2013 has been a big year for Irish artists. The recent RA DJ poll is a demonstration of that with the likes of Mano Le Tough and Bicep riding high in the rankings. However, one Irish producer that may not receive the plaudits of Le Tough or Bicep but who continues to impress us is Ian O’Donovan, a Limerick man signed to John Digweed’s Bedrock Records and protégé to Techno legend Laurent Garnier. Following a string of top releases this year, the Irishman has put the seal on 2013 with a fine EP in collaboration with Madben. We caught up with Ian to find out all about the release, how he got started in the game and what 2014 holds.
First off Ian, thanks for taking the time to chat to WWD! Your latest release with Madben ‘Dual EP’ has finally landed on Electronical Reeds, tell us a little bit about the record!
Myself and Ben thought it would cool to remix each other’s tracks and release them on an Ep. We swapped original tracks… I really liked Ben’s track and I think the remix turned out well. As did his. The Electronical Reeds guys liked the tracks and that was it.
We’ve been following you for a while now, since the likes of ‘Ascension’, ‘Frentzen’ and your Takasi Nakajima & Maarten Mittendorff – ‘Circulate’ remix. I know there’s a lot of young Irish producers out there wondering how to make it at an international level. How did you go about it?
It’s nice to see that you picked up on some of my tracks that are probably not the most well known ones.
I think it’s a combination of hard work and a little luck. I’ve been djing for about 15 years and I’ve worked for a good lot of that time learning to produce and develop my own sound and style. I think you have to be quite self critical and compare your music to what you really like.
You’ve earned the support of some huge djs, most notably Laurent Garnier. How has that relationship developed?
Well, it started a few years ago when I sent Laurent a couple of tracks on Soundcloud. He wrote back a few days later saying he loved them and would play them. He’s been playing my tracks ever since. He is always supportive and encouraging which is inspiring for me as through his sets he has been my biggest influence in electronic music since I began listening to it in the 90’s.
Was there much going in Limerick when you got started?
Back in the 90’s and early 00’s when I really got into techno and house, there was quite a lot going on for such a small town. There was a strong techno scene. Now, it has really declined like many places and with the recession, it’s very hard for promoters to make it work.
More recently you’ve signed to John Digweed’s Bedrock Records. How did that come about? What was it about the label that attracted you to it?
Well actually, I signed to Bedrock 4 years ago.. Laurent had tweeted about my music and Paul Hammil from Psycatron saw it and got in contact with me. From there, he sent some of my tracks to John who then rang me about signing the Ep which was released in June 2010.
As a new producer at the time, it was great to be signed by such an iconic label as Bedrock who have been at the forefront the scene for many years and still are. I am still always very pleased to release my music with them. I’ve had a few tracks on Bedrock this year – ‘Crimson Flare’ in March, my collab track ‘Dawnbreaker’ with John and Nick Muir on the Versus album and most recently 2 tracks on John’s Live In Argentina mix albums.
What is it that an illustrious label like Bedrock look for in an artist?
Basically, it’s about good music. I think they are always looking for something that is a little different than the majority of what’s out there to distinguish their sound.
Any New Years’ Resolutions for the coming year?
Focus on getting my live set together.
Top three tracks of 2013?
That’s a tough one. 3 tracks of many I’ve loved playing this year are –
Roland M. Dill – Tzycho
Deetron ft Ovasoul – Out of My Head (Kink Dub)
Oniris – Better Days
One event you’re looking forward to in 2014?
I’m really looking forward to playing with Laurent Garnier in Cork on March 15, should be great.
One artist to look out for in 2014?
I think it could be a good year for French producer Marst. I’ve been playing his tunes for a couple of years and they’re excellent. I’m sure he’ll get picked up on a big label soon.
Lastly, what do the next few months hold for Ian O’Donovan?
I’ve got an EP on Christian Smith’s Tronic label, a collab with the Japanese Popstars under the alias ‘Soul Circuits’ on Sasha’s label as well as stuff for Connaisseur and remixes for Satoshi Fumi and Fabrice Lig.
I’m also working on a live set for 2014 and gigging around the place as usual.
Electronical Reeds : Resident Advisor