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September 8, 2011

John Lillis aka mynameisjOhn is a DJ and Producer from Clare and is now based in Limerick. He started out DJing under the monicker Johnny Doobs and has played many gigs up and down the country, working tirelessly to promote new music. He is noted for his wide ranging DJ sets which can incorporate anything from Karlheinz Stockhausen to Dr Dre. The DJ mix 7 hOuses in 4 yEars put together for the Monday Jazz Collective encapsulates this perfectly, jumping between Prog Rock, Electronica, Instrumental Hip Hop, & everything in between those cracks. It was also noteworthy for his excellent track Decimals are most fly.

John established Stress Debt Chest Pains in 2010. The manifesto behind the group is noteworthy. “Stress, Debt & Chest Pains is not a record label. Its a more subtle way of getting good music to the people who want it. No mail order, paypals, websites, baskets. Nope. This is hand-to-hand trading. We’ll distribute a series of grandiose musical releases in small limited quantities and in various formats when we feel like it. And that’s that” In todays world this makes economic sense while also making the act of purchase a much more personal experience. The first physical release was a split 7 inch record featuring Deviant & Naive Ted, and C!ties. All the 7 inch records were hand painted by the artist’s which is a nice touch. You can cop the free download here.

mynameisjOhn‘s debut album ‘There is a policeman inside all our heads…‘ followed in February 2011 and is also available as a free download. It was arranged and mixed using records, turntable, mixer, loop pedal, Kaosspad 3, Serato Scratch and Cubase. At least 600 cups of tea were consumed in its production. It’s 9 tracks in many ways mirror the records he consumes. It’s boom bap at it’s finest with tinges of pyschedelia, electronica and old school hip-hop charm.

Deviant’s expertly written release notes state “There Is A Policeman Inside All Our Heads, He Must Be Destroyed” is a hiphop record. Of this I am sure. Yet its musical embrace rejects purist and genre specific concerns. It bangs hard. A hybrid of hyper primitive creation and modern digital nous. This schizophrenia is forever looming. The bravado and swagger of a man who reckons he is “that guy”, the “guy that will go the distance….will go all the way”, always juxtaposed with the self effacing nature of a genuinely humble fellow,”a jack of all trades but a master of none”. Some tracks reject any conventional notions of tonality and linearity, a disparate assortment of individual movements collectively kicked into (mis)shape by an unforgiving master. Other passages convey a deep respect for, and knowledge of, traditional forms. Know what I’m saying? Contemporary. Rootsy. Meaningful, personal and reflective. Throwaway and inconsequential. Dusty. Digital. Duality. Ah sure, don’t mind me. Stick it on the headphones and see. Tis only short.”


September 5, 2011


Gareth McAlinden aka Sertone is a 22 year old music producer from Portadown, and is now based in Liverpool. He released his debut EP The View From Above on Belfast’s Melted Music in February. His music is very much beat driven, in the boom bap tradition. Elements of electronica shine through his impressive productions. A highlight track from his debut EP would have to be the track Past, Present, Future.


It swings like an MPC on steroids, with some nice filtered samples and a big saw wave to get the floor moving, he stated in a recent interview “I used a sample which had vocals about Belfast in it to show people where I’m from. I found the sample just as I started working on the EP for Melted Music who are based in Belfast, so it felt like fate!”

He has recently remixed Deviant & Naive Ted‘s Overheard. It reminds me of Hudson Mohawke’s 80’s keyboard excursions, with a dash of Vangelis Yamaha CS80 pads, coupled with a Tetris on overdrive. Pitched snare rolls interject with sporadic arpeggio assaults, that bubble up to the surface every now and then, and dive below to the klank of rapid drumfiring. Essential listening no doubt, and a production very much in keeping with the times. Bass music is alive and well on these shores and long may it continue.


The man himself brought his sound to Galway in July through Community Skratch music, In the bastion of creativity that is “The Bierhaus” home to the Community Skratch Games. Judging by the video, his set was a massive success, i’ll let you decide for yourself.


Vince Mack Mahon

September 3, 2011

Vince Mack Mahon are a turntable quartet. Members include Jimmy Penguin, Deviant & Naive Ted, Tweek, and Mikey Fingers. These guys are purveyours of the fine art of digging, vinyl manipulation, and looping. This 8 armed skratch beast came to life in 2007, they performed their first show in a closet at the top of the stairs in a house full of drunk arty girls and boring hairy men. Many gigs followed including appearances at the D.E.A.F. Festival with D-Styles, Mantua, and The Community Skratch Games.

Their self titled debut album followed in April 2009. It’s nine tracks set the tone for Irish sample based music in the years following it’s release, and no doubt helped shape each affiliate members future output.You can purchase the album as a high quality flac from Boomkat, or better still pick it up on record from Nozl.

The rumourmill has been in full flow recently about a follow up record. I’ve had the previlige of hearing some of it, it’s gonna be big. To wet the appetite a new track has featured on Project Moon Circle’s Finest Ego complilation. Now named Vince Mack Mongrul and featuring production from Tweek, Deviant, & The Fingers. Sink your teeth into Ode to Vomitea Grey School.


Rumbus Merrylegs

August 31, 2011

David O’Brien aka “Rumbus Merrylegs” is an electronic/acoustic “musician” based in Athlone,Ireland. Having a dj-ing background mixing techno and scratching, the past few years have seen him progress into a producing role. Teaching himself to play the piano,bass and spanish guitar, he has slowly tried to incorporate the acoustic element into his electronic productions,which are made with Ableton and Reason.

I was lucky enough to see this cat on two separates occasions. First time was at the 4th annual Community Skratch Games in Galway April 2010 where is soundscapes threatened to shallow us whole. His sound ranges from Aphex cornish acid to dreamy electronica infused soundscapes. His album Shes Gone From Us was released on Nozl Recordings in November 2010, and gigs at spec.Drum and the 5th annual Community Skratch games soon followed.

I recorded a stereo mix of his set at spec.Drum II on my laptop that night, I’m happy I did. It’s blissful, soulful electronica at it’s finest. As Deviant says it’s “lush electronica for hazy days”, not many will disagree with that prognosis.

A track I think perfectly encapsulates his sound is Anti Cyclonic Depression which features on his live set. This track is available as a free download from Merrylegs Soundcloud page. It starts out with a nice revolving melodic line, before Aphex Richard D James era splatter beats cascade in over the top.

His Soundcloud profile states “With much practice he will eventually be making the music he really wants”.  It’s sounding mighty fine to me already. Can’t wait for more if that’s the case.

Mikey Fingers

August 29, 2011

You run your fingers in the dust, revealing a polished veneer beneath decades of dirt. But this is not neglect. Who said shit had to be shiny?

Mikey’s fingers are pretty important. He touches records on the daily. Stirring, caressing, breaking. Careful, precise placements. Chaotic, aggressive interruptions. A wealth of musical knowledge and appreciation coupled with a healthy disregard for convention.

Who he be? Longtime westie beat head. Galway town 2003/4, big kahuna at hip-hop gatherings GC Underground and RootDown. Round the block for a few years with turntable quartet Vince Mack Mahon (also featuring Tweek, Jimmy Penguin and Deviant), and as part of a two man crew with Tweek, performing all over the place, Electric Picnic, Mantua Festival, ClubHeadBangBang, DEAF Festival Galway Arts Festival, Hard Working Class Heroes and extensively with the Community Skratch collective.

Many of Mikey’s beat excursions and routines can be found on his Soundcloud page. A particular favourite would be Satieday

Mike was also the man behind the very well received spec.Drum nights held in The Loft Limerick City in the early part of 2011, a review of which can be found here.

He’s currently at work on the second Vince Mack Mahon album which is allready sounding massive, and plans to have a new solo release in the near future.

Mikey Fingers – Inertia EP – Free Download

Mikey Fingers – Community Skratch Podcast

Mikey Fingers + Tweek – Tuphat Paddys Ep

Laura Sheeran

August 29, 2011

Laura Sheeran is a Dublin based musician, composer and artist who also works with film and theatre. Her reputation and following have been growing steadily since she started her solo music project in 2005.

Laura was born in Galway, Ireland in 1987. While at school she joined the choir and orchestra (playing the flute), studying both music and art for her Leaving Certificate. At the age of 15, her voice came to the attention of a family friend, Clodagh Simonds (Mellow Candle, Mike Oldfield, Fovea Hex,etc.), who was looking for someone to sing harmony vocals on material from her new group project, Fovea Hex.

Laura subsequently worked on all three Fovea Hex EPs which constituted the Neither Speak Nor Remain Silent series that were released between 2005 and 2008. She peformed live with Fovea Hex during 2008 in France, Italy, Spain, Austria and at the Electric Picnic, which to date has been Fovea Hex’s only appearance in Ireland. Most recently, Laura can be heard on This Is Where We Used to Sing, a Fovea Hex album released in 2011. Michael Begg, a core member of Fovea Hex who performs his own material under the name Human Greed, asked Laura to compose and sing some vocals for his 2011 release Fortress Longing: the internal campaign for the safe and complete return of the sleeping egyptian to the desert.

2010 saw the release, and immediate success, of her debut offering, the free-to-download EP Music for the Deep Woods.


Following a successful crowd-funding campaign (with UK-based Pledge Music), Laura’s double album “Lust of Pig and the Fresh Blood” was released in April 2011 in vinyl, CD and digital formats.

Deviant & Naive Ted

August 29, 2011

This fien has been lurking around the Wesht of Scary Eire promoting hip hop, turntablism and drinking tea since 2001. He’s had residencies at the GC Underground and Rootdown in Galway as well as playing up and down the country when promoters wanted a skratch DJ but couldn’t afford Mek or Tu – Ki. In 2005 he upsticks and moved to Brighton hooking up with the Grandeurs of Delusion crew and performing on the “Stale Breath Of Fresh Aah” album released by Stanley Lockjaw’s fledgling Nausecorps imprint in 2007.

Finding himself back in his parents’ house in the middle of the bog he set about finishing off all those beats he’d been fiddling with for months, releasing the CD-R album “Fragments & Stammerings” to little/no acclaim. While sitting around late one night discussing politics and fine wine, with longtime buds Jimmy Penguin and Mikey Fingers and new skratch fien’ about town Tweek, the idea for Community Skratch Games was born.

Deviant released “Screw Sick – Scenes One to Three”, in February 2009. The album was composed entirely with a turntable, mixer, loopstation, software multitracker, a load of hippy records.

His debut solo 7″ was released on Dublins Alphabet Set records November 25th 2009. It’s A Side “Beauty” comprises of one of the best slabs of Irish turntable music I have heard thus far.

The B – Side is a banger also, and shares the same aesthetic as the first slice of Paddy Bap on side A.

Deviant’s next physical release came from mynameisjOhn’s new imprint Stress, Debt, and Chest Pains. SDCP001 was a split 7″ featuring ‘Deviant & Naive Ted – ‘No More Heroes & on the flip side ‘C!ties – Satellites Remix‘. It’s Limerick release came via Bourke’s Bar October 1st 2010.

Next came the rather excellent collection of earlier Deviant releases via Bandcamp. “Screw Sick”, “Scunga Time” and “Shatter A Shame”, combine to form the body of “Stranded – Triptych“.
“Though never meant to be combined, it became apparent that the trio could be grouped as one, given that they share similar personal thematic concerns and were created in the same fashion. They are presented here in chronological order, as full quality .wavs, direct from the original masters”.

“Building upon the success of last years Alphabet Set 7″ and the recent split 7″ with C!ties on StressDebtChestPains, Send In The Hounds is another collection of dusty musings from the foggy corner of (sur)reality. Traditional Irish folk music presents the body for dissection. Bled. Cut up. Cured. Smoked.

From the bog at Cloonakilleg. Outside looking in. He’s thinking Wu-Tang. The other’s thinking Joe Heaney.”

This was originally released in April on 12″ vinyl but the digital version available now includes two new tracks. Grab ‘Deviant & Naive Ted’s – Send In The Hounds’ from bandcamp, and stick a few coppers in the jar.