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Mining influence from jazz, hardcore and contemporary classical music, Robocobra Quartet sound like little else.
Originally formed at the Sonic Arts Research Centre in Belfast, the group operate as an expanding, contracting and ever-changing collective. A no-holds-barred approach centred on a howling drummer-vocalist and menacing saxophones takes them to festivals such as SXSW (USA), Brilliant Corners Festival of Jazz (UK) and Into The Great Wide Open (Netherlands).
Bolstered by support from the PRS Foundation and Arts Council, Robocobra Quartet’s debut 12’’ LP Music For All Occasions received accolades from the likes of The Quietus and BBC Radio 6. The group improvise not only musically but also in their conduct – engineering their own recordings and performing in venues as varied as jazz festivals, the back room of a pizza parlour and in-store at Rough Trade Records. The band’s hypnotic second album, Plays Hard To Get was released in May, 2018 to critical acclaim.
‘Fugazi meets Mingus.’ Drowned in Sound
‘Barely of this world.’ DIY Magazine
‘Carefully crafted.’ The Quietus
Praise for Plays Hard To Get
‘An album that expertly plays on expectation, playing the dynamic long-game and intentionally weaves knots into its tapestraic narrative, Plays Hard To Get is the most daring, fully realised LP to emerge from Ireland this year, and it’s hard to imagine it being topped.’ Drowned in Sound
‘The album takes disparate influences and assimilates them into something interesting, direct and emotional.’ Narc Magazine
Support is provided by John McGrath, an Irish guitarist, composer and author based in London. McGrath’s music explores the boundaries of the ancient and modern as traditional elements meet improvisation and experimental tendencies. Rich harmonics, intricate fingerpicking, static drones and glitches combine to glorious effect.
‘His versatile, experimental approach, reminiscent of Jim O’Rourke, Christian Fennesz, and Marc Ribot, pushes at the boundaries of new guitar music and the UK avant folk scene.’ The Wire
‘Bringing to mind the likes of Owen Pallett and Grizzly Bear, John McGrath is an artist capable of balancing classical and folk textures to great effect.’ The Skinny
‘like Bert Jansch remixed by Four Tet, combining extraordinary technical mastery with warm drones and harmonic effects.’ The Cube