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Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Ulitmate Thrush


I can't let January pass without mentioning this band - I went to a gig by local promoters Cry Parrot at the start of the month to see Ben Butler & Mouse Pad and Ultimate Thrush were the headline act. It was in fact their very first public show and the crowd were very hyped up. Within second of kicking in the mosh pit erupted and we were exposed to the full force of one of the best bands I have seen in years. There's a video of that on their myspace and it's worth checking out to get some live flavour.

They thrash but they also groove and live they are a force to be reckoned with. I think they sound a bit like the Jesus Lizard, but better. They have a ten track EP for download from Winning Sperm Party, and I urge anyone with a liking for harder rock to check it out, you will not be disappointed. It looks like they've now been booked for Optimo too, that's gonna be an amazing gig!

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Niallist BBC 1 Radio Session

January was a pretty great month looking back - I also did my first ever session for the BBC radio, for Radio 1 Scotland. We got shown around the massive new BBC building by the quay here in Glasgow, which is a bit weird as the entire thing is soundproofed and has a very dead atmosphere. We got to set up and play in a great studio space and the engineers were really good. The session was for the Vic Galloway show and we did four tunes in all, including two with guest vocalist Ms Mac D.

If you click on the icon above it will take you to the webpage where you can listen to the session. Unfortunatley this is not available to people outside the UK, but if you really really wanna hear it get in touch and we can sort something out.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Disident / Niallist 1

January saw the release of my first ever 12" as The Niallist - "The Hots" on Dissident, a label that's been getting a lot of great press this year. The track sounds great after the remaster it received at Curved for the vinyl pressing. The critical reaction has been pretty good with the tune charting high in a few charts. It's always been a slow burner though, so I will be interested to see how it fares in the end of the year rundowns.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Live at Optimo Part 1

The year got off to a pretty good start, with my first ever gig at the legendary Optimo. I was pretty nervous, but the audience reaction surpassed my expectations - in fact I'd say this is the best gig I've ever done! The crowd was pretty wild and there was lots of groping and pulling of my tie. Big up to the woman who knew all the words to Work It and joined in on backing vocals. The gig was so good in fact that I've been asked back to do another Optimo - this time at their annual Hogmanay party at the Old Fruitmarket. That promises to be pretty huge - also on the bill are Divorce, Hudson Mohawke, Drums of Death, Optimo DJs and a secret special guest tba - what a way to see out the decade!

The recording of my show at Optimo will be available as a limited free download on Little Rock on December 18th. In the meantime you can hear Work It in my myspace player: http://www.myspace.com/theNiallist

Saturday, 3 January 2009



NORAVE is a free download compilation album we have put out on Little Rock Records, of willfully obscure and challenging electronica, noise-terror, improvisation and pure ambience.

It features tonnes of bands and artists you may never have heard of, with the exception of me, Gay Against You, Hudson Mohawke and Chorus of Gastornis. Though chances are slim you have heard of any of them either. The album also features Eyes from Illinois, Tayside Mental Health from Perth, Blood Moon from Manchester, Drowned Denko from Birmingham, Mong from Glasgow, and lots, lots more. It turned out much better as a compilation album then we had expected, and we're very proud of it!

There is a whole spiel about the world of NORAVE and loads of related graphics too which have been fun to get together. If you'd like to download it just click on the pic below and you'll receive the zipped file. Amongst the rabble you shall hear shards of gabcore, post-crunk, popno, umbient, noice and sounds so bizarre as to defy descripton!

NORAVE heralds a death-knell to the vacuous London scene known as "Nu Rave".
We are to Nu Rave what No Wave is to New Wave.
We are the children of your twenty year comedown.

"Picture a horrible motorway pile-up, bloody bodies strewn from Joy Division’s Honda Civic, the Klaxxons’ white horse, a bus-load of happy hardcore, and Aphex Twin’s private tank.

We are the spectators at the side of that road, pointing, laughing and ejaculating into hankies."

This is dance music you cannot dance to.

This is NORAVE.

Tayside Mental Health - Woman Is A Danger
Gay Against You - Sour Dudes (live)
Blockhead - Remarch Remix
AHG - Auld School (Beat Freeks & B-Boys Mix)
Mong - 6,000,000,000AM Eternal
8046 - Excathodra
Drowned Denko - You Make Me Want To Strangle Babies
Fox Gut Daata - think it nil nil
Metaforce VCR - Bald Eagle (fire frenzy)
The Niallist - Going To A Nodown
Chorus of Gastornis - Chorus Lost
Eyes - Strange Crowd
Line Idle - Plink
Blood Moon - Untitled Synth & Drum Jam
Hudson Mohawke - 4/3 Hurt
Sycamore Drive - 1945
Abstrakt Bastard - Ffphlmggmph
mcjor - Another Grunge Anthem

Friday, 2 January 2009

BEST OF 2008 Mixtape


Hey all my LJ peeps - HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

It's been a pretty strange and difficult year for me, all in all, but with intermittent bright spells. It's not been all bad of course - there's been lots of great music! Jesus what would we do without music eh?

There's been a few changes in my life, and also a lack of change in areas where I'd like it to happen. I know I say this all the time, but I will be updating this to let folk know what has been going on. I promise!

But anyway, to ring in the new year I have put together a mixtape of some of my favourite tunes of the last 12 months. This isn't beat mixed, it's just a collection of songs that I happen to like a lot, and that have some kind of meaning or resonance with me.

The Mix: http://www.littlerockrecords.com/releases/Niall_Favourite_Tunes_Of_2008_Mixtape.mp3



This tune pretty much sums up how I was feeling at the start of the year. Pretty fucking bad. Somebody said this is a weird tune to start off with as it might alienate folk. Well, I'm not really about makin it easy for people - you have to stick with things to get the most out of them, as I am learning all the time. TMH are my band of the year anyway, my band of the decade perhaps? Defintiely the best NORAVE band in the world EVER! Their music is like electronic exorcism - you have to be in the mood, but boy when you are... Once you know the shit they've been through as people it makes a lot of sense.

MONG - Moongdog Chant

The only fully new piece of work I have been involved with this year, along with cohort Brad Manners. This should be appearing in 2009 on SL Records as part of a Mondog tribute compilation. Discovering Moondog's work has been a huge inspiration and has really got my juices flowing again.

LINDSTROM - The Long Way Home (Prins Thomas Edit)

The Disco Vikings are back! This was given away free last year on Myspace to promote Lindstrom's latest album "Where You Go I Go Too", hence the slightly shoddy MP3 sound quality. But at least it means you can play one of those tunes in a club setting, and not just on a sofa. I saw these dudes live last year at Electric Picnic, which was an amazing festival except for their set - which was because it had been so badly organised. Blown speakers, bad acoustics, the works. Hopefully the organisers can sort something better out for the next time they have them back (if they will bother going back that is).


Label of the year? What is a label? A price-tag? A denomination? A descriptive term? A pigeon hole? Well, I dunno what all that means, but I love this tune and Ali Renault's production in general (see also Heartbreak later). Dissident is going from strength to strength - not least now that they are releasing Niallist music. Ahem.


From one of the dance albums of the year, my personal favourite tune, featuring the lovely vocals of Andrew Butler himself. Pity they then got dropped by EMI, but that's their loss. I met Mr Butler in February of 2008 and a lovely chap he was too!

EASY GOING - Do It Again

This is off the compilation album Disco Italia, selected by Steve Kotey, which came out on the revived Strut record label. Easy Going were produced by Claudio Simonetti, were WELL gay, and sounded awesome! This has that lovely warm analogue late 70's sound which is great to go back to after the 80's sounds - the clavinet reminds me of the Van Nuys Blvd music too (see clip posted a few entries ago) - in fact the whole album is lacking in digital synth music which is surprising for something labelled as Italo.

THE RADIATION LINE - Morningstar Blues

One of the highlights of our recent Norave anti-Christmas party, The Radiation Line are a collective from central Scotland who specialise in blissful drones with a splash of moody blues thrown in too. They should be appearing on the next Norave album too. Go serach them on myspace - I can't be arsed reposting the link here.

CUTTING PINK WITH KNIVES - Fuck You, I'm The King Of France

After Norave was released some people got in touch to tell us what it reminded them of - this was a band that was mentioned that I decided to check out. I dunno much about this bunch except they remind some people of Gay Against You and vice versa - this was a random track of theirs available for download form their myspace.

FOX GUT DAATA - Clutha Kids

Probably the find of the Norave album, Fox Gut is a super talented producer who deserves to be acclaimed as highly as his pal Rustie, even if his music has a different flavour. We're still hoping to put some of his material out on little Rock, but as he's just had a bairn we're guessin he must be pretty busy.

RUSTIE & 215 TFK Just 4 Kicks

Speaking of - I couldn't do a round up of 2008 without something by Rustie, released on the always excellent Stuff records. We're still waiting for his debut album to drop though - will that be this year?


"808s & Heartbreak" - that pretty much sums up the year 2008 to me, emotionally and musically. I put out a bunch of stuff on Little Rock, I suppose, but it was all old (ie had been recorded in the previous 8-9 years) so looking back on the '08 my emotional state was probably a bit different to my outward appearance. Just like Kanye. Emo-hop with big tuned kick drums - sounds better in practice than it does on paper. Yeah he's a fanny but this tune is actually really great.

SHACKLETON - I Want To Eat You

Not a 2008 tune technically I guess, but this sound really makes me think of London, where I spent a lot of time in 2008. Last time I was down there we listened to the Skull DIsco Vol 2 CD a lot. I then tried to find it up here but couldn't - instead I found Vol 1 from where this is taken. It all sounds the same anyway ;-) It's all about the ethnic percussion. And the massive basslines that come in halfway through the tunes. And the spaced out dubby bits. That's Dubstep baby!


This is a tune given to me by Liam Arnold, who joined Team Little Rock in the 08 on active press duty. He has been doing some sterling work ever since, and developing his alter ego Kid Ritalin quite nicely. I dunno much about this tune except I think it's from Berlin and it sounds very nice - so this is a dedication to him!

HEARTBREAK - Soul Reversal

More Ali Renault, this time with vocalist Stephane Muravchix as Heartbreak. Their album is surprisingly great. Unfortunatley it looks like Heartbreak may now be no more, which is sad as they could have been pretty big - their live shows were great, and they knew how to pen a catchy hook. Well, who knows, maybe differences will be patched up in the future. Here's hoping!

JULIUS SEIZURE vs CALCUL8RS - You Don't Have To Take Your Clothes Off

This is still a work in progress by my producer Aleks (aka Line Idle / Julius Seizure) and his mate Jim. Yeah it's a cover of the 80's cheese classic, bt it's worth including for the awesome deadpan Scottish vocal, which is probably gonna get taken off the finished article.


Black & Gold is my single of the year, it's a stone cold classic, but it's been played to death so instead I have included this Prince-esque slice of funk from Sparro's debut. He's got a pretty good falsetto so he has. This may not be as strong as B&G (like most of the album) but then what could be?

HOT CHIP - One Pure Thought

Made In The Dark was one of the best albums of the year I thought, and by far the best album Hot Chip have made yet. I love some of their singles but have always found their albums lacking - until now. This is one of the best tunes on there too, although I do feel it is two songs welded together by the power of Afrobeat. They're two great songs though. I have a Hot Chip story from 2008 too - I saw them as they arrived at Optimo's Halloween party after their gig, and I heckled them for their amazing fancy dress - coming dressed up as a very convincing version of Hot Chip.

STEREOLAB - Cellulose Sunshine

My favourite band returned with the excellent Chemical Chords, and from it the beautiful harpsichord and string sounds of Cellulose Sunshine. Nobody beats the lab at stunning psyche-pop. I also had the pleasure of meeting, through a friend, Joe one of the keys players in the groop, in 2008. Thoroughly sound man he is too. Sadly, the lab have now (apparently) splie up, but I shall do a post on that some other time.

FLEET FOXES - White Winter Hymnal

I usually avoid hyped indie albums like the plague, even when they turn out to be very god (The Strokes being a case in point), but this is genuinely affecting for me with it's lovely Electric Prunes/west coast 60's vibe. I saw them at Electric PIcnic in 2009 too, and was heartened to see that they re=produced the album's sound very well in a live setting.


And this is hands down the best musical moment of 2008 for me. Having Portishead back was like having an old cuddly toy or blanket returned after it had been missing for years. And they didn't disappoint - though the sound was distinctly still Portishead, they had also moved onto pastures new. Well, the pastures of 1976, but it's still a move forward if you are trapped in 1969. I just hope they don't take 11 years to make another album!

I will come back here and update each tune with a bit of explanation as to why it's on here, hidden behind a cut. If you want to hear why I have chosen a particular song on here go up to the poll above and click on the artist name. Anyone with any criticism, suggestions or reminising of their own, please leave a comment...

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Wow! I'm Really Expressing Myself!

Old pic but I like it...


Hi! Well done for making it all the way back here! And thanks for checking all my old posts out... Unless you just skipped here by hitting the "first" entry button in which case you get to start at the beginning. :-)

I started blogging in 2003 on Live Journal. Between 2009-2010, after a period of inactivity, I used my LJ just to publicise my music and my work, though I since decided that Blogger would be a better site for that. So I have transferred all my entries on LJ from 2009-2010 to here, and will be updating this blog with all my work-related news from now on.

If you'd like to check my LJ this is the address: http://the-niallist.livejournal.com/
though most of the content is private and available to friends only.