Split between the cities of Cork and Dublin, the Rhythm Weekender is host to over 30 acts in nine different venues, some of which are entirely free. The festival will commence on Thursday the 18th of this month and finish on Sunday, four days later. During that time the two cities will be graced with a wide range of artists, everything from heavy electronic behemoths to quiet sombre delights. There’s plenty of crowd bringers on the line-up like Modeselektor, Cut Chemist, and Plaid, but here’s some of State’s select acts:
Introducing – (Friday, Button Factory, Dublin)
This 9 piece band has somehow managed to flawlessly recreate Dj Shadow’s award winning debut LP, ‘Entroducing’. Abandoning any idea of loops or backing tracks, Introducing have scrupulously reinvented every note and nuance of the album in real time glorious splendor. Listening to their renditions you’d scarcely be able to tell them apart from the originals, and when such choice mimicry is acted out live it tends to impress. This will serve as a nice remedy for those who thought that Shadow’s Electric Picnic set was lacking in finesse.
Taylor McFerrin – (Thursday, The Pavilion, Cork & Friday, Twisted Pepper, Dublin)
The one man band that is Taylor McFerrin has made recent ripples, catching the attention of the BBC’s Benji B, and Gilles Peterson. Dealing out a fresh-sounding blend of soul and hip hop, McFerrin shimmers between genres with simplicity while live, he builds songs from scratch, employing the use of samplers and synthesisers. Yet it’s his voice that’s probably the most important instrument. His beatboxing flicks between deep chunky basslines and intricate high notes that move at incredible speeds. This gig will never get too hectic, soothing soulful waves are sure to resonate throughout the crowd.
Machine with Ben Sims & Kirk Degiorgio – (Friday, Button Factory, Dublin)
Techno artists Ben Sims & Kirk Degiorgio recently launched Machine, a new concept club night in London to huge success. The idea behind ‘Machine’ is simple: material that’s less than 12 months old and unreleased gets played live throughout the night. This means that the temptation to bang out some easy crowd pleasers is completely removed, leaving Sims & Degiorgio no choice but to plunge the depths and explore unknown territory. Kirk believes that techno can become quite complacent, “ Rather than the cozy euphoria of hearing classics such as ‘Strings of Life’, ‘French Kiss’, ‘I Feel Love’, etc. (all tracks which I love of course), I want to aim for the headfuck you get when hearing an amazing track for the very first time on a great sound system”. This show should be interesting to witness as both artists push Ableton and Serrato forward on their journey of contemporary sound.
Mulatu Astatke – (Sunday, Sugar Club, Dublin)
Remember that fantastic soundtrack for Jim Jarmusch’s film Broken Flowers? Well this guy’s responsible. Aside from that he’s only lectured at M.I.T, hashed it out with John Coltrane, played with Duke Ellington, Collaborated with The Heliocentrics, grown a moustache, evaded the Derg militia, and fused traditional Ethiopian music with Western and Latin jazz. Of the many talented artists playing the festival, Mulatu Astatke is the only legend on show this weekend. Whether he’s playing vibraphone, organs, a selection of percussive instruments, or just running the show you’re guaranteed a glorious display of Ethio-jazz. Anyone who didn’t get a chance to see Fela Kuti before he passed should be all over this.
United Vibrations – (Friday, Button Factory, Dublin & Saturday, Crane Lane, Cork ‘FREE IN’)
Hailing from South-East London’s cultural melting pot, United Vibrations have whisked their surrounding styles into a high tempo fusion of 2 tone assault. Although, ska is just one of the many genres that this group fall under. Their debut recording ‘Galaxies not Ghettos’ contains elements of hip hop, jazz, drum & bass, afro-beat, funk, and anything else likely to move your molecules. They’ve got all the cosmic wisdom of Sun Ra coupled with the The Beat’s exuberance and the political awareness of Antibalas. This gig will be a real all rounder, with such an open minded adoption of varying musical styles it’s hard to imagine anyone disliking United Vibrations.