Ir­ish pupils hit Canada’s school for mu­sic mak­ers

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News -

It’s back to school time for a group of DJs and mu­sic pro­duc­ers from all over the globe, who are at­tend­ing the Red Bull Mu­sic Academy (RBMA) in Toronto.

This year’s Ir­ish par­tic­i­pants are Con­nor Dougan and Ni­amh McCart­ney. North­ern Ir­ish DJ and pro­ducer Dougan uses the De­fcon name for his hip-hop-in­fused elec­tron­ica, while McCart­ney – born in Cork and based in Lon­don – pro­duces soul­ful folk sounds un­der the Land of Lir mon­icker.

A host of Ir­ish DJs and pro­duc­ers have tasted the RBMA ex­pe­ri­ence in the past in­clud­ing Timmy Ste­wart, Mark Bell and Deep Burial’s Ge­orge Bren­nan. Daniel Ja­cob­son was the most re­cent par­tic­i­pant from th­ese shores and his Zoid vs The Jazz Mu­si­cians Of Ire­land, Vol 1 album is cur­rently on re­lease.

Dur­ing the academy’s two-week term, the 30 par­tic­i­pants will hear words of wis­dom from pro­duc­ers and DJs who talk about their ca­reers and back-cat­a­logues.

For some, the most im­por­tant as­pect is the chance to get their hands on state-of-the-art stu­dio equip­ment (the academy’s HQ, a cus­tomised build­ing on Queen Street, Toronto, has half-a-dozen fully-equipped stu­dios).

Oth­ers pre­fer the ac­tiv­i­ties af­ter dark, when they get to show off what they’ve pro­duced in the DJ boxes of the city’s clubs.

Af­ter they’ve gone home to pick up the pieces and get some sleep, a sec­ond in­take of 30 fresh faces will ar­rive to take their places for the academy’s sec­ond term.

Since its de­but in Ber­lin in 1998, the RBMA has put about 500 par­tic­i­pants through their paces in Dublin, New York, Lon­don, Sao Paulo, Rome, Cape Town, Seat­tle and Melbourne. Some 2,600 mu­sic-mak­ers from 82 dif­fer­ent coun­tries ap­plied for a place at this year’s RBMA.

While the academy may have been known ini­tially as a laid­back school for DJs, it has upped its game con­sid­er­ably of late. Ris­ing hip-hop pro­ducer Fly­ing Lo­tus, whose new mini-album Re­set is re­leased next month on Warp Records, and well-re­spected Stones Throw MC Aloe Blacc were among the RBMA stu­dents when it vis­ited Melbourne last year.

For those who’ve made the trip to Canada, it’s an eye-open­ing op­por­tu­nity to work along­side their peers and re­ceive tu­ition from in­flu­en­tial pro­duc­ers and play­ers in a hot­house en­vi­ron­ment which is all about mak­ing mu­sic.

Fly­ing Lo­tus

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