2013 – The year in quotes

A roundup of quotes written on Heresy Records and it’s releases throughout 2013:

POSSESSED

“If you fancy a little something both brilliant and mischievious, then this is absolutely for you.” Early Music Today (UK)

“Not for the pure of heart. eX’s Possessed is  a tour de force of  instrumental and vocal brilliance.” Lawrence Vittes, Huffington Post (USA)

“The album is called Possessed and as we listen we become possessed by the fascinating charismatic singer Caitríona O’Leary with her angelic and ethereal voice….Dances, songs and improvisations uniquely performed by O’Leary and her colleagues which evoke the gods and spirits and lull the listener into a trance. Thrillingly different!” Teresa Pieschacón Raphael – Crescendo Magazine (Germany)

“The singing and instrumental playing are very fine and the whole of Possessed has a certain infectiously endearing quality.” Infodad.com (USA)

ON THE NATURE OF ELECTRICITY & ACOUSTICS

ALBUM OF THE WEEK

“On the Nature of Electricity & Acoustics is a somewhat disjunct thrill-ride of a listen. But that’s the point. Few listeners outside of Ireland’s academic or underground scenes will have heard this music, but as the compilation proves, it’s a rich and diverse world worth visiting.” WQXR Q2 FM (USA)

“A very fascinating anthology of many of Ireland’s most esteemed contemporary composers and cutting edge electronic artists… excellently curated by Daniel Figgis.” BP Fallon, BreakThru Radio

“It is wildly ambitious… incredible and fantastic.” Stephen McCauley, BBC Radio Ulster

4 STARS

“These are clever cogent dispatches from the fringes, from Sunken Foal’s Gamelan figures on Colloidal Glass and Brian Ó hUiggin’s uillean pipe-driven Left Handed March – 3rd Movement to Richard G. Evans’s elegiac Grindlewald’s Wedding and Linda Buckley’s sparkling Error Messages….See you on the other side?” Tony Clayton Lea, The Irish Times

ALBUM OF THE MONTH – Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland

“From the opening track by the legendary Irish Avant-garde composer Roger Doyle this album is a wake up call for the senses. An exciting instrumental music project that combines experimental coolness with lovely Irish Folk harmonies.” Winifried Dulisch, Audio (Germany)

“As an introduction to the work of a diverse group of artists and composers, On The Nature Of Electricity & Acoustics is unparalleled… From the delicate works of Dennehy and Wilson through to the post-punk furore of Figgis’ own Princess Tinymeat, there is presumably something for everyone. A wide-ranging and intelligent overview of outsider electronic music in Ireland.” Ian Maleney, The Quietus

“There’s a lot more happening musically in Ireland than fellas in cardigans, beards and check shirts hanging around Whelans on Camden street, daydreaming they are in Williamsburg, Brooklyn……here is Roger Doyle……playing “Baby Grand”, the opening track of curator Daniel Figgis’ wonderful new compliation “On the Nature of Electricity and Acoustics” (Heresy Records) ….which brilliantly documents electronic music in Ireland from the 70’s up until now… there has been for quite some time a soundscape, not at all surveyed by the miopic mainstream press or explored by many here, flourishing, breathing and sculpting to its own beat…..and it is all here….the music is so lyrical, spacious and adventurous. Ireland is known for its flocks of sheep, its herds of heffers, its Hansards of singer-song writers… turn over the rocks of tired confessional songsters… and see a new clay… teeming with ideas, that will startle you… the way you feel when you show your town to a foreigner… familiar yet strange… there is a world of sound here… the beads of a tired musical kaleidoscope, twisted just enough to make you reconsider… and see what you thought you knew as new again.” Billy O Hanluain (Writer/DJ)

“Little early for a year-end list, but they’re starting to appear. Musically this is what did it for me this year:
1., 2., & 3. Various artists – On The Nature Of Electricity & Acoustics – Yep the top three spots. It’s that good. Compilation of Irish electro-acoustic music 1979 – present curated by Daniel Figgis. Most brilliant album heard this year, and possibly the best, most perfectly cohesive commercial comp I’ve ever heard.”
Karl J. Paloucek

“With this album we are treated to the inimitable Irish sound under the influence of experimentation and boundary pushing. The final track by the curator Daniel Figgis really sums up the spirit of the whole album. If I were to lift a pint of beer to my mouth and close my eyes, I could easily imagine I was sitting in a traditional Irish pub, tapping my toes in time with the music. Yet my ears would be overjoyed to hear the unusual and mind-bending twists and turns that unfolded before me. There would be no denying that I was in the presence of an ancient musical tradition whose indelible spirit penetrates through time, technologies and trends.” The Whole Note (Canada)

“There is also a rocking 1986 instrumental by Figgis’ post-Prunes combo Princess Tinymeat, and a smattering from the 90s. Mostly though this is 21st century music, varied in resources but unified in feel and still spinning a good, if occasionally sentimental yarn.” Julian Crowley, The Wire (UK)

“A pleasingly varied showcase of electro-acoustic music from Ireland. The 23 works are almost miniatures, an approach which combines the virtues of discipline and diversity. The music is for the most part (surprisingly?) euphonious and the Benjamin Franklin cover is a joy.” International Record Review (UK)

SHIPWRECKED

CD OF THE WEEK – ABC Classic FM (Austalia)

“Caitríona O’Leary’s clear and enchanting soprano playfully leads us through a myriad of the most diverse sounds, modes and moods. The performances exhibit a great deal of commitment from the ensemble and eX finds a way – through the grandeur of the Spanish music and the playfulness of the Irish jigs to carry the listener away. A Great CD!” Robert Strobl, Toccata – Alte Musik Aktuell (Germany)