Arts

Noise Annoys: The Tragedy of Dr Hannigan, Malojian, RMCK and Arvo Party

This week, Noise Annoys listens to new music from Tony Wright, RMCK and Arvo Party and checks out the latest sea-spray flecked Malojian video

Stevie Scullion of Malojian at work during the recording of their new album at Rathlin East Lighthouse

TONY Wright, the musical artist best known as VerseChorusVerse, cannot be accused of being a one-trick pony.

From peddling atmospheric punk rock with early outfit Zombie Safari Park to conjuring forth instrumental expression/destruction in And So I Watch You From Afar before exploring alt-folk/rock informed singer-songwriting with VerseChorusVerse, Wright has never stuck rigidly to one sound or style.

Indeed, he put a further blues/jazz spin on VCV with Say & Do, 2015's stripped-down recorded in one quick session collaboration with fellow NI musician David Lyttle – and his latest team-up finds the north coaster doing something new yet again.

The Tragedy of Dr Hannigan is Wright in cahoots with Bearcat Studios knob-twiddler Dean 'Deany Darko' Stevens, ex-Farriers man Stephen Macartney and singer-songwriter Jackie Rainey (whom I used to work with at HMV many years ago, trivia fans).

Their debut tune is a swampy gospel blues number they've called Hey Little Worried One, which sounds a bit like Alabama 3 with Wright giving it his best blues preacher rasp on the vocal.

It's an instantly catchy tune, which should definitely get people's attention for the forthcoming Dr Hannigan album, Methods.


More details on that as they emerge – in the meantime, seek out Hey Little Worried One now at your preferred digital retailer.

You've probably already seen Malojian's new video Some New Bones by now, a collaboration with film-maker Colm Laverty promoting this mellow jam (which features guest appearances by Teenage Fanclub man Gerry Love and Joey 'Beck and REM' Waronker) from the forthcoming Malojian album, Let Your Weirdness Carry You Home.

As you may have noticed, Laverty's evocative, seaside-themed clip for the tune incorporates archive footage from Northern Ireland Screen's Digital Film Archive.


Indeed, this was no accident – the video was actually produced to promote NI Screen's Coast to Coast programme, which will bring a mix of screenings, exhibitions and live musical performances to locations along the north's coastline in order "to highlight our coastal and maritime heritage".

Funded as part of the Coast and Sea strand of BFI's ongoing Britain on Film initiative, Coast To Coast has also commissioned six local artists to produce pieces inspired by local coastal life, to be exhibited at The Braid theatre in Ballymena from July 27 along with short films documenting their production.

Additionally, Finnish artist Ulrika Ferm will create an NI coast-inspired installation to go on show from August 10 at PS2 studios in Belfast.

However, most importantly for this column is the fact that NI Screen offering Malojian the chance to play a show during Coast To Coast using seaside-themed DFA footage as visuals is actually what inspired mainman Stevie Scullion to write his new album in the first place.

Indeed, Let Your Weirdness Carry You Home was partly recorded at Rathlin East Lighthouse just for extra authenticity – a process documented by Laverty in a documentary short available to view on YouTube now.

Appropriately, the aforementioned Coast To Coast gig – at Portico in Portaferry on September 16 – has now become the launch show for the album it inspired, which has got to be some kind of a first and a pretty cool one at that too.

Check out Britainonfilmscreenings.org.uk for full details of the BFI initiative, including other NI screenings.

You can also catch Stevie and co in action later this month as the opening act for Yorkston, Thorne & Khan at The Workman's Club in Dublin on Tuesday July 25 and at Sunflowerfest on Saturday July 29.

Don't forget to pre-order Let Your Weirdness Carry You Home via Malojian.bandcamp.com.

And now, for something completely different: Northern Ireland-based RMCK makes creepy/noisy post-punk/rock instrumentals with the aid of his/her trusty banjo, fuzzbox and a loop pedal.

With the Solid Choice recording artist's identity a closely guarded secret (though we know the drums on the record were hit by Ben McCauley and it was recorded at Start Together Studios by Rocky O'Reilly), all we have to go on are the five discordant tunes of his/her eponymous debut EP, available to purchase now at RMCK.bandcamp.com.

The, queasy string-plucking mesmerics of Sickness From Cure and 7 and Inbetween are my picks of the bunch, but the rolling drums-powered Dem Devi, Altered's spiralling high tension groove and the swirling shoegaze-esque soundscape of Mercer are pretty cool too.

An intriguing release from front to back – but will RMCK ever break cover for some live performances?

Last but not least for this week, we come to Arvo Party, the studio project of former LaFaro man Herb Magee which sees him ditching noise rock in favour of synth-powered thrills.

Released last week, his self-titled debut album offers 50 minutes of moody electro listening, covering a full spectrum of machine-manipulated musical feeling from dreamy and wistful to dark and dramatic, just like yer Vangelis and Tangerine Dream used to do.

Give it a go at ArvoParty.bandcamp.com, perhaps starting with the excellent synthdance throbber, Null Set, which sounds pleasingly like something a hungover Jan Hammer might come up with.

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