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Welcome to Raelach Records

We have officially released Cuar’s debut album, Roscanna. Cuar is a trio made up of Neil Ó Loclainn on double bass and flute, Aoife Ní Bhriain on fiddle, and Matthew Berrill on clarinet, playing music composed by Ó Loclainn especially for this release. It is a five-movement suite of music, organised in a specular structure, with two slow airs as bookends, two dances inside that, and in the middle a continuous five-piece movement, at the centre of which in turn is a track called QfwfQ, after the fictional narrator of many of Italo Calvino’s stories. Co-produced by Jack Talty, it was recorded by Jack in the studios at Tigh Roy in the Galtee Mountains in January. It is music that explores chamber composition and improvisation within the framework of Irish traditional music.

 

 

“ear-craningly beautiful missive from the new post-genre frontier” – ★★★★ The Irish Times

 

“Hill back and better than ever…he made the humble little instrument cool and classy and, thankfully, many more brilliant concertina players, male and female have followed the well-chosen path he helped create for them” – Paul Keating, The Irish Voice

 

“Opting to follow two seminal albums (Irish Concertina 1 and 2) with a third in the series might be considered a foolhardy exploit, but it’s one that Noel Hill pursues with unadulterated pleasure. A dozen years after the release of last recording, Hill is emerging from the silence, the void, with this lightning rod of a live recording. The sound is bright, and Hill’s creative energies coarse through his richly eclectic tune choices. The spontaneity of the live performance sees him melding four gorgeous reels from Willie Clancy and Seamus Ennis with a mix of inventiveness and an abundant appetite for making music. His soulful feel for the slow air is inimitable, so that ‘Ó Rathaille’s Grave’ traces its lonesome path into the listener’s subconscious to echo long after the final note has sounded. The pure drop indeed”

★★★★ Siobhan Long, The Irish Times

 

“Noel Hill is alive! Many of us know how lucky we are that he is still with us. As a friend, a father and as an example of what it means to be a good person, it makes life more bearable just to have him in our midst. As a musician, he is a soul tonic, the true master of the Irish concertina. He has absorbed everything that makes this music special and reflects it back to us. His soulful playing of the old song-airs of Ireland is the perfect introduction to his art; from the life affirming detail of his dance music to the plaintive long notes of the slow airs, and all created on a musical instrument – smaller than a shoe-box, between his hands. Through his dedication, talent, and artistry, Noel produces one of the most powerful and beautiful expressions of our culture I know. In this live recording the listeners tell you clearly of their excitement and relief that he is still playing. Thank you, Noel. There’s hope for us yet.

 – Tony MacMahon

 

 

“a concertina renaissance man…with an ear for the sublime…who has continually sought out the rarely illuminated corners where the concertina thrives”

★★★★ Siobhan Long, The Irish Times

 

“one of the leading traditional Irish musicians of his generation, among a versatile new wave” – Toner Quinn, The Journal of Music

 

“Jack is a master of the slower tunes too: his interpretation of the air, Bóthar Cluain Meala, is deeply moving, and his own composition, Stephen’s Waltz, is another highlight. This is not a brash young buck’s recording: it is thoughtful and unhurried, but no less impressive for that” – Alex Monaghan, The Living Tradition

Featured as one of 12 Top Traditional Albums of 2016 on Tuairisc.ie

 

 

“At once elegiac and celebratory, this deeply affecting collection is as fitting a valediction as any artist could hope for” – ★★★★ The Irish Times

#10 on Jim Carroll’s (The Irish Times) 50 Best Albums of 2016

 

 

 

“Connolly’s rakish reading of An Seanduine Dóite is a particular delight, as is his solo take on the reel set, Miss Johnson’s. The richly textured and witty sleeve notes add immeasurably to this jaw-droppingly mature debut – ★★★★ Siobhan Long, The Irish Times

 

“Aidan Connolly’s debut recording, Be Off (RR009, 2016), is a model album in many ways, a sort of archetype of the contemporary tradition; Connolly knows his music, but more than that, knows how to carefully piece together a collection of sets to demonstrate this knowledge, and to appeal to the connoisseur” – The Journal of Music

 

 

 

“Her Connemara singing style is a delight: unhurried, ornamented with extreme care, and propelled by a vocal range that makes even the classic Róisín Dubh her own. Ní Cheannabháin’s fiddle and viola mine the deeper seams of her tune choices with grace, but it’s her piano lines that really prick up the listener’s ears” –  ★★★★ Siobhan Long, The Irish Times

 

“The tune is given plenty of air, showing off how well she has translated fiddle and other ornaments to the piano, never the easiest instrument on which to bring out the shape and feel of traditional tunes on – and while cascading triplets, rolls, and scads of cuts undoubtedly help this, it’s the phrasing, the emphases, the stresses, and the rhythm that catch the ear more than anything” – The Journal of Music

 

 

 

“With Imbas, they assert their confidence with their windows-wide-open approach to tradition in which they dipped their toes with an impressive eponymous release in 2013” – ★★★★★ fRoots

“The album really succeeds in giving space for the different musical voices and traditions which the individual group members bring to the table.” – The Journal of Music

“Cool-headed and even-handed, Ériú’s groove ultimately reigns supreme.” – ★★★★ The Irish Times

“… this seven-piece ensemble make a big, bold, beautiful noise – their new album, Imbas, is a stunner” – Derek O’Connor for RTÉ Culture:  ‘7 more reasons to be excited about Irish music right now’

“Imbas is an Irish word that translates as “creative inspiration”, and there’s plenty of it striking in the hands of the seven-piece band” – Release of the week – Nialler9

“Ensemble Ériu’s distinctive sound constantly express the band’s deep-rooted appreciation and love for traditional music while the band simultaneously seek to furrow new and intriguing paths in contemporary music circles.” – Mark Carry, Fractured Air

“On this exquisitely recorded collection, Ériu succeed where others have failed before by successfully entangling the repetition of Irish melodies with some of the tropes of contemporary, minimalist composition.” – Ian Lamont, Totally Dublin

 

Nominated for The Irish Times Best Traditional Album of 2016

A Featured Album of the Week on Lyric FM’s Blue of the Night.

 

 

 

“This solo debut from London-Irish fiddler Claire Egan is a quietly confident collection that comfortably casts a glance to both the past and the present, with nary a misstep in between…Egan’s inclusion of a short passage from a Bach adagio in G Minor is miraculously paired with Castlekellys reel is a spirit-shocking delight…Accompaniment on piano, bouzouki and bodhrán is perfectly pitched as well” -★★★★ Siobhan Long, The Irish Times

 

 

 

“What could be better than hearing the combination of these two iconic musicians. This is a beautiful and profoundly heartfelt recording that anybody interested in Irish music should own” – Martin Hayes

“A fine valediction from a musician whose fervour shows few signs of waning” – ★★★★ Siobhan Long, The Irish Times

 

 

 

“One of the finest Irish albums of 2013” – Jim Carroll, The Irish Times:

“Heart-swelling, surprising, fresh and beautiful, it’s exactly what I look for in music” – Nialler9

“They are an extraordinary band, big band, big line up, lots of instruments, lots of imagination, all sorts going on … they are something special” — John Kelly, RTÉ Lyric FM

“Very developed, soulful and meditative music from an impressive musical intelligence” – Tony MacMahon

 

 

 

“For lovers of sean nós, Saileog Ní Cheannabháin’s debut is an Aladdin’s cave of treasures. A muscular, confident debut” – The Irish Times

 

 

“It’s a masterpiece” – Donal Dineen

“This concertina recording is the highlight of the last decade or more. I hope they know that”
Tony Lawless, TradConnect

“With idiosyncratic tune choices, and traversing five octaves, Talty and Begley add an intriguing dimension to an instrument that revels in its top billing” – Siobhán Long, The Irish Times

 

 

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