Falling behind. I could throw out the ‘so busy’ excuse – writing for various print things and editing a print thing in college (print being similar to a blog but on actual paper, if you’ve never encountered it) – but that’s mostly crap, I just sleep too much. Coming up soon, though, a 5,200 word Kevin Barnes interview transcript and maybe some new form of Irish music exposition gimmick.
Anyway, I went to see Hunter-Gatherer’s 7″ launch in Whelans. Missed Ilex, which is a bad thing because Ilex is really good, heady, beat-counting electronica from my memories of her, and seeing her again would have been nice. Arrived in time to see Meljoann though.
Meljoann’s an interesting one. She seemed, as people do every now and then, to come out of nowhere, making what Nialler was calling skweee and what (according to Meljoann in the last Totally Dublin – one of those ‘various print things’) Glasgow calls aquacrunk and America calls ‘post-Dilla’. Bristol calls it wonky, I think. Thinking about where she sits, musically, is a good thought experiment. She’s heavily into 80s and 90s R’n’B, in too deep for it to be dismissed as ironic even if it was, and that shows through. But she’s au fait with all this stumble-beat electronica coming out at the moment too. Is she knocking around the halls of what the current face of electronic music is putting out, or is she a strange hipster iteration of retro black pop?
She’s probably neither. She doesn’t exactly have her shit as watertight live as might be ideal, but she’s still someone to watch, musically. Her voice is great and her ideas are good. To me, it seemed like she came from somewhere completely outside the Dublin Osaka-y electronic scene and seemed to be isolated, but apparently there’s lots of this stuff. That’s a good thing, I think, and Meljoann’d make a good leader for it if she reduced the amount of time between songs.
Then there was Hunter-Gatherer. In the admittedly extremely microcosmic Dublin scene worldview I possess, he’s already at the top of the pile as far as electronic music goes, and I Dreamed I Was A Footstep In The Trail Of A Murderer is one of the best Irish albums of the last while. His live shows are always incredibly intense, but it always feels like there’s one thing missing that stops it being the fully great experience it could be, and it’s never Hunter-Gatherer’s fault.
This time it was crowd talk. But outside of that, the bass was all-consuming, the screen for the visuals made him look a bit like a ghost before the visuals started, the visuals when they started were just the right type of nonconfluential, I felt, and the songs are, obviously, great. Some day I will see Hunter-Gatherer at six am in a pitch black empty section of piping in Berlin or something, and it will be the greatest gig ever. For now, these shows are more than enough to keep showing up to.