Weighing in around 6 bags of sugar, from Páirteanna Anaithnaid, Co. Ciarraí, the masked Ted cuts a pretty singular figure on the Irish alternative music circuit. However, this writhing skeletal frame does not claim to be a musician, indeed you’d be hard pushed to even call it music sometimes (we file it under ‘hip-hop’ but most of those rap cats want nothing to do with it). Where the machine is man, and man is on the cusp of a nervous breakdown, Ted’s hands control time via a pair of turntables, creating an unpredictable and unrepeatable narrative, shifting then to now, remembering the future and re-imagining the past.
Ted’s abrasive, angular take on beat-oriented music meets at the margins of myriad styles but is never wilfully eclectic, always following a logical sonic line (that admittedly may only be audible to himself). Boom-bap headnod & feedback-drenched headwreck. Ambivalent ambience & shrill shoegaze. Afro-jazz meltdowns & poised krautrockers. Maximalist haikus and minimal epics. Or as he might put it himself – ‘caressed in a chokehold’.
Some people thought his 2015 album ‘The inevitable heel turn’ was deadly (“…the whole thing is an alternative audio riot.” Album of the week, Irish Times, July 2015).
The gigs to promote that record went pretty well too and 2015 wrappeded up with a triumphant support tour for longtime heroes giveamanakick on their final, emotional jaunt round the country.
It has to be said though, Ted doesn’t get out much, preferring to spend his free time producing music for (amongst others) windings, Same D4ence, Post-Punk Podge, Murli, Spekulativ Fiktion and running the Unscene Music ‘not really a record label’ record label.
He was commissioned to provide music for New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Bullet Club faction (seeing his music played in Tokyo Dome in front of 45,000 Japanese wrestling fans literally reduced our Ted to tears) and provided much of the soundtrack for BBC Two’s ‘Smack Em Up’ documentary in 2015. He’s also remixed or collaborated with Lankum (formerly Lynched), Murli & God Knows (Rusangano Family), SertOne, Nanu Nanu, Morning Veils, Clerk5 and Ceara Conway.
And that’s just the recent stuff… dig a little deeper and you’ll find a man at the centre of Ireland’s first turntable band (Vince Mack Mahon), a founder & organiser of one of Ireland’s longest running free festivals (Community Skratch Games) and an alt-rap pioneer through his work with the cultish Flying Buttresses.
So, there’s more but if all that doesn’t make you want to see him play some music then you should go somewhere else on the night in question.
If you wanna see for yourself before making any snap decisions based on some anonymous blurb you just read on the internet/in your local paper then you should check out the following links….