Ten years ago today (nearly)

February 1st, 2016

aaron-spectre

Back in 2006, big up all !kaboogie crew!

For all the good it will do…

October 29th, 2015

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I just posted a letter to the Taoiseach. To say I’m a bit worked up about the direction this country we’re going in under his leadership would be an understatement. I’ve been signing petitions and protesting when I can, but I felt that I needed to let him know how this government’s neo-liberal agenda is affecting me personally, rather than just being another voice in a crowd (albeit a crowd that has an ever more unified and louder roar thanks to issues like water charges politically activating our normally oh so quiet populous). The letter will arrive to government buildings, but whether it’s opened or read, never mind replied to, is a totally different possibility. I’d love to be proven wrong.

One individual letter might be a Complete Waste of Time, however, if enough of us voiced our individual concerns via letters, maybe they would take notice? Says you, sure they know full well how we feel, the budget for next year is set and the current shower only have a few months before an election that could well see a FF/FG government, so what’s the point? The point is, our society (or at least 99% of it) can’t take another five years of austerity, regressive taxation and second-placing of citizens in favour of unfettered corporate capitalism.

Take the time to sit down and get it off our chest. What are they doing wrong? What needs to be improved? Public servants are there to serve the public after all. Have your points ready when they slither up to your door in electioneering mode. And don’t let them skulk away until you have aired your grievances.

Anyway, I’m going to share the text below. Underneath this I’ll be including a few links that helped me piece this together.

 

THE LETTER:

 

Department of the Taoiseach,

Government Buildings

Upper Merrion Street

Dublin 2

 

24 October 2015

 

Dear Taoiseach,

My name is Killian Redmond. Within the last two years, I have become both a homeowner and a proud father. This has changed my outlook in life considerably. I am writing to you today however, as I am becoming increasingly concerned over the direction this country is taking. I am genuinely worried about the Ireland that my son will grow up in.

The last budget confirmed that there is a lack of political will to reduce the ever-increasing wealth inequality in this country. To quote the main points, as found in the Social Justice Ireland report entitled ‘Budget 2016 Analysis & Critique’:

  • It is the fifth regressive budget in a row, favouring the better off more than the poor
  • It widens the rich-poor gap by €506 a year (this is the gap between the disposable income of a single unemployed person and a single person on €50,000 per annum)
  • Single unemployed people gain €95 a year, yet single people on more than €75,000 a year benefit by €902 a year
  • There is no significant increase in social welfare payments
  • Under the ‘Knowledge Development Box’ plan, certain multinationals will have their corporate tax obligations cut in half from 12.5% to 6.25%

If the budget were as generous to the 376,000 people living in consistent poverty as it was to foreign multinationals we would see a massive improvement in the living conditions of those most in need. Foreign direct investment is not the silver bullet it is unfairly portrayed as. If anything, its benefits are constantly misreported. I draw attention to you stating that there are 250,000 people employed by foreign multinationals when you spoke in Google’s HQ in May 2012. There were only 150,000 employed at that time. If anything, Ireland is being used as a base for routing profits to cut multinational tax bills. Why isn’t the government taxing proportionally? Multinationals did not pay the 12.5% rate. What makes you think they will pay 6.25% or is it for fear that they might up and leave? We should be taxing progressively so that those most in need (the unemployed, the poor, single parents, the sick, the elderly, etc.) can be provided with the assistance they need and as a result, a decent quality of life.

I have kept a close eye on both Project Eagle and Project Arrow. I just read this morning that NAMA has selected Cerberus as the preferred bidder for Project Arrow. It is beyond me how NAMA is even negotiating with a company that has criminal proceedings against it in both Northern Ireland and the U.S. I understand that the original value of €6.25bn could not be met by non-performing loans, however, it seems that the sale price could be around the €1bn mark. Mr Daly describes this as “the best achievable return for the State”. Further, 43% of the assets concerned are residential. There is a housing crisis in this country and NAMA are selling residential units for less than the price it cost to build them. Why doesn’t the government step in and halt the proposed sale? Surely you should call an immediate investigation if NAMA is proposing to sell property to a potentially criminal American investment fund?

There is not just a housing shortage in this country; there is clearly a homelessness crisis. The number of families living homeless in Dublin has increased by 100% over the last year according to the Dublin Region Homeless Executive. A lot of these families are homeless as a result of being unable to pay increasing rents and resultantly being evicted. Groups such as Focus Ireland and Inner City Helping Homeless are doing fantastic work but cannot keep indefinitely overstretching their services. The government needs to step in and declare an emergency. There are a huge number of derelict sites around the city, why can’t Compulsory Purchase Orders be applied to these sites and get them developed? Not only would you be cleaning up the huge amount of derelict and vacant sites around the city but also providing employment and giving people homes and hope.

The failure of the recent budget to introduce rent controls was beyond disappointing as it leaves thousands of families and individuals at the mercy of private landlords. I am lucky enough to own my own house, however, many of my friends are trying to find somewhere to call home. Unfortunately, what’s happening at house viewings now is that landlords are swaggering in, having a quick look around and buying up these houses. They are denying young people their homes so they can buy to let. They are keeping our generation in a perpetual loop of renting and putting their lives on hold. You need to address the landlords; some sort of limit on buying to rent has to be introduced alongside certainty of rent.

I believe there is a lack of political will but I would love to be proven wrong. I would like to draw your attention to Cuan Álainn, a women’s refuge in Tallaght that is scheduled to close before Christmas. This centre provides an invaluable service to vulnerable women and children. Its closure would leave them with two choices. One is to return to an abusive relationship. Two is to become homeless. The annual running cost of Cuan Álainn is €350,000. Looking at this from a financial viewpoint, I estimate that it will cost a lot more for South Dublin Council to put these women and children into emergency accommodation, i.e. hotels, for a year than it would for the government to step in and keep the refuge open. I have already voiced my concern over this proposed closure with Minister Reilly’s office.

I have always been proud to be Irish, a neutral nation that punches above its weight when it comes to sport, culture and the arts; one that does not have to subscribe to international sabre-rattling. Sadly, we are not neutral anymore. The use of Shannon Airport by U.S. forces on their way to kill civilians and blow up hospitals in the name of democracy began with Fianna Fáil and has been maintained by your government. Fine Gael and Labour both agreed to a document in 2011 stating that “we will enforce the prohibition on the use of Irish airspace, airports and related facilities for purposes not in line with the dictates of international law.” Four and a half years later and we are facilitating the mass murder of civilians in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Only last Saturday three Omni Air aircraft passed through Shannon, each with between 240 and 380 American military personnel on board, with weapons. One can only guess the contents of these planes, because there are only two certainties: one, that this government will never step up to America and search these planes and two, that we have the blood of innocent men, women and children on our hands.

I am also extremely disappointed to learn that the Irish government has spent €14.7m on Israeli military hardware since 2005, as well as selling €6.42m worth of such equipment to Israel since 2011. I am sure you are aware of the brutal occupation of the Palestinian Territories and the system of apartheid that has become daily life for the Palestinian people. Engaging in arms trade with Israel is only perpetuating the misery that Palestinians have to endure. I find it hard to digest that in the run up to the centenary of 1916, Ireland sides itself with the oppressor, not the oppressed. The government needs to boycott and divest from Israel and support the Palestinian people in their right to self-determination, which is an integral human right. Why doesn’t Ireland punch above it’s weight like it did when facing up to South African apartheid in the 1980s?

I am extremely concerned about the proposed TTIP deal. I have already called MEP Brian Hayes’s office in relation to this. This deal will decimate jobs, food quality standards and labour rights. 92% of the meetings held in the preparatory phase of TTIP were with representatives of companies: corporate lobbyists are having a huge say, with consumer groups and trade union representatives being left out in the cold. It appears to be nothing more than a corporate power grab, leaving our elected officials with the option of either agreeing or disagreeing with the conclusions of secret agreements and not being given an option to propose amendments. I was disappointed to hear, through the German news website Correktiv.org, that “Ireland expressed concern at the slow progress of the new negotiation and called for ‘new momentum’.” This was via a leaked document which seems to be par for the course in terms of finding out anything about the negotiations. How can you think this could be a positive thing for Ireland? We will be at the mercy of corporations who can sue the state for losses on projected earnings through ISDS because we might want to protect our consumers and environment. I do not want my son to grow up in an Ireland where fracking and GM food are the norm. I do not want my son to grow up in a country where the government is at the whim of corporate profits and ‘the market’. I do not want my son to grow up in a world where unregulated capitalism runs rampant in its quest for constant growth and ever-increasing profits, destroying our environment while ignoring the consequences for future generations. If millions of people tell their democratically elected officials that they are opposed to this trade deal, those democratically elected officials need to take notice and put the brakes on this deal, not try to accelerate it.

My son is six months old and I have already applied for a place for him in two Educate Together schools, both of which have huge waiting lists. We are not Catholic and will not baptise him for the sake of getting a school place. It is disrespectful to those who practice Catholicism. I am quite worried at finding a place in school for him when more than 90% of state schools are run by the Catholic church. If my son isn’t baptised, he’s way down on the admissions list and this simply is not fair. Our schools should represent the fact that there are an ever-increasing number of non-Catholics in this country. Article 44.2.3 of our constitution says “the state shall not impose any disabilities or make any discrimination on the ground of religious profession, belief or status.” At present it feels like we are going to be forced into baptising our son in order to get him a school place in our locality. There needs to be a seperation between church and state when it comes to education.

Finally, I call on you to make efforts to decriminalise abortion in this country. We need to have a referendum to repeal the eighth amendment. We need to respect the women of our country. Women bear most of, if not all, the responsbility of contraception, pregnancy and childbirth. To often they have to do it on their own. We need to follow up on the great victory for equality that was the Marriage Referendum. It is not an equal society that we live in until women have the freedom to make choices over their own bodies.

I thank you Taoiseach for taking the time to read this letter. I would be happy to provide links to any of the numbers or quotations I presented in this letter. I am not an expert in finance, taxation or international trade but I am a citizen who wants a bright future for his family and feel obliged to voice my concerns.

 

I am looking forward to your reply.

Regards,

_________________

Killian Redmond

 

THE LINKS:

 

http://www.socialjustice.ie/sites/default/files/attach/publication/4051/sjibudget2016analysis.pdf

http://www.rte.ie/news/business/2015/1023/737027-nama-project-arrow/

http://snip.ly/PZa5#http://www.thejournal.ie/homeless-family-crisis-2265385-Aug2015/

http://www.shannonwatch.org/

http://www.ipsc.ie/noarmstrade

https://stop-ttip.org/

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/21/no-baptism-no-school-irish-parents-fight-for-equal-access-to-education

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/19/graham-helen-linehan-ireland-abortion-amnesty-international

 

 

 

 

rabble [redacted] tonight in jigsaw

September 18th, 2015

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Heya: this is happening tonight in Jigsaw: rabble [redacted] party bringin ye back to the golden years of Electric City (Dublin’s most rapid techno/electro weekly night for YEARS) with selectors Simon Conway and Giles Armstrong. Rabble DJs on support (including meself), BYOB and €12 in, see yis there. The place will be DECORATED real nice. Oh yeah, and don’t tell Denis, he ain’t invited…

Misha Freshin #5 this Friday

August 25th, 2015

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Been doing the graphic design for the Misha Freshin boys and girls since they did their first gig a few months back. Solid night with a clear focus: showcasing the wealth that Ireland’s electronic underground has to offer. Beats and hip hop to beat the band. Delighted to be playing at it myself this Friday so. Don’t get to play this shtyle out too often so gonna be digging deep the next few days! Here’s one from a couple years back:

Redmonk – Snake Eyes by Redmonk on Mixcloud

PLUS, getting to support the one and only Mynameisjohn of Rusangano Family fame. Seen him a good few times now and the man knows how to put on a show, lethal producer and equally lethal selections when he’s DJing. Mix from the man below:

Promises to be a FUNTIMES night. Plus! You also get this 32 piece knife set It’s FREE in, kicks off at 8.

Dam Funk, in his basement, playing records

August 24th, 2015

CAstlepalooza 2015

August 1st, 2015

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The annual pilgrimage to one of Ireland’s best little festivals begins once I’ve my records packed. I’ll be playing at Castlepalooza 2015 from 4-6 today in the Courtyard. It will be the craic. See yis there!

All City Jam 2015

June 13th, 2015

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That time of year again, All City Tivoli jam today, running from 10-6. Be the usual mix of all-star international and national graffiti heads, BMX, skating as well as a little Rabble stall where we’ll be hawking our wares (including our new tshirts!) as well as supplying the tunes. Special guest DJ from Belfast’s Rudimentary crew, sound provided by Dubz Land. See yissers there!

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Yusss Equality Mural

May 19th, 2015

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Did a mural for the upcoming Marriage Equality Referendum last week. Took 6 hours.

Obviously I’m voting Yes cos I’m human. You should too. Get out there and vote on May 22nd.

Rabble 10 is OUT!

May 18th, 2015

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A delicious pallet of 10,000 copies of Rabble 10 arrived Friday. We’ll be distro’ing it over next few weeks. Those looking to pick up a bundle for their area can grab one from All City Records.

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You can get a read of the editorial here, a LOT has changed in this country since we started this project, great to see communities and workers standing up for themselves and the country wise up to the shenanigans of O’Brien and his ilk. Get in touch if you’d like to help distro or need a bundle. Keep an eye on #rabble10 on the Tweet Machine for where they’re landing, and big up alls y’alls who been supporting us since day one, legends one and all!

Interview with Eomac

April 3rd, 2015
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Ahead of this Sunday’s DabbledooMusic EXTRAVAGANZA, I caught up with Eomac to chat about production, notation and inspiration.
You relocated from Dublin to Berlin last year. This must make it handier for gigging around Europe and being able to hop on a train with your gear as opposed to constantly getting Ryanair flights. What are the other advantages? Does it have an effect on your creativity?
I think your surroundings always have a effect on your creativity. Being in Berlin means being surrounded by other like minded people and musicians. The place is full of electronic musicians, producers, djs. And that’s always inspiring.
On the other hand the scene here can be quite focused on techno so I’ve been very conscious of not getting too involved in that and just keep doing my own thing. I’ve always felt what I’m trying to do is broader than one particular sound.
Berlin doesn’t seem to be as concerned with red tape and bureaucracy as Dublin is when it comes to licensing and opening hours. Clubs that are open till 7am or 24 hours straight are pretty refreshing to the 3 hours you’d struggle to get in most Irish clubs. Do you think this gives DJs a chance to take people on more of a journey and play an extended set for 3 or 4 hours? Do you think clubs are that bit less rushed to finish than their Dublin counterparts? How does it effect the vibe of the crowd? 
It’s definitely a very different feel when a club can stay open til whenever it wants. It’s the way the law should be everywhere. It makes way more sense. It’s way more civilised. Ordering a beer at 8am and not feeling the need to get fucked because the bar might close soon!
And musically it definitely allows DJs to explore things a bit more, and take time to build. Having said that, that is not always a good thing. You never seem to reach that peak around 2.30 – 3am in Irish clubs where people are losing their shit because the end is nigh. That intense energy spike.
Just because something is longer doesn’t mean it’s better. It’s like, humans are not meant to be eternal. We need to know things are finite to fully appreciate them. And the shocking Irish licensing laws certainly allow us that!
So there’s pluses and minuses to both sides. But ultimately clubs should be allowed open whenever they want, for sure. The laws in Ireland are so backward concerning this. I was chatting to Sunil Sharpe (who helps run the Give Us The Night campaign) recently and he reckons the law will change soon, that it’ll be brought in without any fanfare. Probably to appease and distract us from some other horrorshow crime the government  are committing.
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Between the record shops and club nights is the techno community a bit more visible and as a result do you feel more of a part of a bigger scene?
For sure the techno scene is very visible here. It’s why so many people come here – either to stay or for a visit. Like any scene you start seeing the regulars at the different parties. It’s nice. I’ve felt really welcomed and part of it. So yeah I do feel part of it. As I was saying though techno is the big scene here, but you do find all types of other scenes too which keeps it interesting. There are just so many musicians here!
You’re one half of Lakker alongside Dara Smith, with a new album ‘Tundra‘ out in May on R&S, really looking forward to it. I’ve always liked the visual identity that Lakker has crafted, be it the AV show or even the fact that you new album vinyl is a piece of art in itself. Do the visuals come after the music or would you ever buzz off the visuals to create tunes?
Thanks dude! Good question! The visuals are all Dara’s doing. I have input into whether I like or don’t like something, but it’s all down to him really. I trust his visual mind and his eyes! So for me the visuals always come after the music, but for Dara I think music and visuals happen simultaneously.
You’ve played piano since you were young. What’s your relationship with standard notation, have you composed much this way? 
I can read music pretty well, but I’m out of practice! I used to compose a lot this way.  After I did my Trinity masters I spent a lot of time writing contemporary chamber and solo instrumental music along with electronic stuff. I did a PhD in composition for a few years, but I’m a raver at heart so I quit that. Academia was not for me.
I imagine I’ll compose instrumental music again at some point, but for now it’s all electronic.
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Would you ever see yourself using graphic notation to compose?
I’ve admired graphic scores by people like Ligeti (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbLcI9-Js0U). Some of those scores are works of art in themselves. It’s not something I’m currently interested in, but never say never.
You’ve been busy in the studio the last few months with a slew of remixes for the likes of Swarm Intelligence and Mick Finnesse as well as the stunning ‘I Am Starting to Believe’ on Stroboscopic Artifacts. Any more releases in the pipeline? Is it too early to talk about the follow up to ‘Spectre’? (Seriously, if it is tell me to back off! :)
Haha. No, I’m definitely thinking about a follow up to Spectre. But in the meantime I have another EP soon which will be announced next week. You’ll hear some in my set in Sunday. And I’m working on a very special and exciting project with Bedouin Records. But  my lips are sealed for the moment…
How do you sketch out tracks? What sort of stuff inspires you?
Everything inspires me. Anything that makes me feel something. A conversation, a film, the way two people interact in the street. Often I’ll want to express those feelings and music is the avenue I feel most comfortable in doing that.
Sounds and other music directly inspire me though, in that sometimes I’ll hear a sound or another piece of music and I’ll instantly hear a new piece of music in my head. Then its just about finding a way to get that out of my head and into people’s ears.
I sketch directly in Ableton, in tbe clip view. If I’m not at my computer I’ll write some key words down in my notebook, something to remind me of my idea. Maybe a sketch of structure or something.
Top three producers to watch out for in 2015?
My boy Arad (Dara from Lakker). He has some amazing stuff brewing.
Anyone from the Principe Discos label – that shit is the future.
And SPACES (who’s also playing Sunday night) – that Bjork collaboration is just the start I feel…
You can keep up to date with Eomac’s delicious sounds here, here and here. You can catch him at the Twisted Pepper Easter Sunday too, grab tickets here while they’re left!