I came across this during the week and used it in a podcast that Shiv & I put together for Curious Broadcast, which features our pick of Irish, underground artists. (More details to follow on that soon.) Since then, I must have listened to Monto’s new Best Boy EP at least 20 times! Though it’s already been covered across t’internet & I don’t necessarily have anything new to add to the blogosphere about it: I’m going to write about it nonetheless, because it’s ridiculously good & if you haven’t checked it out yet, you should.
Monto, aka Ross O’Sullivan, is one of Waterford’s best kept secrets (to me at least!) who originally hails from Wexford.At just 20, O’Sullivan has produced a particularly impressive, funkyEP on the Belfast based labelMelted Music. The four track release is like nothing else I’ve heard recently. Each track displays what this guy is able to throw his hand too; from seriously funky riffs and basslines, creative use of random samples & chopped vocals to cut up hip-hop beats with added wonk, sprinkles of ‘duph’ and world music rhythms for good measure.
In opening track Hommage, occasional samples of him coughing are filtered in with percussive chimes and a wonky, sliced hip-hop beat with an old reliable casio keyboard ringing out sqeaky riffs. In FTW, a jazzy synth plays out over a tribal-esque style of drumming, compressed so that the percussion is at the forefront and all the bassy melodies lie in the background, bringing the style of artists like Mount Kimbie to mind. Third track, Pot Luck uses world music rhythms seamlessy flowing into one another and emphasized by a bass drum and hi-hat that will have your head bopping in no time. Harmonic vocals behind a child’s voice and a repetitive synth give it perfect balance and put quite simply, it’s a wicked track. To conclude the EP, All is Well rounds it up nicely & is probably my favourite on the release. Beginning with out of space, cosmographic sounds then breaking in with a riff so funky you couldn’t shake a stick at it! With a sudden change of pace and direction the track ends abruptly, leaving you with only one thing to do. Press play again. It’s reminds me of something that could have been on the Squarepusheralbum Burning In Tree.
Best Boy is definitely on the jazzier side of electronic music with funky bass lines, bluesy chords and broken hip hop beats, and is slightly melancholic in places. He can be added to the list of warm, almost emotional, electronica emerging from the country these days such as Mmoths and Toby Kaar, but he’s definitely taking it in his own direction.
To me it’s perfect listening for this time of year, as the Winter looms and that unexplained feeling of nostalgia sets in. Ideally listened to as you’re making your journeys through the long nights ahead.
For those in Dublin he will be playing this Saturday at the Nialler 9 gig and you can stream or buy Best Boy EP below.