A weekly feature in which our writers and photographers share their favourite tracks of the week.
Mark McGuire – ‘Brain Storm (for Erin)’ (chosen by Darragh McCausland)
Mark McGuire is best known as the young guitarist with the Ohio based drone outfit Emeralds, but that is a mere day job. McGuire is phenomenally prolific, with an oeuvre that teems with collaborations, self-released CDRs, cassettes, and two label retrospectives. You might think the guy spreads himself to thin, such is the rate at which he churns stuff out, but his music is mostly brilliant and certainly all worth a listen. ‘Brain Storm (for Erin)’ is classic McGuire, a rolling and spacious tableau of cleanly plucked guitar and synths that powers up at the half-way point, turning into the sort of controlled freak-out Emeralds excel at. McGuire will be playing Whelans with Emeralds on the 24th of September.
Lady Gaga – Paparazzi ‘(Eomac Remix)’ (chosen by Liam Griffin)
Dublin based DJ and Producer Eomac takes time out of his busy musical and academic schedule to turn Gaga’s 2009 single into a minimal, string led chiller. Cop the free download!
Le Galaxie – ‘Beyond Transworld’ (Chosen by Elaine Buckley)
The return to work following a fantastic few weeks of summer holidays never fails to bring out the blues – so choice of listening for the commute back to reality is VERY important. Enter Le Galaxie, a band whose music never fails to put me in a good mood. Laserdisc Nights II in it’s entireity is an 11-track party, but it’s ‘Beyond Transworld’ that remains the standout for me – it quite simply just sounds like the weekend, and any song that can inspire some serious early morning shoulder-shimmying in the confines of a VW Polo deserves to be played over and over.
Foo Fighters – ‘I Should Have Known’ feat Krist Novoselic (Chosen by Ian Keegan)
Wasting Light, the seventh album by one of the world’s greatest rock bands can be found on repeat in my iTunes all this week. ‘I Should Have Known’ is a near perfect outro and proves yet again, it’ll be another few years before this lot decide to throw in the towel. The track itself is kind of an elegy for Grohl’s childhood friend Jimmy Swanson, who died of an overdose in 2008. It resonates thanks to a mournful guitar riff combined with Grohl’s melancholy vocals in the lyrics: “I should have known I was inside of you … I should have known there was that side of you, came without a warning, caught me on a web ” It sounds like Grohl is almost still beating himself up over the situation.
The Clash – ‘White Riot’ (Chosen by Sean Conroy)
“Are you taking over / Or are you taking orders? / Are you going backwards / Or are you going forwards?” In Passion Is a Fashion: The Real Story of The Clash, Author Pat Gilbert argued that The Clash’s ‘White Riot’ was aimed at young, white British men, finding a cause worthy to riot over. Opportunistic, causeless violence became widespread in the towns in the late ’70s and early ’80s – and Strummer along with the Specials, the Sex Pistols and The Jam reflected this in their music. There were too many rebels, but not enough causes. Move on 34 years and London’s consumer electronic shops are as empty this week as the heads which cleared them out. It would appear nothing has changed since Joe Strummer penned this, his first Clash single. The politics behind the song were simple – Strummer knew capitalism wouldn’t work, be he also knew ideas were needed before riots. A definite track for our times.
Nirvana – ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ (chosen by Simon Roche)
When Stephen Westgarth came over to my girlfriend’s flat in Athlone in 1991 and played us his cassette tape of Nevermind I’d never heard anything like this song. When the video exploded all over MTV I’d never seen anything ever like it. Reminded of it by Spin magazine’s coverage of the 20th anniversary of the album I re-watched it. The song alone is a monument. Both together are musical history, a long tragic story reverse-engineered into four-and-a-half minutes. Don’t be afraid to turn it up loud, shake whatever hair you have left and fuck your chair across the room.
Jack Dixon & Rick Grant – ‘Running Man’ (chosen by Daniel Harrison)
I heard this on George Fitzgerald’s mix for Mary Anne Hobbs and at first thought it was one of his own tunes, but this superb slice of UK house is actually the work of London-based producer Jack Dixon in collaboration with Rick Grant (one third of TAKE Records). Highly recommended for fans of Joy Orbison, xxxy or Jacques Greene. Interesting (nerdy) trivia: Jack Dixon actually designed the influential Sonic Router website.
Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip – ‘Great Britain’ (chosen by John Ryan)
Taken from 2010’s The Logic of Chance, ‘Great Britain’ is a poignant commentary on the country’s increasing crime rates and the government’s laissez faire attitude to it. The song finds a place between house and garage, with muffled bass synths flowing over a hi-hat driven beat. Dan Le Sac strips the music back to the bare house essentials, allowing the focus to shift towards Pip’s witticisms: “See sometimes Great Britain ain’t that great, kids getting stabbed at an alarming rate, / pressed with a pattern to exonerate, increasingly clueless heads of state?” Pip delivers his lyrics in a down to earth and concerned tone that gets the message across without sounding preachy. His incendiary free verse response to parliament’s 2009 knife crime report in the breakdown is the song’s highlight.
Planningtorock – ‘Living it Out’ (Chosen by Jennifer Gannon)
Oh DFA you do spoil us! Not content with trying to plug our post-LCD gap with Holy Ghost! and their clever-clogs cuts you now are offering us up the frantic glory that is Planningtorock too?! I think I need a lie down. Almost as thrilling as the siren whir of fellow label-mate’s Juan Maclean’s ‘Simple Life’, ‘Living It Out’ jerks into motion with thudding, whirring beats, topped off with an electrical storm of synths that act like a disco chopper heralding the arrival of Janine Rostro’s mangled bag-of-cat vocals.
This is a slice of New York disco heaven, it’s the imaginary soundtrack to the loft party that dreams were made of ,one where Arthur Russell cosies up to No Wave diva Cristina, where Róisín Murphy is tangled up in the fairy lights trying to fend off Grace Jones’ tiger-slaps to the face as Donna Summer leaves in disgust. ‘Living It Out’ is all this brilliance caught in the tune blender but also manages to deliver something that sounds shiny, slick and new too. You know you’re truly in love when the fake ending leaves you forlorn before the beats kick back in and the party starts all over again…