40. DJ Kormac

I was absolutely thrilled to talk to uber-talented DJ, musician, producer, all-round-sound-head, Kormac. I have been a big fan of Kormac for well over a decade. I was charged with organising the Graduation Party for my year in college, and when it came to booking a DJ, I booked Kormac – which I have no doubt would have been much easier and more affordable back then before either of his albums were out.

We talk about his music, collaboration (with the likes of Irvine Welsh and Speech Debelle), creativity and the creative scene in Dublin, festivals. He falls into a “sonic nerd hole” every now and again, but my ignorance pulls him out pretty quickly. Radiohead are lucky enough to get a mention, and we discuss the notion of bands doing different versions of songs for live shows.

I’m kind of obsessed with this, and have been for a long time:

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I stole this from Kormac’s website:

Championed by everyone from Annie Mac to DJ Yoda, Kormac started out as out as a hip hop scratch DJ and MPC beat-maker.

He has matured into an artist who brings a totally unique approach to, what might be called, hip hop by twisting and morphing his meticulous recordings of acoustic instruments into something entirely unique.

While making his latest album, he literally showed up on the doorsteps of legendary author, Irvine Welsh, Mercury Music Prize Winner, Speech Debelle, Texan legend, Micah P. Hinson and a host of others to collaborate and produce a record that sounds like nothing else.

He’s equally well known for his live performances. Sometimes he performs with a full ensemble, Kormac’s Big Band (brass, strings, drums, electronics, bass, guitar and guest vocalists.) For club shows he brings his studio set up, a drummer and a massive LED wall showing bespoke visuals for alternative takes on his own material.

[You can check out the Big Band here and the AV club show here.]

The world has taken notice. His last album got him nominated for the Meteor choice music prize. He’s played festivals including Glastonbury, Bestival, Electric Picnic, Sonar and and toured the UK, Europe, Eastern Europe, Australia and Canada alongside luminaries Portishead, Nas, Flaming Lips, Sonic Youth, Snarky Puppy and a host of others.

Recent TV appearances include a wonderful gig in St. James’ Church in Kerry for the iconic Other Voices show, a performance on Ireland’s prime time, Late Late Show and live broadcasts on WDR in Germany.

His records are sold out. He has tens of millions of Spotify plays. His music is used on TV and adds all the time and his material is regularly played on radio worldwide. Recently, Jameson commissioned him to make a track using only the sounds made in/by their factory in Co. Cork.

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