Had a chance to ask Irish producer Shane Linehan a few questions a couple weeks ago, and he came back with an extensive and insightful look into what motivates and creates the fantastic tunes he has been pumping out lately.
UB: When did you first get into electronic & house music? What first got you sitting behind a computer and producing your own tracks?
Shane Linehan: I got into dance music when I was about 16. A guy I was working with was into house music, he introduced me to it. He gave me cds by Armand Van Helden and people like that and it went from there. I was buying random house compilations and someone told me to listen to a radio show called “Go Deep”. I tuned into that and they were playing way deeper stuff than I had heard, I thought some of it sounded odd but I liked it, there was a sense of mystery about the deep stuff that I was into. Then I became interested in how tracks were put together, the fact that the music didn’t use live sounding instruments got me wondering how the music was made. I started messing about with a wave editor, and then I got decks. The record shop in Cork, Plugd Records, was where I used to buy stuff, and they have very tasteful records so I got more and more into the “deep” house thing. I got into Kerri Chandler and that sort of stuff, and went on a holiday to New York (which I loved) that summer, I went record shopping, picking up all sorts of US stuff. I guess that’s where my interest in that sound comes from. When I turned 18 I started going to house music gigs, Moodymann was my first, I couldn’t believe the atmosphere compared to mainstream clubs, if I wasn’t hooked before that gig, I certainly was after it..In terms of producing, like I said, from when I first heard it I was interested in how house music was made, but when I started buying records, my focus changed to that. I started messing about with Ableton a few years ago, and really enjoyed it so stuck with it.
UB: Your biggest influences musically?
SL: My biggest influences musically I would have to say are the people I hang around with and play tunes with. I’ve met a lot of people through attending gigs and buying records in Cork. My first gig was on a pirate radio station called Sub FM, the people I met through Sub have introduced me to a lot of music.
I could sit here all night and list out producers who have influenced me but heres the shortlist: Kerri, Wayne Gardiner, Pal Joey, Mood ii Swing, Rick Wade….
UB: How has being from Ireland impacted you musically, was it something you were constantly exposed to growing up or did you come into it on your own?
SL: It’s been huge for me. There a great history of dance music in Cork and there are a lot of people here who know their music. There have always been regular house and techno gigs in Cork and I’ve seen a great amount of international djs play here, usually in small venues, which is cool. Like I said earlier, I was introduced to mainstream house and got more and more into the deeper stuff…
UB: What does your studio setup look like? what’s your favourite production toy right now?
SL: It’s a few synths short of a studio unfortunately! It consists of a laptop, a few mid controllers, Technics, a Vestax PMC 50A mixer, and my records. I use Ableton to make music. My MPD 26 is my number one toy and I love Rob Papens Sub Boom Bass VST!
UB: What has been your favourite place to play so far? the most fun you’ve had gigging?
SL: My favourite gig so far was warming up for Shane Johnson (of Fish Go Deep) at their residency night in Cork “Go Deep”, one of a few that they’ve run for over 20 years. It was in a club called the Pavilion. A warm up gig mightn’t be everyone’s idea of a top gig but I’ve been attending their nights since I got into house so it was great to be invited to play. Particularly the fact that it was in my own city.
In terms of fun and having a laugh, myself and my buddy Drievers used to run a gig in Limerick called “4 To The Floor” we were only about 18. They were our first gigs and we loved it, we ran it for about 2 months. We used to bring a bag in with us full of cans of cider, not a serious gig, but great fun indeed!
UB: What drove you to start your own record label and what does 2012 have in store for Basic Grooves?
SL: I had been making tracks for a while and my friends were diggin them. I put out a few digital releases but I really wanted to do something myself. A few people were pushing me to do it so I decided to do a 100 copy run of two tracks that people seemed to be into, I really liked the tracks too but I wasn’t sure if it would sell. I sold it through 2 on line stores and through Plugd here in Cork, it sold out online more or less straight away and picked up support that I couldn’t believe. It was really motivating to get that kind of feedback as well as being pretty surreal. After that I decided to launch Basic Grooves properly with the label being an outlet just for my own tracks. I repressed the EP and the second release is on the way.
UB: Personally, what do you have coming up in 2012 that you’re really excited about?
SL: I’m looking forward to being done with college in September! Musically I’m excited about finding more music that I’m into, discovering new artists and labels, partying late into the night, playing some good club gigs, developing my sound and releasing more music. For the second release on Basic Grooves I went to a studio to mix the tracks down, they have a proper desk and a whole array of synths and some really nice equipment, I want to do more work there soon, its an amazing place.
UB: And finally, its 3-4 am you’ve just finished a long set, what’s your favourite after gig food?
SL: A Valentionos kebab!
Awesome stuff from Shane Linehan and while you’re at it, check out his latest upcoming release as well as his March Grooves Mix, perfect for a saturday night and a free download.
Shane Linehan – Yours Truly (Forthcoming Release)
Shane Linehan – March Grooves (Free Download)
If you’re in St. John’s drop down to ONYX for Unofficial (Easter.).
…if not have a dope saturday,