• Serving Punk: An Interview with Problem Patterns

    Off the back of the release of their debut LP Blouse Club and winning Best Video at the Northern Ireland Music Prize, Jack Rudden speaks with Belfast queer punks Problem Patterns about politics, representation and fancy blouses Photos by Sean McMahon Political frustration, an insatiable hunger for justice and pure unabashed cheek are the weapons of choice for Belfast punks Problem Patterns. Formed in 2018 in the wake of a high-profile rape trial, the four-piece has spent years espousing calls for collective action and solidarity amongst oppressed peoples with their distinct brand of abrasive, infectiously catchy and unforgivingly queer hardcore.…

  • Radical Optimism Above All: An Interview with David Holmes

    Ahead of the release of his most fully realised record to date, Blind on a Galloping Horse, Belfast torchbearer David Holmes talks radical optimism, Weatherall, self-awakening, signing to Heavenly and really making it count Artwork by Jimmy Turrell Photos by Steve Gullick Whoever coined “there aren’t enough hours in the day” might not have bothered if they were up on David Holmes. Lauded producer, generation-spanning DJ and soundtrack composer par excellence is the brief but it only grazes the surface of a trailblazer who has packed in more than most. Three sprawling decades in, it’s a journey that hits like…

  • Slomatics

    Off the back of their trouncing new LP Strontium Fields, the Belfast prog-doom titans sit down with Pádraic Grant to talk sci-fi, analogue synths and two decades of sonic expansion Photos by Sean McMahon ​​Twenty years into their existence, Slomatics have entered a new phase. Over six albums, countless splits and EPs, their fuzzed-out sound has grown in complexity and scope. Emerging from the chaos of the pandemic, latest release Strontium Fields, sees the trio – guitarists David Majury, Chris Couzens and vocalist/drummer Marty Harvey – push beyond the doom-stoner-fuzz continuum to blossom into an experimental rock unit as likely…

  • Kindred Soul: An Interview with Negro Impacto

    Off the back of their new single ‘Maybe,’ Ciara Byrne chats to Dundalk neo-soul duo Negro Impacto about encapsulating the vitality and fun of the scene, representing diversity in genre and celebrating the cultural soul of Irish music Photos by Sean McMahon Emerging from the effervescent Dundalk music scene, Negro Impacto have been making a name for themselves across the island of Ireland since forming as a band in 2021. Composed of vocalist and songwriter Chi Chi and multi-instrumentalist Laurence Kapinga, aka StrangeLove, Negro Impacto first met as part of the skate scene in Dundalk, living within 2km of each…

  • Field Music: An Interview with Natalia Beylis

    The Leitrim-based sound artist speaks to Ruairí McCann about her new album, Mermaids, and her music’s relationship to place, language, and community Photos by Aislinn McGinn The great Leitrim-born author John McGahern spent a large portion of his adulthood outside of the country and yet his artistic life remained there, rooted, and deeply concerned with recreating on the page its people, sights, sounds and rhythms, to an almost hypnotic degree. To the extent that the last scene of his last book, Memoir, is occupied with a stroll along the lanes, streams and hedgerows which define and feed Leitrim and much…

  • Power, Romance, Archery: An Interview with Rachael Lavelle

    Off the back of what looks set to be the Irish song and video of the year, ‘Let Me Unlock Your Full Potential’, Rachael Lavelle chats with Jack Rudden about romance, the myth of archery and more Photos by Kate Lawlor Sometimes an artist thrives on a prolific output. They will assure their presence in your mental real estate is safe with an unrelenting release schedule, while constant press and promo maintain a wider cultural relevance. It’s a rather public practice of tenacious self-embiggening that seems to be an essential – if not slightly crushing – part of a life…

  • Q+A: Swimmers Jackson

    Off the back of his stellar new LP Now Is All, we chat to Dublin singer-songwriter Niall Jackson aka Swimmers Jackson about the health of the scene, breaking new ground and being 100% DIY Swimmers Jackson plays Belfast’s Sunflower on 8th September, the Kicking Donkey in Bundoran on 9th September and Sandino’s in Derry on 10th Sunday. Go here for tickets Your new album, Now Is All, is full of highlights and features some of your finest songs to date. Taking a step outside of it, how do you feel it stands apart from what you’ve done before? It’s been…

  • The Museyroom and Many Worlds of Roger Doyle

    Irish composer and godfather of Irish electronica Roger Doyle speaks about his latest album, Finnegans Wake – Suite of Affections, performing live, science fiction and the creative process Photos by Loreana Rushe When Roger Doyle graduated from the University of Utrecht, he was told that he was “the flowering of a seed that was never planted”. It was a poetic summation of his anomalous position on the 1970s Irish music scene, as an electroacoustic composer. What’s more remarkable is that this has been just one strand in his radiating, ever-evolving corpus. For over fifty years, he’s been a force of…

  • The Colour and the Shape: An Interview with The Bonk

    Off the back of the release of their second LP, Greater Than Or Equal To The Bonk, and a much-hyped Irish tour, The Bonk’s Phil Christie talks with Jack Rudden about the orbits of rhythm, language as music and what it means to improvise Photos by Sean McMahon From time to time, you will come across a band that makes you rediscover why you love music. They’ll unearth that little spark that makes you go, “Of course, this is why we listen. This feeling is why our species decided to organise sound in the first place”. Other times, a band…

  • Breaking The Waves: An Interview with Brìghde Chaimbeul

    Off the back of playing Glastonbury, and the release of her thrilling new album Carry Them With Us, Christine Costello speaks with acclaimed smallpipes player Brìghde Chaimbeul about the sounds and inspirations behind her singular craft Photos by Monika Ruman  Carry Them With Us is Brìghde Chaimbeul’s second solo album and features a combination of original compositions and songs inspired by Gaelic folklore and archive recordings. The album is as dark as it is whimsical from the soaring lilts of ‘Banish the Giant’ to weighted tragedies of ‘Oran an Eich Uisge’. Chaimbeul’s rich understanding of her instrument adds a new layer…