Irish electronic artist, Sunken Foal aka Dunk Murphy, seems to be onto something with his signature approach to the creative process. The Friday Syndrome records are the product of regular Friday night recording sessions, where Murphy would really flex his creative muscles through short, sharp experimental recording stints. Initially, the results of these sessions were passed among friends for their listening pleasure but we’re awfully glad that Murphy has since decided to share the fruits of his labour with the rest of us.
Released last month, ‘The Friday Syndrome Volume 2’ was a welcome distraction from the festive furor. With this collection, Sunken Foal has noticeably kicked things up a notch since its predecessor in 2012. The tracks are short but sweet, with Murphy managing to cram a very generous 18 of them into the 46-minute stretch. Possibly the result of such a stilted recording process, the tracks vary in style, atmosphere and quality.
The bulk of the album sees Murphy adding texture to ambient, lo-fi beats with engaging vocal samples. Though the compositions are firmly rooted in all things electronic, Murphy manages to maintain a fresh, organic feel throughout by keeping melody at the core and loading up on traditional instruments like guitar and piano.
Murphy makes sure to keep it local with lots of contemporary Irish references – he even threw in a bit of Gaeilge with song titles like Buachaill Dearg. It’s Grafton Street is an oddity fueled by its highly processed bizarro vocal which mourns the lack of a HMV and questions the surplus of pharmacies on Grafton Street. It’s marmite, and while we love Sunken Foal for adding intrigue with quirks like this, some of our favourite moments on this record were those delivered with a straight face like Slab Serif and the eastern vibes of Cash for Gold.
On a whole, 2013 was crammed with amazing electronic releases, domestic and international alike. ‘Friday Syndrome Volume 2’ deserves its place in the crowd.