Irrelevant‘s amazing new album Hemisfear drops tomorrow (courtesy of his very own Absolute Loss Records). We took the opportunity to catch up with the man himself…
Hey Irrelevant, thanks so much for agreeing to an interview. Are you UK-based? Do you tend to travel a lot, or are you firmly rooted here?
Yeah I’m in the UK, in a little village on the Essex/Suffolk border.
I’m pretty rooted here. I don’t tend to gig much so my travel plans are mainly for leisure. I went to Canada at the end of last year which has planted a seed for emigration at some point in the future.
Can you recall your first real exposure to music?
When I was a kid my uncle used to make mix CDs of obscure Latin and electronic music that really made me aware of the underground scenes within music from a young age. I think that really kick started my love of finding these hidden gems rather than just following the Top 40 or whatever was popular at the time.
How and when did you first begin writing and creating music?
I’ve said in past interviews that it was a forced thing to begin with. I got a copy of Reason and started to make music because it’s what my peers were doing. I thought that it might be something that could work for me. It was back when I was playing out tech house and I never really connected with producing it in the way that I feel I do with the music I make as Irrelevant.
Can you describe your music for us? Do you think it sits within a particular genre?
Melancholy electronica is how I generally describe it, I’ve never been a fan of all the sub genres and micro genres that pop up. Future garage seems to be the one that it gets filed under more often than not.
Have you ever played live? Would you like to in future? Any upcoming shows?
I’ve played live sets at Fabric (a nightclub in London) and in Berlin in the past for Kokeshi. I’ve never really chased gigs, back when I played house music I would be gigging every week but now I like doing the odd show, it means I can put in that extra effort.
I actually have a live set based around Hemisfear that I really want to play out.
What have been your biggest influences?
At the start it was definitely Burial, Synkro and Indigo, but I’ve met, played with and heard so many talented artists over the last 8 years that it would be impossible to choose the biggest. Guys like Atsuko & Stompbox, Bucky, Volor Flex, VVV, Ghostek, Manu Shrine (rip xxx), Elo Method, the list is huge.
Do you think producing electronic music requires technical or creative skill? Or both?
Do you find creating music a cathartic or therapeutic experience at all? Would you say creating music has helped you through difficult times in your life?
Little Figurines (my last album on Kokeshi) came together when I was dealing with my parents getting divorced, moving into my first house and some other personal stuff, so that was definitely a cathartic process. I was able to vent the stuff that I bottled up emotionally through the music I was making.
Tell us about your latest album ‘Hemisfear’. Did you set out to achieve a particular sound with this album?
So with Hemisfear it’s more a collection of tracks that I’ve been holding onto for a while. I wouldn’t say there was a particular theme to it, it follows the same musical style that you can expect from any of the Irrelevant tracks in the past.
Any new genres you’d like to explore in future?
I’ll be releasing a new Zolehr EP later this year that is going to be more Vapourwave/Wave/Trap influenced so that’s my outlet for the alternative stuff I like.
Do you have any thoughts on the future of underground musical styles such as future garage? Do you think the scene will evolve further?
Every time I think I’ve heard it all, something new comes through that really flips it on its head, some of the kids that are putting stuff out these days on these huge labels really do have amazing talent. Happa for example, the guy was like 15 and making these sick tracks, so exciting to see that. So I think the future is bright man, I’ve never felt a lull in the stuff I like, I tend to cast my net wide with what I listen to so I guess I hedge my bets.
You have worked with some amazing artists such as Atsuko and Stompbox on this latest album. Can we expect any more Irrelevant collabs in future? Any specific artists you’d like to work with?
Yeah for sure, me and Bucky will hopefully be doing something in the future, I’d love to work with Vacant too.
Do you have a favourite track / song of all time? Favourite artist?
That’s the one question I can’t answer…
It’s been said that a life in music can be a hard one. Would you agree with that?
I never set out to be a professional musician, I’m lucky that I have a pretty good day job that I love so the music has always been a hobby for me and the stuff I’ve been able to achieve has far surpassed what I ever expected. I also have only ever made music for myself so if others have liked it that’s just been a bonus. As a result, I’ve never had that pressure to get to a certain point or achieve global megastar status.
Any other Irrelevant projects on the horizon that you’d like to tell us about?
Yeah I’m going to be doing another Vague Memories EP at some point. I’ll be doing more stuff with Kokeshi and by the end of the year I’d like to have signed an artist or two to Absolute Loss.
And finally – are there any tracks / artists that are relatively unknown that you’d like people to know about?
Loads of vapourwave artists with Japanese names that I can’t remember.
Thank you so much Irrelevant – very best of luck with the new album!
‘Hemisfear’ is available to pre-order and will be released here in full tomorrow.