Archive for the ‘Press’ Category

Guest appearance on Donal Dineen’s Fresh Air Festival, Today FM, Thursday 26th November

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

I’m delighted to be a guest on Donal Dineen’s radio show on Today FM as part of his Fresh Air Festival running throughout November.

The show was aired on Thursday 26th November, 12 – 2am.

Jimmy Behan interview with Donal Dineen | Today FM by jimmy_behan

“Fresh Air is a free music festival that will be transmitted directly into your ears via The Small Hours on Today FM. Donal Dineen has chosen his pick of the best new Irish sound makers to take part in a month-long celebration of great new music, live on your radio.
For the month of November, Donal will have a invited guest act live on air for The Small Hours to play live, chat to Donal and play a selection of their own favourite tunes, effectively curating the show for the night.
The Small Hours is on Today FM from midnight – 2am and the shows are archived for a week right here. We’ve plans to do something special and longer lasting with the archive of the Fresh Air shows, but stay tuned for more on that.” (from
Donal’s Small Hours show on Today FM.

Down By The River Mix for Fluid Radio

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Thanks to the folks at Fluid Radio for making The Echo Garden their album of the week last week.

Down By The River Mix by Jimmy Behan on Mixcloud

Download (192mp3 / 82Mb)

00:00 Mark Harris – Last Days
Birmingham Sound Matter (Audiobulb)

04:24 Billy Gomberg – With
Comme (mOAR)

07:52 Offthesky & Darren McClure – Once, When We Used To
Suspended (Symbolic Interaction)

12:17 Molly Berg & Stephen Vitiello – E-VA
The Gorilla Variations (12k)

17:21 Felicia Atkinson & Sylvain Chauveau – Aberdeen
Roman Anglais (O Rosa)

20:35 Hulk – Photographs
Silver Thread Of Ghosts (Osaka)

23:31 Machinefabriek – Autoharp, Vinyl
Shuffle (Self release)

26:43 Jasper Leyland – Taken
Wake – Carbon Series Vol. 5 (12×50)

31:18 Christopher Hipgrave – Grass
Day (Home Normal)

35:40 Michael Santos – Bamboo Scaffolding
The Happy Error (Baskaru)

36:46 Nicola Ratti – ésope
ésope (Zymogen)

42:42 Autistici – Resonating Wire
Complex Tone Test (Keshhhhhh)

47:42 Jasper TX – (Remix by steinbrüchel)
forthcoming on Under The Spire

52:39 Wouter Van Veldhoven – Stoffig Stuk
Ruststukken EP (Slaapwel)

57:09 His Name Is Alive – This World Is Not My Home
Raindrops Rainbow EP (Silver Mountain Media Group)

Mixed by Jimmy Behan for Fluid Radio | September 2009.
© With artists and labels. All tracks used with permission.

The Echo Garden | review and label profile in Furthernoise

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

“Audiobulb is a Sheffield-based exploratory music label promoting the cause of innovative electronica. Label curator, David Newman, has overseen a flurry of activity over the past couple of years, and this profile features four of Audiobulb’s most recent releases, from a location-inspired compilation to a work driven by an experimental sound generator.
But first up there’s Irish electro-acoustician, Jimmy Behan, who blends pianos, chimes, and various synthetics with field recordings in cultivating the meditative spaces of The Echo Garden. A series of timbrel études and fragments of minimal drift enlivened by the patter of tiny tweets (e.g. Leaving Here), it creates a mood of ambient relaxation while avoiding the New Age fluffiness typically associated with such notions. Behan’s soundscapes generally shun the pristine and preset, preferring the lightly grained and marbled contour, the flickering and faded image-sound. Representative of this would be Rust, which finds a languorous wind chime coupling with filtered pads drizzled with some sizzle; or Clock for No Time, which lets tendrils of tones unravel over soft keyboard chords, gently modulating and interacting with field infusions. The Echo Garden is a study in light on water, rippling pond life and insectoid flutter: a work that makes a virtue of the limitations of a kind of faux-naïf palette of gentility and small gestures that seems to allude to the Zen-like atmosphere of a Japanese water garden.”

Interview with Tokafi magazine

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Read the interview here.

An Taobh Tuathail 15 in The Wire magazine

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Thanks to Cian Ó Cíobháin who listed The Echo Garden in his chart for The Wire magazine (August issue). Cian’s show, An Taobh Tuathail (The Other Side) has been running on Raidió na Gaeltachta for ten years, playing a mix of electronica, dream-pop, alt-folk, post-rock, soundtracks and jazz. Pay him a visit at his myspace or the RnaG site, where you can listen to past shows and see playlists.

L’Autopsie Phénoménale De Dieu (Miasmah)
The Gentleman Losers
Dustland (City Centre Offices)
Jimmy Behan
The Echo Garden (Audiobulb)
Anduin + Jasper TX
The Bending Of The Light (SMTG)
Smudge Another Yesterday (Preservation)
alva noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto with Ensemble Modern
Broken Line 1 (Raster-Noton)
Pentral Part III (Gusstaff)
Cortney Tidwell
Watussi [Simon Baker Remix] (City Slang)
Big Ned
Final Steps (Optimo Music)
Transmit The Music In Me (Crosstown Rebels)
David Åhlén
We Sprout In Thy Soil (Compunctio)
Kesämaan Lapset (Fonal)
City Center
City Center (Type)
Mathew Jonson
When Love Feels Like Crying (Wagon Repair)
Them Use Them
Baker (First Fold)

The Echo Garden | review in Igloo Magazine

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

“Irish composer Jimmy Behan creates his music by processing electro-acoustic sounds and field-recordings. Therefore it was no surprise to hear a collection of oozing tonal meditations on this disc. The Echo Garden is chock full of swirly pianos, droning detuned synths, bells, clicks, scraps and bit-degradation, all lending to a hearty slurry ambient relaxation.
Stand out pieces are Rust which features a lazily pulsing wind chime against a deep filtered sting pad with some sizzles and pops to season, Across The Rooftops which plays with the notion of rhythm – threatening a 3/4 waltz with every measure, and the epic-length Dusk which crawls through Behan’s disc-spanning repertoire in its nearly 9 minute length.
It should be noted that Jimmy Behan currently holds an M. Phil in Music and Media Technologies from Trinity College in Dublin. This serves to solidify that the smart ones always make the “weird” music. That’s definitely not a bad thing at all. The world needs more soothing, and folks like Behan are well equipped to do so.”
R Garcia.
More reviews

The Echo Garden | review in Tokafi

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

“There may be some classic cinematic connections to the work of Jimmy Behan. In the epic masterwork of schmaltz & tears, Sissi, the peoples of Hungary are crowning their new king Franz Joseph I on top of a small artificial mountain erected by piling up samples of earth from their respective provinces. In a scene of similar emotional impact from Marco Bechis’ recent drama La terra degli uomini rossi (Birdwatchers), meanwhile, Brazilian Indians demonstrate their deep relationship with the soil by grabbing a handful and eating it – to the bewilderment of a “21st century” planter. The message of these rituals is clea: Whether we accept it or not, we are all inherently rooted in the place we were born, even though the de-branching tendency of these times of sending us from one anonymous place to the next is wiping out the comforting reassurance of these ties. For Behan, too, there is a place with great emotional resonance, buried in the chinks of his memory: A narrow and winding track along the river which, in his childhood imagination, would lead him all the way to the end of the world. The Echo Garden, for Behan, marks the musical return to this path in an effort of reconciling the artistic possibilities and inspirations of the big city with the urgent need of belonging somewhere.
The personal relevance of this theme may explain why the full-length follow-up to Behan’s widely applauded debut Days Are What We Live In, at one time tentatively announced for 2006, is now published with a three year delay. In fact, it may be a completely different record altogether. Defining a corresponding palette of ideas and timbres demanded time and attention, as the focus shifted from working on arrangements and thematic development to exploring the inner life of sounds. Delineating which tools and techniques NOT to use and how to avoid a regular instrumentation of Guitars, Bass and Drums took on seminal importance. Samples, with their inbuilt associations and metaphorical allusions, were shed. Instead, The Echo Garden aims at creating a self-referential microcosm, based upon harmony, intimacy and fluent lines of demarcation between music, colour, spatial sound effects and a quiet world of organic noises.
Even though there is both a clear narrative development to the album as a whole (its track listing opens with Awake and closes with Dusk) as well as a lot of inward movement to each piece, its gentle gestures and the absence of any kind of target vector create a sensation of peaceful tranquility and complete calm. One of the compositions is called Clock For No Time, and its title effectively describes the agreeable separation of the inner and outer experience of time so characteristic of those days spent in the intense now of youthful exploration. It is almost as though, as a spectator, one were weightlessly reclining on the ground along the water, gazing on the playful dance of dragonflies and birds in the air. On Pools, a piano paints dabbers of cloudy white into the sky’s shimmering blueness, its at first solitary tones coalescing into an elegantly shaped pattern for a striking second, before gradually disintegrating again. Quasi-canon Rust, by contrast, feeds from the graceful tension of two almost identical melodic lines flowing increasingly out of sync with each other.
Even though Behan is guiding his acoustic needle with the firm hands of a weaver working on a tapestry of gossamer silk and despite prior claims towards wanting to “get rid of all the music”, the record has nonetheless turned out a collection of tracks with a mind of their own. Each of them presents a new idea, in turn relying on a looped cycle of droning bass notes, the slow decay of a warm drone into silence or the juxtaposition of a continuous melody with a backdrop of far-away field recordings. Derelict even disrupts the harmonious surface with discreet dissonances, which are, however, softened by embedding them into gripping thematic movement. As if incorporating the essence of pastoral beauty, The Echo Garden opens up to all senses, revealing its dazzling complex of sweet sounds, refined tastes, impressionist images and sensual perfumes in small doses of complementary quality. If his intention was truly to “just leave the good stuff”, the album has succeeded admirably.
From my balcony, I can see into the garden of an elderly couple. Each day, they will tend to their plants, water the flowers and crawl on their knees to tear out the weeds between the stones that form a path leading from the garage to the patio on the other end of the green. After the work is done, they will sit down on the patio’s bench, enjoy the pleasures of relaxation after a day of laboring in the summer sun and look at the outcome of their sweat. The Echo Garden seems to try and capture this moment of bliss, forged by sensations of purpose and devotion. Like them, Jimmy Behan has quietly cultivated the garden of his melancholia for the past years and distilled its fruit into an album which grows on listeners quietly yet insistently. The music is the movie here. Listening with your inner eyes will bring out the full cinematic qualities of this tender trip.”
Tobias Fischer
More reviews

The Echo Garden | review in The Milk Factory

Friday, July 17th, 2009

“Irish sound artist Jimmy Behan first appeared in 2001 with an EP released on Kin Recordings and a split single with Connectfour Orchestra on Road Relish, but it is with his debut album, Days Are What We Live In, released three years later, that he first got the chance to fully showcase his sound, bringing together acoustic instruments, found sounds and electronic treatments to create evocative sonic vignettes. Five years and a couple of EPs later, Behan returns, this time on the excellent Audiobulb, with The Echo Garden, his second full-length.

While Days Are What We Live In had quite a bucolic feel, Behan was working with folk song structures which he adorned with gentle beats and discreet electronics, finding himself somewhere roughly in the vicinity of Four Tet or early Manitoba/Caribou. The Echo Garden is a much more free-flowing and delicate affair, as he strips his compositions of any rigid element and focus on the dream-like aesthetic of his sound formations. The result is a wonderfully airy and fresh collection which, echoing the picture on the cover, catches light through beautifully crafted layers of sonic particles. There is, here, very little remaining of the fully formed melodies that formed the backbone of Days Are What We Live In. Instead, it is through slight changes in tone or grain that Behan builds his narrative and affects the mood of a piece, occasionally adding a discreet piano or guitar motif as to trace, for a moment, a stronger line over a dusting of shimmering sounds. This is the case on the gossamer Pools for instance which opens with a hazy drone but takes a more defined shape as a warm piano pierces through the clouds, or later on the desolate Leaving Here, where a muffled loop progressively goes out of sync.

There is an impression of decay throughout this record, at times captured in the track titles (Rust, Leaving Here, Clock For No Time, Derelict, Dusk) and persistently embodied in the sound elements used and the treatments applied. Behan doesn’t work with crystalline soundscapes and polished surfaces. Instead, each sound is aged, distressed, rendered grainy and textured, and placed within larger constellations which in turn flicker like old films or scintillate like pieces of glass in the sun. Pieces like Rust, Clock For No Time or Across The Rooftops have a warm glow about them which radiates far beyond their respective span and appear to spill over their surrounding environments, while at the same time appearing blemished and patined.

In the five years between his first and second album, Jimmy Behan has totally rethought his approach and moved away from recognisable structures to develop his own language, and, while his sound sources haven’t changed massively, it is what he does with them and how he blends them together that gives The Echo Garden its intense poetic palette.”
More reviews

The Echo Garden | review in Textura

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

“Jimmy Behan presents ten micro-detailed sound paintings on The Echo Garden. Eschewing sampling and excluding from his sound palette guitars, drums, vocals, and synth pads, the Irish sound sculptor uses piano, sine tones, found sounds, and field recordings to generate intimate evocations of pastoral tranquility. Fragments of early morning light shine through the trees in Behan’s sonic environment, warming the isolated pond that’s at the setting’s center. Tiny speckles of processed sounds glimmer throughout the peaceful settings, sometimes accompanied by a more “natural” sound (such as an electric piano in Leaving Here) or a field recording (outdoor sounds in Across the Rooftops). While the bell tones in Rust invite a gamelan characterization and a central melancholy melody lends Clock for No Time a song-like structure, the album’s material generally resists genre or stylistic labeling but rather inhabits an abstract space midway between electronic and acoustic sounds, and sound design and compositional form. There’s a focus on the detail of a given sound as well as on how the individual elements cohere into a larger whole. Behan’s clearly more focused on treating the material as explorations of texture and sound that invite associations without dictating them; interestingly, though, the programmatic dimension established via track titling—a trajectory that finds the hypothetical hiker visiting the site in early morning, communing with it, and eventually departing from it as evening approaches—indicates that the composer isn’t interested in wholly severing the ties to referentiality.”
July 2009.
More reviews

Vital Weekly #680 podcast features Rust

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Vital Weekly #680 podcast tracklisting:

00:00 Tune
00:14 Shuta Hasunuma – 2 Become 1
03:11 Autopsia – Fragment 7a
06:11 Peter Broderick – Awaken/Panic/Restraint
09:12 Alan Courtis & Jaime Genovart & Christof Kurzmann & Pablo Reche – Uranio Agreste
12:15 Moebius – Dauert
15:17 Jimmy Behan – Rust
18:18 3 Seconds Of Air – The Heart Disintegrates Wearing Disposable Masks Of Angels
21:19 Günter Müller – Third Cym
24:22 Bright Duplex – Motorcycle Goodbye
27:23 Clare Cooper Chris Abrahams – Full Metal Guzheng
29:21 The Puddle Parade – Charcoal And Ice
32:16 No Anchor
35:20 Pirx – Wayang TV
38:20 The Pistill Cosmos
41:20 To Live And Shave In LA & Lezet – The Famous_Mad Bronze
43:22 Build A Fort Set It On Fire – South American Anecdote
45:37 Phonoloid
48:39 Tune

Download podcast (Mp3)