DJ Kormac’s new album ‘Equivalent Exchange’ is an unusual production: a mix of classical music and beats, which fuses a plethora of local pop talent with a dramatic orchestral sound and deeply layered style changes.
It’s the beautiful product of training in texture and subtlety, combined with his work on developing lively in-person shows, and showcasing a sound that is a clear progression on his previous work, and of undeniably inventive quality.
“This record started as a live show for the closing of the St Patrick’s Festival in 2018, before which I trained in Bulgaria to write for orchestra’s,” Kormac says of his new LP. “I’ve been writing for TV since, things like ‘Resurrection’ on Disney Plus, so there’s been a lot going on. With so many moving parts to record, not least the orchestra and brass, it took some time to produce.”
“People know me as a DJ, but I’ve brought a lot of live musicians into club settings and onto my records,” he adds. “I like to collaborate, and I’m no stranger to live instruments. This seemed like another challenge, a way of writing new material that people might connect with emotionally. It was written for a live show and has a certain vision.”
“The record is supposed to sound almost live. I wanted to produce the most aggressive, dramatic intro I could, with all the orchestra. I wanted to have a semi-electronic drop, and then to bring in a rapper,” he says of the opening track with local star Jafaris. “I wanted something really arresting and abrasive.”
“Everyone on the record I’m a huge fan of,” he says of collaborations that also include Loah and MayKay. “They all do their own thing that I’m not part of, and bring their experience to it. I find it interesting to harness and investigate what other people do in their fields and how we can work together, to make something different and new. It’s very much a suite of music, something that was edited down from an hour and a half.”
“I’m better at what I do, I think, to be honest, than I used to be. Coming off the road for Covid and doing the music scoring really, in hindsight, helped with what we’re able to do in the studio now. I have a system, I’m able to invest time and money into the gear I’m using. There’s a workflow, and I’m much better at it.”
“I’ve only really realised recently how important it is to have my own space. I produce hundreds of pieces of music a year now, between records and scoring and so on, and that puts me in a place where writing is familiar, and I’m better at it.”
As for the presentation of that record in person, it’ll be ‘full on’ to start with, and then progressed in a more minimalist way going forward as tours move outside of the immediate Dublin area.
“I’ve got the Dublin launch show, a TV series coming out, and I’m working on a film, which’ll take us to Christmas, and then I’ll be touring next year. In The Button Factory we’ll have everyone on the record, as it’s in Dublin and we can make it happen. After that we’ll have to scale it back a bit, realistically. There are ways around that problem, but it’s getting expensive to tour, and you have to scale.”
Kormac launches his album ‘Equivalent Exchange’ at the Button Factory on Saturday, 19 November.
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