The latest interview and mix is one that we’ve been after for a while here at Skirmish and comes from Irish DJ/Producer/Promoter/Sound System operator Welfare. Since first starting on the 1’s and 2’s in 2004 he’s made a solid name for himself on the Irish electronic scene and abroad. As well as being the brains behind the highly celebrated Jungle Boogie nights, he’s also been apart of the likes of Dubculture, Electronic Resistance and Choonage to name a few, throwing some wicked parties in Galway and throughout the rest of Eire.
To add to that he’s also a prolific producer with breaks and bass his main order of business and with releases on !Kaboogie under his belt and more on the way. He’s a busy man so we were delighted that he took some time to record a wicked mix for us and let us pick his brain about tunes.
What sparked your interest in DJing?
Hard to say but I guess we used to throw a lot of house parties in the early 2000’s and I always enjoyed keeping an eye on the mood of the session and selecting appropriate tunes to keep things moving. Ive been hooked on electronic music since the early 90s and, after a few years eyeballing DJs in Dublin clubs, I decided to give it a go and haven’t looked back since.
How is the scene in Galway? What are your thoughts on the Irish scene in general?
Unfortunately the scene in Galway, in terms of gigs, is quite poor at the moment – mainly due to a lack of venues that will accommodate underground electronic music and sound systems. The occasional place that is willing to do so is seemingly always lacking in other aspects, such as closing times or poor internal layouts. Similar to many places, certain forms of cultural expression, particularly those that are cash generating or tourist friendly are favoured and nurtured here, whilst others are shunned. The people are here – great DJs, producers and a community of enthusiasts, and it’s very sad that there is so little going on.
The Irish scene as a whole, however,is fantastically vibrant at the moment with a plethora of DJs, producers and nights that are energetic, progressive and eminently productive. Due credit goes out to all the people who have made it happen.
What changes have you seen throughout the years?
The crowd have gotten younger.
What would you consider more important – a wicked soundsystem or amazing atmosphere?
Soundsystem for me. Playing or listening to music on a sub-standard system is like watching a movie on a shit television, its just not as enjoyable. A good atmosphere is undoubtedly important, but if you’re in it for the music, no amount of good vibes will drown out a tinny, distorted or muffled broadcast.
How consistent have you been with producing this year? What is your setup like?
Very inconsistent – in fact I think I’ve only finished two tracks so far this year,mostly due to being so busy DJing and promoting as well as building my own soundsystem. I’m hoping to put my Renoise software, Korg Kontrol 49, Alesis SR-16, Yamaha HS50s and Samson Rubicon Sub to more use over the remainder of the summer.
What producers are you currently rinsing?
I’m really digging Pariah, The Host and Philip D Kick recently, Pixelord and Yot for my Chip-fix and, as usual, the years 1994 and 1995 for the Jungle thing. I’ve also been listening to quite a lot of ambient electro–acoustic music of late, it’s acted as a very useful reboot for the brain.
What do you think the most exciting thing happening in Jungle is at the moment?
That would have to be number of Jungle nights taking place country-wide. The sound has ballooned again over the past year or two, with many of the nights featuring an inspiring emphasis on the old school sound as well as the preservation of the vinyl format and soundsystem culture.
What advice would you have for anybody starting out DJing and making their own tunes?
For those starting out DJing, be very selective in the music you buy, thinking carefully about how the tunes would fit into the sets you will play out. I feel this to be particularly relevant for those collecting digital music, and I consider it one of the advantages of collecting your music on vinyl. Aside from that, keep on top of the new releases if possible and play the tunes you like, not what you think is the “in” sound. Also go for clarity, not volume when you play out, always keep an eye on the dancefloor and respect the sound system.
With regards to producing, be persistent and put the hours in despite the inevitable frustrations that will arise. Using a small palette of sounds can increase your imagination and if you are using VSTs, get to know a certain few at an in-depth level.Reading into how sound works really helps, give every noise its place in the mix and experiment as much as you can.
What’s your least favourite thing about the electronic scene?
There are a few things that cheese me off from time to time, but on a constructively critical note I dislike how little confidence is often displayed by a lot of punters, and often promoters as a result, in our domestic talent base. It can be hard to fill a venue when there isn’t a “big name” at the top of the bill and even when the numbers do arrive, they too often have missed out on quality sets from the local performers. This headliner culture creates alot of unnecessary pressure as the costs are considerable, making it harder for the nights to survive and also leading to a higher door price for the punters.
What’s been your most memorable gig?
There have been so many and they emanate from the differing roles I’ve played as DJ, producer and as promoter .If I had to pluck three from the memory bank they would be DJing after Doc Scott at Life Festival a few years ago. Showcasing mine and Shatterfreak‘s SubVersus productions at Gamepak Dublin and lastly organising the Good Friday Jungle Boogie! Warehouse bash in Galway.
What have you planned for the rest of 2012?
I’m currently taking a break from DJing and engaging in some musical reflection, having a dig around both inside and outside my mind for some fresh ideas and directions. I have several production projects which I hope to finish by summer’s end, as well as a remix release coming out very soon which I’m really chuffed about – not to mention some exciting promotional endeavours, both in Galway and in Dublin. I’m also hoping to give my soundsystem some more airtime now that I’m fully kitted out amp-wise and have given it a paintjob.
“This mix was a tricky one, as I wanted to reflect a broader range of sounds than those for which I’m generally known. This entailed mixing across a multiplicity of genres and tempo ranges, from about 75bpm right up to 160,which can prove very tricky when just using two technics, a mixer and your ears! Twas both challenging and very enjoyable at the same time and in a sense has reinvigorated my interest in electronic music somewhat ,having become a little jaded of late and also not really having the opportunity to play out some of the more leftfield stuff I’m into. Hope people enjoy it. ”
Daisuke Tanabe – Ten Spikes
Stikz – Tannenbaum
S Maharba – Jacket Switch
Yöt – Bitch Bender
Kromestar – In 2 Minds
Clubroot – Demon Drum
Illum Sphere – Never Lie Twice (Om Unit remix)
Pariah – Signal Loss
West Norwood Cassette Library – Coming On Strong (Pangaea Remix)
Ochtone – Humani.TV
Jon Convex – Vacuum States
French Fries – Yo Vogue (Leroy Peppers Remix)
Pixelord – Keramika
Oby Nine – Bittersweet
Swindle – If I Was A Super Hero
Half the Universe – Downbeat
Big up to Welfare for the interview and mix!!