DJ Kormac has fingers in a whole lot of pies. He’s a man who takes his work extremely seriously: a perfectionist, playing off the roles of dozens of different contributors, and drawing aspects of music from all over his life, including the sounds he hears around him.
“I went to this massive jumble sale, I guess you’d call it, in France, and that’s where I found my best sound,” said the Dubliner on his developing love of ‘field recordings’. “I go around with my Zoom recorder and take in lots of different things that I’ve started drawing into my music. In France I found one of those really old telephones that makes a noise when you hang it up. That was a really useful one.”
“I think I always sound like me, even if it is quite eclectic,” the varied DJ explains of his mixed efforings. In recent years, he’s branched out expansively, working with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, as well as a host of contemporary Irish singers, as a more conventional DJ, and even with novelist Irvine Welsh.
“It all has this uptempo element, especially for the melodies,” he says. “I grew up on stuff like Sonic Youth, and the more I listen to things, the more it sounds to me like there are influences in there from things like guitar progressions. I don’t know if anyone else can hear it, but it’s had a lasting effect for me.”
“In some ways this is a quiet time of year, as things go crazy in the summer with the tours, but in others it’s been really intense with work. I’ve been heading for the studio at half six in the morning and working through the day. It’ll all play into what I do over the summer.”
“My new show is a mix of a solo AV show and playing a second part with some guests, including Loah, Jack O’Rourke, Claire Young and a few of my big band, as well as couple of secret guests” Kormac told us. “I’ve been working with AV for a long time. I’m developing a multiscreen idea that’s quite exciting, it will allow me to do different things; to do stuff musically that might not work without the screens.”
Kormac’s track with Saint Sister and Jafaris, ‘Causing Trouble’ has been nominated for song of the year at the RTE Choice Music Prize, something the DJ sees as a great acknowledgement of his progress. “It can be a very solitary, lonely experience writing music,” he says. “It’s nice to feel like you’re on the right track, and that people appreciate what you’re doing.”
“I think the Dublin music scene is going through a weird time,” he continues. “I’m not sure there’s ever been so many good acts around, but more and more venues are closing down across the city. I don’t know what we can do about city centre prices. Maybe Dublin needs to develop a scene outside of the city centre with some venues to keep things going. It’s a strange combination, seeing such a vibrant scene up against the drop off in venues.”
Dublin’s live future might be uncertain, but Kormac’s is falling into place. “I have quite a few Irish artists who have been in touch about working together, and I’ll be looking at that once I’m done with the AV stuff,” he says. “I’m also working on a film track. It’s quite intense at the moment, but I’m happy with that.”