Peaks

Peaks a techno duo from Dublin in Ireland is Rory Caraher and James Hyland.

Peaks - Techno from Eire

Peaks

There is something of an experimental air to Peaks as they play around with textures, tempos and extremes. As to be anticipated tracks can ever be extended and the pair do a fine job in distinguishing the lines of between enough and too much. Though, an extra few minutes to pieces would be perfectly plausible with their material that is best suited in the trance arena.


Each iteration of new material finds Peaks in a new mood, which gives the music an added appeal, as they are not seeking to recompose previous works as many do in this genre and it perhaps this adaptability of style and moment that affords the duo the room to step away from the anticipated. Whilst most of what is reviewed involves at least one string based instrument along the way, it is always a delight to be able to suggest something that lives inside loops and electronics as creative thought and value to the world of music, which Peaks achieve with ease.

A new double A side single – IJWU / Barrels is just a couple of days behind schedule as I write on the 9th, so it may well be live by today – which again changes the shape of Peaks.

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Ras Kayaga

Ras Kayaga from Kigali in Rwanda is a reggae singer songwriter.

Ras Kayaga - Reggae from Rwanda

Ras Kayaga

Singing in Kinyarwanda the reggae derived material finds its way into the head like a diamond tipped drill-bit as the sounds resonate of a country still in turmoil dealing with differences much of the rest of the world can only vaguely appreciate.


Other than reggae off-beat, which regular readers well know always strikes a chord, Ras Kayaga offers music of positivity and realism, which I find as I type as such a contrast to the sounds of suburban wannabe gangsters in safe homes – aka – hip-hop / rap  and the banality of the plastic out-put of major label ‘angst’. This is music directly from the heart connecting with the audience in a very simple and unpretentious way.

As to be anticipated, by an underground act in the underground music of Rwanda, material is scarce and not of great recorded quality. For me the quality of recording is never an issue, as you well know, it is all about the genuine chords being struck and I proffer Ras Kayaga as a sound with much to add to the value to the musical tapestry.

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If You Like To Dance – Wasting Time – Video

If You Like To Dance is the electro-pop duo of Chris Gibson (Vocals / Guitars / Programming) and Andy Hoskinson (Bass / Guitars / Backing Vocals) based in Warrington, England.

If You Like To Dance - Vices - art-work

If You Like To Dance – Vices – art-work

Fast gaining critical mass, If You Like To Dance, have a new four track EP – Vices – which is due out imminently. The lead track Wasting Time, has appeared as a video and the track was featured at a home game at Old Trafford recently – knowing how Manchester United have a huge international fan-base –  I am sure many of you will know exactly where Old Trafford lays in the annals of football folk-lore.


Whilst theoretically this is music that should drive me to an apoplectic frenzy, particularly given their début single Skin & Bone was picked up by one of those plastic music National radio stations in the UK, but it doesn’t and I enjoyed my copy of Vices as there is a genuine connection between the musicians, music and audience. If You Like To Dance is as close as I get to the mainstream on the various sites but well worth spending time getting to know and if I didn’t rate the band, I wouldn’t ask you to spend the time.

I am unable to share my favourite track of the release – Gold & Silver, which to my ears is the track with most added value to the world of music, but I can’t – so here is Wasting Time, which is the opening track of the release, though nonetheless a strong piece of music and If You Like To Dance understand their core audience, far better than I.

I wish If You Like To Dance every success for what should be a stellar future in the music business, which they richly deserve.

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Southern Brotherhood – The Basement Sessions – EP Review

The English band Southern Brotherhood have a new three track EP – The Basement Sessions –  set for release on the 15th May.

Southern Brotherhood - Basement Sessions- art work

Southern Brotherhood – Basement Sessions- art work


Opening with Baby Girl, which is a well defined blues rock track that Southern Brotherhood don’t bend far off the straight and narrow. A well constructed piece of music for devotees of the genre.

Next is Right Back Where We Started, which to my mind, finds the band in a more creative space, as although the roots of the sound is identifiable, they seem to have developed in maturity and confidence. Southern Brotherhood deliver a sound which combines Americana with English rock to create a track which allows the individuality of the players to flow more naturally as they are not trying to fit inside a proscribed formula. My pick of the release.

Concluding with the longest piece, which runs at just under seven and three-quarter minutes. Serenade, continues that improvisational streak and for me, this EP finds Southern Brotherhood marking out some of their own territory and as a result sound much more impressive for the change in the song-writing process.

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