Cork rapper/poet Bubba Shakespeare, taking his cues from Plato in a short piece for online channel The Lab.
As opposed to Socrates, where he’d just be standing there giving the cameraman grief, in fairness.
Chris Power – Leeside beatmaker with second mixtape
What you may need to know…
01. Last time we checked in with Chris Power, he’d released his first mixtape for Cork’s Cuttin’ Heads Collective.
02. He’s just released his second, entitled The Trees, a mix of instrumentals, remixes and collaborations, including with Detroit MC Sincere.
03. It’s streaming above, and available for free/pay-what-you-want download.
04. The Cuttin’ Heads lads, Power among them, converge on Pigalle Bar, Barrack St. on the Friday of this Jazz Weekend in Cork – kickoff at 8pm, strictly jazzy hip-hop.
Verdict: More of what’s good – and good to see his work with collaborators ahead of more high-profile releases on the horizon.
BANTUM – new album available today
What you may need to know…
02. Four years on from his debut album Legion, one of the best Irish LPs of recent years, he’s back with sophomore effort Move, featuring appearances and collaborations from Rusangano Family, Senita, Loah and more.
03. It’s streaming above in its entirety, and available for download via Bandcamp. His back-catalogue of EPs, single, and the aforementioned debut are all free, too, and you really owe that much to yourself, today being Friday and all. Treat yo’ self.
04. Next confirmed to be appearing live in support of Rusangano Family at the Sudden Club Weekender at the Kino in Cork on December 9th, though that’s certain to not to be the case for long. Check out this chat he’s had with the Times, also.
Verdict: On first listen: the logical progression from Legion. A wider musical frame of reference and Lynch at his best when working with others.
Photo: Bríd O’Donovan
After the closure of Cork Community Print Shop and the downsizing of Camden Palace Hotel comes yet another blow to a Cork arts scene feeling the combined pressure of the property bubble and a lack of existing licenced venues.
Sample Studios is now being ordered to evacuate the former FÁS building on Sullivan’s Quay in favour of building redevelopment.
Artist displacement and venue turnover are nothing new to Cork, but while this hopefully will manifest itself in a vibrant arts community developing in new areas, it’s also a cause for concern for a city that once prided itself on being European Capital of Culture.
Video: RTÉ Cork
FIXITY – Cork psych-rock outfit with fourth record this year
What you may need to know…
01. The brainchild of sticksmith extraordinaire Dan Walsh and collaborators, FIXITY are among the outfits at the centre Cork’s nascent psych-rock community.
02. Walsh is certainly keenly aware of the joys of productivity – not content with being one of the city’s busiest session musicians, he’s been at the helm of two full-length improv records since June (!), and a live album of same.
03. Streaming above in its entirety is Blue Paint, the leadoff for FIXITY’s third studio full-length, The Things in the Room…
04. …which will be available shortly on double-vinyl, CD and digital download via Penske Recordings, the new label of ex-Out on a Limb/AMC and current Plugd Records man Albert Twomey. Meanwhile, the project turns out to support The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock on Sunday October 30th at the Opera House for d’Jazz.
Verdict: This time around, the band seems to journey into more sparse, repetitive, Krautrock territory. Another in a series of left-turns from an already-insanely prolific outfit.
LUX – release new single Blank Page
What you may need to know…
01. On the outer reaches of the Cork scene (Youghal, to be precise) lies electronic duo LUX.
02. Comprised of producer Claire Regan (f.k.a. Spill and Ambience) and vocalist Colin Lee, the duo specialise in synthpop that marries the eighties’ more downbeat sensibilities with ambient & classical leanings.
03. Slowly developing a body of work over the last three years, the duo began with a pair of singles, Warmsad and Vital Signs, before setting about limited live engagements around Cork city and county and releasing follow-up single Solace last year.
04. Streaming above is new single Blank Page. A video is enroute and another new tune on the way shortly, according to the band.
Verdict: Informed by the past without resorting to nostalgia, and possessed of a lingering melancholia, Lux’s music moves in ebbs and flows.
Walking the line between layered, ambient passages and big, alternative-pop hookplay is Cork-born/London-based singer Lyra.
Beginning at the age of six, she spent her childhood performing in church and at family gatherings, learning the bodhrán in the process, which plays a part in her current live show.
Now based in London, and working with management company Tileyard, she’s finished her debut EP. W.I.L.D., available now across all digital platforms.
To mark the occasion, she’s about to play her first ever Irish shows under the Lyra pseudonym.The ‘sheet’s Mike McGrath-Bryan talks with Lyra ahead of the Cork leg of the show tonight.
Mike McGrath-Bryan: “Your story starts at a young age in Mount Oval, in Cork. Your sister picked up on your aptitude for tunes. How would you describe your musical upbringing?”
Lyra: “Me and my sister were inseparable when we were younger. I’ve always looked up to her and wanted to be exactly like her when I grew up. She has an amazing voice and I used to try and copy her! We would spend days on end making tapes in our bedroom and putting on concerts for anyone who would watch.”
Mike: “Provide us with some insight into your writing and recording process on a piece.”
Lyra: “Writing is very personal to me and I find writing about my life and experiences really therapeutic. I don’t really have a particular method of writing that I stick to – it changes from song to song! Some songs I write at home and then take those ideas to the studio and then some ideas just randomly come to in the studio. Recording the vocals takes a long time as I love layering harmonies and would spend forever and a day adding them if I could.”
Mike: “Your debut E.P. released this past July – how has it been received, how do you feel about it?”
Lyra: “I hope people like it! I’ve had some really lovely messages from people about it from all over the world which is amazing. I’m super proud of my E.P., it’s my first music-baby and I’m excited to have many more.”
Mike: “The artwork and aesthetic is fetching – go into it a little with us?”
Lyra: “Well, being from Ireland I have always been by the sea, it’s my favourite place to be. So an underwater photo shoot was an absolute must from the start. It was a lot of work to get it right but so much fun. Lots of holding my breath!”
Mike: “Nialler9 has already gotten well behind you, how is it to have that kind of support at this stage?”
Lyra: “It’s amazing! Nialler has been a dream, it was so nice to have such a great Irish blogger talk about my music, and I will always be grateful to him for backing me from the very start. I’ve always read the blog, so to be in it is wicked.”
Mike: “Based in London and being active there a lot of the time, do you keep in touch with the scene here at all? What do you make of it?”
Lyra: “I love home and being Irish is something I’m very proud of no matter where I am, so I do keep an ear to the ground to stay in touch as much as possible. I love seeing new Irish artists popping up and I know Ireland hasn’t got a shortage of fantastic singers – I was asked by a UK blog recently to write all about my top upcoming Irish acts – so it was nice to be able to intro the UK audience to more Irish acts that they mightn’t have heard of yet.”
Mike: “You have a hometown show in Cyprus Avenue, after playing Whelan’s in Dublin. What are your thoughts leading into it?”
Lyra: “I get weak at the knees when I think of it…. I am dead excited but I’m also nervous as a lot of my family and friends have never seen me perform before.”
Mike: “What next then, after these two dates?”
Lyra: “I have another announcement coming soon for some further shows… and then it’s studio time for me to finish some new tracks and get more music out there!”
Lyra plays Cyprus Avenue tonight. Kickoff at 8.30, €5 at the door. New E.P. W.I.L.D. is available now.
Last month, TEDx CorkSalon presented #CorkLovesMusic, a two-night stint of talks and performances in Coughlan’s Live on Douglas Street, from musicians, DJs, singers, promoters, record-shop folk, music therapists and others speaking on their relationship with music.
In the playlist above is night one, hosted by your writer.
Night two on the ‘sheet tomorrow.
Further to the graffiti incident at Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Mick Barry and Cork City Councillor Fiona Ryan’s office in Blackpool, Cork last week…
Mick Barry tweetz:
All male anti-choice picket of my constituency office today. Vile abuse shouted at two women who had the audacity to challenge them.