On the record
JIM CARROLLon music
Echoes of Sound Crowd 20 years later
There are clubbers of a certain age who will read this piece and go “20 years?” Yep, we’re getting old.
It was back in 1992 that Human League fans Mark Kavanagh and Tim Hannigan first joined forces under the Sound Crowd banner. They went on to have a whale of a time for a couple of years, release a bevvy of records and sell out some very big rooms before going their separate ways.
This weekend, Kavanagh (now assistant editor at The Irish Daily Star) and Hannigan (AKA Mr Spring, a mainstay of 2fm’s dance schedules) reunite for Sound Crowd XX, a one-night-only bash to celebrate their former band hitting the 20-year landmark.
Sound Crowd were in their pomp during a particularly fertile time for the Irish dance scene. While there were plenty of halcyon club nights (from Sides and Sweat to Shaft and Sugarsweet, to stick with the ones beginning with “s”) and DJs to go with them before then, home-grown producers were a little thinner on the ground at the outset.
Kavanagh and Hannigan were part of a wave of producers who flourished at that time including Fish Go Deep, Decal, David Holmes and others. In the case of Sound Crowd, those tunes turned into bona-fide chart hits when you needed to actually flog serious numbers of records to have hits. In fact, you can guage the duo’s appeal by the fact that their final show was headlining at the old Point Depot in 1995.
The pair were also responsible for the Red Records label, an imprint which was proof that you didn’t have to go abroad to release tunes. The label released more than 30 singles, including Fish Go Deep’s Shane Johnson and Greg Dowling’s first release In Motion as Fish Go Tech.
Sound Crowd play Dublin’s Button Factory tomorrow night
You’ll Never get to Heaven
Dreamy, tender, slo-mo pop music with some beautiful electronic swirls in the echo chamber from Ontario duo Chuck Blazevic and Alice Hansen. Check out the drop-dead gorgeous Drowning Out now and add them to your new favourite bands list. Self-titled debut album to be released on the Divorce label next month. youllnevergettoheaven.com
Guest vocalist on Rudimental’s soulful house ace Spoons, South London teen Daisy Syron Russell is also causing plenty of excitement with her own tunes. Forthcoming garage-soul debut single Breaking for the Black Butter label is one to check, as Syron limbers up for more high-profile releases and collaborations.
The name of the earworm is Ghost, a superb tune with the kind of emotional wallop that augers well for future releases from the California band of which we know absolutely nothing at the moment. If you have been digging new-school pop from acts like Haim, Foster the People NO, KO KO or The Neighbourhood, this is for you.
Forrests Tarifa (White)
Magnificently textured and infectious electronica from Dublin duo Owen O’Mahony and Paul O’Reilly.
Jack White Blunderbuss (XL)
One of the most intriguing characters in rock’n’roll stands and delivers with a bunch of sublime songs.
Jesse Boykins III MeLo-X Zulu Guru (Ninja Tune)
Sonic adventurers and mystic soul brothers come together for an album of far side soundscapes.
Flying Lotus Until the Quiet Comes (Warp)
FlyLo follows up the spacey Cosmogramma with an album of mo’ jazz, mo’ pop and mo’ next-generation hooks.
Archie Shepp Attica Blues (Impulse)
From 1972, Shepp and his cast of players kick out the jams with soulful swings, deep grooves and melancholic jams.
For more see irishtimes.com/blogs/ontherecord