AllChival Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records
Few artists out there with a story as fascinating as Michael O’Shea, a street musician who due to finances had to construct his own instrument. O’Shea had travelled around the world and owned instruments such as the sitar or zelochord but had to sell them to fund his lifestyle. The resulting instrument - build from things such as an old door and chopsticks - created a profoundly DIY - in the true sense - take on minimalism and traditional forms of Asian and North African music. Originally issued in 1982 on Wire/Dome fellows Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis' Dome Records.
The good folk at Dublin’s All City (New Jackson, Onra) do some serious digging here. When one thinks of the 70s and 80s in Ireland, the nation’s disco underground isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. It’s probably not even the thousandth. But there are some real gems here, from the rubbery funk of Sunshine’s ‘Give It To Me’ to Natural Wild’s cheeky ‘Hot and Sexable’. The B-side focuses on the Emerald Isle’s weirder, sharper post-punk interpretations of funk - Microdisney’s ‘Leper’, pitched somewhere between Orange Juice and The Wedding Present, is the pick of the bunch.
Stano was a member of the Dublin punk crew The Threat, but when he went solo in 1983, he produced some surprisingly beyond-punk sounds. Content To Write In I Dine Weathercraft is an impressive work of improvisation and experimentation made with a close bunch of collaborators, with post-punk elements merging with spoken-word. Good to see this one get reissued.