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Welcome to Raelach Records

An Tara’s Faha Rain Out Now!

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AnTara is a unique duo comprised of Tommy Hayes & Matthew Noone that explores the spaces in-between the traditions of Irish and Indian Classical music. Both regarded as pioneers on their chosen instruments and fearlessly inventive, they create a diverse yet cohesive musical experience.

 

“a unique collaboration producing a delightful aural journey that knows no borders and defies categorisation”
CARL CORCORAN

 

 

 

 

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

 

“As a trio of contemporary musicians, Cuar are suggesting a very interesting curved path around an already thriving and living tradition. Seamlessly blending written with improvised sections while recording all tracks in one take brings a palpable edge to an album which should be listened to as if the music was heard for the first time, “with a child’s new mind”

Guillaume Janssen, Spellbinding Music

 

“quite different from most Irish music, and perhaps all the more interesting for that”

Folkworld

 

“Hill’s latest is ‘live’ blockbuster”

“Hill is an other-worldly player: the ornamentations and variations he brings to the dance tunes are imaginative and thrilling, his air playing is arresting, and the rhythm and lift in his music in general is as good as there is. “Live in New York” reminds listeners of the power in Hill’s music and puts it into a clean and delightfully listenable package. Lovers of the pure drop will be spellbound by this album, it is definitely one for the collection”.

Daniel Neely, The Irish Echo

 

“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

 

“‘The Irish Concertina 3: Live in New York’ is remarkable for many reasons, not least the quality of recording and Noel’s ability to sustain such a high standard of live music for the entire album. For a musician so influential and so good, 3 solo albums in nearly 30 years does not seem like enough. However it is testament to his musicianship that every time Noel does make or appear on a recording that it still excites and inspires us in a way not many other musicians can. This album has done that”.

Rawbar Magazine

 

“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

 

“The sound of Talty’s playing is wonderful, and he utilizes different concertinas that provide a varied sonority to the recording…Talty’s playing appears to effortlessly slide through its sets, and his control is amazing – at times, he manages to make some notes ring out stronger, almost like a trombone punctuating a tune. But apart from the technical surety on the reels and jigs, I found the slow airs to be captivating”

RootsWorld

“informed, virtuosic, and thoughtful, but what really sets him apart as a musician is his endless curiosity, and a gift for finding the inner life in the music. This he brings to us, as listeners, and opens up a whole new way of hearing old tunes as if for the first time. He is possessed of a rare combination of technical mastery, intelligent artistry, and soul”

Ellen Cranitch, RTÉ Lyric FM

 

“In Flow is just majestic. The man is a genius”

Mike Harding

 

“dynamic, decorative and elegantly expressive. He punctuates each note with a confidence that comes only from musicians steeped in the enactment of their musical heritage”

Songlines

 

“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

 

“Rightly considered one of the major Anglo players in the music”

Roger Digby, The Concertina Journal

 

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

 

Farewell To Music is an extremely poignant valedictory collection consisting exclusively of slow airs (13 of them), and straightaway gives the lie to anyone who says the accordion is incapable of sensitivity. The listener hangs on every note, and in every case the music fairly continues to resonate long after that note has died away. There’s no respite from the unrelieved slow, measured tempi – and nor does there need to be, for this is glorious, powerful playing that squeezes every drop of emotion from these ageless melodies; at the same time stark yet lush-textured, with an unerring precision and a beauteous, unparalleled sense of poise”

David Kidman, The Living Tradition

 

“Put it like this: “Farewell to Music” is like a superior bottle of whiskey.  Complex, aged, and full of nuance, it’d be misguided and perhaps even crippling to drink it down too quickly.  And while its depth hits you right away, given a bit of time it unfolds in a way that reveals its complexity in ways that aren’t apparent at first blush.  This is an album that musicians will forever now turn to in order to better understand what air playing is.  An instant classic”.

Daniel Neely, The Irish Echo

 

#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

 

“I think “Be Off” is just brilliant.  There is tremendous drive and swing in Connolly’s music and he’s showcased it well with a great selection of tunes, fabulous tempos, and superb variations. Each of the cast of nine musicians who join him here distinguish themselves individually but they also do an excellent job either complementing Connolly in the spotlight, or supporting him as backer.  Trad music lovers won’t be disappointed here, definitely recommended!”

Daniel Neely, The Irish Echo

 

 

 

 

“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

 

“an even-handed and persuasive demonstration of her talents… it’s an experience to be savoured, not to be rushed…there’s a lot of music and song on this one CD, and it repays the time taken to listen through, with the benefit of the fine booklet notes”

David Kidman, The Living Tradition

 

“Roithleán contains one hour and twenty minutes of excellent, well researched and exquisitely delivered music. The expansive sleeve notes are a testament to Saileog’s devotion to this musical genre, and in particular to the music of past generations, much of which is still buried away in archives and attics. Ní Cheannabháin’s command of song, piano and fiddle, makes her one of the most extraordinary and wide-ranging musicians of her time, and Roithleán is a demonstration of that”

Rawbar Magazine

 

 

 

“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

 

“A tightly knit ensemble of fine soloists who have plenty to say and the means to say it.”

Songlines

 

“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 stands out to me about Egan’s music is the superiority in her articulation and phrasing. The commanding way she grabs a melody and her approach to ornamentation are both confident and tasteful, and always enhance the phrasing of whatever tune she is playing. The beauty in her fiddle’s tone adds to the enjoyment of listening to her music as well. Her tasteful choice of tunes builds on these elements, as do backers create, who add variety that keeps things fresh throughout the length of the album.

“Turning Tides” is just sublime and certainly one for the collection, especially if you love fiddle music – definitely check it out.”

Daniel Neely, The Irish Echo

 

 

 

“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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