Eomac is a DJ and producer we’ve been loving at Skirmish! As a DJ he’s been recording savage sets, all offering something different and as a producer, both with his own productions and as one half of Lakker, he’s responsible for some of the best electronic music to come out of Ireland. With Lakker receiving support from the likes of Aphex Twin and both Eomac and Lakker making their name playing abroad with releases on German label Killekill, it looks as though this is only the beginning of a illustrious career for the Dublin based museo.
We wanted to find out more about him and he was nice enough to record an exclusive mix for us that is quite simply savage, but then we’d expect nothing less from him.
What was it that sparked your interest in electronic music?
I dunno exactly what it was that appealed to me in electronic music over other types of music. I’ve always listened to anything and everything and had always been interested in making tunes, but when I heard old school hardcore stuff in the early 90’s I was hooked. Something just awoke in me – it really inspired me – these alien sounds I’d never heard before (and there was also the romance of illegal parties I was too young to go to – it really ignited the imagination…) and ever since then I’ve wanted to make electronic music. I just love the sounds.
Also, I think, it’s the possibilities – the possibilities of making completely new sounds and textures, plus the ability to do it all on your own, to just sit in your bedroom and make anything you hear in your head. You’re not relying on anyone else, you can just do it, and keep doing it! It’s pretty amazing really.
I know that your a fan of Aphex and he’s been playing out some Lakker tunes. This must have been a great moment. Have you felt it has garnered ye more attention? Has he been in contact with ye about doing anything for Rephlex?
Yeah that was amazing moment, we’ve always been huge fans – he’s my musical hero if I’m honest. An amazing musician who really inspired me to make tunes and is still a huge influence. So hearing him play our stuff was a great nod of approval. It kind of made us think that all our hard work over the last ten years has been worth it, and made us hungry for more. It was at the Forbidden Fruit festival last year. That was the first time he played our stuff out, as far as I know. And myself and Dara (Lakker) were both there with loads of mates, who were all so happy for us. It was a good day 🙂
It defintely got us more attention. Our soundcloud hits that week were about 1000, where usually it’s about 50 or so! Ha.There’s been no talk of a Rephlex release, but he has been playing our stuff in a good few sets now, and some of my own Eomac stuff, so who knows? If it did happen it would be like a boyhood dream come true. One of my favourite labels.
What do you find is the main difference between your own stuff as Eomac and the Lakker stuff?
I think the difference is that the Lakker stuff is focussed on a more particular sound – at the moment we’re big into techno and darker stuff like Raime, Emptyset and we’ve always been influenced by people like AFX and Pan Sonic. So I think the Lakker stuff usually ends up being a bit darker and noisier (although sometimes not). It’s also very much a collaboration, it’s the product of both our ideas. The Eomac stuff on the other hand is just me and it’s kind of influenced by whatever I’m feeling at the time. Recently there’s been a big ‘bass’ music influence – uk garage being a big one for the rhythms I’ve been using. But I’ve also been making techno, and slower hip-hop bits, old-school rave-y things. So it’s more varied in output. Also with Lakker we’re trying to build a really good live set – we feel it’s important to what we do – whereas with Eomac I’d rather DJ when I play out – I’ve no real plans for a live set yet. Maybe in the future.
Having played in Berlin and around the place, how do you find other crowds are compared to an Irish crowd?
The Berlin crowd were great! I was kinda worried before playing, coz I was told that Berlin crowds are very subdued – and I kind of expected everyone to want to listen to minimal techno all night – and that’s never been the kind of set I play. But I was pleasantly surprised. They were well up for it and very vocal about it.
Although there wasn’t quite the rowdiness you get with a good Irish crowd. We did a Lakker set in Galway the week after Berlin and that was – for pure atmosphere – one of the best gigs we’ve done. So rowdy. I love the rowdiness. Everyone punching the air and shouting like animals. Brilliant.
!Kaboogie’s now going into it’s 6th year. How did you become involved with them?
We did a Lakker set at the very first !Kaboogie gig back in 2006 – supporting Aaron Spectre. It was a wicked night. I think the lads had heard us before and liked the breakcore stuff we were making at the time, so asked us to play. Then we had a track – ‘Unexpected Error’ – on the first !Kaboogie 12″. So we knew them since the beginning.
I was away for a year in 2008/2009 and when I came back I wanted to take music more seriously and get more invloved – !Kaboogie were putting on the best gigs at the time, so I asked the lads could I be invloved and they were up for it. They’re a great crew, really great DJs with an open minded attitude to music and parties. I feel privileged to be part of it.
We have some big things lined up for this year, first up being the 6th Bday party with Ms Dynamnite on Feb 10th. Can’t wait for that one.
When writing a tune are you ever conscious of how it will work on a dancefloor?
Yes I am – I think it can be really important when writing dance music to consider the dancefloor. However I don’t think you should let it completely rule what you do. There’s a fine balance between writing good dancefloor music and just good music to listen to. I think some dance music producers fall into this trap – they write purely for the dancefloor and the music suffers as a result. It becomes music that only satisfies a single function – dancing in a club/rave – and it doesn’t work out of that context. Which is fine – there are some great tracks like that, that I love and happily dance to – but I don’t want to write too much stuff like that. Dance music can be so much more. I think all the best producers write stuff that works equally well on a dancefloor and away from it….It’s just good music. So I’m trying to write tunes like that.
What pieces of gear could you not live without?
It’s an obvious one, but my laptop. I do everything on my laptop, so without that I’d be screwed!
What producers are you into at the moment?
There’s a lot of interesting stuff around at the moment – and a lot of uninteresting stuff too! Shed had been a constant inspiration to me over the last while – his production and sound is amazing, so huge. And he’s pretty varied in style as well. It’s ususlly techno, but he makes amazing old-school ‘ardcore influenced stuff and bass heavy stuff. His Panamax Project 12″ was great. As I was saying above, his music works so well on a dancefloor, but the production and sounds, melodies and attention to detail carry the music far beyond the confines of a club. The last Emptyset album was great as well – huge bass and noise, so stripped and dark. I loved it. And Zomby. I think Zomby is incredible.
How do you approach a DJ set?
I never stick to one style or tempo. There’s too much good music out there to do that. And I like to try and play a mix of old and new tunes. I usually try to have some sort of build, so the set really goes somewhere, has some sort of arc or flow. Not necessarily a narrative, but something you can follow. I think it’s important for each mix between individual tunes to be interesting in itself, but also the links between each track should make sense in the context of the overall mix. So it works on a micro and macro level. For me, it’s like composing an extended piece of music, but instead of using individual sounds you are using whole tracks. That may sound wanky to some people, but I don’t think it is. If you put that level of effort and thought into a DJ set it will be much better in the end. For me, too many people just play tunes. And DJing can be so much more than that. It’s hard – it’s not an easy thing to put together a really good DJ set, and it doesn’t always work, but when it does it can be sublime.
What releases have you planned for the future?
On the Eomac front there is a Killekill 12″, but that’s not til the end of the year, there will hopefully be a 12″ pressing of my EP One that came out last year, maybe a release with !Kaboogie, and some more 10″s with Maigret Records. I may also put out a free EP at some point – I’m thinking about tracks for that at the moment.
WIth Lakker we have another 12″ with Killekill later in the year, a 12″ with Blueprint, a 12″ with LoveLoveRecords and a digital release with Acroplane. Not sure of release dates yet, but they’re all in the pipeline.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Hmm, one thing that sticks in my mind is something that Omar S said in an interview I was reading. Can’t think of the exact quote but it was along the lines of ‘do what you do and ignore whatever is fashionable‘ Basically, be true to what you do and ignore trends. Honest, genuine music always shines through, whereas music that’s only made to jump on whatever sound is current is quickly forgotten. Seems like a very obvious bit of advice, but it can be so easy to lose yourself and forget who you are as a musician, that I think it’s an important one.
Your three favourite tunes of all time?
Ha! Difficult question. It changes all the time, so hard to think of just three, but off the top of my head…
Mixed off my 1210s using Traktor Scratch and some vinyl. The mix is fairly similar to what I would play out, starting a bit subdued and getting more banging in the middle and towards the end. There’s a mix of styles in there, some Eomac and Lakker stuff, a good chunk of techno, and a bit of grime towards the end. It starts well, but kind of loses its way towards the end, but sure that’s the way it goes sometimes! Haha. I think it’s a pretty decent mix.
01. Zomby – Witch Hunt – [4AD]
02. Gerry Read – We Are – [Fourth Wave]
03. Lakker – Arc – [Forthcoming Blueprint]
04. Burial – Street Halo – [Hyperdub]
05. Plaid – Cold – [Warp]
06. Marcel Dettman – Deluge – [50 Weapons]
07. EQD – #5 A1 – [Equalized]
08. Planetary Assault Systems – Kray Squid – [Ostgun Ton]
09. Lakker – Spider Silk – [Killekill]
10. Pinch – Retribution – [Swamp 81]
11. Eomac – Clik Clik – [unreleased]
12. Burial – Archangel (Eomac’s unofficial 4/4 Edit) – [soundcloud.com/eomac]
13. Blawan – Vibe Decorium – [R&S]
14. Eomac – Don’t Be Realistic, Be Optimistic – [forthcoming Killekill]
15. Eomac – Cut & Dye – [unreleased]
16. Maxsta – East London Is Back – [Defenders]
Big up to Eomac for the interview and the mix 🙂