Album release: 'Popular Demain' by Alarmist
Release date: 2 November 2015
Label: Small Pond Recordings
More info: Band website
Alarmist are an instrumental quartet from Dublin, comprised of Neil Crowley, Elis Czerniak, Osgar Dukes and Barry O'Halpin. Their debut LP Popular Demain is an almost orchestral expanse of colour and meandering lines, tightly wrought around a rhythmic core of double drums and guitars.
Recorded in the Meadow studio at the edge of Ireland's Wicklow Mountains, the album is a natural evolution of from the sound established in the Dublin band's previous EPs. It carries on the genre-defying fusion of influences that has gained the band a growing international following; primitive Korgs, Casios and tape-degraded voice samples find themselves densely packed with an organic mass of winds, percussion and prepared piano, forming a soundworld that somehow finds common ground for jazz-infused math-rock, warped experimental pop melodies and brutalist slabs of pulsing electronics.
Through the power of online music communities and word-of-mouth spread, Alarmist have developed an ever-growing fanbase in Europe, North America, and beyond, in particular since the release of Pal Magnet which since November 2013 has remained in the top 50 'experimental' releases on Bandcamp worldwide, also featuring on the site's Staff Picks.
2015 has seen the band embark on a Canadian tour, including an appearance as the sole Irish act at Ottawa Jazz Festival, and a UK tour in April. In the same month, they gave a special 12-piece ensemble performance at Dublin's MusicTown festival together with experimental jazz groups OKO and Redivider.
In April 2014 they were the act selected to represent Ireland at the 12 Points Festival of jazz-related music in Umeå, Sweden. Other notable festival shows in 2014 included Arctangent (UK), Out of the Crowd (Luxembourg), Down With Jazz (Dublin), along with UK/Ireland support slots with influential acts BADBADNOTGOOD (Canada) and Lite (Japan). They have been featured on All About Jazz, Guardian, the 405, Ottawa Showbox, Nialler9, The Thin Air, I Care If You Listen and Montréal's Poulet Neige Christmas Wishlist 2014 project. Radio play has included features on Sweden's national broadcaster (SR), RTE1, 2FM, Phantom FM and BBC 1 Northern Ireland.
Press reaction to date
- ‘[The single's] bobbing instrumentalism struck a buoyant balance between the warped mathrock textures of U.S. band Tera Melos and Ethiojazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke. More than anything, thought, Bunda Internacionale underlined Alarmist’s status as one of the country’s finest ever instrumental acts.' - The Thin Air
- “In Alarmist's multilayered sound there were the roots of all kinds of influences, from electronica and synthpop to altrock and tropicana. [They] provided the biggest surprise of Down With Jazz, demonstrating that instrumental music can be challenging and accessible at one and the same.” - All About Jazz
- “Genres are harvested and manipulated, and Alarmist take a quasi-orchestral approach that allows their music to hover in its own instrumental space, gravitationally pulled toward a rock aesthetic but constantly implying other philosophies in a way that excites.” - Improvised Music Company