The electronic scene in Ireland is an unbelievably healthy state. There are a number of excellent dj’s from this little island and a multitude of talented producers. One of these is Cork’s own Electric Foxx. Armed with a lash of hardware and talent, Eoin Lee (as he’s known to the taxman) creates what I could only describe as uplifting electronic music with an 80s feel. Think Simian Mobile Disco collaborating with Tears For Fears. Seeing him live as well is always interesting as he’s armed with an array of gear such as keyboards and drum machines rather than hiding behind a laptop. I caught up with the very nice local producer to find out more about him.
How did you get started making electronic music?
My father, brother, uncles and cousin’s are musicians, I started out playing bass and guitar aged eleven, drums at fourteen.
I was always surrounded by instruments and equipment growing up, finding an Alesis SR-16 drum machine, an old Casio keyboard and a Boss DD-2 delay pedal aged sixteen, programming beats, playing keyboard lines and singing through the pedal, recording onto a Tascam four track. From there I progressed to a Fostax eight track reel to reel, and eventually onto my first PC with an early edition of Cakewalk, a Soundblaster audio card and 16 MB of Ram. I spent two years from eighteen to twenty recording electronic music, some I which I have reworked and use now. I guess I’ve had a kind of musical apprenticeship to get this far, which was important.
You have a lot of hardware when playing live. What’s your setup?
I’m a huge fan of hardware, really lets you get into a live performance. My current live set-up consists of a PC laptop running Serato Scratch live, a Mackie 1620 Onyx Firewire mixing desk, an Akai Mini-Ak synth, Akai MPD 32 Controller, Roland Spd-s drum pads, Novation Dicer midi controllers, Korg Kaoss Pad 3 effects, LP bongos, Zildjian ZHT effect cymbal, a tambourine and a shaker for good measure! I’ll be changing to a Macbook pro running Ableton through an RME Fireface in the next month, and hopefully a Voyager or Prophet desktop synth this year.
You occasionally have guest vocals when your playing live. Is this something that you’d like to incorporate more in the future?
I think vocals add an important human touch to electronic music. Most of what I listen too (Depeche Mode, Bronski Beat, New Order, Massive Attack, the Knife), have strong lyrical and melodic foundations. For me personally, it’ s all about the song, and having vocals makes an album and Live set more engaging. I’m lucky to have a girlfriend (Debby Hayes) with an excellent voice, who sings on my tracks. I will defiantly continue to incorporate vocals into my music in the future.
How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard you?
‘The Electric Foxx’s’ music sounds like a soundtrack to an unknown 80’s movie that’s been remixed by an electronic dj who listen’s to classical music and loves playing instruments…
How would you rate the Irish electronic scene?
I rate the Irish electronic scene very highly, it’s coming on leaps and bounds in the last decade. The Fourth Dimension led by example of whats possible to achieve in this genre.
Since the advancement and affordability in music technology (Ableton, Reason) the floodgates have really opened up for producers to share their ideas on Facebook and Soundcloud and move from the bedroom to venues, who particularly in Cork seem more and more willing to give electronic music an outlet.
Nights such as ‘Modulation, ‘Ctlr, Alt, Delete’ and ‘Electric Underground’ have been excellent platforms for talented producers to showcase their material.
Any producers that your into at the moment?
Locally my favorite producers would be the Karman Line (great guy’s) and Toby Kaar, who are both destined for bigger things.
Internationally my favorite producers at the moment would be Magnetic Man, Pryda and Recoil to name a few.
As an unsigned act, what are your thoughts on the downloading issue?
I think their is no easy solution to the downloading issue. As a music enthusiast and collector, downloading is an excellent method to source music and preview before buying. Record companies extortionary rates for cds over the years have only added fuel to illegal downloads. They had no issue with making huge profits off the backs of artists, yet once their bank accounts start to decrease, downloading is an epidemic which must be stamped out, and ‘criminals’ prosecuted.
As an artist, I think it is important to contribute towards the survival of quality independent music.
If you download something which you like , then buy a copy, tell your friends, help those artists to continue making music which brings enjoyment to many. But we live in an instant world, where too many people expect things for free, which someone at the other end is working hard to produce.
What are your plans for the future?
‘I never think of the future – it comes soon enough’-
What are some of your favourite tracks ever?
Very tough question! Stand-outs among many would have to be;
Thanks to The Electric Foxx for the interview. You can check his Facebook for more information
He plays at the Collective Beats gig in Lisgoold on August 13th with a host of other producers and it looks set to be a great day.