Much like The Masters, the rap producer compilation-style album is an American classic. Indulging the form is Dublin beatmaker Odd Numbers, who has recorded his debut record with a rotating cast of rappers. The nature of such sets is that they’re uneven, but The Golden Éire Tapes Vol 1 succeeds in its chief function of showcasing the producer’s impressive skill set behind the boards.
It’s reasonable to say that Odd Numbers is most comfortable on dusty 1990s New York-influenced joints: World’s Flyest Slobs incorporates a strummed harp, thick programmed bassline and snappy little hook that sees Sick Nanley and Local Boy declare they are colder than ice cream and as timeless as JNCO jeans. The excellent Blue allows Wallfella to indulge in some back-in-the-day nostalgia over a dreamy vocal loop, while Dún Laoghaire group Róg Poets toke on a lean jazz sample on the song Space Bars.
There are some jarring messages sprinkled in. Jeorge II’s performance on trap number Crook is nimble and witty, though when he appears to shout, “F**k corona, man, it ain’t real,” on the song’s outro, it’s a bit of a buzzkill. Meanwhile, Sea High rages against various paper tigers on Sick of It, including so-called cancel culture and “the flu” leading the news cycle. Adept as he is at cooking up beats, Odd Numbers could have enforced more agency over his collaborators on Golden Éire Tapes Vol 1, and used his editorial sheers to greater effect.