Paddy Mulcahy is best known around Limerick as a dubstep DJ performing under his stage name ‘Nubus’ at D.I.E. But his first passion is in fact piano, in which he was classically trained from the age of five. At nine, he learned to play the guitar and was writing music by the time he was fourteen.
In his latest E.P. Twenty Six, the multi-talented musician returns to his pianist roots. It was recorded in one sitting, days after returning from a trip to Canada, and the jet-lag lends raw emotion to the pieces. Opening track Vancouver Island has a slow build of tension, creating a dramatic and atmospheric piece. Herkimer is a shorter, more playful song with a quick tempo. Saint Martin has a dreamier, more romantic feel, leading into the calm serenity of the aptly-named ‘Serendipity.’ The upbeat, quick tempo of What Happened in the Hotsprings ensures the EP ends on a high note.
Paddy recorded this EP as a present to his girlfriend, only deciding to release it afterwards. It is fortunate for any piano fan that he did, for this is a masterful compilation.
Proper Micro NV
It’s Always Raining
Limerick producer Proper Micro NV, real name Rory Hall, prides himself on reinvention and does just that with his latest EP It’s Always Raining. Following the success of EP1, released back in June, featuring the mellow yet catchy Revive, the artist offers another fresh take on electronica. The first single, Flaws, comprises of raw vocals harmonising over a minimalistic, futuristic beat. “Oh we got flaws, but we can make an exception, and if there’s hope in the world, then this will go on longer. And if not, well I’ll find something stronger.” Despite the tone, these few lyrics effectively describe the quest for a genuine, lasting relationship with a glimmer of optimism.
Mike O Donovan
No Time Like the Present
Having grown up in a musical family (and passed the gene on to his son, Jamin, formerly bassist with pop rock group FRED) Mike O’Donovan’s debut album No Time Like the Present was a long time coming. It was recorded with the help of some very well-known Irish musicians, including Dave Keary, Des Lacey, Paul Moore, James Delaney, James Hanley, Declan Aungier, Richard Nelson, Michael Buckley, Ronan Dooney, Alistair White, Mick Kinsella, Michael Buckley, Gemma Sugrue and Jack Nagle. The album was inspired by events in Mike’s own life and changing perspectives. It opens with Underground, an upbeat celebration of freedom and love, reminiscent of music’s past. Ghosts reflects on the pain of losing loved ones, with soft vocals over acoustic guitar. The distinctly Latin-influenced It was on a Night Like This and The Dancer conjure images of exotic lands and holidays past, aural sunshine. Twang Song has a rock’n’roll edge, whilst the profound lyrics of Distant Conversation are inspired by a true story of refugees fleeing persecution and suffering from survivor’s guilt. Overall, No Time Like the Present spans decades, cultures, themes and genres, an auditory journey that’s a pleasure to experience.
Dinner at 8
Brian O’Brien showcased his musical range and genre diversity by performing with hardcore metal band Roper for ten years, then spending two years with rap-rock act Campaign LK before embarking on his solo career. He released his autobiographical debut solo album My Father’s Throne in 2013, with the song Fake Smile making it to the Top Ten of Ireland’s iTunes chart. Currently living in Canada, the Limerick native returns with the Halloween-themed Dinner at 8, based on the Irish Jack’o’Lantern legend. Poetic, story-telling lyrics are accompanied by traditionally gothic violins and piano, vaguely reminiscent of The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack.
Article by: Laura Duhan