Jape to play GIAF gig @ Róisín Dubh

Twice Choice Music Prize winner on stage on July 18

Jape (aka Richie Egan).

Jape (aka Richie Egan).

SOME MUSICIANS find a formula that works and stick with it. Others are restless, always looking for new paths to explore and new ways to express their musical vision - Jape is definitely among the latter.

The Crumlin native, born Richie Egan, began life in hardcore/punk bands before taking up bass duties with The Redneck Manifesto, the pioneering Irish post-rock band, best known for their 2004 album I Am Brazil. That same year, Richie released his second solo album under the Jape moniker - The Monkey's In The Zoo Have More Fun Than Me. It caused a sensation in Irish indie circles with key track 'Floating' winning notice from the Jack White/Brendon Benson band The Raconteurs, who covered it in concert.

This was followed by 2007's Ritual, which won Richie the Choice Music Prize that year. The 2011 follow-up, the gloomy, sombre Ocean Of Frequency, repeated that success, winning the artist his second Choice Award - the only performer to date to achieve this. Noticeable also, was Richie's increasing move towards electronica, a leap he completed on latest album This Chemical Sea.

“It’s the first album that sounds the way I wanted it to sound,” Richie told me when I interviewed him earlier this year. “In years to come it is the one I think will stand up. I wanted a cohesive sound. I didn’t want to do an acoustic record and everybody does guitar records. I wanted this one to have its own character and a certain energy, so I thought I would go fully electronic. I also find synths can emote in a way guitars cannot a lot of the time, and I wanted to make it sound emotional. There’s only guitar on one track.”

One song from This Chemical Sea which has been attracting particular attention is ‘Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon’, a collaboration with Villagers’ Conor J O’Brien.

“That track wasn’t supposed to be on the album!” Richie said. “We wanted to do a couple of tracks together. The idea was that one of us would write a song and the other would come over and develop it. We had a great night making that track. When the mix of it came back I knew it had to be on the album.”

Jape plays the Róisín Dubh on Saturday July 18 at 8pm as part of the Galway International Arts Festival. For tickets see www.giaf.com or www.roisindubh.net

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