Thursday, 25 December 2008

Shabby Christmas 45

. : D e c e m b e r 2 0 0 8 : .

. . : : t o c e l e b r a t e , s o m e C h r i s t m a s M u s i c : : . .


Dear friends, family, and friends of friends,

A little something thrown together while wrapping presents late at night,
...and watching Mighty Boosh with the sound down. Hope you enjoy....

:: Shabby Christmas 45 ::

Booker T & The MG's - Jingle Bells
Ren & Stimpy - Fleck The Walls
Paddy Roberts - Merry Christmas You Suckers
Donny Hathaway - This Christmas
Shirelles - Blue Holiday
Clarence Carter - Back Door Santa
Carla Thomas - Gee Whiz, It's Christmas
James Brown - Soulful Christmas
The Free Design - Close Your Mouth (It's Christmas)
Painted Ship - Frustration
Pulp - Sunrise
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Sowing Seeds
The Specials - Blank Expression
Waitresses - (W)Rapping For Christmas
Yello - Jingle Bells
Sally Shapiro - Anorak Christmas
The Ramones - Merry Christmas

Download MP3


. . : : C H R I S T M A S M U S I C : : . .

From time to time I write music for film and TV as Lifeblood Productions.
Here's the latest, for Ireland's National TV network, RTE ONE:


There is also some music featured in the excellent picture "The Waiting Room", which is now out on DVD.


:: Recommended stuff ::

* The End of Mr Y *
* Free Luke Slott CD *
Free Mike Slott Mix *
* The Waiting Room DVD *
* Free Erol edit of SebastiAn Momy *


:: Christmas 2006 Mixtapes reposted :: Four hours of music CLICK HERE ::




. . : : and finally : : . .

"My reality needs imagination like a bulb needs a socket.
My imagination needs reality like a blind man needs a cane."

Tom Waits


Have a good one!

Love always,

Oisin x



Blog and podcast archive:


Tall Trees and Winter Sunset


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If you enjoy the music featured in these promotional mixes please
visit your local record shop or iTunes/Amazon/eMusic to download
the original tracks and support the artists and labels making it :)

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Lifeblood Productions

From time to time I compose and produce music for film, TV, adverts, and the like...

Here's the latest, a Christmas ident for Irish National TV station, RTE ONE


Monday, 15 December 2008

Recommended listening... Luke Slott

Luke Slott is one of my favourite composers, as featured in my Valentines Day Podcast.

Go to for a free CD of his beautiful solo piano music.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Interview in Cinco Dias "The Infinite Dial" of online radio

Feature about Online Radio from excellent Spanish publication Cindo Dias.

CLICK HERE for the Spanish PDF or HERE for an english translation.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Monday, 8 December 2008

Robert Fripp at the BPI

Last week I had the pleasure of hearing Robert Fripp speak, to a small invite-only audience at the BPI. My love of Fripp's music goes back to 1980 and the release of Scary Monsters (my first Bowie album, bought from Golden Discs, Grafton Street, winters evening 1980). From there is was the superb League of Gentlemen LP (borrowed from Vinny Murphy, a Fripp evangelist) and the relevant Bowie back catalogues (picked up month by month at secondhand record shops). I even picked up a copy of King Crimson's "Discipline" in a French supermarket in 1981, I think, but the music that really did it for me was Fripp's solo album "Let The Power Fall".

Let The Power Fall used the same "Frippertonics" technology used on "No Pussyfooting" with Brian Eno. Apparently Eno had tried the technology with other musicians, but only Fripp cut the mustard, and went on to make it his own. For this LP, Fripp improvised across two revox tape decks, a note at a time, which would loop and in turn provide the backdrop for more notes, slowly building a cathedral of sound. The pieces on Let The Power Fall are astonishing, singular, beautiful, devastating.... the soundtrack to my life for a significant time... What's also remarkable is the method of their creation, Fripp recorded these, live, during his "anti-tour" in 1980, playing at restaurants, record shops, radio stations, small clubs, museums, and recording industry offices. The sleevenotes were a manifesto which Carl Hyde from Underworld referenced as a key influence on their post V2 philosophy:

"The future unit of organization is the small, mobile, and intelligent unit where intelligence is defined as the capacity to perceive rightness, mobile the capacity to act on that perception and small the necessary condition for that action in a contracting world.

i) 1. One can work within any structure.
ii) 2. Once one can work within any structure, some structures are more efficient than others.
iii) 3. There is no one structure which is universally appropriate.
iv) 4. Commitment to an aim within an inappropriate structure will give rise to the creation of an appropriate structure.
v) 5. Apathy, i.e., passive commitment, within an appropriate structure will effect its collapse.
vi) 6. Dogmatic attachment to the supposed merits of a particular structure hinders the search for an appropriate structure.
vii) 7. There will be difficulty defining the appropriate structure because it will always be mobile, i.e., in process."

Fripps own manifesto on live performance (see the sleevenotes for "Soundscapes Volume 1 — Live In Argentina") was about creating a situation where each gig was unique, directly involving the audience. A performance of music always being 50% performer, 50% audience. Performance in a vacuum is always incomplete.

I had the rare chance to experience this in person when Fripp did a series of performances in the foyer of the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, many years later in 1996. I did not expect to have the chance to see a Fripp solo live performance, so made sure I got to most of them. The longest gig was about 8 hours, it was transcendent, cathedrals of sound were built and deconstructed; the noise of interval crowds, behind you in the foyer, merged into a single moment between performer, audience/spectators, environment. I floated out of there...

So - forward to 2008 all too quickly, Fripp is telling the BPI audience about being f*cked over by the music industry, many times, in many ways. The worst culprits being the major record labels and indeed high street retailers, putting any fan-led downloading in perspective with wholesale copyright violation, unauthorised releases, commercial piracy... unremittingly grim, and still ongoing. Good to hear that none other then John Kennedy came to Fripps rescue at a crucial point, I was lucky enough to have John as my lawyer when starting out in music, a *complete* hero, now head of the BPI.

During the BPI talk Fripp outlined the components of ethical business, referencing "Just Business" by Elaine Sternberg, notably because the concepts of ethical business were and still are "completely absent" from the music industry at large. However, Fripp runs his own label these days, Discipline Global Mobile, which operates using ethical business practises. Their approach to copyright is not about securing it from the artist by hook or by crook, and sitting on it (an approach which led to vast overvaluation of some of the majors) but rather te approach that copyright is an obligation to manage on behalf of artists. If labels don't manage it effectively, fans will do it illegally.

I met Fripp afterwards (thanks to an intro from Declan Coglan) which was a complete buzz.... I was of course lost for words.

Later on one of the guys from Discipline Global Mobile mentioned that one of the performances from the Queen Elizabeth Hall "Sometimes God Hides" was later released - I've already ordered it. I'm also looking forward to Fripp's Orchestral Soundscape album, which will be released.... when its released. And the reason for Evening Star not being on sale in iTunes? Single track pricing for these 30 minute masterpieces.... doh! I'm ordering it on CD....

Depressingly, Fripp has been on a sabbatical from performing for over a year. The reason, apparently, to chase lost royalties, to rail against this mainstream piracy.

Well, I wish him luck.

Visit: Discipline Global Mobile

All Time Top 10

I put this together for Music Week a couple of years ago.... here it is again!

1. David Bowie - Heroes
2. Brian Eno & Robert Fripp - The Heavenly Music Corporation
3. Masqueraders - Thats The Same Thing
4. David Crosby - Laughing
5. The National - City Middle
6. Sufjan Stevens - Chicago
7. Felix The Housecat - Silver Screen Shower Scene (Thin White Duke Remix)
8. Pete Rock & CL Smooth - They Reminisce Over You
9. The Trammps - Rubber Band
10. Debussy - Clair De Lune


David Bowie - Heroes
What can you say about this record - David is one of the great visionaries of music. The arrangement, the production, the soul of the performances (Robert Fripp outstanding on guitar) elevates a stolen kiss between Tony Visconti and his lover beside the Berlin Wall, to a stream of consciousness reflection on the nature of life, love, hope, dreams and mortality.

Brian Eno & Robert Fripp - The Heavenly Music Corporation
Perhaps the most accessible of the Fripp collaborations involving the tape looping technique known as Frippertronics, this was truly a groundbreaking record. Eno had invented the technology years prior to working with Fripp on these projects, and finally found a worthy musical counterpart. Other outstanding releases which feature the technique include "Let The Power Fall" and the vastly underrated "League Of Gentleman" LP.

Masqueraders - Thats The Same Thing
I've loved Northern Soul for all my adult life, running clubs in Dublin as a teenager. How to pick a favourite Northern track from the thousands of dusty 7" classics out there? Melba Moore's "Magic Touch" is up there, as is "Lay This Burden Down" by Mary Love (I had the honour of remixing this some 15 years after hearing the original). The Masqueraders is one of those records I've only heard at All-Nighters, usually played out by Butch, legendary Northern Soul DJ. The record is a tale of bitter heartbreak and loneliness, sung in late night harmonies with a storming backing track. The atmosphere is something you can almost physically feel, the lead vocalist spending all night wandering through the foggy, deserted city streets - what's more, its a great great record to dance to!

David Crosby - Laughing
Taken from the aptly named masterpiece "If Only I Could Remember My Name" the track is a trip through the more profound dusty corridors of the subconcious mind. Walking through the darkness of a depression David emerges into what he thinks is deep enlightenment, only to find the simple joy of a child, laughing, in the sunlight. Appearances from Greg Nash, Joni Mitchell and Jerry Garcia lift this into the realms of blissed out, mindblowing, transcendance.

The National - City Middle
The National really are one of the great bands today, and an experience to witness live. Their 2005 LP "Alligator" is an intimate, angry, drunken, sorrowful, raucous diary of lust, love and loss. This particular track chronicles a doomed road trip, the singer asks his girlfriend to take him to the "nearest famous city middle, where they hang the lights", he's on a good mixture and has a ton of great ideas. The lyrics are the nearest thing I've hear to Raymond Carver - profound insights into the joy and pain of human life, glimpsed in moments of clarity through the most everyday of events. This song means a lot to me.

Sufjan Stevens - Chicago
No matter what you think you know, and what you think you have heard already, artists such as Sebastien Tellier, The National, Sol Seppy, Arcade Fire and Sufjan Stevens come out with something that stops you in your tracks, catches your breath, transports you somewhere else, and reminds you why you love music. This track is stunning,... fragile yet immensely strong, secular yet spiritual, and unapologetic in its honesty and simple beauty.

Felix The Housecat - Silver Screen Shower Scene (Thin White Duke Remix)
From the desk of Stuart Price with sublime orchestral strings evolve to pounding electro beats and drill-sharp synths, this record moves the mind, body and soul in obscene quantities. Older electronic dancefloor favourites include Orbital "Chime" and Hardfloor "Acperience".

Pete Rock & CL Smooth - They Reminisce Over You
In 1993 Pete Rock and CL Smooth unleashed an Double LP that raised the bar for Hip Hop production permanently. Pete structured intricate combinations of soulful rare grooves while CL added effortlessly complex lyrical flows over trademark basement beats. This standout track is based on a sample of Tom Scotts "Today", and lifted the art of sampling onto another level.

The Trammps - Rubber Band
I include this to cover a big love of the Funk, Rare Groove and Disco scene many moons ago - starting with bootleg tapes of Norman Jay and Gilles Petersons pirate KissFM shows. Arranger/remixer Tom Moulton is also one of my favourite artists of all time. Needless to say Norman's ORG evenings at the Bass Clef, in pre-"Hoxtonia" Hoxton, were some of the best clubbing moments I can (just about) remember.

Debussy - Clair De Lune
An instrumental love poem to the living and the dead on moonlit nights. At my grandmothers funeral I travelled in the front of her hearse, and felt that my eyes were taking in this last journey for her, all the time I could hear Clair De Lune. If there was one song for my own funeral it would be this.

Sunday, 7 December 2008


Fascinating website, eg...... "Edge Master Class 2008"

"What we're saying is that there is a technology emerging from behavioral economics. It's not only an abstract thing."

RICHARD H. THALER, Director, Center for Decision Research, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business; Coauthor (with Cass Sunstein), Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness.

SENDHIL MULLAINATHAN, Professor of Economics, Harvard; recipient, MacArthur award; Executive Director, Ideas 42, Institute of Quantitative Social Science, Harvard.

DANIEL KAHNEMAN, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Princeton; Recipient, Nobel Prize, Economics, 2002.

PARTICIPANTS: Jeff Bezos, Founder,; John Brockman, Edge Foundation, Inc.; Max Brockman, Brockman, Inc.; George Dyson, Science Historian; Author, Darwin Among the Machines; W. Daniel Hillis, Computer Scientist; Cofounder, Applied Minds; Author, The Pattern on the Stone; Daniel Kahneman, Psychologist; Nobel Laureate, Princeton University; Salar Kamangar, Google; France LeClerc, Marketing Professor; Katinka Matson, Edge Foundation, Inc.; Sendhil Mullainathan, Professor of Economics, Harvard University; Executive Director, Ideas 42, Institute of Quantitative Social Science; Elon Musk, Physicist; Founder, Tesla Motors, SpaceX; Nathan Myhrvold, Physicist; Founder, Intellectual Venture, LLC; Event Photographer; Sean Parker, The Founders Fund; Cofounder: Napster, Plaxo, Facebook;"

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Speaking etc

From time to time I speak at conferences, and the like. The pic above was taken at the Stockholm International Film Festival last month by Pernilla Ankh.

Heres a list of some events I have appeared at, if you would like to get in touch about speaking at an event you are involved in, drop me a line.

Red Bull Music Academy 2000 (Dublin)
Streaming Media Europe 2006 (London)
Radio At The Edge 2006 (London)
British Music Week 2006 (London)
World Telemedia 2007 (Amsterdam)
Streaming Media Europe 2007 (London)
VON / Video On The Net 2007 (Rome)
World Telemedia 2008 (Budapest)
Telecoms Fraud and Network Security 2008 (Amsterdam)
IIR Next Generation TV 2008 (Madrid)
Informa Convergence Summit 2008 (Amsterdam)
Radio & Web Summit 2008 (Zaragosa)
NAB 16th Annual European Summit 2008 (London)
Streaming Media Europe 2008 (London)
Stockholm International Film Festival 2008 (Stockholm)