The Irish Underground In The 80s

A fantastic compilation album bringing back to life the forgotten underground of alternative Irish music, Strange Passion: Explorations in Irish Post Punk, DIY and Electronic Music shows that these lonely experiments in suburban bedrooms and haphazard garages in the early 80s, cross-examining new sounds with old angers were something of a harbinger to the rampant nature of DIY electronica going out now. It’s so encouraging that compilations such as these come into existence to give us listeners thirty years later an insight into the range of sounds that often fade out over the course of history. Something that makes us younger listeners erroneously think that the only sounds echoing throughout Dublin town were The Boomtown Rats and U2. Compiler Darren McCreesh spoke to Totally Dublin on the motivations behind the compilation.

“One of my motivations was to build up a greater awareness of underground music across our history, fill in these gaps. We ignored it at the time but – listen to it. I’ve tried to contextualize it for people, so they can appreciate it themselves. There’s a lot of talk about how monocultural we are, but there’s proof here that demonstrates the opposite. This was a very difficult time socially and economically, we were very patriarchal, hegemonic, Church-led. There was an overwhelming sense of patriarchy, I lived on the border when there were soldiers in the street, it felt like we were fenced in. There was a desire for change that was expressed in the music, but also in new media.”

You can find some of the songs on the compilation below and it’s worth buying for the rest.


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