December Jamz - Free Download

Getting it on for December here...

One never knows if you'll have the time to put a mix out during the silly season, so took the notion to press record and buzz through a few tunes at 5am-ish last night. Strangely enough, there's no reggae in this one. More of a kick around with breaks, bass and club beats...bit of Amen in there too.



Energy Vibes!

Energy Vibes this week, which is good!

This week's big plug is for the Energy Collective gig this Saturday at Fibber Magees, Parnell St. Dublin 2. I've already had a crack at the Energy Collective Crew once before, and they're absolutely deadly! Just rattled off a mix* here to get a bit of hype going, so enjoy, my little glow monkeys ;P

Gonna be rockin' it out this Saturday in Fibber Magee's basement with DJ Gazz, and with Dirty Dubsters pulling out the full live ting to mash it up. Expect everything from Bass-Funk to Ragga-Jungle Massive. A big ting, with very relaxed vibes on the night...leave you're attitude at the door because this is peace and love man at the Energy Collective, and clubbing, as they claim, that doesn't give a shit...

Facebook Event Page :HERE


*trademark fuck-ups included as per usual, FOC


Part 2 of the "Ganja Dadda" preview (via Irish Moss Records Blog)

Marcus Visionary
Yesterday we opened the box at Irish Moss to take a look inside at the next release for the label (IMR016 - Subtifuge ft. Mr.Williamz "Ganja Dadda). Today it's time to take a look at the first remix, and it's a big one...

Marcus Visionary puts the tune through it's paces to produce the slice of jungle on!

More to come this week with remixes from J.Bostron and from Dirty Dubsters!


P.S. Here's the original in case you missed it first time around


Subtifuge & Mr. Williamz on Irish Moss Records (IMR Blog)

Here's the brand new ganja anthem from Subtifuge, coming out next week on Irish Moss. Mr.Williamz is the badman behind the mic, with a crack squad of remix artists stepping in to give the tune their own personal shakedown. It's also my first official blog with I.M.R. with more on the way this week which will include audio previews of all the remixes, plus a little chat with Subtifuge himself. Enjoy!



Big tings a gwaan...PRESS RELEASE(ISH)

It's some time now since I first heard the Dirty Dubsters debut "Big Tings", and felt immediately compelled to buy the Bulabeats 7" vinyl release when it landed (even though I rarely play actual records in anger any more), but it was a very special thing to see an act coming out of Ireland , pressed on wax, and reaching out to the world with an agenda to join the global reggae party. It might even have been the moment I stopped looking all the time to the past and started looking at the present and future again, with regards to musical inspiration. I went out and bought it, gave the boys a big up on Facebook, and reckoned that with my head in the "Live" scene most of the time (either producing or mixing the gigs) that I probably wouldn't see a whole lot of these guys, but would give them whatever support I could, either through bookings or buying tunes, or simple shouts on the web. Whatever. Fuck it, they were doing something very rare in Ireland, and they appeared to be bloody good at it!

Anyway I was wrong. No, no, they are very good at what they do...but it turns out I DID see a lot of them. Through Irie Ireland, and our involvement with "Trenchtown Irieland" (Electric Picnic etc) our paths crossed so many times that they have become entwined somewhat, with myself and Aunty Shimmy DJing and helping out at Irish Moss label nights, and the lads headlining some of the bigger shows we handle, we've gotten to know each other rather well at this point.

To bring you up to date, on top of their own Dirty Dubsters project, Barry & Jay now have three record labels on the go, with production facilities in Dublin and Kingston (JA), and have built up a catalogue of releases with established and emerging artists from around the globe. With their feet firmly planted in the reggae genre, they've been pulling together the many unraveling strands that the music has inspired and spawned, like Hip-Hop, Jungle, Ragga and every manner of "Bass Culture", riding and driving the new wave of appreciation for all that Jamaica's dancehalls and soundsystems have inspired.

So is this another one of my bloody blogs about Dirty Dubsters you ask?? Well kinda yeah, kinda no. In a way it's a reaffirmation of my support, and acknowledgement for what they have done and continue to do, and in a way it's a press release announcing that a more "formal" relationship has emerged from the fun and games of the last few years, because I am delighted to write that I will now be working directly with the Irish Moss/Dirty Dubster Digital imprints, handling some of the P.R. and A&R, along with Ste O'Brien (AKA Ancient Alien - Strangeways Here We Come) as the label operations expand. It's a pleasure and indeed an honour to be invited to join such a team, especially at such an exciting time for the future of reggae-based-creativity both at home and globally, and I look forward to "fighting the good fight" alongside these dynamic individuals, and flying the flag for Eire in the world-a-reggae.   And maybe even an Aussie one on Australia & Anzac Days ;)

The work starts immediately (if not sooner) so expect a few re-posts from the Irish Moss blog this week as the campaign heats up for the Nov 18th release of the next Irish Moss release "Subtifuge ft. Mr.Williamz - Ganja Dadda", which is an absolute stormer of a track, with remixes from J.Bostron, Marcus Visionary and of course Dirty Dubsters. It's a treat for anyone who loves their reggae, jungle, and fat-ass-bass (and I know you are legion) so check out the previews through the week!



Happy Halloween Bootleggers!

Happy Halloween you shower of evil deviants!

Been busy in the Front Of House & Production departmments, along with last weekend's Rub-A-Dublin reggae-fest (which was savage...big up to all the Dublin Crew, and of course to David Rodigan! Man a legend!). In the midst of the running around on production duties Myself and Aunty Shimmy jammed out a really fun set of reggae past present and future...Big ups gotta go to the Irish Moss boys and to the Beatyard Crew for putting together a beast of a show!

In contrast to the unbridled madness and vibes of Sunday I found myself out on a show yesterday with EQ Audio & Events in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham for the Gala Dinner conclusion of the International Air Transport Association conference in Dublin. A VERY corporate affair in the stunning location of the Irish Museum of Modern Art. The main act were vocal group Anuna (remember Riverdance), and I gotta say they were spectacular...I could go on about vocal textures and arrangements and fuck up me street cred so I won't ;P  Great location though...

Ran straight from there to Doyles where I had to "DJ" all night with a mouse pad. Planned to travel light due to the earlier gig, and use a Kontrol X1 along with the Z1 I picked up last week. Have to say the Z1 performed really well, but the X1 shit the bed so I had no way of controlling transport and FX etc. Interesting gig all the same.

Tonight I'm in the basement at Sweeneys, which'll be right back to the insanity of the underground scene, so been pulling together a few Halloween tracks together for BGP which I thought you might downloads, and their freshness will last til next year I'm assured...enjoy!



Mo'Matic Autumn DJ Mix

Easy Massive!

Having just finished his latest collaboration with Johnny Pluse (The "Spread Out" EP, which drops on Juno on 21.10), Mo'Matic is still blazin' with this wikid reggae-vibes ting which'll have ya skankin' in the fallen leaves like winter's never coming...Rootsmen, Junglists and Neo-Raggabass Warriors alike should all dig this, with cuts in from Dreadsquad, General Levy, Serocee, Congo Natty and Dirty Dubsters. Check it out, download it if you want, and if you like what you're hearing show some LOVE!



Rub-A-Dublin Update

News just in...

More info on the Rub-A-Dublin fest...



17 October 2013 at 15:28

STAGE ROOM: Hosted by Kwasi

Jigzsaw 7:30pm
DAVID RODIGAN: 9pm (EARLY SHOW:  'History of Reggae Set')
Songs of Freedom: (A Tribute to Bob Marley & The Wailers) 11pm
Dub Investigation: 12:30am
Dirty Dubsters & MC Kwasi 1:30am

5PM: ''The harder They Come'(Jimmy Cliff, 1972)
7 PM: ''Rockers'' (1978)

RAM'S RECORD BOX - Powered by inDub Records.
 4-8pm Cafe / 8-close in the Box Rm.

Irie Ireland Crew with Crazy D & Lex Woo 8 - Close.
Smoking Loft Hosted by Junior Spesh Feat. Firehouse Skank. 5pm - Close.

7-8PM 10Euro / 8Members.
8PM onwards: 15Euro / 12Members.



R-R-R-Reggae time again Massive!

A big treat coming to you this "skank-holiday Sunday," with the Rub-A-Dublin reggae festival, a day long event at Dublin's Twisted Pepper.

Appearing on our calenders for the first time this year, the Rub-A-Dublin bash is a collaboration between reggae label Irish Moss Records, MUD,  and Beatyard, bringing together some of Dublin's finest artists and crews to showcase the city's home grown vibe, along with a very special appearance by the Dubplate King, David "Ram Jam" Rodigan.

The Twisted Pepper will be getting a dressing up from Trenchtown's creative team, setting up the vibe that will see the venue transformed for the day to include features like the underground Jamaican cinema, Ram's Record Box (a pop up version of record & reggae shop In-Dub) and three areas of music.

We at Irie Ireland will curate the bar area (with DJ sets from Lex Woo, Crazy D, Worries Outernational, D-Fens and more), while right up top, T.P. regulars Junior Spesh will be rocking it out all day and playing host to local legends Firehouse Skank.

In the live room you can catch performances from Jigzsaw (Irish Alliance), Dub Investigation, Songs Of Freedom (A Tribute To Bob Marley & The Wailers), and an EXTRA-SPECIAL live show from Dirty Dubsters! This is where you'll also catch star turn Sir David Rodigan as he brings his "History Of Reggae" to Dublin, a not-to-be-missed experience.

There'll be Caribbean food and special cocktails to sustain you through this memorable day, so don't be afraid to get down early and catch a movie before the madness kicks in.

Tickets for the day will set you back €12/€15 and are available via the Bodytonic Website.

Don't forget, this event is strictly 18 & Over...

**Update : Link to stage times HERE ***



Free Spread!

Easy All!

Time to drop another Johnny Pluse number on ya! Yes Johnny has teamed up again with Mo-Matic (who you may remember from the killer remix of "Start Movin'" on the "Book Of Lies - Remixed", or more recently appearing on the crack remix squad which tackled the Irish Moss release of Gardna/Parly B's "Big Bad Sound".

The new E.P. from the pair, "Spread Out" is due for release on Bulabeats Records via Juno the 21st of October, and features a big acid-skanker remix of the title track by Dirty Dubsters. To wind y'all up to it the boyz have dropped this freebie on the world. It's the VIP remix of the flipside tune "Duppy Dub"...Amen to that Bredren! ;)



Resurrection mix-up

Yes to celebrate my resurrection here's a brand new mix! I'm back...and I'm breaking my blog silence! I've been running around avoiding this and a million other things for the last few weeks, but life is returning to something approaching normality now :-D

Enjoy the mix and I'll catch up with you all afterwards.

Love & Bless



More Fyah! Ras Tinny sending blessings - Trenchtown, Electric Picnic - Production Blog

MC Ras Tinny says "link"...

Fronting up on the mic for Alpha Steppa at the Fort Stage soundclash at Outlook Festival, Croatia, on Thursday night is quite a warm up for Ras Tinny! He'll be jumping into a car straight from stage and making a four hour dash to Venice, Italy to catch a plane back to Ireland where the Surinamese MC is set to appear on Trenchtown's Yard stage with Dub Investigation. This giant of the local scene is starting to stretch his considerably long legs and make some outernational moves, with a UNOD 2014 appearance on the cards. On Saturday night you'll catch Tinny again at The Yard with World Bass Culture's ManG Killamanselecter, and I'm sure countless other times, including with the bredren at Revelation Sound. Busiest man around right I've said, he'll be hitting the stage first as part of the D. I. Crew, so here's an introduction to Dub Investigation, for those not already acquainted with...

Incidentally, I ran into both Lariman and D-Snipe around da town on Monday, and they're hyped about this's gonna be one SERIOUS weekender!! :-)



Weekend line-up for the Trenchtown area, Electric Picnic 2013 - Production Blog

Here's the weekend line-up for the Trenchtown Yard stage, along with the two all-day system session style stages, Kingston 12 with Mr.Whippy and the Jungle, with Revelation Soundsystem. For families, below you will find the child friendly events programme. Stage times to be released shortly! :-)


Blackout at Electric Picnic - Blessings and all tings Trenchtown! - Production Blog

Greetings once again! Preparations continue on site, and we are blessed as you can see from the above, as Squigley has produced this work of art to onward beckon migrating festival goers over the bridge, through the woods, and into the One Love Vibrations of Trenchtown... Cheers to BigShow (Da Trenchtown Mafia!) for the constant stream of pics from site, and to Doc and The Cap for the same...the rest of the crew are getting itchy to get on site at this point too... Technical load in has been moved forward to Wednesday, due to logistical practicalities, so there'll be a lot more time to tweak and tinker before Friday.
The Jungle soundsystem shelter, to be inhabited by conscious roots Rastafari warriors Revelation Sound, is being built next, beyond the walls of the yard, among the trees, designed - rather aptly - on an Etheopian Coffee house. At the head of this project is the wonderful craftsman Mr. Christy Collard, well known for his work creating stages and structures for Body & Soul over the years. We are really stoked to have the opportunity to work with Christy, and can't think of a more fitting alignment, with Revelation holding residence there for the whole of the festival weekend.

Returning to things musical, Blackout J.A. has been in touch, with a few words for the Massive...

Back almost six months to the day since his first Irish appearance, Blackout hits the Trenchtown Yers stage at EP on Saturday night.  Since his hugely successful March show at Twisted Pepper in Dublin  with Irish Moss Records, Blackout has been busy, teaming up with reggae, breaks and junglist artists like Dirty Dubsters, Bluntskull and Run Tingz Cru, and slaying all before him.  To celebrate the Jamaican MC's return the Jamaican/Irish lable AYA Productions are releasing "Dancehall Emperor", a version on the AYA/Dirty Dubsters "Summer OF Dub" Riddim as a limited free download to fans and friends of Trenchtown E.P. Grab it while you can! If you miss it you'll be able to pick it up as part of the Summer Of Dub Riddim E.P. (also featuring Sista Quanna and Clinton Sly), due out on AYA later in the Autumn. Just download from the AYA Soundcloud page via the Soundcloud player below...

Trenchtown Saturday night headliners 'Dirty Dubsters' are giving Electric Picnic goers the chance to win signed copies of their album. 1 lucky person will win a limited vinyl edition while 4 more people will be chosen at random to win album on C.D. Visit Irish Moss label page 'Like' and post 'Fire It up' on their wall. Winners will be announced Thursday 29th.

Another post to follow very shortly...;)



Irie Ireland in the mix for Trenchtown E.P.2013

Late post here but seeing as the track is public now I can drop this one on you... ;-)

Yes, We're throwing out this little bootleg to celebrate Irie Ireland hitting Electric Picnic again this year. A tribute both to Bob Marley and to our beloved Trenchtown in the woods....big up all the Trenchtown Crew! We can also announce that Johnny Pluse (Bulabeats Records) will be joining Irie Ireland as a special guest for the Sunday night slot, as well as MC Dewe and you never know who else... ;) Check in with us on Facebook for futher tings and all...

Love & Bless  from Aunty Shimmy & Carlos Irie, RASpect to Mr. Marley and to The Cap, see you in da lights!



Mr.Whippy arrives at Trenchtown, E.P. 2013 - Production Blog

Mr. Whippy has moved into Trenchtown today, pulling into his new spot at Trenchtown's Kingston 12 Cafe, where he plans to chill the minds of the massive with his island life discotheque "Club Tropicana". This is Trenchtown's "Night Club"...a killer crew of selectors and live jamming, as the weekend goes off on the covered dancefloor. Here's all the info and ting for all those fans of Mr.Whippy's trademark top rankin' world-of-grooves musical experiences. For the ice-cream sound virgins, you should check out the vibes AT LEAST once over the weekend, and no, there is no actual ice cream in the van, just dj's (which in my opinion is cool enough as it is). Best DJ Box on the road by miles!

Joining Mr Whippy each night on board his lovable 1970's Ice-Cream-Van-turned-DJ-booth, will be long-time Whippy collaborators, Dublin party DJ Lex Woo and Paris's Superfly Records main-man Manu Boubli, along with long-time musicial and record production collaborators Professor Toner, Kunle and 'aul Harri, and exotic tropical dancers, the Tropicana Coconuts.

Friday: Mr Whippy Soundsystem featuring Lex Woo and Mr Whippy flexing their considerable joint vinyl muscle over a 6-hr pan-african musical journey, a seamless sonic adventure from the Carribean to Brazil to Columbia to West Africa and back to the Tropical Discotheque spiced up with Saxophone solos from Dublin afrobeat pioneer Kunle and exotic dance-moves from the Tropicana Coconuts.
Saturday: Mr Whippy Soundsystem featuring Manu Boubli and Mr Whippy with guest selections from Professor Toner. Back in the 00's, Mr Whippy and Professor Toner brought Fela Kuti's drummer and co-creator of afrobeat, Tony Allen, to play his first Irish show. Tony was living low-key in Paris at the time and was rediscovered by club promoter and record store owner, Manu Boubli; the man who brought afrobeat back to the global dancefloor's attention ever since, re-launching Tony Allen's recording career, and with his own consistently excellent compilation LPs and legendary DJ-sessions. Manu's Superfly Recordstore in Paris is recognised by top-respected worldwide DJs as one of the last resorts for rare, original, funky african vinyl: - Quantic and Gilles Peterson go to Manu when they want to find freshly rediscovered and mind-blowing tropical records for their playlists that no-one else has heard of yet!! This is a SERIOUS Trenchtown treat tonight to have Manu Boubli select from his vast knowledge and record collection of music of the African diaspora - at a special Club Tropicana Trenchtown party with his old pals Mr Whippy and Professor Toner on board the Mr Whippy Soundsystem.

Sunday: Mr Whippy Soundsystem all-star show featuring Manu Boubli, Lex Woo, Professor Toner and Mr Whippy with special guest MCs and musicians joining the jam, including afro-drummer 'aul Harri accentuating the party riddims with live percussion overdubs, Kunle on sax, and representing Drogheda's External Sounds crew, guest selections with Emmylou and Andrew K, with dancefloor inspiration from the Tropicana Coconuts. Let these vinyl record collectors take you by the hand, and welcome you to dancefloor wonderland on a Club Tropicana sunset cruise with music from sun-drenched places; tropical-disco; original afro-beat; carribean ragga-muffin biznezz' Ting!

Catch you there, under the neon palm trees.... IRIE!


Stage goes up at Trenchtown, Electric Picnic - Production Blog

Wall and Stage construction. Photo - Doc
The stage is up people! This will be where you can catch most of the live action at Trenchtown over the weekend. As you can see from the pic work is well under way, and the walls are about to go up around the Yard, all the better to build the heat and fyah inside...

Megahertz Audio will be the PA supplier for 2013, with lighting also from Megahertz and from LiteFX, who are the ambient lighting guys for the Trenchtown area, and no strangers to the woods at E.P.

Across The Yard...View from stage position. Photo - BigShow

Check back for more on the Trenchtown build as it happens, and words from the artists as they send their shout outs to the Electric Picnic Massive!!



Breaking New Ground at Trenchtown E.P. - Production Blog

Everybody is asking what's going on, and I've obviously been too busy to blog (again), so DJ Carlos is going to have to stand aside a bit for the next week and a half, because this is where you'll get the scoop on the preparations for Trenchtown, in the run up to Electric Picnic 2013. For festival goers, it'll give you a little taste of the treats in store, and for artists, you'll get to meet the crew and see how everything is shaping up as we roll out the green carpet for your arrival. I'll be blogging my own journey to the festival as area production manager, as well as the Irie Ireland build up, and all the buzz from the performers as the biggest gig of the year rolls around again.

Yes, it's almost time to load the wagons and hit the road to Stradbally Estate again, as Trenchtown gets ready to open it's gates for the fifth year. The site crew moved in and started the build today, by Thursday most of the staging and structural work will be completed, and next week will see the artistic team sprinkling ragga-dust across the forest before the technical team arrive to light it all up and make the trees vibrate to the sound of the bass. Then it's showtime! Back in 2009, the show consisted of 2 live acts, and a Dj/MC line-up curated by Worries Outernational, who also brought their whopper Void rig. I remember it well...Myself, Aunty Shimmy and Mark Megahertz arriving drenched in sweat late Friday evening, (with Mark due to leave for New Zealand half way through the weekend), carrying crates of gear from the main gate in the pissing rain. Fun times! We all got a bit of a tingle walking into Trenchtown that Friday, and still get it, as every year the area and vibe grows bigger and brighter. Many of the artists also speak about the unique buzz of Ireland's biggest reggae showcase as being like a feeling of being "home", something even more true for the crew who have grown with the village. So home we go...

Moving in
Five years on Trenchtown 2013 consists of three stages, hosting over 40 acts. Never happy to stand still, Martin Hickey (aka The Captain/aka Our Man In Jamaica/aka Mr. Trenchtown) has stepped things up again, secured more woodlands to fill with sound and dancers, and is busy with the Site Crew working on the new layout. It's one of the very few places at the festival where you can actually find seats and benches and take the weight off and chill for a while, so as part of the expansion we've created an new "Ambient Jungle" area where you can crash out and recharge, while a magical soundtrack from the trees transports you to Jamaica's "Cockpit Country", and distant transmissions bring you through the Island's history, and Ireland's 18th century links to the Caribbean (subliminal education kids...). This area will host the family activities during the afternoon, with drumming workshops, children's yoga and juggling/pyro shows to keep the younger ones entertained. Will Softly will be showing his gentler side, with his Sundance Kids disco, providing the soundtrack. We' are also very very excited to welcome back Revelation Sound, not for a DJ set, but to take up full residence for the weekend, this time with their stacks of Jah Tubby's high power! Hot from a string of Uk and Ireland festival appearances, Revelation will bring vital (and Ital!) roots, dub and concious vibes to the woods, along with a host of friends and special guests. Highlights will include a FOC187 DJ set, and the mighty Worries Outernational, Junior Spesh, Pressure Drop Soundsystem and World Bass Culture Crews.

Moving back in to more familiar territory, The Kingston 12 Cafe will host the Mr.Whippy Soundsystem, complete with 70's ice-cream van, chilling those minds with a tropical musical adventure, as Whippy and his team of crack collector selectors jamming with live musicians from early til late. The village streetscape and wall of fame will take you into the Trenchtown Yard, newly redesigned to ensure a pressure cooker atmosphere, with a second stage which puts the DJs in the crowd, and the live stage packed with much loved home grown heroes, and outernational guest MCs Soom T, Blackout J.A. and Mystro. You's truly will have the honour once again of opening the Yard with a DJ set at 6pm Friday. It's an honour that doubles as a sound check, and this year I'll be trading places halfway through as head noise-boy Mark Megahertz DJs his Picnic Debut. At this point we'll have had a good tweak at the sound, should be completely happy with all things technical, and it's time to unleash the beast upon the massive... More details on the goings on in the yard to come in a later blog!

Last year's cinema is gone from the Kingston12, moving outside the walls of the yard, in the form of a junkyard-drive-in. You'll be chillin' like a villain sitting in the back of the brand new second hand salvaged fleet, with a Jamaican Cinema programme running through the weekend.  The Jerk Shak (where the whole Trenchtown story started) will of course be back serving jerk chicken, rice'n'peas and the all important Blue Mountain coffee.

While on site the work order gets shorter as jobs are ticked off the list, back here in Dublin the pre-production has almost finished, with most of the performer passes having being delivered by The Cap this evening and heading out in the post tomorrow. First issued performer ticket for the whole festival went to Bevin Rimson, our youngest artist,  who'll be performing her public debut this year, having delighted crew, artists and VIPs alike with a wonderful private Sunday afternoon gig with house band T.T. Love in the green area last year. Not every day you get ticket number 000001, so here's the photo for posterity! This year you'll be able to catch Bevin with Count Ozzie's Ragga Children. It's not just pure luck either that the first batch issued ended up on our desk, as Shimmy has taken her military stage management approach to the accreditation game, and along with Artistic Director Donna managed to beat next of kin names and contact details out of all those otherwise engaged in and distracted by artistic pursuits, to get the dreaded paperwork over the line.

I have an assistant PM this year, with Dolly jumping out of her usual role in artist crew to ensure that I get a coffee break this year, woo-hoo! Dolly has spent the last year honing her event skills, and will be forever in my debt for ensuring that 22 hour shifts for Moi are a thing of the past. (Don't worry Dolly, I'm always on call, I got your back!) The main-stage team is back together again, with a few small changes... Dylan is taking on the lead Stage Manager post, and making sure that the no-late-starters record remains unbroken (no pressure). Also handling stage traffic will be the man who made us laugh the most at Body & Soul, the legendary Mr. Glenn Brown.  Front of house sees the ultr-calm Taran back again to join Mr.Megahertz behind the desk, bringing Mozy from the Energy Collective team with him for added calm efficiency. Vetran Picnic-er Emma will hold things down at back of house, handling the weekend's admin with new recruit Amy, and Rory takes to the road again, as the friendly face of artist logistics. A big thanks goes out to all the crew for their work so far through the year, Dawn for all the killer ninja PR moves, and special Big Ups also have to go to the Festival Republic Crew for all their love and support in the run-up...we're feeling it!

Stay tuned for updates as the big weekend draws closer, along with some little treats and teasers from the talent, and if time allows I'll be dropping a special Irie Ireland ting here, with a little of what to expect as we rock out a midnight show on the last day of the festival...BOOM!



Trenchtown News & Crazy Bald Heads

It's very difficult sitting on news until the official press releases go out, but all good waits come to an end and I can now let you know about a few of the new announcements for Trenchtown at Electric Picnic. Here's what all the excitement at Trenchtown HQ has been about...

London's MC Mystro aka Mysdiggi will be joining us to bring a little UK urban flavour to the late nite reggae jamz. I caught him a few years back (2008 I think??) appearing with the Yesking crew at Chai Wallah in the early hours of the morning and what a vibe!! Followers of the local scene will already know that Mystro has collaborated with Dirty Dubsters on their album "Fire It Up" and will make a guest appearance with them, in addition to performing his own show. On Mystro's last visit to Ireland, he caught up with Enda Kenny for a chat about Ireland's current policy on Marijuana, and met with a Garda Community Policing representative to the discuss the startling rise in breakfast roll addiction in Ireland.

Like a small but incredibly powerful detonator, globetrotting Glaswegian Soom T is dropping in from a busy touring schedule to join the Trenchtown Party, having blown away crowds in Dublin during her recent appearances. The list of artists the Scottish MC has recorded with goes on and on, and her Jekyl & Hyde vocal styles will have you soaring sweetly in the skies one moment, then double timing around a parade ground in an instant. Killer skills are Soom's lethal weapons, and she is sure to scorch the trees with word power, rhythm and melody. Driving the riddims for Soom T at Electric Picnic will be Madu's Mr. Upfull, as the pair get set to re-ignite the fyah of recent collaborations.

In other Trenchtown related news, Noiseboy Mark "Megahertz" will be losing his trademark lions mane, which he's been cultivating since E.P. '09. Trenchtown's Front Of House Man is shearing his locks today to raise much needed funds for local Dublin girl Robyn, who is in need of expensive life saving cancer treatment, only available to the 8 year old and her family outside Ireland. If you can make it along to The Autobahn, Glasnevin Avenue tonight (details of event HERE) you can witness the grand skinning event and donate in person, or you can visit the WEBSITE set up for donations. There'll be food, drinks and music with the Irie Ireland crew for the night. I guess just about every reggae musician in Ireland should know Mark at this stage, but I'll post a Crazy Bald Head photo at a later stage in case you don't recognise him with his new slick dome! ;)


P.S. Just got back from the head shaving, so here is the result :

Well done man, it suits ya... ;) People can continue to donate to the fund by visiting the WEBSITE. Not sure of the figure raised, but it was well over 2K from what I hear. Big ups!

Electric Picnic goes Dirty

Dirty Dubsters come again to burn down the dance with this rework of Freddie McGregor's "Born a Winner". This Electric Picnic special features Blackout J.A. on vocals, and is surely a taste of what to expect when the Dubsters take to the Trenchtown Live Arena Stage, alongside Blackout, with a full live show. Dubbing out with live percussion, brass and scratching, the lads are promising a party storming reggae melt down, with more surprise guests to be announced...

Keep your eye on the Trenchtown Facebook Page for fresh announcements regarding Electric Picnic. I just realised that it's only about two weeks away, which is the equivalent to standing on a rake. Ouch.



Beats from the Ford Of The Elderflowers

This is Johnny Pluse, Bitches
Trim. It's name derived from Baile Átha Troim, or "Ford of the Elderflowers". I'm no toponymist (I just googled "Trim" purely out of idle interest), but back in my childhood I'm sure I'd have seen the link, incredibly clearly. Every year we would make two visits to Trim, to visit an elderly great aunt, who, being a nun, lived in the Mercy Convent in Trim, and indeed all I really saw were Elders, going about in quiet institutional fervor. Aunt Kathleen, or Sister Raphael as she was known, took holy orders close to the age of 40, having served as a nurse with the British army, mostly I believe in India. She smoked her last cigarette as she walked in the gates of the convent all those years ago to begin a new life, and became both a nun and a music teacher. I think music, along with my Father's sympathetic distraction techniques, helped get me through those visits, as there was a rather nice piano, and on a few occasions I got to sneak a shot on the chapel's organ. Apart from that, it was pretty dull to a kid, despite the genuine kindness of the nuns to visitors (ie. Jelly & ice-cream/biscuits etc). I never really saw any other part of the town, so my only perception of the place was based on a huge dark stone building populated by mostly elderly ladies, around whom you had to be on your best behavior...

Johhny Pluse vs Trim Castle
Flash forward, and imagine my amusement and delight when I find that Trim today is a hotbed for bangin' beats and thundering bass! No longer is it the bubble of boredom I experienced as a child, but the vibrant home of Bulabeats Records. Yes Massive, County Meath is kickin, and just to prove the fact, Bulabeats Bossman Johnny Pluse
is back with another EP, "The Big Sounds & Noise" (Cat No. BB0056), the promo blurb of which reads (rather honestly!) "This Might be Moombah or Dancehall was not sure...But These Tunes have been Tried and Tested and they go off!!!". The 4 track E.P. is a slight departure from his usual style, with the press release further explaining, "JP has infused some dub Inspired Sounds over Tight Drums and Speaker Shattering Bass to create some original 110Bpm club friendly Floor Smashers". My fave so far (due to my love both of reggae and mid-tempo breaks) is the The Sunshine Skank, which in celebration of the E.P.'s release is available for free download from Soundcloud for a limited time (I imagine). Check it out:

This is in fact the only track I've been able to play out so far, but below you'll find the complete E.P. preview, and you can go get it from JUNO on Monday 12th August. While you're over there getting "The Big Sounds & Noise" you can check out Mr. Pluse's impressive discography, along with previous Bulabeats releases, including all that tasty Nu-/Ghetto/Bass Funk (whatever-ya-call-it) from the very talented Dusty Tonez. Let me know how you get on, or better still, let Johnny know! You'll catch him on Facebook, or curating the Bulabreakdown blog.

That's all for today, gotta hit the town and do a little planning for an October event (still under wraps for the moment, but you'll hear about it soon right here!), then on to Doyles Bar for a Thursday night session...



Rebel County Fyah

Independence and unity...two concepts or states of being that would at first seem to be at odds with each other. However in a great display of unity last weekend a crew led by Revelation Sound pulled off one of the most memorable independently produced weekenders in the history of reggae music in Ireland. It's taken me til today to catch up with life sufficiently to sit down and write something, but let me say from the outset that I personally (and I think I can speak somewhat for Shimmy here too) left Cork with a feeling of inner well being that was thanks in no small part to the vibe with all the crew involved...

A bus journey, we thought would provide a wonderful opportunity to drink in the countryside while flicking through tunes and dubs, and we did a little of that, but mostly it was laugh and banter. Traffic heading down to Oxegen and Castlepalooza caused slight delays but we were well on track to hit Cork for showtime. We stepped off onto the quays and were quickly joined by Shimmy's sister, who quickly started employing some Jedi mind trick that thickened up my partner's accent to the point where she could pass for a local again, and with that done we were straight up to the venue to take a look. This is in no way Revelation's first event at The Pavillion, but we'd never had the pleasure of visiting before and I immediately loved it! We were met at the door by Jeremiah Revelation (with hugs) and after stopping for a quick look at the bar level where the all day session would be happening on the Sunday, we went up to check out the venue upstairs where the main Sound System sessions would be taking place. With ornate ceilings and tiered layout it's an incredibly nice room. I'm not sure of the history but as you may see from the photo's it resembles an old dance hall or theater, kitted out with a pretty hefty house PA (props for the analogue Midas console at FOH). This however was not going to be switched on (apart from the stage mons). There were bigger plans for the weekend. Already set up and  being warmed before doors by Benji, was a big stack of Revelation sound, while the I Kingdom Sound was also already set up for the Sunday night clash. The little green room was buzzing, and I hope that by leaving all our stuff piled up in there for the night we helped bring everyone a little closer (by being forced to stand so). Mind you they may have been cursing us! :D

Jah Shaka
Ras Tinny and Bibi Ewa arrived with Doc Inity (Kebra Ethiopia Sound S.A.), and soon it was busy with Cork crew arriving as time to doors got closer. VJ Present was onstage to provide visuals, which were looking sweet. Jim is also the visual artist with local psychadelic dubbers "Wiggle" and World Bass Culture. Know's his onions. We nipped around the corner to The Roundy for a quick drink and when we got back the session was in full flight. Revelation were pumping out the dubs on high power, in Roots & Rastafari style, as Fyahred's voice swooped and soared around the conscious chant vibes from Ras Tinny and Benji, who run the sound with Miah on their new or fairly recently acquired Jah Tubby's preamp. If you've never seen one of these they're a slightly confusing piece of equipment at first glance, usually because they are a rack unit covered in knobs and toggle switches, with no indication on the face panel as to what anything does. However they basically provide some amount of dynamic control in the form of basic channel EQs, and a ten band rotary graphic, along with a filter section and a couple of effects sends. They allow you to run your system four-way, with corresponding kill switches for the top, mids and bass sections. There is no visual feedback from LED strips or meters, so you gotta fly one of these by the ears, and not forget which knob is where. I got to twiddle with their other Preamp on Sunday, as that was running Revelation wall-of-sound number two which we played on, and I found it rather nice experience! It was time for a lesson from a master as Jah Shaka stepped on stage, with Revelation having decided to move over and give the Zulu Warrior as much time as possible. At this point I wasn't feeling very motivated to charge my phone so one picture is all I managed before the dub made me forget... I wasn't aware that local laws in Cork meant a two o'clock curfew, and too early the dance was at an end, but what atmosphere. It was Shimmy's sister's first full on Dub Session experience, and she was mad for more reggae as we left. "Soon come," we said as we ate our chips and discussed fishing and trekking in the Russian wilderness with strangers in Burger King, as the Ital way of life had not quite rubbed off on us during the night.. After two offers of places to stay in the city from some more strangers, we eventually cut a deal with a taxi driver and drove out to Whitegate for the night.

Saturday  meant a trip to Middleton to pick up some of Green Saffron's spices from the farmers market (oo-arr), and some family visits. Being out of Dublin was nice, and we were kinda winding down so by the middle of the day we'd decided that we'd skip the trip back into Cork that night. Shimmy doesn't get down to Cork that often so it was really nice to hang with her clan, in the still relaxed tone which the weekend had taken on, but with lots of laughs and a fair sprinkling of lunacy. Highlights included a wonderful Indian curry from the aforementioned market stall, looking for mad stuff in second hand shops, and Shimmy's three year old nephew pissing in the little tray in the car between the gear stick and the handbrake when his mother wasn't looking. Awesome little dude! Speakers were got, a party convened and at 5 that morning we were having a Dub session with some local teenagers, banging out their own dubstep tunes from the loops loaded up on the F1. Have to say it doesn't sound easy to grow up there these days...seems to be a lot of trouble and strife a gwaan, but despite that the kids all seemed pretty clued into life, and were facing up to the future with a bit more drive and direction than a lot of my generation ("Sure it'll all be grand!" we said). Great bunch, tight crew, and not afraid to say they love each other. And no, they weren't on pills...

I Kingdom, Revelation & Rootical Sounds setting up.
Sunday was battle stations.  While I was standing on a hill at the back of the house with my phone held in the air trying to get my emails, Emma Revelation (aka Fyahred) called Shimmy to ask could we cover an extra slot, and we said of course. The slightly laissez fair attitude we'd fallen into in preparation for the gig was paying off in spades. If we'd had a plan it'd have been the wrong plan now, so we we're in good shape. It's hard to tell what an "all-day-ting" with lots of crews will turn out like. We'd originally been looking at a more roots & dub set, with a bit of live dubbing with Traktor's Remix Decks, but  the atmosphere and the chat on Friday night, along with a phonecall with Ras Tinny during which he reported on Saturday night's success, were all pointing us a little higher in energy. We'd received a special to drop, which has a nice light steppas vibe, and there were people chatting about playing ragga jungle and stuff so we left things a bit open til we saw what the vibe was like. Goodbyes were said and we hit the road for The Pavillion again, arriving in time to catch Jason Rootical and his crew getting their sound ready for the clash. Great to see the three sounds ready to rumble...sadly not a sight you often see in Ireland. That might change though... It was at this point that I got around to mapping the VST siren to the Kontrol F1. Finally. Downstairs the sound was running and Rik Appleby's "Lionheart" were rockin' the bar. Party time we decided...tempo up a little and keep it phat and bouncy. I was still line checking and getting a helpful run through from Rik and from Benji (who was on hand if I was muddled by the JTS Pre, or tried to blow the shite out of his sound) when Shimmy launched in with Luciano's Rub-A-Dub Market and it was on...the place continued to fill and there was a good party buzz building. We had that Dirty Dubsters "Summer Of Dub" track to drop, and when it did I could see grins on faces that were bouncing up and down all around the room...big ups lads, and big ups to Sista Quanna and rest of the AYA Crew in JA...(Blessed LOVE fi di dubplate. Give thanks!) Shimmy had also gotten something nice from Steppa Style, and we'd a couple of our own edits, so the set ran through everything from steppas to dancehall and ragga flavoured breaks touching on d'n'b before we handed over to Spetz and Man G Killamanselector (of World Bass Culture renown).

We'd never played a gig in Cork before so our collective cherry was now in tatters. We chatted a bit with peolpe who were there, stripped out the equipment and hit the venue upstairs to catch some of Pressure Drop Soundsystem, and Professor Ruff Chuff, before falling prey to the munchies and heading out to find food. We bumped into MC Cian Finn a few streets away, returning with noodles, which was tempting, but we stuck it out and stumbled upon a little diamond of a place called ORSO, which sells top notch food at kebab shop prices. If you are ever in Cork I recommend a visit if you like fusion type fare. Posh meal over, we strolled back in a quickly figured out that jumping around in front of a soundsystem would have to now wait a bit and grabbed a couple of comfy chairs down in the bar while Bellyman played a wonderful selection which kept us there til Worries Outernationl selecter Andy Culture took over to close the night, dancehall guns ablaze, firing from their awesome collection of dubplates. By that point we were a bit more digested so the soundclash was attempted again, this time successfully. I can't tell you who won, or if there was a winner, or if there was ever meant to be one, but it was really going off up there. Sadly I Kingdom's Sound had failed to fire up, but were accommodated by the ever loving Revelation. These things happen, and tomorrow is another soundclash. The Rootical Sound System was as enormous sounding as ever, and made me wish for the days of Mantua again...

So with both rooms exploding with vibes, the night, and the Irieland Roots & Reggae Festival came to a close. Congratulations and respect, and not forgetting thanks, are due to Revelation Sound, and all the Crew in Cork who made it happen. Looking forward to catching up most of you at Electric Picnic. Big ups!

That wasn't all though... We drove out of town with Cian Finn, who told us about his upcoming tours of North America and Asia, (they'll love him...and with his charismatic performances he'll have no trouble!), to a really cool farmhouse where a few of the World Bass Culture guys live, and spent a really nice few hours chilling with music from Scandal Rankin's Simon, and Miah Revelation, and eating blueberry pizza (which I think is patented by Ruff Chuff Laboratories, but I suggest you try it on the sly...). After a couple of hours kip we discovered the River Lee running right through their back garden, which also has lots of fruit trees and a substantial organic plot. Lucky gits can also make as much noise as they want out there, as there's nobody to hear it. The sun was baking so most of the day was spent crashed on the lawn and chatting to the guys. Doc Inity needed to catch a flight back to South Africa so we headed back to Dublin with a very tired Ras Tinny who'd been doing airport runs at seven that morning. Plans were afoot for a quick WBC dubplate session in Dublin before Doc flew out, but I'm not sure if the time gods allowed for that in the end, because once we got into the house I fell asleep for about 4 hours and haven't spoken to Tinny since. Go to the next WBC night and let me know! ;)

Cork, and more importantly, the people that are from Cork (even those who weren't!) thanks for being so warm and welcoming, we left inspired. See you again after The Picnic. Much love x



Written intent

This is a double first for me. It is both the first time I have blogged from my phone, and my first time blogging while overnighting in a tent. I never saw the need before (and I probably still don't to be perfectly honest, but I did say I would do this every day...ish). I'm not at a festival, or on an important scientific expedition, in fact I'm right outside my house. I don't usually sleep outside the house instead of inside (intentionally), but I'm having a traditional camp out with 6 year old Ryan tonight. Traditional in the sense that there is a tent. The lack of WiFi is probably the greatest hardship we have suffered (must get that other modem out..), and the movie was great. Movie? When I was a kid we couldn't watch a movie in a tent when we were camping. We got to shine a torch a the roof (or the wall...your choice), and if you were lucky there was a ghost story, and maybe even a song about farts. But there were no movies, and if you'd told your mother you'd woken up and found your Dad blogging she would have probably have thrown him out of the house for good...

A rather peaceful end to the day, which saw a little headway made on dubbing out a bit of material for this weekend. Last time out with Irie Ireland I had just picked up a Traktor Kontrol F1, and with very little time to mess around with it I just loaded it up with a few samples. This time however there are two F1s, and we'll work a live dub in somewhere in the set if it fits. I'm loving the simplicity of Traktor's remix decks and F1s together. I'd like the luxury of a few days on Ableton making loops and samples, and I still don't have the dub siren running off the F1 yet, but soon come...

Dirty Dubsters are also running live testing this Saturday night at The Bernard Shaw, playing The Beatyard session before they head to Boomtown for two full live shows. It's a freebie so go check them out as I'm told they've a few new rockets in their arsenal. Info on the event HERE! On the left you can see people queueing to even get a look in at the boys through the window ;) Arrive early.

In other news, details are starting to emerge about another Cork weekender on the cards...a bit broader in musical terms, but in equally good taste. Check out Scandal Rankin' on as it comes.

I'm now starting to go cross-eyed typing on this little screen, so I think it's time to sign off and get some sleep before dawn chorus...



Computer says No...Traktor says wot?!

It's taken me a couple of days to get around to this...mainly because I didn't really want to do it! After a year as a "Digital" DJ, I finally met with the inevitable issues that come part and parcel with the format. Two really scary nights I gotta scary I couldn't write a blog about it, or that's the excuse I'm gonna use... There's a new mix posted at the bottom of the page...another little excursion into breakbeat, though perhaps a little more mainstream here and there. Which might be why SoundCloud refused to allow me to upload it...anyway, back to the matter at hand...

Yes, it was that horrible moment when software is crashing and hardware not behaving as it should, soft patches unpatching themselves, and all the rest...and because the chosen modus operandi is digital, there are a lot more places to look to fix the problem. I've seen it happen lots of times at gigs...far too many times to possibly think it wouldn't ever happen to me...but I kind of did all the same. And why wouldn't I think I'm invincible anyway...? Aren't I the guy usually fixing these problems for other DJs when it happens them onstage? In my other life, where I dwell in the realms of live sound and event production I have encountered just about every single technical problem that the Universe has to offer. From simple power cuts, to shit bursting into flame with sparks flying out of it. The number rule is stay cool. The problem might be fixable, or there is always a chance that it's not. From the most humble of audio cables to even the most holy of Midas consoles, stuff will break. It will fail, and even though it was working five minutes ago, it's broken now.

Thursday night's gig had to be abandoned due to repeated software failure. It Luckily there was a background music system that could be pumped...and Stretch opening his "Juke Box Selection" with Frankie Paul's "Worries In The Dance" didn't go unnoticed ;)

Some overnight agonising over software settings and swearing at pieces of hardware ensued, followed by a day testing stability. Happy enough (but with a back up plan in place), I headed off to Wicklow with Jay to wrap up the night at a wedding for some friends of mine who have an incredibly good soul/funk/disco covers band. Sometimes they give me a call for gigs where they need an engineer, or an event where a top40 jock wouldn't go down too well. Just as we leave the city I get call from the lead singer Amy wondering if we'd a couple of spare cables with us, which implied we really needed to be there asap. So we rocketed down the motorway chatting about dogs and music and festivals while I didn't have a look through my collection or make any sort of rough plan in case things got out of hand like the night before, like I had said I would when I was leaving the house.

We were there in no time and within a minute the band were playing and all was good. We had a second PA in the van, with a couple of 18" subs so they came in and we rigged while the band blasted out motown classics and seriously funky numbers. Half half the crowd were from New York and The U.S. so by the time I was lining everything up to go I had a pretty comprehensive catalog of old school East Coast anthems screamed in my ear, which was all good. That's when it happened again. Total freeze of the hardware controls, audio drop out. Won't reconnect. The band are almost finish, and when I'd asked if they'd be playing an encore Amy smiled and shook her head. The pressure was on...there was at least a minute to go before everybody would find out...I could make it to the van, but I'd have to leave the gear, so on to the back-up plan. Straight out of the headphone jack and into a small Yamaha mixer that Jay uses for mixing his percussion on stage, and into the graphic EQ. Switched the soundcard option on and hey presto, there's audio. Bam! The band finish and I hit them with some Beastie Boys and eveything is good - except for the fact that I am stripped of all my DJ superpowers. Twice before I've had to get through a whole night in a club with no headphones, using the BPM readouts on cdjs, and the VDUs on the mixer, and I once mixed a radio show listening to the hi-hats sizzle off the needle in the almost silent studio. This time I fell back on the controversial "Sync" function, using loops and the small amount of credit I still had in the Bank-Of-Good-Luck. I never want to have to do that again. Ever. Had I taken my six year old to work with me things would have been a lot easier, as he knows all the keyboard shotcuts, (which he's learned as he patiently waits for Dad to pass him down a MIDI controller) but there are laws against child labour, no matter how much fun they're having.

It took me a long time to trust that newfangled CDJ technology, and a LOT longer to trust the software option, and for a moment there I was nearly going back to the old ways, for peace of mind, but I don't want this digital adventure to end here, so I just gotta get over it and move on. I have now re-installed everything and it's all working fine, but as a precaution I think it will definitely have to be Shimmy's pink laptop powering the Irie Ireland set-up for the Roots & Reggae To celebrate the successful repairs and reassert my manhood in a future of pink computers, here's a follow up to last weeks "Breakbeat Booty" mix, which was a dedicated special for DJ Mixes Now. SoundCloud has issues with it, saying it contains copyrighted material, so I've uploaded a 320 kbps MP3 to Mixcloud instead. Enjoy!