Tag Archives: Electronic Music

PHEVER: TV-Radio interview: Rhea Boyden speaks to DJ Dean Sherry 

17 Dec

Here is the clip of me on PHEVER: TV-Radio yesterday speaking to DJ Dean Sherry about his in-depth interview with Irish electronic music pioneer Timmy Hannigan which I have transcribed, edited and published on my blog.

Interview: PHEVER: TV-Radio’s DJ Dean Sherry speaks to Timmy Hannigan aka Mr. Spring

15 Dec

Timmy Hannigan black and white

Transcribed and edited and with an introduction by Rhea H. Boyden

Last April, I had somewhat of a revelation. I was made aware, for the first time, of just how much work goes into performing a live electronic music gig compared to ‘just Djing’ which seems to me to already be a lot of work. I went to see Soundcrowd perform their 25th anniversary gig at the Button Factory, Dublin. I enjoyed the gig and spoke to several people who told me all about what it was like to hear them play back in the 90s. It was clear to me that people were there on a nostalgia trip. After the gig I went back and listened to Dean Sherry’s radio interview with Irish electronic music pioneer Timmy Hannigan. The interview below, which I have edited and transcribed, completely fascinated me and opened my eyes to the complexities as well as the talent, dedication, patience and passion that goes into performing these gigs. It is truly an insight into the life and work of a technical and electronic music genius.

Soundcrowd will be performing their final live gig on December 27th, 2017 at the Button Factory, Dublin.

Dean Sherry: Joining me today is a friend of mine who I haven’t spoken to in a long time, Mr. Timmy Hannigan. Timmy is possibly the leading innovator in Irish DJ culture and specifically electronic music. He is the number one pioneer of dance music and technology and the first published electronic artist in Ireland, altough unconfirmed, this is where all investigations lead. Whilst certainly a lot of DJs and budding artists were starting to experiment in the mid to late 80s and may have dabbled in electronic music straying from other genres, it was Timmy who purposefully released and published the first electronic track we can find record of anywhere: Carrier Frequency- Telecaster Man- Solid Records, 1989. I have had the pleasure of knowing this unique genius for many years since I was a teenager through record buying activities in Dublin and the early geekiness of the internet and chat forums, plus computing on early Apple macbooks, software and shared interests. Timmy is a self-taught wealth of information served up in a brilliant but erratic and introverted manner that takes a little getting used to and much laughter to get on the same level- but on that point we are well front and centre. From Djing spawned music production interest and shared time in Tim’s Bray-based music studio of wonders, to pirate radio and onto various live tour gig events all over the country. I hope these random collaborations and encounters continue until we are both hitting each other with walking sticks. I present to you now an insight into everything that is Timmy Hannigan.

TH: Yes, thank you Dean, it’s great. We don’t talk enough, but when we do I always leave in pain from laughing. Yes, on that point, laughter, we are indeed front and centre. Are you coming to the gig? (referring to the Sound Crowd XXV event 2017)

Soundcrowd graphic

DS: I am coming to the gig and we will get to that in a bit but first I want to cast your mind back to before 12 inches were bounced off your head. What was going on in your life in the 80s? What were you up to and what were you listening to? Was there anything of relevance in your life before electronic music?

TH: No, not really. I came from Rathcoole and my dad worked in a jam factory.

DS: Like ‘Pump up the Jam’ or the fruity jam?

TH: Fruity jam. He made jam for lambs and then we went to live with my grandparents in Bray. My mother had loads of sisters who used to babysit me and they were into disco so they would play a lot of records. We had a record player because my dad was into Rockabilly.

DS: So there was music in your environment?

TH: Yes, he would play The Rolling Stones, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and all these really pounding rhythms. He didn’t like The Beatles though, thank god. But when disco was played by my aunts and babysitters, I didn’t really like it because I thought that Roy Orbison was the best singer in the world because I was only 7 years old, but then my young ears were suddenly exposed to the Chic Foundation Productions and Donna Summer and hearing ‘I Feel Love’ being played by the babysitters was stunning. Every noise in it was alien. She sounded like she was singing backwards in Dutch or something and even though I didn’t understand it all, I remember being gobsmacked. And I didn’t hear anything as good as that for years. Then I was into other stuff – Adam and the Ants, ya know and I was into Ska for about a month. I went to Pres in Bray and you got beaten up at my school if you weren’t into metal. I didn’t like metal but I pretended I did. But then I heard ‘Back in Black’ by AC/DC and it was just unreal. It was so heavy. It was like the rock and roll I had been listening to with my dad but this was really noisy and….

DS: More grown up?

TH: Yeah, that was it, and that was my mixed taste in music then. I had a little pocket money from making my Communion and so on and I used to buy records when I could, and being an idiot I didn’t know the name of anything, so I would buy things that had a nice sleeve or label, like stupid things to do with science fiction and whatever and I still have all those records and have sampled them all because they were all bad disco records such as ‘The Jeff Love Orchestra Plays the Theme from Close Encounters.’

DS: I have actually had the pleasure of rooting through some of your collection which is very obscure and all over the place. I mean you have some great hip hop and some great reggae in your collection, stuff that people wouldn’t expect to hear there.

TH: Yeah, well that was new music at the time and that is what I was into. It was mostly school friends that would turn you on to metal and so on but I was really into other stuff. I got the Human League album for Christmas in 1981.


DS: Dare?

TH: Yes, Dare. Dare was so far ahead of anything I had ever heard and I didn’t know what it was.

DS: And it introduced a synthesizer to your young ears?

TH: Yeah, and I knew it was like Donna Summer but it seemed to be more regimental.

DS: More delivered?

TH: Exactly and more orchestrated. More put together and not so messy. I didn’t really like Gary Numan, for example. Anyway I got a summer job with My uncle Peter, who has since died of cancer, and he used to drive me around in the van and he was playing Kraftwerk’s album from 1980 because The Model was a hit then.

DS: The Man Machine?

TH: Computerwelt.

DS: Ah, the classic, of course.

TH: Yeah, that was the latest album and he bought it by mistake because he had meant to buy the album that The Model was on because it was Number 1 at the time. But that hit was from the 1978 album, but it was a lucky mistake because we played that tape over and over again in the van and it programmed me. That was 1982. And I thank my uncle for introducing me to that. I then had some more pocket money from working with him on the building site and I bought The Human League Dub album which was the instrumental 12 inches and B sides from Dare, it was called The League Unlimited Orchestra – Love & Dancing. So I am 12 years old and I am listening to Kraftwerk and the Human League and all the really dark dubs that Martin Rushent did.

DS: That is a bit of a revelation in itself. At the time I was listening to pop music and I got heavily into the likes of Depeche Mode and there were just certain pieces of music that you knew were opening up that would lead into something.

TH: Yes, I listened to Depeche Mode and I had ‘New Life’ but they weren’t great at the start and I hadn’t really connected to them yet. They sounded so cheap at the start.

DS: They did sound tacky in the beginning.

TH: They were all mono synths and a little DR 55 and they sounded like shit compared to The Human League who were just blowing everyone away. That summer of 1982, importantly my grandfather, who had been a musician, died and I inherited an open-reel tape deck and a clarinet from him. I couldn’t play the clarinet but….

DS: Was this the start of you becoming a gear hoarder?

TH: Yes, because the record player was part of a stack system: it had a separate tape deck, separate amp, big speakers and a deck.

DS: Which was the 80s thing.

TH: Yeah, and I was sick in bed with the flu at the time, I remember and I took the tape deck, radio and headphones upstairs and I started recording stuff off the radio, from Radio Nova and the pirates of the day and was trying to catch the tunes that I wanted because you know, there was no money to buy them really. And the action of using the pause button on the tape deck kind of fired something in me so I had two tape decks then, an open-reel one and I had some razor blades and sticky tape and all these bits I had taken off the radio so I wanted to take out the bits where the DJ was talking and extend the tracks and just by messing around I was able to do that. I was taking Yazoo tracks, for example, making long versions of the track with tape. And I spent about a year in my bedroom doing this and giving the tapes to my friends. I was making versions with stutters and machine gun edits and I wasn’t very good at it but it was better to do it on the cassette deck than using the razor blades because that took too long. Schoolwork wasn’t my priority. I got thrown out of Irish class often, so, as usual and I was hiding in the coats hanging up outside Irish class, avoiding Terry the headmaster, the head brother, who would give you a smack and send you down to the library if he caught you.

DS: The good old Christian brothers

TH: And so anyway, one day I am hiding behind the coats and I hear footsteps coming down the hall and I am fearing a beating, but it wasn’t the headmaster but this tall guy from a couple of years ahead of me. I was in about 2nd or 3rd year at the time and I spoke to him and he told me there was a local radio station, a pirate called BLB and he was going into the classrooms to see if there was anyone who wanted to get involved in a new radio show on a Wednesday for kids and I said ‘Yes, I love all that and I am really into music.’ and I pestered him and he told me I was too young and a muppet but I kept on hassling him until he took me down to the studio and they had a pair of Technics SL 1200 in 1983, two of them! And they had an Alice Mixer which had stereo faders, AKG mics, and a PR99 Revox tape machine.


DS: And you actually remember all the kit that was there?

TH: I took one look at it and thought  ‘What do I have to do to be involved in this and be a part of this show?’ And they encouraged and supported me so I did the kid’s programme, and then in 1984 we got our own show doing dance stuff. I started swapping tapes through the mail, with American soldiers who were based in Germany, as they were taping shows originally aired on 98.7 Kiss FM and 92 KTU, Shep Pettibone & Tony Humphries mastermixes and so on, from AFN (American Forces Network) so I had tapes of The Latin Rascals and they were amused by my crude tapes, I was cutting up tracks by ABC and The Human League and pretty much rearranging them and stuttering them… I had a good collection. I knew who all these people were but I was pretty much on my own and I used to cut these tapes up and put them out at night on the local radio station, and then one thing led to another and I got sucked into being a radio DJ, but it was only because they had equipment at the station and because the station wasn’t your usual pirate radio station with the money going into someone’s back pocket, they put the money into equipment, and when I got there they had been going for a few years as a community radio station and pumping the advertising money back into the station, and the gear and equipment they had already amassed was mind-blowing. I had an uncle who worked in RTE who was a film sound guy and he used to go out with the tape decks recording location sound, and he had a Nagra, and had access to things like an EMS vocoder and Eventide harmoniser, and all this stuff that was used in film dubbing to correct mistakes or anonymise voices…

DS: Is that where you got that vocoder from?

EMS Vocoder

TH: My EMS? Yes, well it was bought in an auction, The revox I saw in the radio station was a couple of grand worth of tape deck.  But when you get into the likes of RTE or the BBC the stuff there is hand made by EMI and that is where I first saw some serious gear. We are not talking anything you can buy off the shelf.

DS: Yeah, it’s all customised. An uncle of mine worked in Avondale and they were making a lot of the jingles and stuff for RTE. That is where I got my first set of decks from so there were inroads there but the mixing desks there were customised and made by the BBC.

TH: Yes, exactly and so my uncle would bring me and my cousin, his son, into RTE and we would have a look and we would see CART machines and loop machines and they had the first digital reverb – an AMS or a Lexicon I think it was, and everyone was like ‘Ooh, wow! Amazing. Don’t touch it! You can look, but don’t fucking touch it.’ So these are all influences, and they just fire your brain so when other people wanted to play football or wanted a girlfriend I was down on the beach in Bray playing Defender or Asteroids if I had 10p, and hanging out on the beach the whole summer basically.

DS: So you got into games but I am guessing you got into computers at a young age too. Were you a Commodore 64 kid? But you obviously got into music sequencing soon enough, didn’t you?

TH: Well, I wanted a drum machine more than anything else and until you get real money you can’t have any of these things. I did have a home computer and my mates had ZX Spectrums, and my cousin had an Amstrad. I took a fancy to the MSX from Japan (1982 early home computers using Microsoft BASIC) at the time so I stupidly did not get a spectrum and have loads of games to play. I had the MSX. I had a Sord  M5 which had a great sound chip and had great cartridge games made by Namco and other Japanese developers, stuff like Dig Dug and Pac Man, and they were arcade perfect and I enjoyed that for 2 weeks and then got bored and tried coding for myself. I did write a drum machine with it, and it was a good noise maker. The first bit of real gear I got was a Vesta Kozo DIG420 sampler at about age 15 or 16 which had a digital delay, an echo, but it could hold one second of sound. It could freeze that second of sound, and you could play it back by hitting a button or by GATE in, and change its pitch with CV in.

DS: Wow.

MS basic


TH: This gave my tape mixes and the megamixes that I was doing an edge, and I overtook everyone who was doing it because they didn’t have a sampler. And so then I was banging away with this thing doing machine gun stutters that they could not do, because you could machine gun something by recording a kickdrum ten times…

DS: And replaying it.

TH: But to have a sampler you could tap with your hand and manipulate it. And so I just gathered gear and I was completely passionate about it.

DS: And was there anyone producing music, was there any one direct influence or was it all trial by fire?

TH: No, there was no one else doing it, we were really lonely. I was just hoarding the gear in the bedroom, doing the tapes and just playing around. I then left school and went to college when I was 16 and I just didn’t know what I was doing. I lasted about a year doing that and then I flunked. Legislation was coming through on the pirates…

DS: Is this where Radioactive came about or was there anything before that?

TH: Yeah, so in 1987 here I am flunked out of college, didn’t know what to do, but luckily had this studio experience and was making ads anyway for the pirates, and I thought ‘Well, hang on now, how many pirates are there?’ And AnoraksUK (a fanzine) had a directory of Irish pirates.

DS: It really was a golden era.

Timmy in his studio

  Timmy Hannigan in his studio

TH: It certainly was man, there were 2 or 3 in every town. But they sucked at making commercials and they all had rural accents, so I had access to all the guys who were working in Super Q and Energy, most of them lived in Wicklow anyway. Scott Williams and Tom Brown would pass by, and they had great voices. The original John Power, Mike Duggan, They were all living locally. So I converted the parents’ garage and started making ads, and we were very busy. We could not make them fast enough which is why I never make commercials anymore because I spent about a year and a half making up to 30 a day. I was only charging a tenner a piece.

DS: So it was all about the volume.

TH: Yes, and I made a lot of money very quickly and then legislation came and all the pirates got shut down and I had miscalculated because I thought once they all came back on air with licences there would maybe be about one tenth left, but they would have real money, but I messed up because I was visiting these guys when they were preparing to go on air, we were getting excited about buying equipment but I hadn’t realised that they were all building their own studios to make ads, plus they were able to attract proper talent – people with good voices, so basically my business plan to make ads for all these new stations failed.

DS: So a rethink was needed.

TH: Well, luckily Ray D’arcy came along with some work for Jo Maxi, and the BBC’s Dance Energy were over and they featured me and some of the people I was working with, Lisa I’Anson did some interviews in my studio and was very polite and kind. I had been hanging out in London a bit, there was a company there called Noisegate in Nunhead who were also making Jingles & stuff, but were making underground records too.

DS: So at this point you had started producing pieces of original electronic music?

TH: Oh yeah, but I was also still making ads and jingles.

DS: And what sort of monikers were you releasing these under because you have had a lot?

TH: No, um, well while I was doing all this I was exposed to the London scene as Double Trouble and the Rebel MC (Noisegate guys) had just had a number one, but it was a coincidence. I had known those guys for a year or so. They got big and had another hit and the Noisegate Studios crew were huge, and I had known them for years. There was an Irish DJ there too (Jim Cotter resident at Annabels), and one day Tac (RIP) played me Todd Terry, which changed everything for me. They were making acid records (Feel the Acid, Feel the Bass) and I thought ‘This looks easy’ so I hooked up with a couple local guys – Trevor Knight, who had a PPG Wave (The PPG Wave is a series of hybrid digital/analogue synthesizers built by the German company Palm Products GmbH from 1981 to 1987) and a Korg Lambda, was playing locally with a guy called Leo O’ Kelly (one half of a band called Tir Na Nog, who were probably Ireland’s first super group) and they ran a TR606 and a PPG synced when playing live, and they were banging out great stuff.


DS: The PPG is a great device.

TH: So they were doing the band thing in local venues, and I was DJing, usually with  a guy called Peter Carroll, who I met at the local pirate station. Very nice guy who saw something in me & let me play. He was a big record collector at the time.

DS: Did you have any clubbing experience at that time in Ireland? Do you have any early memories of the DJs?

TH: No, not really. Around that time I would get a little slot to play and I would knock out a few tame acid records and Chicago Jack and the crowd hated it all they wanted to hear was ya know..

DS: Chart dance like Technotronic and the like?

TH: No, Meatloaf. They weren’t into electronic music, although I got slots and played little bits, no one cared.

DS: It only worked as a slot back then.

TH: Yeah, but as I said, I had tapes and had a sampler and had a proper archive by then, to make ads because I was reinvesting and I had an 8 track and SMPTE timecode, so I was using an Atari 1040 slaved to tape. This would have been before Cubase, so we were using PRO 24. So I was doing that and I made a record with Trevor and Leo in 1989 and we called ourselves Carrier Frequency, and it was an acidy record, and it got licensed which was kind of interesting because we had made it in a garage and didn’t really know what we were doing, but people liked it, and it got picked up and that is how Dance Energy, Ray D’Arcy and the rest of them found out, because Dave Fanning played the record and people noticed.

DS: And would you class that as one of the first Irish electronic records? Would you deem it as an Irish production?

TH: Oh yes, I think it was the first Irish club record. Barry Warner had been making sample based electronic music for a while – pop music – and he did club mixes and there were other people who were tinkering with it, but we specifically made this to be a specialist record.

DS: So Mickey Mac would have been all over you.

TH: He wasn’t playing club stuff on the radio at the time.

DS: Right, of course, that was pre Mickey Mac.

TH: Yeah, we came out in 89. But because of the D’Arcy connection and Joe Maxi and stuff, he also knew DJ Mek, and his band (MRC at the time), so I think it was Ed Darragh at the time suggested we all work together.

DS: And you were involved in the Scary Eire Project on the production level?

TH: Well, you see Ray knew them and they were desperate to make a decent demo because they only had a 4 track and they weren’t even called Scary Eire yet. So there were a number of sessions and demos got made and they did enough to form the Scary Eire, and eventually got signed to Island Records. So that kept me busy and a lot of stuff got done, but in 1990 they fucked off to England with their advance to work in bigger studios and party, and I was left on my tobler and I needed a bit of new business, so I then put some ads in Mark Kavanagh’s Fanzine REMIX.

DS: Had you already met Mark before? Had you been teenage friends because I know Mark grew up not too far from Bray, right?

TH: I didn’t know of him yet but I knew of the magazine, because I had been going into Billy Murray’s Abbey disks in its various locations since ‘82.

DS: Which is where I met you.

TH: Yeah, exactly. And Billy knew what I wanted and I bought all my stuff from him, so I would pick up the fanzine, and I put an ad in, and one day Mark just came out to say hi, and we hit it off because he was into the same stuff. He knew the Scary Eire demos and the things that I had been fiddling with so we just made a track one day and that was that. You see there are so many happy coincidences but the lesson to be learned from all of this that you do stuff, you get out, you meet people, you bump into someone and if you sit at home saying ‘Why am I not famous?’ then you are going to rot.

DS: Yes, you have to collaborate and experiment.

TH: Yes, do stuff! I mean the Red Records thing just exploded from there.

DS: So tell me about the inception of Red because it started out initially as an interest to release your own music, but you also licensed a few pieces of music which I don’t believe had ever been done by an Irish label up to that point, especially for electronic music.

TH: Red actually started in Mark’s spare room in his house in Ballybrack/Killiney. We were getting promos and he was playing them in The Olympic and I was playing them on the radio, on EZ103 in Wicklow town. But people couldn’t buy the stuff, and Billy was going mad because nobody could get them. So through our contacts and new contacts through selling our own material on export as well, we were able to get copies of records and wholesale them, and Mark was then into wholesale and was importing boxes of rare records and selling them to Billy, and that took off so well he had to move premises.

Records (Timmy)

DS: That became a lucrative business, didn’t it and a lot of good things came out of it for the DJ world.

TH: Yeah, exactly. And through all these activities and without really realising it, we seeded the scene because we brought in pretty much every record that you know as a classic as well as really obscure stuff that would not have been available otherwise.

DS: I am not going to get into the whole discography of it, but we are going to get to the event at the end of this because I know it is a seminal thing that is happening for you guys. Tell me about the live performances, you did Feile, you did big live performances as Soundcrowd. I imagine it was a technical nightmare but it must have been some buzz too.

TH: Well, no it was really worrying and just stressful and I hated doing it. I think we only really played live only 4 or 5 times.

DS: I did Ormond Multimedia with you guys. There were a few crazy gigs and some were better than others of course.

TH: Yeah, but there weren’t many because every time you do it, something gets broken or lost or you learn a lesson, so by the end of the run you are pulling your hair out. I mean, even after the first live performance I swore I would never do it again. I was still using a mac.

DS: And you had a couple of Moog prodigies that I don’t think ever worked right again.

TH: The Moog prodigy was an awful piece of shit. The Mac we had wasn’t even ours and it died because the screen couldn’t handle the heat and the moisture in the Ormonde, so it wouldn’t turn on. So I had one track loaded and I would start with that, The power light on the screen was just flashing and it refused to cooperate. So using key combinations, I knew that if I did for example, Command-F, it would bring the file menu up, and then I could go down with arrow keys to open a track.

DS: And you were assuming you knew the order of the tracks?

TH: I didn’t know the order and I knew I couldn’t take a chance so I played the next and went two down and loaded the next.. so never again! NEVER again! That was an embarrassment. That was live and I hate playing live.

DS: It is a headache. I have done it myself. Myself and Barry Dempsey played a live set and while you can sequence certain parts it never goes to plan. We played at Electric Picnic and we forgot that you may need an encore and we had nothing left to do. You can never think of everything. I want to touch on your studio because it is very impressive and you have built up some collection of really impressive synths and hardware. How do you keep it all talking to itself and keep it all in tune?

TH: Well, it breaks and then I fix it. Everything breaks all the time and you learn. I mean in all the Yamaha gear the power supplies go so you need to learn how to rebuild a power supply and once you have built one you can do all of them and that is how it works.

DS: It is a labour of love.

TH: yeah, and my 808 cost me 50 quid (iconic drum machine synth module by Yamaha). My first 303 cost my 90 quid and my second one cost me nothing. (303 is a bassline generator module by Roland that ‘invented’ acid house – that squelshy sound) I was in the right place at the right time. When people didn’t want things I was lusting after them. I wanted a 303 so bad and Pat Colgan of Futuresque records sold me his for 90 quid.

DS: And they are probably more like 2 grand now. Or at least over a grand.

TH: And they are pretty robust because they are a plastic piece of junk. I have a 303 Devilfish too (303 customised by Robin Whittle in Australia) and I think it was the 6th  one ever made. That is pretty serious business to have one of them, ya know. It was very early internet days.


DS: And what is the prized item in your studio? What’s your favourite piece of gear? The 909?

TH: Well, I have modified mine a lot by this stage so it is a very unique machine and I love it to bits. But every piece of gear has its  thing that turns you on about it, and I appreciate that Ableton and desktops are all great and all, but that doesn’t fire my imagination. I need to take it out and play with it and experiment.

DS: And that would be my next question: what would you say to say to young guys here who are just sitting with a laptop and a load of VST instruments and a pair of headphones, obviously until they get their hands on a piece of kit and start experimenting it is never going to feel the same. What is your advice to these young guys, or indeed, what would you advise a younger you looking back?

TH: Well, with a younger me, there were no rules, so I think I did very well because there was no one to ask and we had no internet, but we at least had dial-up and bulletin board communities – we ran one for Scary Eire – So there was communication using computers from all over the world, and we were able to swap files and collaborate on things way back. We had been doing that since 1984. That was there but there were no rules in electronic music, and I got away with it because no one had done it before so no one could tell you you were doing it wrong. But, if you are stuck with your laptop and stuff, ya know, what will happen is, you will be thrilled and have a lot of fun and you will make a lot of tunes and it will be great but then something will be missing. And when I find something is missing, I buy a new toy or I dig out the toy I haven’t used in awhile or I try and do something different with the toy I have, and with a laptop you can’t really do that, and the real truth of the matter is, when you put your hands on something and have it make noises when you touch it and move it and you have a tactile relationship with this thing that makes noise, it creates a different path in your brain for your thought processes, it would be like if you kill your brain from drink or drugs and you are depressed all the time, learn to juggle or learn to play golf and you will cheer up because it will make connections in your brain.

DS: You are rewiring your brain.

TH: Yes, and if you wire your brain for a laptop to play Call of Duty you are making different things happen in your brain than if you play a guitar, for instance. Do your laptop stuff, have fun, but if you hit a brick wall get a toy and play with it and I mean there are just so many toys now, Korg make good stuff, there are fun guys doing stuff with arduinos, there are all sorts of midibox org kits you can build, and they are not expensive and they are an absolute joy. My God, there is so much fun you can get for 50 quid now.

DS: Yes, it’s very true. Okay Timmy, I don’t want to go keep you much longer but I want to talk about the upcoming gig which is the 25th anniversary of the inception of the Soundcrowd. Now you have done a hell of a lot more than just Soundcrowd. You have produced under various monikers and various names and you have worked with some really big names, but there is no point in me listing all of this right now because it is far too much to mention, so if you will, just tell us about this big event. It is a landmark as it is the first of its kind in Ireland because obviously you guys were there from the very start. Tell me what to expect from this event.


Timmy Hannigan and Mark Kavanagh – Soundcrowd XXV at the Button Factory – Dublin

TH: Well, we are going to DJ. Mark will be doing most of the DJing and I will aswell because I do that but the hard work has gone into going back to the original elements for a lot of things, including floppy discs and stuff for the Atari, the early PC and the old Akai S900 sampler discs, and a lot of them were corrupt and I had to resample things, but what I wanted to do was to make the noises again with the same gear, so I bought up a lot of the stuff that I had sold, really cheap because no one wants it anymore, it didn’t cost a lot which was great, and we have been working now for three months to get the music together which is done and now, the next thing is the visuals which will also be live.

DS: And is this something that you are generating aswell?

TH: Yes, all of it will be generated live, there will be a PC with the old 1992 software in it, the last revision of VOYETRAincluding 3 midi ports, an emulator 4, a Roland Sound canvas, A midiverb, a distortion pedal, a Quasimidi quasar and am Oberhiem matrix 1000, and of course the Roland TR909, and that is all we have! With all of that shit we are able to do this. Because that is all I had to make all those records. Fair enough, we have a SCSI drive now in the sampler, and we don’t have to use floppies, and we are going to play live. And when I say live, we are going to fucking actually play live. There will be no stems, no cheating, every single thing you hear will be live, on the fly and that is that. And so will the visuals. That is where we are taking it up a notch, because you can say what you like about people playing live, because I have been working with RTE now for 19 years and I have been into every major festival in this country and I have recorded and watched all bands and DJs and everybody play, but the only act that I have actually seen in my entire career that actually plays live, and I mean everything you hear is being generated on the fly and live is Orbital, Everybody else compromises, and I am not saying they are cheating because I have cheated myself at times.


Soundcrowd XXV Live at the Button Factory – Dublin

DS: You have to sometimes, you know?

TH: Yeah, of course you do. You have to and stuff breaks and when you are going on tour it is mad.

DS: Yeah, there is only so much a group of people can play as there are a lot of elements in electronic music.

TH: And the two Orbital guys have real machines, sequencer, bang. That’s it.

DS: I would like to have their synth collection.

TH: Yeah, man, we have spoken about this.

DS:  Yes, we have spoken about this.

TH: So we are going to do an Orbital, and it will be one hundred percent live and it may break! I mean the average age of the gear is 25.

DS: Bit like ourselves!

TH: It might die and if it does die, I am going to get my knob out because we will be screwed.

DS: Ha ha aha ah ha ha!  Timmy Hannigan you are a legend. It is so good to catch up with you. I can’t wait til this live gig.

Further info on Timmy Hannigan:

With numerous production/release aliases including:  Sound Crowd, Mista Fantastic, Nitrogen, Profundo Rosso, Hole In One and more doubt more…

Track releases via: Spring Recordings (own label), Manifesto, West2, Southeast, Mostiko, Pogo House, DT & Unity plus others.

And at least 2 albums: the Fifth Nine & Voyager on Spring

Recordings https://www.facebook.com/mrspringofficial/https://www.mrspring.net/https://www.discogs.com/artist/7001-






Soundcrowd XXV graphic art by Posterboy

Soundcrowd Button Factory photo by Michael Donnelly

Human League – Dare photo by Dean Sherry

Button Factory balcony shot by Rhea Boyden

All other images courtesy of Timmy Hannigan