The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


HalfsetHalfset are without doubt one of the least known of the Choice Music Prize nominees: a brief mention here, a support slot there... But with Another Way of Being There, the band's second album, and their pretty exciting blend of electronics and an unabashed dedication to experimentation, they began their dogged ascent from background to foreground in earnest. They answered a few Choice questions for Cluas...

Tell us about the album. How long you worked on it? What snags you hit along the way, and how you overcame them? Looking back now, is there anything you'd change?
We always take our time with music. Another Way of Being There was released three years after our first album Dramanalog came out and we did work on it pretty consistently over that three-year period. Over forty ideas were brought to the table. These were worked down to seventeen and from these ten were chosen for the album. The benefit of taking that time to make it is that it’s just as we want it to be and looking back we wouldn’t change a thing.

Award nominations aside, were you happy with the response the album received?
The album received an amazing response, we thought some would like it more than others but overall it has been really well received.

How do you feel about the idea of music awards in general?
It can be a bit odd putting music into a competition as music is so subjective and can have such different effects on different listeners. However, from a business point of view it can draw attention to music that people may never otherwise get to hear.

Do you think the idea of the album is a little antiquated in these days of single track downloading and plummeting CD sales?
I still love the idea of an album as it is a combined body of work. You get an insight into what was going on for the period the music was written and if you invest time in a great record it will reward you many many times over, much more so than a one-off downloaded track in my opinion.

Do you feel the Irish music scene is in a healthy state at the moment?
I think there is always something musically good going on in Ireland. Like anywhere, you just have to invest a little time to find it.

Any artists who weren't nominated for the Choice Award, who you feel should have been?
There are plenty but Chequerboard, Jimmy Cake and Katie Kim all made great records last year.

Your favourite album from those also nominated for the Prize?

Best gig you went to in 2008?
Mount Eerie upstairs in Whelan’s and Lightspeed Champion at Oxegen

Plans for 2009?
Keep making music

Anna Murray

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Nuggets from our archive

2000 - 'Rock Criticism: Getting it Right', written by Mark Godfrey. A thought provoking reflection on the art of rock criticism.