Eomac (1/2 of the Irish duo Lakker) has been prolific in releasing both his solo and duo endeavours. Having appeared on R&S Records, Stroboscopic Artefacts, Bedouin Records, Trilogy Tapes and Killekill, he is now pushing material out on his own label Eotrax.
Pumping kick drums and grainy textures drive the tracks on his most recent release Reconnect, in which he conceptually explores environmental change, women’s rights and other political and societal inequalities.
Eomac explains: ‘Inspired by ideas of ancient ecstatic dances and reconnecting with the wild nature that exists in us all, the album imagines how we might cast off the layers of conditioning and all the limitations that keep us from being fully ourselves.’
Here, we got him to list and explain some of the inspiration behind his album:
1. Drummers Of The Societe Absolument Guinin – ibo
This whole album of Haitian voodoo drumming was an inspiration for the rhythms I was creating for ‘Reconnect’ – polyrhythmic and often cyclical and overlapping. I don’t know much about voodoo itself, but I am becoming increasingly interested in different forms of spirituality from around the world. There’s more info on this incredible music here.
2. EXILS (la transe)
I heard Rabih Beaini play this in Berghain at a Morphine Records night in 2016. He finished his set with it. It builds and builds, getting wilder and wilder. I remember thinking it was like gabber, but more intense. The people on the dancefloor seemed confused but compelled by it. This is a kind of energy I was attempting to channel in ‘Reconnect’, and indeed in a lot of my music.
3. ARVO PÄRT Sarah Was Ninety Years Old
A beautiful piece based on the Bible story of Sarah giving birth to Isaac at 90 years of age. What I love about this piece is the juxtaposition of very earthly (almost tribal) drums next to the cosmic / divine vocals that develop throughout. I wanted to achieve something akin to this juxtaposition, this duality – connecting with higher states through earthly actions like dancing to music and being fully in a body.
4. Eleanór a Rún sung by Róisín El Safty
I grew up very disconnected – almost embarrassed – by my own Irish culture and heritage. I think this came as a consequence and a legacy of the country’s history. In the process of making this album I felt an urge to go back and reconnect with this culture, to understand better where I have come from and what that has taught me, how I have been socialised and conditioned by being Irish and all the positives and negatives I have taken from that. We have a great tradition of storytelling in Ireland and Sean-nós singing is a beautiful part of that. I wasn’t trying to tell a story as such in ‘Reconnect’ but there is a loose narrative running through it.
5. Current Value – Creative Robot
This track is a track that I go back to often in mixes and DJ sets. The level of precision and detail in the drum programming is amazing, and yet it still keeps an organic and loose feel. This really inspired the kinds of drums and rhythms I wanted to explore.
6. Violence against women—it’s a men’s issue: Jackson Katz at TEDxFiDiWomen
One of the themes of the album is finding balance as a man, and in my own masculinity. We can’t speak about masculinity today without speaking about toxic masculinity. Though some deny that it’s a thing, to me it is clear that masculinity has gone awry. Part of making this album was addressing this in myself, reconnecting with my own masculinity and attempting to find a new and more honest way of expressing myself as a man. This Ted talk was one of the first times I had seen a man talk in this way about male violence towards women. It inspired me that he didn’t seem to be mansplaining or telling women what they should do (something I am very guilty of). Instead he was supporting the work of women and speaking to men, and what we must do, and the courage we must have in doing so. It inspired me to be more courageous in speaking out in my life and in my work on important topics such as this.
7. DJ DIAMOND – “WRECKAGE”
The rhythms of footwork producers like DJ Diamond – and footwork-associated artists like Jlin – were an inspiration for ‘Reconnect’. This particular track embodies one of the things I really like about footwork. It sounds familiar yet alien at the same time. The sounds used are common dance and rave music signifiers – drum machines, saw-wave synths, bass stabs – yet how they are used is unusual and unique. I love that, and wanted some element of that on the album.
8. JESUS, REMEMBER ME
This is a song from my youth that really affected me when I first heard it. I was raised a Catholic, and aspects of that were really beautiful but other aspects were not and really fucked with my head – especially as I grew up and started to think for myself. The guilt, the shame, being born a sinner and destined for a fiery hell… ! But it wasn’t all bad.I found something beautiful and meaningful in a lot of the music and hymns. I am no longer religious in the traditional sense but I am still fascinated and inspired by the man Jesus Christ, his life story and the ideas of forgiveness and redemption he embodied. This song came back to me during the making of this album and touched me deeply for those reasons – the sense of redemption, forgiveness, love and higher good. The sense of grace. It speaks to the little boy in me who still feels lost and still feels like an imposter and it soothes him. It also speaks to the man I am and makes me want to be a more loving, kinder, stronger individual. Hearing this and embracing it again was a chance to reconnect with and reconcile this aspect of my life, and the search for my own spirituality – something that is one of the themes of the album.
9. Autechre – Ipacial Section
Autechre. Absolute masters. As I mentioned I wanted to make raw, organic drums for ‘Reconnect’, but I wanted the rhythms themselves to be polyrhythmic and heavily programmed. I like the ambiguity of organic sounds which are not obviously played ‘live’, like in Aphex Twin’s piano music. The rhythms in this track – and in a lot of Autechre’s music – inspired the rhythms of ‘Reconnect’. Seemingly complex on the surface but with a simple pulse and groove beneath it all.
10. Masami Akita & Russell Haswell – Unlock the Mysteries of the Sun
The intensity. The noise. This intense wall of noise is something I was emulating, particularly with some of the vocal screams and dense, noisy hi-hat work. I wanted that sense of power, anguish and intensity.
Reconnect is available via Eotrax now. Buy it here.
Next up: Hyp 272: Lakker