups. Also, not only are you allowed to bring your own drink, you’re actually encouraged to, another major advantage.The brilliant Belfast noise-merchants And So I Watch You From Afar are headlining on the first night, with the likes of Mob Fandango, Nouveaunoise, History of Harry and the Cujo Family continuing this trend throughout the weekend.

We here at Universalgrassroots approve of this kind of thing 100%, since these kind of events are so important to the indigenous music industry of this country. It promises to be a great weekend, so check it out if you get the chance. A unique event in an idyllic setting, add good weather, friends and beer and you got yourself a great weekend.The organisers themselves have a very clear plan about what they are trying to achieve, and even go as far as to set out a six-point Mission Statement on their website:

1) Bring musicians together to celebrate, showcase and share their music with like-minded people…

2) To grow with the imagination and skills of the community of musicians, artists, and friends who contribute to the festival, and make it what it is…

3) Cut the cost of going to see great music for all genuine music lovers, while at the same time providing a well needed platform for emerging talent in this country…

4) To reinvest net profit directly to where it will be best served. Enabling us to continually provide a platform for musicians, artists and like minded people to engage and express themselves outside of the annual event…

5) To only affiliate with companies/ associations/ groups/ collectives/ individuals that have a respect for our core ethos…

6) Understanding that, by Knockanstockan realising its maximuim potential it can only serve to re-energise it surroundings, hence doing as best we can to usher a proud new era for Irish culture…

To learn more about this great festival, head to http://www.knockanstockan.ie/

Electric picnic organisers have announced another host of eclectic artists for your listening pleasure. Anything from electronic rock and synth pop to rap or breakbeats will be on the menu when the festival kicks off on 3rd September so here’s a quick look at some of the newer editions to the line up.

Kormac’s Big Band

Kormac brings his 12-piece orchaestra comprising of live turntables, samplers, drums, double bass, barbershop quartet, trumpet, clarinet, banjo, and live visuals to the picnic. Anybody interested in the likes of Mr. Scruff, Kid Kolala, Cut Chemist, or DJ Shadow should check out this guy.

dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip

A hip hop duo who combine electronic beats with spoken word. One of the best lyrics; “Thou shalt not judge a book by its cover, Thou shalt not judge Lethal Weapon by Danny Glover…”

Black Mountain

This Canadian easy-listening rock group could be a good choice for the sore heads come Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

Mixhell

As the EP site notes; “MIXHELL is Iggor Cavalera, best known for his part as the drummer in Brazilian super band Sepultura. Throughout the 90s, Sepultura cemented itself into the backbone of modern metal music and sold in excess of 10 million albums, Mixhell is a new and exciting collaboration which aims to fuse together the best and most uplifting elements of the rock and electronica scenes to create a “Rock-tronica“ effect.  Having collaborated with Soulwax, Chromeo, MSTRKRFt and others, Mixhell’s live show never fails to lift the roof off a tent.”

The Subs

Another offspring of the electro scene in Ghent Belgium, The Subs have made a name for themselves on Letroluv Records and judging by the popularity of electro in Ireland these days I’d say they’ll blow the roof off whatever tent the’re in.

The Rubberbandits

These Limerick Gangster rappers have gotten radio time with their tracks Willie O’ Dea and Pure Awkward and have been gaining good momentum lately selling out the Rosin Dubh in Galway and the Pavillion in Cork. With lyrics like “It’s dacent hash, it’s dacent hash, I swear on my tash, it’s dacent hash”, the Limerick lads should provide some comic relief from the serious business of attending a festival :p

Heathers

The EP site really says it all; “HEATHERS are 20 year old twin sisters Ellie and Louise Macnamara. They began writing music together in 2007 and in February 2008 they recorded their debut album ‘Here, Not There’ while also preparing for their Leaving Certificate. They released the album in May of that year garnering serious praise amongst both fans and media alike. They have found recent success with of their songs Remember When being used an ad campaign for Discover Ireland.

Full Line Up So Far

ROXY MUSIC; LEFTFIELD; MASSIVE ATTACK; LCD SOUNDSYSTEM; THE FRAMES; PUBLIC IMAGE LTD; THE NATIONAL; IMELDA MAY; MUMFORD & SONS; SEASICK STEVE; EELS; MODEST MOUSE; HOT CHIP; FRIENDLY FIRES; GIL SCOTT-HERON; LAURENT GARNIER;  FEVER RAY; JONSI (SIGUR ROS); FAT FREDDY’S DROP; BAD LIEUTENANT; THE FALL;  CRYSTAL CASTLES; AFRO CELT SOUNDSYSTEM; BOOKA SHADE; BLOODY BEETROOTS DEATH CREW77; STEVE EARLE; THE WATERBOYS; THE BIG PINK; 808 STATE, LOW ANTHEM; REDNECK MANIFESTO;  PAUL BRADY; THE HORRORS; MONOTONIX; LIQUID LIQUID; HERE WE GO MAGIC; BONOBO; FIELD MUSIC; STEVE MASON, CYMANDE; THE ALARM; STORNOWAY;  STEVE MASON; MESSIAH J & THE EXPERT; DUBLIN GOSPEL CHOIR; CARIBOU; ADRIAN CROWLEY; VILLAGERS; NEW PORNOGRAPHERS; EDAN; BREAKESTRA & CHALI 2 NA; FIGHT LIKE APES; MR SCRUFF; CHANNEL ONE;  MEMORY TAPES; EELS; FRIENDLY FIRES; LAURENT GARNIER; THE FALL; BONOBO; STORNOWAY; FIGHT LIKE APES; CHANNEL ONE: FOALS; UNKLE;  CATHY DAVEY; HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE; BEARDYMAN; ARCHIE BRONSON OUTFIT; PHILIP SELWAY; JAMES V MCMORROW; AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR; DAM FUNK; GOODTIME JOHN; THE MIGHTY STEF; AND MANY MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED…

Ballymote in Co. Sligo expects to attract 5,000 people to the Temple House estate from September 10-12 for its inaugural micro music and arts festival. And it has a good chance of doing just this with an impressive line up which includes The Wailers, The Undertones, New Young Pony Club, and a DJ set from New Order/Joy Division man Peter Hook.

This is just one example of Irish graffiti artist Maser's work

The organisers aim to do something different by giving its visitors the option to sleep in yurts, tepees and cottages which will be dotted around the festival grounds as well as the usual camping options for those on a budget. As well as an eclectic mix of music ranging from traditional, folk, and bluegrass to indie and electronic there will be poetry readings, art installations, a farmers’ market, vintage clothes, a jewellery fair and children’s activites amongst many other diverse and interesting activites.

There will also be a full medieval village which will feature full battle re-enactments, jousting, workshops, traditional crafts and a medieval kitchen.

The organisers hope to increase the capacity in the coming years and it really is great news to hear of a quality music and arts festival trying to do something different in the west of Ireland.

Tickets are on sale now at www.tickets.ie and are priced at €59 and includes booking fee and camping. For more info on this promising festival check out www.templehousefestival.com

Full Line up (so far) – The Wailers, The Undertones, Terry Hall (The Specials), Damien Dempsey, The Walls, New Young Pony Club, Peter Hook DJ Set (New Order/Joy Division), The Stunning, 202s, The Mighty Stef, NC Lawlor, Ronan O Snodaigh, Donal Dineen, Davide Swarup and John Conneely, Arveene & Misk (Live), Barry Redsetta, Clampdown DJs, Motion control, The Whiteliars and Ireland’s best-known graffiti artist Maser.

(just a note that this post drew heavily on a Siobhan Foody piece in The Western People; http://www.westernpeople.ie/news/story/?trs=eygbojidsn&cat=entertainment )