Castlepalooza Music and Arts Festival
Set in the “wooded wonderland” surrounding County Offaly’s Charleville Castle, Castlepalooza is an intimate arts and music festival, presenting artists from Ireland and across the world. This year, their eclectic musical programme includes Alexander Nut, Late Nite Tuff Guy and My Panda Shall Fly, plus psych-pop stalwarts Of Montreal. Check out our recommended picks below.
Hercules & Love Affair
US DJ Andy Butler and his Hercules & Love Affair ensemble burst onto the dance scene as pioneers of “nu-disco”. They received major praise for their futuristic sound, and were described by Pitchfork in 2008 as being "a compelling new voice in American dance music". Butler and co paid homage to American dance music’s rich cultural history in their self-titled debut which featured a remix of Frankie Knuckles’ ‘Blind’, while their collaboration-heavy follow-up was intended to be “fiery, rough, tough and ragged”. The lively five-piece have a reputation for being raucous; make sure they’re top of your list this weekend.
Glasgow-based producer Jon Phonics defies categorisation. He turned heads after releasing music on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings, with his skills as a beat-maker subsequently winning him collaborations with Jam Baxter of UK hip hop institution High Focus, as well as London MC Phoenix Da Ice Fire. Delving deep into old Motown records, he blends smooth vocal samples with crisp beats, creating hip-hop that is heavily inspired by funk and soul as well as contemporary grime. It’s a testament to his talent that Blue Daisy and synth-specialist Naive Machine have both remixed his work: Phonics is a highly respected force, and a welcome addition to the line-up.
Widely regarded as an ambassador for Irish techno, Sunil Sharpe is a force to be reckoned with. He has a catalogue of releases on Blawan and Pariah’s She Works The Long Nights label as well as techno imprint Black Sun Records, and was amongst the heavyweight line-up at the Hydra’s Blueprint Records night last year, alongside Robert Hood, Rodhad and DVS1. Teaching DJ classes as a day-job, he is dedicated to promoting electronic music in Dublin, where he has lived his whole life. Prepare for a characteristically pummelling set from the Irish local.