At this stage we’re all familiar with EJECA, he’s been at the top of the Irish scene for years now and has showed no signs of slowing down. One thing we haven’t been able to consolidate is what exact sound we can say he plays. Sometimes it’s house, sometimes it’s techno and then there’ll be trance in between. Much like many of his predecessors and companions up North, his sound is totally unquantifiable and that is a major reason as to why he can play so frequently year after year.
2017 was another year where the Belfast native cemented his place at the forefront of the Irish scene with notable sets at Higher Vision, Boxed Off and AVA Festival’s Boiler Room stage.
With a recent release on DJ Haus’ Unknown to the Unknown as well as the upcoming release under his trance Wax alias set to fall this Friday, we thought it was ample time to get back in touch with the man himself as he reflects on yet another successful year.
You’ve been producing and playing out a variety of different sounds and genres, how do you keep on top of each one in both your sets and productions and how do you constantly keep reinventing yourself while still maintaining a trademark EJECA sound that is so unique to your tracks?
I guess I do move about a bit, I used to confuse the people that worked in Mixmaster Records Belfast in the day requesting a DJ Tiesto and DJ Rush track at the same time. I guess growing up House, Techno & Trance were played at the same time on the radio, house parties and clubs. Even Shine had a dub/drum and bass floor so you were never short of hearing something new.
With you new EP upcoming on Unknown to the Unknown, are you planning on heading down a house-ier direction or was this a once off project?
I think the thing about UTTU is that it isn’t pigeon holed like a lot of labels now, it’s just electronic. Each of the tracks are different and made over a 5 year period so unlike some of my previous EPs it doesn’t really have a theme. It has probably got the best feedback of any EP I’ve done, so even though it was unstructured I think people liked the unpredictability.
What inspired the Losty and Pintman tracks?
You’re a fan favourite in Ireland but you’ve played in plenty of other countries in 2017, how do you work on spreading the EJECA sound further afield each year and each time you play overseas?
It’s like two different worlds playing outside Ireland and the UK for me, I usually play different sets. Saying that Australia & NZ is quite similar to Ireland, probably because of all the Irish!
I love visiting new places as well as coming home, I guess a mix of both is best. I could never get away playing Bits n Pieces in France.
DJ Haus included yourself and Jordan on his latest compilation for Defected, following up both of your appearances at the AVA Boiler Room. The Belfast sound is really gaining a foothold within the electronic music scene despite the fact that it’s virtually impossible to pin down, with yourself being one of the most elusive artists when it comes to what genre you fall under. Why is it that so many artists from Belfast and Northern Ireland have such unique styles?
Probably because we’re all rockets.
No, I would say the whole business side of music is still alien to us, it is to me. Maybe we don’t oversell ourselves too much, either people like the music or they don’t, I think 20 years ago it was more about sending out mixtapes or white labels, now there’s a social media aspect to it all. It distorts things a bit, so having a unique style is one way of differentiating yourself.
Despite Trance Wax being a separate alias, it’s still well attached to the EJECA sound. How do you manage to fit the housey and deep sounds in with the classic sounding trance tracks on any given night?
Master Tempo on the CDJ! The Trance Wax thing I started on holiday in Thailand when I was messing about on Ableton after a few too many Changs. I had been playing out some old classics for years, but realised if you drop the speed in them to fit in with the set it lost a lot of energy, so I was thinking of ways to keep the hi pace to them. If you listen to tracks like the Cassius remix and even You I made with Bicep I’ve always liked breakbeats, so I fused the two ideas.
Words: Cóilí Collins.