Olan Monk compiles a soundtrack for escape, an homage to the music of their youth.
Olan Monk is one of the minds behind C.A.N.V.A.S., the event series and record label that has been one of the most reliable sources for boundary-probing, mind-expanding experimental music since it was founded in 2018. Alongside Lugh O’Neill, Monk has fashioned an international community of some of the most exploratory artists and musicians currently working, including 33 (Billy Bultheel and Alexander Iezzi), Alpha Maid, Elvin Brandhi, Michael Speers and Xao. Each one of these artists features in their Fact mix, a winding assemblage of the sounds of Monk’s past and present. “This mix is an imagined soundtrack to a drive out of the city, along the coastline and into the hills,” they explain.
“It’s the music I’ve been listening to on the road and getting back into the studio on return from a recent tour of live performances. It features friends and family from the past five years of C.A.N.V.A.S. records and events.” Unfolding as a soundtrack of escape, loose and full of space and opportunity, the mix also serves as an homage to the sounds Olan Monk surrounded themselves with growing up. “There’s a strong influence from the bands I grew up listening to in the remote west of Ireland, often imagining I was somewhere else,” Monk continues. “The mix also features contemporary artists who are making efforts to find ways to make new electronic music collective and instrumental again.”
Submerging us in a queasy decomposition of Queens of The Stone Age before pitching us forward into an unreleased demo that shares in the DNA of their essential AD93 dubplate, all shredded guitar loop, crushed percussive clatter and soft synth swell, Olan Monk swirls formative music together with their new sounds. C.A.N.V.A.S. material is placed front-and-centre, stitched together with tracks from kindred spirits and key influences, a puckish blend of The Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Quiet’ and Mica Levi’s eternal ‘Love,’ personal reworks of a few cult classics and a haunting version of Connemara keening standard ‘Amhrán Na Trá Báine.’ It’s as though Olan Monk is moving through an alternative history of their own Irish musical tradition, in which the expanding reach of C.A.N.V.A.S. is routed back through west Ireland and out again to the world.
You can find Olan Monk on Instagram, Bandcamp and at their website.
Queens of The Stone Age – ‘A Song For The Dead’ (OM Edit)
Olan Monk – ‘Unknown’ (Demo)
Xao – ‘Ophanim Plushie’
Alpha Maid – ‘SUM1’
Baptist Goth & Boniface – ‘Extempore (Excerpt)’
Smashing Pumpkins – ‘Quiet’
Mica Levi – ‘Love’
Moin – ‘Knuckle’
James K – ‘Life Of A Fly’
Olan Monk & Maria Somerville – ‘Unknown’
Dies Lexic – ‘Birds Are Wind Vessels And We Blow’
Unknown – ‘Unknown’
Actress – ‘Shadow from Tartarus’
Lucy Railton – ‘Fortified Up’
Michael Speers – ‘Voice’
Lugh – ‘Free Fall’ [Feat. Marie Requa Gailey]
Róisín Berkeley – ‘Frogs (Demo)’
Sinéad O’Connor – ‘I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (OM Edit)’
Loren Connors – ‘Sorrow in the House’
Yeah You – ‘Skin (I have only lived once)’
33 – ‘Speed and Beer’
Artur Verocai – ‘Na Boca Do Sol (OM Edit)’
My Bloody Valentine – ‘Sometimes (OM Edit)’
Maggie Tom Uí Dhioráin – ‘Amhrán Na Trá Báine’
Olan Monk – ‘Fate’ (Live) [Feat. Michael Speers]
Listen next: Fact Mix – Tomu DJ