Listen To ‘No FI, Low Fi, Hi Fi’ for free!

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[Cassette Tape – Quarter Inch Collective 002 – April 2011]

Printed on Cassette Tape in a run of 150.


On April 9th, legendary scions of the Dublin alternative scene, Estel, are releasing No Fi, Lo Fi Hi Fi, a collection of various rare and previously unheard tracks from their eclectic 12-year career. The album will cherry pick 14 tracks that highlight the band’s passionate diversity and uncompromising vision. No Fi, Lo Fi, Hi Fi will be released on a limited run of 150 cassettes and will be available to download from Bandcamp.

One of Dean Van Nguyen’ s ‘Three key cassette releases on Irish labels’

Read the whole piece here –


Listen to it here- 


[CD – Little Plastic Tapes 07 – Autumn 2006]

Printed on c.d. in a run of 1,000


Estel’s release, “The Bones of Something”, is the auditory equivalent of Danny Elfman conducting an avant-rock band scoring the life of a male stalker, and the music is the thoughts perpetuating his obsessive compulsion and actions.
The recording starts off with “Stacey”, a disturbing music-and-sound-effect-backed narration of a man leaving a telephone message to a woman he is apparently stalking, and the one-sided “conversation” shifts from creepy to an all-out suicidal/homicidal closing, a brilliant introduction into the realm of the Dublin-based quartet that is Estel.
Most of what is performed on this recording dwells upon repetition, but it is the unique moments of subtlety which keep things fresh and flowing throughout.
The drastic time-changes & tones of all instruments involved remind of the most appealing parts of the band Faith No More, yet still manifest a feeling of uniqueness and remain saturated in originality.
Tommy O’Sullivan’s guitar-playing occasionally gives a nod of homage to the major-key high-neck riffs of Modest Mouse, yet he blindsides the listener with a bleak low-end heavy riff, proving he can take you to somewhere bright and lovely and then the sonic tidal wave crashes to the ocean floor to bring you to the dark depths of newly-blackened territory.
Sarah Sheil’s keyboard parts are a pivotal point of Estel, in that she can play extremely morose segments of songs, yet also contribute parts reminiscent of childhood lullabies at odd intervals, providing a bizarre and almost carnival-like feeling to the songs.
Andrew Bushe’s drum parts are tight, tasteful, groovy at times, and instill a solid backbone to the chaotic and dynamic progressions which encompass “The Bones of Something”, and without Bushe, these songs would not be as visceral as their destined outcome.
Mike Watt, legendary bassist and member of the Minutemen, fIREHOSE, and recently with The Stooges, contributes a spoken-word piece to the 4th track, “Regardez Moi (I’m Up to My Neck in Shit.) (Again.)”, which is a building & beautiful piece with a haunting keyboard melody which spirals into a guitar, bass, and drum-heavy onslaught, kicking into half-time, punishing the listener whilst Watt retreats vocally, then the band descends tastefully and lightly back into a skeleton of the initial melody, inviting Watt to enter once again, finishing the song amazingly.
Track 8, “The Twisted Brain Wrong of a One Off Man Mental” is a solid ending piece to the album which shows Steven Anderson’s bass-groove abilities and the gift to perpetuate a track which some may consider slightly stale in melody if it weren’t for his spectacular fretwork. O’Sullivan’s guitar-work is heavy rhythm-oriented and maintains the droning melody with Anderson bouncing in and out of major and minor keys, clashing with Ministry-esque samples of distorted laughing, Sheil’s keyboard strong-hold, guitar-feedback and Bushe’s eased-back drum beat, which all seem to fall away one at a time, slowly seeing to the demise of an enthralling song.
In short, Estel’s “The Bones of Something” is an uncompromising testament to the truly strange, beautiful, creative, and ultimately, disturbing.

road records

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: estel have been hinting at some really great things over the course of three previous albums but i have to say this new album has taken a giant step for them, they have truly honed their instrumental synth led sounds into something altogether original and highly entertaining, they take in some elements of the modern post rock sounds, some eighties keyboard led sounds and even some strange mutated version of a b movie horror soundtrack, the end result is one of the finest irish records of the year so far in my humble opinion and its always such a pleasure when something comes along and leaves me at odds to even try and describe on paper, there are lots of repetitive and explosive guitar led pieces slowly mutating into catchy synth chord progressions, the legendary mike watt of minutemen fame makes a sublime spoken word appearence on track four and after that all i can do is highly recommend you at least have a listen to this record as you will be very pleasantly surprised, the album is released on their own label little plastic tapes

norman records

now spooky irish rock or something like that from estel. it’s a weird post rocky album with moments of panicking beauty that if listened to on your ipod would make your walk home the most exhilarating and terrifying ever. sounds like meanwhile back in communist russia says phil. inside is a picture of a disemboweled teddy!!! they say this is a horror movie sound track… i say a traveling circus in the rain with the threat of mob violence, pick pockets and being spun around on the waltzers by the tattooed grease monkey as he feels you up. exhilarating!! ..

rimbaud records

estel have done it again!a new killer release on their own little plastic tapes label sees the 4 piece drift into a more lucid, dreamy nightmarish underworld of synth laden, drum reelin instrumentals.the art work is as screwed up as ever, brilliant but disturbed like the music within. mike watt makes an appearance also. pretty screwed up, psychedelia drenched punk rock going on here, with a touch of that swinging 1950’s old-time charm(?).get it you freak!



[DVD – Little Plastic Tapes and Square Eyes Pictures-2005]

Little plastic video project volume one. contains live footage, videos, interviews, photos, art.



[CD – Little Plastic Tapes 06 – Summer 2005]

Printed on compact disc in a run of 500. OUT OF PRINT.


Punk planet .u.s.a.

This Irish quartet plays dark, instrumental, goth rock. Angry at times, gloomy at others, they communicate these sentiments well with their urgent tempos, nimble guitar lines and dour melodies. It all gels together beautifully, creating a cathartic swell of emotion.

Unfit for consumption. Ireland (j.grimes)

Fuck you, estel folks, if you think for one second I’m going to type the whole title of your album. Who do you think you are, Fiona Apple? Jesus christ you freaks, it’s fucking three in the morning………Fuck you. Good album though. Yes dear reader, estel 2005 has developed fangs after years of having baby teeth, and they’re about to sink them into your face. Starting with the sound of a fire alarm in an operating theatre and finishing with a ghost having a nervous breakdown, estel’s third album expands on the uptight new wave and film soundtrack space outs of previous but also adds dashes of furious freewheeling punk (exhibit a: ‘little mucous monsters’), epic kraut- doom (I am but a vessel’) and genuinely creepy nursery rhymes (‘kings amongst men’). The new line up seems to have injected a venom and vigour that wasn’t previously there, guitars in particular coming a little more to the fore, and the bass work being a little more fluid. A stripped down D.I.Y. production and some amazing Sheil artwork complete a record that already sets a high standard for whatever else comes out of this country this year. If you liked estel before then you will love this, but more importantly if you didn’t this will be the album to convert you. Go see ‘em live as well, you’ll be surprised at how full on they’ve become. A belter.

Unfit for consumption. Ireland (n.McGuirk)

Estel have been a feature on the Dublin underground music scene for about eight years now. Fiercely independent, this is their third album. 8 songs of loud instrumental songs. With a nod to what is known as ‘kraut rock’ if I am to believe what I am told. The songs are a mix of manic drumming, catchy keyboard riffs, steady bass and striking guitars. They want your ears to explode when you listen to them. At times they do explode live and there is no need for the vocalist that so many bands have in their ranks. Estel speak with their actions and they are still speaking after all this time.

Slug and lettuce . u.s.a.

From the streets of Dublin comes this almost entirely instrumental band that has zero to do with penny whistles, fiddles or those hand held drums. It’s strange to me how a band from thirty years or so ago can seem to just within the last few years become so influential to so many new bands but that’s what goblin has done. Estel, much like goblin play creepy ambient music that could be a soundtrack to a film or a nightmare. Estel is not a carbon copy of goblin, they play faster and are less bass heavy. I hear some godspeed influences but estel reminds me more of fellow new school goblin worshippers, zombi but less ambient and without the full on synth. Estel’s synth elements are more stripped down and with a really nice tone. one of the things I like most about this recording is the xylophone which helps add to the creepy elements. Every song on this recording is long and epic. Only one has vocals which are more of creepy whispers and distorted screams than singing which fit’s the music pretty well. If you like your music dark and scary this is for you.

Rimbaud records list. Ireland.

Estel – My dreams are like rabbits,they built a tunnel,fell onto the pavement and died (Little Plastic Tapes) CDEstels 3rd album brand new and waiting for your praise!With a shift in the line up while keeping to their usual high standard, “My Dreams…” is an album to get easily hooked on – if you`ve heard the last album, you can expect some of the same twinned with some new kicks and sounds…if your not aquainted with Estel`s music than where the hell have you been hiding!?!Think driving rythems/soundscapes on a blanket of keyboards, drums guitars bass and god knows what other wierd sounds – some damn futuristic vibes coming off this album, not to mention to excellant sleeve art done by Estelian Sarah – for fans of ‘weird Twin Peaks space goth rock'(a genre yet to be invented but started on here!), Krautrock, Rock(!), DIY punk, Damaged 80`s synth sounds, Black Eyes, and of course Estel…i`m crap at reviews really – you`ll just have to check this out big time.Trust me, you`ll like it.

Norman records list .u.k.

The new album by estel is called; ‘my dreams…….’. imagine asking for that in your local woolworths!… and it doesn’t make sense- rabbits do build tunnels- I accept that, but do they fall on the pavement and die? Anyway, this is top instrumental kraut/ post rock along the lines of Electralane. There’s dynamics at work here and the drummer is all over his kit like a wild man. We’re fishing for comparisons- kling klang has been mentioned and someone just shouted trans am, so there.

Stick figure distro . u.s.a.

Ireland’s estel release for the world their third full length entitled…. It features eight tracks of estel’s well honed spacey keyboard driven instrumental, indieish rock music. The songs are well put together and have a driving sound. Good.

Road records list. Ireland.

The third full length album from this irish instrumental outfit- eighties instrumental new wave sounds meet lo- fi post rock.