The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Jape - RitualRichard Egan, a.k.a. Jape, has been a staple on this ol' "scene" of ours for quite a while now, producing record after record of quality, often disparate, material. This year sees the nomination of last year's Ritual album for the Choice Music Prize. He answered a few questions (with characteristically few words) on the album and nomination 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?
The album is called Ritual. It took me three years to make. I can't really remember what snags I hit but they were nothing too hardcore, apart from the old crippling self doubt. I tried my best at the time, looking back...I try not to look back.

Award nominations aside, were you happy with the response the album received?
Yeah, I mean it's not something I would tend to dwell on too much, but the fact some people liked it means I can keep going on for another bit so that is just fine with me.

How do you feel about the idea of music awards in general?
I would put them in the same category as pornography, good to look at every now and again but you don't want to spend too much time in that world.

Do you think the idea of the album is a little antiquated in these days of single track downloading and plummeting CD sales?
I definitely do not think the album is an antiquated idea in these days of single track downloading. Sales don't have anything to do with a particular artists vision, and as long as there are people with attention spans to match, the album will remain a valid expression. Usually it takes a few tracks to get across the breadth of what you might want to say.

Do you feel the Irish music scene is in a healthy state at the moment?
I don't like the word, 'scene'. There are definitely some bands, songwriters, producers and DJs from ireland who are making good music in 2009. Way better than anytime I can remember really.

Any artists who weren't nominated for the Choice Award, who you feel should have been?
Katie Kim, Adebisi Shank, Spook of Thirteenth Lock, Jimmy Cake, Vinny Club, Crayonsmith... It's hard to say and I'm sure there are more I'm forgetting; there really was a lot of good Irish albums put out in 2008.

Your favourite album from those also nominated for the Prize?
I couldn't say, I pretty much like them all to be honest, the ones I have heard anyway.

Best gig you went to in 2008?
Ola Festival in Spain was cool. Villagers in dublin. We spent a lot of time touring around and saw a lot of great bands. 2008 will be remembered as the year of seeing bands.

Plans for 2009?
Write and record a new album.

Any recommendations for the coming year (music or otherwise) you have to offer Cluas readers?
Not really... I'm sure they know what the score is. 

Anna Murray

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Nuggets from our archive

1999 - 'The eMusic Market', written by Gordon McConnell it focuses on how the internet could change the music industry. Boy was he on the money, years before any of us had heard of an iPod or of Napster.