Northern Ireland’s Ejeca hits Australian shores this week for four shows in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.
What started all of this for you? Were you inspired by any one artist, track or club?
When I was young I remember listening to a lot of music from my older brothers. I used to steal CDs and cassettes from the likes of The Prodigy, Cheimical Brothers, Daft Punk, Cassius and Armand Van Helden. Belfast also had quite a good techno scene with DJs like DJ Rush, Dave Clarke and Technasia playing regularly. There was also a great small record store called Mixmaster which stocked a lot of underground house and techno. I remember when I was at school I would stand in there for hours trying to pick one EP, which was all I could afford with pocket money! I would still like to work in a record store, it seemed like such a good job.
Could you tell us a bit about the scene you grew up in and how you got involved in underground dance music?
Belfast was great to be honest. For the size of it there was a good mix of different music you could go out and see. There was house, trance, techno and drum and bass at the weekend.
My first gig was playing hard techno to an empty bar (apart from my brother with a double vodka in hand) – at this point I must not have fully grasped the idea of a warm up set. Also no one takes themselves too seriously back home so it really allowed for people to be creative and not be judged too heavily.
When did you decide you wanted to do this for a living? What informed that decision?
This has always been and will always be a passion. It was around the start of 2013 I realised I had enough gigs to make the leap, though it wasn’t an easy decision to make as I’m quite risk adverse. Still one of the greatest days I’ve had was handing in my notice to my boss (I used to do accounting – very different).
What was your first 12” record?
It’s hard for me to put my finger on but I would say it was Bucketheads – ‘The Bomb’. The Van Helden edit still goes off and everyone recognises it, it’s a good one for festival season!
Tell us a little bit about your track making process. What hardware and software do you use?
I’m still very software based. I think the key to my production is speed so that is what works best. I can’t sit for a day and work on one loop or track, so what I usually do is get my ideas down and see if it works in a simple arrangement. Then I usually leave it for a day and come back to see if it’s something I like. I use Ableton with Fruity Loops and Reason rewired, but I also bought Push and a Bass Station which are used in the upcoming releases.
How do you feel being a part of the current UK house revival? Do you think this sound will evolve with time?
I guess I’m in a slight stage of flux at the moment, I’m not sure what direction house music will evolve in but it always does. I guess my record label and upcoming releases focus more on the instrumental than a vocal hook which is what I was known most for. The exciting thing about electronic music is no one knows where it will I go, I guess I will just make what I like and inspires me and hope it gets people dancing.
What labels are doing it for you at the moment? Are there any up and coming producers we should be keeping an eye on?
I’ve just started my own Label Exploris which has its first EP by myself out in July. My Last Night On Earth (Sasha’s label) record is out in June, and I also have a remix on Poker Flat for their 15th Anniversary – for that one I was able to pick and remix any track from their huge back catalogue which was great. Producers I like at the moment are Chris Hanna, Citizen, and 2nd Sun.
What do you think of the music scene in Australia? Any expectations ahead of your tour?
I have friends out there I haven’t seen in a while and it’s also my birthday on the 8th so I’m really excited. Never been to Australia but they said Chinese Laundry is a great party.
What is on the horizon for you in 2014?
Concentrate on developing my sound, label and artists I like. Keep her lit!
Thursday 5th June: Perth, Geisha
Friday 6th June: Brisbane, Bowler Bar
Saturday 7th June: Sydney, Chinese Laundry
Sunday 8th June: Melbourne, Brown Alley