Sunken Treasure: Jape’s ‘Cosmosphere’

Awesome music from the archives – catch up on Jape's music before hearing it live at Electric Picnic

 

When it comes to the stash of musical treasure concealed in our borders, Jape is one of the jewels in the crown. The fact that Richie Egan’s music remains relatively unheralded outside of Ireland is absurd.

Egan’s band, The Redneck Manifesto, were on the crest of a wave when the solo hubcap came rolling off the highway at speed in 2003. With Cosmosphere, he hit the ground running, but there was an understandable hint of confusion in the reception it was afforded. The shift in mood was radical. The Redneck’s muscular energy was powered by several hands making light work of relentless, explosive riffs. It was the quintessential eight-legged groove machine. The way they made it all work in such incendiary fashion live was a measure of their individual dexterity and collective will. The slow-burning solo sound of Jape was worlds away from the drama of such ensemble fireworks.

With Cosmosphere, Egan parachuted himself into richly creative pastures new. There he assembled an entirely new vehicle for his considerable talents. This is the sound of a great artist finding his voice. The songwriting is strong for an opening salvo. His feeling for sound is deeply intuitive. Every subsequent step he took saw him climb higher and higher but the individuality and integrity of his debut marks his first foray out as something special.

Egan will perform at this weekend’s Electric Picnic both as Jape (Electric Arena, Sunday, 4.15pm), and with a rejuvenated Redneck Manifesto (Salty Dog Stage, Friday, 10.20pm).

The hardest working soldiers on the ground will be afforded a hero’s welcome on both occasions. Who cares if the world won’t listen? The secret’s safe with us.

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