Showing posts from April, 2017

Matthew Bourne – Candela (for Sascha Heeney) (The Leaf Label)

Aching piano instrumental from the North of England artist ahead of a new album in the summer. Matthew Bourne has spent the last few years exploring the edges of improv with Moog workouts, audio visual collaborations and Kraftwerk interpretations (sometimes all at the same time). While those were fascinating, there’s something very satisfying about this return to piano, to territory reminiscient of his wonderful Montauk Variations album from 2012. Plaintive and spare piano notes gather long contemplative cello drones leading to a surprisingly suspenseful atmosphere. It’s a thing of beauty and I can’t wait to hear more from the album. Candela (for Sascha Heeney) by Matthew Bourne

Playlist 444 - Apr 25 2017

A selection of dreamy kosmische cuts this week. Jane Weaver making something vulnerable and really beautiful out of interweaving synths. Percolator with lovely gauzy shoegaze textures. The Saxophones have a veil thin dream pop. And Matthew Bourne is back with sublime instrumental piano music. More on these pages. The Underground of Happiness uplifting pop music of every creed Twitter: UndergroundOfHappy Playlist 444 Tues Apr 25 2017 11.00am-12.00pm (repeated on Tuesdays 8.30pm) UCC 98.3FM listen live on the web at *listen back to this show here Playlist Jane Weaver – Slow motion ( playing The Lexington, London, May 22 ) Percolator – Yellow fire ( playing Coughlan's, Cork, Apr 28; Bello Bar, Dublin, Apr 29 ) Autre Monde – Customs Me and The Bees – Spinnin The Saxophones – If you’re on the water Nightlands – Dependi

Cormac O Caoimh – born (from the album Shiny silvery things)

A gorgeous wolf in sheep’s clothing. An unsettling wrongfooting piece of songwriting. Wearing a sublime French jazz costume. you could have been born someone else What a brilliantly double edged ocean of possibility. shiny silvery things by Cormac O Caoimh

Percolator – Sestra (Penske Recordings)

Delicious mixture of the propulsion of Stereolab and the textures and crunch of My Bloody Valentine from this Dublin band’s debut album. There are many things to love about the album – the sense of adventure, the absorption in ideas for their own sake (an improv spirit maybe), the embrace at the same time of pop melodies, the sheer breadth of sounds generated throughout the album – but I think my favourite is that great quality in any band or album, not trying too hard. I can think of ten other bands who might have taken a rough draft of these songs and turned them into bombast, beating you over the head with the ideas and in the process murdering any beauty. Percolator have that wonderful thing, restraint, so instead they stick with the ideas, the raw elements and see them through, not just as means to an end but as diamonds in themselves. In this I would put them next to labelmates The Altered Hours . A band with vision and in it for the long haul. Plus with obvious

Jane Weaver – Slow motion (Fire Records)

Glorious kosmische pop music with a motorik pulse from the Manchester artist. There’s a beautiful weave to the synth lines, a carefree quality, a cavort suggesting the tumble of the universe somehow. But it’s Weaver’s voice that crowns the sound. Close and persuasive – let’s go outside when it doesn’t feel right / we can disappear – it uses simple elegant phrasing with an endearing down to earth tone which has a hint of world weary about it. The effect of this simplicity againt the thick swoops of cosmic backing is to make a strange atmosphere. Like the best science fiction, it says otherworldly but still recognisable. The arrangement is a dream of serene space, inner and outer. A sumptuous cut.

Weyes Blood – The Workman’s Club, Dublin, April 15th 2017

On the most significant weekend in the Christian calendar, there was something appropriate about the primal and even pagan undertones of this wonderful show of live music and (I’m going to say) ideas. Firstly we must speak about the sheer presence of Natalie Mering on stage (which is only added to by the remarkable sky blue with white clouds trouser suit, a sort of David Byrne meets Pop Art statement). You could call it a certain kind of cool. It certainly comes across as a confidence but with no sense of distance or aloofness to it. There’s a distinct warmth to her stage persona, or we might just say her personality because there’s no hint of artifice, just an easy engaging quality. Her between song patter also has a distinct air of playfulness. She has a mischievous streak, no doubt about it. ‘Seven words’ is introduced with a wry smile as “seventeen’s grown another ten words...a lot has happened”. One of the encores (a krautrock classic) is billed as “a more Ge

Playlist 443 - Apr 18 2017

A bunch of folk music in the first half of the show this week. The Nightjar, brilliantly ghostly. Richard Osborn, wonderful pastoral American primitive. Seti The First, magnificent string based instrumentals. And in the second half, much of the louder variety. Snapped Ankles, murderous bassline. Percolator, mashing MBV & Stereolab together beautifully. Can, looping the loop wonderfully. And from Brussels, Manu Louis (pic) with an amazing soundclash of 8 bit, electro, orchestral and whatever you're having yourself. More on these pages. The Underground of Happiness uplifting pop music of every creed Twitter: UndergroundOfHappy Playlist 443 Tues Apr 18 2017 11.00am-12.00pm (repeated on Tuesdays 8.30pm) UCC 98.3FM listen live on the web at *listen back to this show here Playlist The Nightjar – The birds were made to s

Spirituals - A Mix

A little spiritual music for Easter week... ...ranging from the meditational to the flippant, the playful to the otherworldly, gospel to kosmische. Enjoy. 7 Susanna & The Magical Orchestra – Hallelujah Homer Quincy Smith – I want Jesus to walk with me Edward Williams – Japanese macaques: Warm baths in a snowscape (from the soundtrack of the tv series Life on Earth) Scott Walker – Angels of ashes Cluster – Sowiesoso (So not so so) Silver Apples – Seagreen serenades Bruce Haack – Cherubic hymn The Beach Boys – Transcendental meditation Dirty Projectors & Bjork – On and ever onward Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – The road (from the soundtrack of the film The road) Howe Gelb – Paradise here abouts Gospel Artistics – Lord is it The Velvet Underground – Jesus Dylan Thomas – Do not go gentle into that good night John Cale – Do not go gentle into that good night (live) Nina Simone – I shall be released Richard Osborn – Monastery Alela Diane & Ryan France

Playlist 442 - Apr 11 2017

A lash of new music with various psychedelic shades this week. The beautiful pulsing kosmische of Jane Weaver . The lush dream pop of Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble . The wonderful Go Team-ish 60s girl gang sound of Whyte Horses . The swooning psych folk of Entrance . Some instrumental cuts too, including two great soundtrack pieces. Nicholas Britell from Moonlight & Brian Gibson of Lightning Bolt s'tracking the video game Thumper . Plus Matthew Bourne back at the piano to majestic effect. More on these pages. The Underground of Happiness uplifting pop music of every creed Twitter: UndergroundOfHappy Playlist 442 Tues Apr 11 2017 11.00am-12.00pm (repeated on Tuesdays 8.30pm) UCC 98.3FM listen live on the web at *listen back to this show here Playlist Entrance – Always the right time ( playing Shacklewell Arms,

Playlist 441 - Apr 4 2017

A number of soundtrack cuts on the show this week plus a couple of great a capella tracks. Jean Claude Vannier is best known for arranging some of Serge Gainsbourg's greatest songs. He was also a composer in his own right and experimenter in all kinds of genres. Here we have a female choir singing, vocalising, exhaling, finger clicking, foot's fantastic stuff. Rebekah Del Rio giving a great song one of the most magnificent cover makeovers ever, as used brilliantly in the David Lynch film Mulholland Drive . Mica Levi from the film Jackie , a glorious piece of musical counterpoint - the light as a feather flute with the deep sea draw of the cellos. Jerome Moross with an iconic western soundtrack from The Big Country. And Seti The First , not a soundtrack per se but it feels like it could be music for a film - thrilling, poised, orchestral instrumentals. More on these pages. The Underground of Happiness uplifting pop music of every creed