There may not have been much good news out of Ireland in the past few years, but the health of the country’s electronic music scene has certainly been one of them. Despite or perhaps because of the recession – it all depends whom you believe – the small country that this writer calls home is seriously punching above its weight. From Lunar Disko’s Chicago and electro jams to Apartment’s leftfield house and All City’s psychedelic take on house and techno – do check the forthcoming LP from The Cyclist for the Dublin label – to Earwiggle’s extreme but individualistic take on harder techno and Lakker/Eomac’s skewed rhythms. Irish labels and producers are making some of the world’s best electronic music right now.
Other key underground names in Ireland include producers like TR-One, Terriers, The Parallel, DeFeKT and the inimitable Lerosa as well as labels like Major Problems, Trensmat and Signal Code and the Gary’s Gang and Forza Italo parties. The hard work carried out by previous generations has laid the ground for the next wave of artists – and labels and collectives like D1, Bassbin, U:Mack and artists like Decal, Donnacha Costello and Chymera all deserve recognition for this.
Even though Irish culture is still emerging from the oppressive grip of the Catholic Church and despite the fact that our licensing laws are nothing short of draconian and our political system is still run on a nod and a wink, against all these odds, labels like Earwiggle are thriving. Comminute is the best record yet on DJ/producer Sunil Sharpe’s label and yes, you guessed it, it’s the wok of two Irish artists. Whirling Halls Of Knives is a collaboration between Trensmat founders Magnetize and The Last Sound and it’s a big beast of a record. The label has drawn on the expertise of Ancient Methods to remix the title track, and the Berlin producer does a fine job, working groaning noises that come deep from the bowels of the human psyche over a lumbering, grinding rhythm.
It cannot however compare to the original material. The title track revolves around a juggernaut groove, its dense, pounding bass providing the backing for wave upon wave of noise, found sounds and what microphone feedback. “Monopolific” and “Scrap Assembly” are variations on this theme; the latter is little more than a series of grungy bassy emissions, while the former uses a broken beat backing as a backdrop for what sounds like the murder instrument from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre filleting its latest victim. Comminute, like many other releases this year, is something that my IMF-battered republic can be proud of.
B1. Comminute (Ancient Methods remix)
B2. Scrap Assembly