Tag Archives: Cork


Young Phantomplaying Connolly’s of Leap on Saturday

What you may need to know…

1. Young Phantom is the alter-ego of Cork-based Mark Mavambu. Growing up around a variety of music and pop-culture reference points, he’s parlayed their influence into a worldly-wise, cool and collected extension of his own personality.

2. After garnering attention as part of Tralee collective ApocalypsE, Mavambu has since set about creating a body of work encompassing hip-hop, spoken-word poetry, literature (his debut novel is currently in the writing), and fashion (as modelled in the pic above).

3. Streaming in its entirety at the link above is his first full-length, September. Though not his début proper (that’s due later this year), it’s a look at his and his collaborators’ fusion of hip-hop, electronic and ambient that underlies his stream-of-consciousness oratory.

4. Next appearing in Connolly’s of Leap this Saturday, as part of Word Up Collective’s second show at the venue, along with AikJ and Katie Laffan. 9pm, tenner door tax.

Verdict: One of the most exciting artists to emerge in Irish DIY/independent music in the last few years.

Young Phantom (YP)


Not Earth – released self-titled LP last week

What you may need to know…

1. Neither a band nor an album in the traditional sense, Not Earth comes about from a single four-hour recorded improv session in Cork’s Big Skin studio, featuring the trio of Dan Walsh (drums), Darren Keane (bass) and David O’Máthúna (synth).

Says Darren: “We’ve played in various bands over the years but first played together as a trio in 2014 at an improv night run by Dan. Something clicked then and we jammed a few times culminating in the recording session.

3. Recorded, edited and engineered by Walsh, who cut the jams down to an album’s length, the resulting LP was mastered by Tim Fitzgerald (fka Twin Lights).

4. The album launched last night at Gulpd Cafe in Cork’s TDC, as part of Record Store Day weekend shenanigans, and is available for download from Bandcamp. This Sunday sees the Cork Improvised Music Club, under whose auspices the project’s initial jams occurred, host an open workshop in the same venue.

Verdict: Some fairly wild jams picked from the ether of improvisation. Spontaneity meets density and dexterity.

Cork Improvised Music Club


Hope is NoiseBad Code

What you may need to know…

1. Hardy perennials of Cork’s DIY music community, four-piece Hope is Noise trade in noisy, heavy, hardcore-inflected, yet immediate and accessible alt-rock.

2. Last year celebrating ten years under their current moniker, the lads’ history extends all the way back to their secondary school days in the early ’90s, with the same core line-up remaining intact over the course of several bands over nearly 20 years. Eagle-eyed observers may remember them as The New Messiahs, among other names.

3. This year will see the release of fourth album Demons, and the completion of a documentary on their life and times both as a band, and as a group of lifelong friends.

4. Streaming above is Bad Code, a single taken from the upcoming album released back in November to coincide with their tenth-anniversary gig.

5. Next Friday, the band takes a rare sojourn to Waterford, where they play The Thirsty Scholar as part of the venue’s Voodoo Sessions. Kickoff at 9pm, support from The Smoking Giants.

Verdict: A furious, focused outfit that channels a wide range of influences, themes, and emotions into their music, and a formidable live proposition with a stage presence honed over the better part of two decades together.

Hope is Noise


You may recall how, last Tuesday, RTÉ Radio One journalist Brian O’Connell reported that Grant Thornton had sent letters to 35 tenants in the Eden residential complex in Blackrock, Cork, in January – informing them that they had to leave their property by last Friday, March 18 – as the receiver intends to sell the properties.

The notices to leave were sent after the residents’ rent was increased by 25 per cent last July.

The Eden complex has around 300 units while Grant Thornton controls 127 in total.

It’s understood 20 of the 35 homes have been vacated.

Further to Mr O’Connell’s report last Tuesday, a letter was sent out last Friday by Grant Thornton to the tenants in the receiver’s remaining properties in Eden.

Mr O’Connell reported:

“The letter references the recent media coverage, it confirms that the initial 35 units are still to be sold but, crucially, in relation to the remaining properties, Grant Thornton now say that there will be no more sales in 2016, so it will be 2017, at the earliest, before any of the other properties are sold…They say, it’s the intention now of Grant Thornton to sell the remaining properties with the tenancies in place. It says in the letter, “please be assured that your tenancy is not affected”… It’s obviously good news for the remaining tenants in the 90 or so units who were very concerned.”

However, Celso Lemos, a Brazilian father-of-two, who had lived in Eden for five years and recently moved out after receiving notice to leave in January, told Mr O’Connell:

“The residents who are staying in Eden at the moment were waiting for an eviction notice this year. Apparently they heard that no further notice will be issued… We got no letter telling us, ‘stay calm, you’re sale is going to happen at a certain time of the year’. We were not told that we could stay in our property, we were just told that you must leave. So it’s already a change from what we had. However it’s too late for us. I have moved out, along with another 20 families, and there are still a few families in the area waiting to see whether they will get an extension.”

Meanwhile, in a statement, a Grant Thornton spokesperson explained the proceeds earned from the sale of the 35 Eden properties will be used to build more properties in the development:

“The instruction as Receiver encompasses a total of 127 units plus undeveloped land within the wider Eden scheme. In response to market demand, the Receiver now plans to sell the units located at the Eden complex. The proceeds of the planned sale of these units will be utilised to fund further development of new residential housing on the Eden site. The undeveloped site has capacity to facilitate more than 100 new dwellings.”

Previously: Meanwhile In Cork

Pic: Brian O’Connell

Listen back in full here


Slow Motion HeroesAt the End a Big Wave

What you may need to know…

01. Making no bones about their predilection for big, shiny pop, Slow Motion Heroes are a motley crew of various Cork heavy/noisy-music veterans, moonlighting as an indie-rock proposition.

02. Members of the band are/have been in a number of Leeside outfits, including Hope is Noise, El Bastardo, Rulers of the Planet and Cyclefly. This would be their ‘older and wiser’ effort.

03. Streaming in the widget above is At the End a Big Wave, rolled out ahead of debut album Hinterlands. Organs and big singalongs a go-go, as per expected, it’s one of the centrepieces of the record.

04. Hinterlands launched locally late last year, and sees a national release via FIFA Records on April 7th, with the usual slew of gigs to follow.

Verdict: Cork music heads initially took to the band because of its status as a supergroup, but its own merits have long since been proven over a series of EPs and singles. Hinterlands‘ national launch should hopefully lift the lid on one of the real capital’s best-kept secrets.

Slow Motion Heroes

Chris Power

MANMAID (Chris Power & Gunkel) – Gum

What you may need to know…

01. Getting his start DJing on pirate radio at 14, Cork’s Chris Power is beginning to amass a serious body of work.

02. His collaborations and production have been garnering attention, working with the likes of hip-hop royalty Illa J (who he also supported on J’s recent Irish tour), Cleveland wordsmith Atari Jones, and most recently, fellow Cork producer Gumbel.

The latter has resulted in experimental/ambient collab project MANMAID, whose new single Gum is streaming in the video above. “Exploration of mind and space” is the order of the day.

04. It’s a busy year ahead of the 22-year-old. Later on in the year sees an EP release with Atari Jones, more solo work, and a project involving Detroit rappers Dank and Yakuza Moon.

Verdict: Cork’s hip-hop scene has been steadily growing, with Cuttin’ Heads Collective’s nights in UrbanJungle (of which Power is also a part) laying a foundation. Between production and DJing, Power looks set to form an important component of this in the long-run, and an upcoming US excursion will only broaden his palate and experience.

Chris Power