We sat down with one of the most in-demand house music acts to ever come out of Ireland, Obskür. The Dublin-based duo are carving out an illustrious career in dance music while still championing their hometown, and stamping their names across the Irish electronic music history books.
The phrase ‘meteoric rise’ gets thrown around quite a lot when speaking about upsurging electronic music acts, and it has become a token expression for characterizing new and exhilarating young artists, but sometimes the remark falls into the lap of those who do not merit such esteemed praise. However, the Dublin-based house music phenomenon, Obskür, are one of the very few acts who can wear this remark with utter pride and swagger as they boast a CV that rivals some of house music’s most established figures.
Lorcan & Faustas have been friends since their teens and their love for house music has been the glue in their friendship since then. Playing their first sets together at underage discos and commercial nightclubs, the youngsters were obsessed with regularly playing shows across Dublin City, no matter what venue or show. The pair cut their teeth as DJs while playing in unsavoury basements and halls, learning how to work a crowd in frankly any situation. Neither Lorcan & Faustas had a fairytale start to their life as DJs, but the sheer grit and determination to their craft remains the foundation of their success today.
Fast-forward to 2023 and childhood friends Lorcan & Faustas have been crossing bucket list goals off by the week, and their monarch Obskür has become a household name within dance music across the globe. From playing packed rooms at Warehouse Project and Amnesia to countless sold-out shows around Ireland alongside releases on ffrr & Defected, as well as millions of streams, Obskür are quite frankly living the dream, to put it lightly.
We sat down with the Irish house music sensations to chat about working as a duo, forthcoming shows, the Irish scene, their hit Bayside and much more.
Can you give us an insight as to how you guys first started working together?
We had been best friends since we were about 14/15 which came from us playing underage gigs together back then. We’d go b2b for hours at these events along with hanging out together mixing tunes outside of the club. At that time we were doing our own thing under different aliases but the older we got the more exposed to different types of music we got and that is when we thought we’d join forces and work on a project together which was around 2019 when we first got into college. That’s kinda the story.
How do you guys find working as a duo? I can imagine it can be quite difficult at times when finalising projects, or are you both generally on the same page?
We’ve been lucky in the sense that we have the same taste in music and the same vision for our tracks most of the time so it genuinely isn’t hard at all working as a duo. In terms of ideas for projects we’d bounce them to each other and add whatever we felt was right and most of the time we liked each other’s ideas so it’s all good.
Last week marked your return to Index, a club and community that has supported you since day one. How does it feel to headline a sold-out show in their new venue?
An absolute madness to be honest – 3rd time doing it now and it still feels like the first if not better. Selling out gigs in different places is obviously special in its own right as we do feel super lucky and grateful to be doing that but selling out a home headliner is another level. We never expect to sell it but when it happens it’s such a mad feeling every time just with the thought of people that we know or that know of us from our hometown buying these tickets to see us – Such a big occasion for us.
You’ve both been involved in the Dublin club scene for some time. Do you think the scene is in a good place at the moment?
It is definitely heading in the right direction at the moment – Obviously, it’s been sad seeing so many clubs shut down and struggling which was kind of killing the scene but at the same time there are so many people/clubs working hard to maintain it and grow it even bigger and better. I think with the strong community that exists now we’ll keep seeing more and more improvements to it which will make it an even better environment than it already is.
You play BD Festival at the end of the month, are you approaching playing a festival setting any different from a club show?
Actually really excited for this one – There were quite a few people asking for this to happen so it was class to get the shout from BD to play. In terms of how we approach festivals to clubs, it’s slightly more energetic and faster mixing as opposed to clubs where you have more time to dig deeper and explore as the sets in clubs are longer than festivals but an absolute buzz nonetheless.
You’ve been playing some mammoth shows at Warehouse Project, Amnesia, We Are FSTVL, and Motion to name a few. How have you guys adapted to playing these big-scale events?
Really think having been DJing for many years we’ve gained a lot of confidence in ourselves to be able to do these shows. Yes of course we get nervous the bigger the show is which is normal no matter how big you are but at the same time, it’s easier as there are two of us which means we can really talk things through and help each other feel better and less nervous sometimes. It’s all fun though and we feel grateful to have the opportunity to play all these clubs we’ve dreamt about playing.
On a similar note, you had a bit of a meteoric rise from your track Bayside during COVID-19. What was it like to receive this amount of success during a time away from social events?
It was good and weird at the same time – Absolutely unreal to be exposed to all these new things we’ve never experienced and to start gaining a following so quickly because the track was getting so much support but at the same time it was weird because we were doing all these interviews and having interactions with people on the internet instead of in person and it kind of didn’t feel real or made us realise how big the track was until COVID was over and we started playing it out at some shows.
Staying on the success of Bayside for a moment. Working on new music after the release must have been a little intimidating now that you had more eyes looking at your work. How did that feel?
Of course, there’s no doubt that this came to mind when hitting the studio in the following months, and to be honest it still does every now and then. Deciding what path to follow sonically and knowing that not every track was going to be as big was a tough one that we had to navigate. There was a good amount of writer’s block around that time, especially considering that Bayside was already a year old when it went big, and by then our sound had already changed, it was a real stage of sometimes going backwards rather than forwards to try emulate that sound again, before realising this wasn’t the answer. In the end, it really comes down to believing in our sound I think we’ve now begun to establish whilst also trying to stay consistent in the quality of the projects that we put out.
Shortly after the release of Bayside, Eats Everything stepped up to remix the track, and you also continued your work on ffrr with a collaboration with Bklava alongside two appearances on the label this year. Have you got any future plans on ffrr?
Absolutely, the team at FFRR have been fantastic. Getting to work with a seasoned veteran of the game like Andy Daniel at such an early stage in our career has been a huge help. We’re currently lining some bits up for next year with them, absolutely buzzing.
You return to the Warehouse Project next week for Fisher’s takeover. How did your relationship begin with him?
Things definitely helped that we have the same agent, Dave Blackgrove, but to be honest we’ve been sending tunes over to the fish for years. More recently we supported him at Off Piknic in Montreal. That was the first time we met in person and he was an absolute gent. We’re buzzing to hit up this Warehouse Project show!
What Irish house DJs and producers should we be keeping an eye out for?
In terms of DJs, Collie is genuinely one of the best selectors in the country and to top it off he’s an absolute gent. Jake Fitz is doing some great stuff bringing minimal over here on a bigger scale with Omni. When looking at producers, Karl Seery should definitely be getting more recognition than he is at the moment, really love his most recent release on the legendary Nervous Records.
Can you share any forthcoming plans with us?
To be honest we’ve so much in the books for the next couple of months and we’ve been working really hard to bring everything together. This forthcoming index show for example has been a massive focus for us in recent months. But one thing that we are super excited about in the near future is our release on Defected Records. It’s still a bit surreal that we’re releasing on such a legendary label that we’ve grown up listening to and we’re so excited to share the project with everyone. It’s called Rebel and it features our mate Shells, the record drops on October 18th.