Posted on december 15, 2023
Ádhamh (Adam Ryan) shares his ultimate 2023 IDM & rave inspired picks in descending order. As a Vinyl DJ, record label owner (Faoi Thalamh Records), and electronic producer utilizing modulators and field recordings, the Clare Native guides you on a well crafted musical journey. With his roots deeply entwined with a love for Irish history, spirituality, and music, Ádhamh channels his energy into redefining Techno and the expansive hard hitting genres that encompass it.Ádhamh
This is totally biased, but it would be disingenuous to not include at least one FT release in here! I've picked the most recent V/A as I feel it truly reflects the ethos of Faoi Thalamh; it also showcases a microcosm of amazing artists, without which this release would not have been possible. Dia dhaoibh a chairde x
Robbie's latest release on his own imprint, Orainn, was an absolute treat for the ears when it came out earlier this year. Filled to the brim with groove and emotion, this two-track offering is drenched with a yearning to lose yourself in the darkness of a club. Chef's kiss
Galway's very own Belacqua returned with a treat for us this year on Apartment Records with his debut 12" Vinyl, "Dropped Balls". As always, he delivers a very unique voice in the world of electronic music, with off-kilter rhythms and nostalgically rich sample selection that made this an instant favourite of mine for 2023. Tennish is the stand-out for me, bang of an afters off that like!
Eamon Ivri is known to occupy various different musical forms; however "mineral stunting" may just have been my favourite entity this year; pioneering "Gulch Ambient", this whole release is a beautiful kaleidoscope of texture and rhythm; where the boundary between organic and synthetic is blurred seamlessly.
Possibly the most impressive debut from any artist I've ever come across; Cable Percussion effortlessly weaves elements of IDM, Techno and Acid together to create one of the most complex Irish dance releases I've listened to throughout 2023. The fact that he also performs these pieces live is mind-blowing! Getting to experience the live act in 2024 is definitely on the bucket list.
A time capsule of timeless Irish electro hits from the late 90's. Not sure what more needs to be said; a who's who of Irish electro and techno pioneers that was an absolute no-brainer of a purchase. Big up to Sunil Sharpe for amalgamating so much heat under one roof, everything from the music to the artwork is just perfect. As a late bloomer to the Irish electronic scene, I loved getting the opportunity to see how fruitful our island was during the 90's boom.
Not many releases have been on as heavy rotation as this one in 2023. Instant classics would be the first term that comes to mind, as Breen offers up four high-energy dancefloor melters. Feeling as though the EP serves as a commentary to Irish dance music both past and present, each track is infused with a deep emotion that just clicks instantly upon the first run-through. "Steady My Wings" is easily my top pick, one of those tracks that completely unifies the dancefloor. Timeless.
Having been a fan of KAVARI's more beat focused releases, her most recent LP is a departure into darker ambient territory. What really piqued my interest is just how far into the darkness an artist is willing to explore through sound and texture. The album is unnerving, ritualistic and sometimes almost claustrophobic; however, the level of sound design and story-telling on display is another level, and it's easily worked its way into being one of my favourite releases in 2023.
Offtrack's debut LP on his very own imprint, Circuit Structure Records, was one of the standout releases of 2023 for me in what was already a stellar year for Irish techno; the Mullingar native shows a deep understanding for the key necessities of true minimal techno, while applying his own signature driving style and impeccable production value. What a treat to have on wax also, this one never leaves the bag!
"Black music that sounds technological rather than music made with technology"; DeForrest Brown, Jr. returns with "Techxodus", further exploring the intersections of tech, Blackness and resistance. The whole release is extremely high tech, and feels like the next logical step forward for techno, or rather techno as a tool of expression and resistance. This release blew me away this year, and is my top pick of 2023; can't wait to hear what comes next.