Dylan Moran (Céilí) has been making significant progress in London for quite some time now. Etching himself into the London club scene and after-party communities, with the Jaded after-hours events being most prominent. Not to mention regular appearances on Rinse France and Bristol’s Threads Radio where Céilí has the opportunity to showcase his full library filled with thumpers. We caught up with him to talk all things production, what the Irish language means to him, how it feels as an Irish creative living abroad and more.
Céilí has had a remarkably strong start in the world of speedy underground techno parties. Firstly, coming to wider attention via his ‘Rough N Ready’ EP on Dutch imprint OBSCUUR in 2019. Following the year after when he propelled his fast, crunchy and playful brand of techno forward on Lobster Theremin and its sub-labels. He then also secured releases on Gaja’s Ophism, Ellen Alien’s infamous Bpitch and Keepsakes blaring Haven.
Céilí boasts an impressive string of releases since he has began his production journey. He now looks to continue that streak with a joint EP release with Asquith titled ‘Back Once Again’ on Asquith’s Higher Power imprint.
What was the production process like in the studio for the creation of this record? Were there any pieces of gear that were instrumental in this body of work that differ from your other releases?
The first two tracks were made around two years back so it’s hard to say, all I can safely say with these two was that I wasn’t thinking too much. The third track came during a quarantine, I used an old Roland drum machine and a distortion pedal for the drums and the rest came in the box. So I guess nothing was too far from my normal practice, a bit careless and playful within the process which is how it usually plays out best.
Just out of curiosity, how long have you been involved in DJing and music production?
I started DJing around 16/17 but purely to make an extra bit of living down in the bogland pubs doing birthdays, weddings or whatever the case. When I moved to Dublin around 18 I was mad to get gigs and tried to get involved wherever I could but I just ended up losing focus and was battened into being more of support dj which was fair but you would have people/promoters just telling you what to play and for 50€ you’d probably have to wait a lifetime for, anyway these sort of scenarios led me to take a step back in my early 20s and focus on learning to produce.
Who would you say is your biggest influence?
That’s difficult to pin. The 90s/00s UK & US club sound has always hit home for me and probably has carried the majority of weight here.
What does your current studio setup look like?
Do you prefer to use hardware, software or a mixture of both? Why?
Using small pieces of hardware over time has helped me simplify my ways around the digital side. I don’t really have a preference though, when it works it works.
Can you share one studio tip that you think is overlooked that you wouldn’t mind sharing?
Hmm I like to play around with return channels.
Outside of music and production, what other hobbies do you enjoy doing to pass the time?
Creating custom gourmet 3in1’s.
As I am an avid fan of the Irish language, I couldn’t help but notice that you like to use Irish quite a lot. Given the alias ‘Céilí’ and your label ‘Mála Ádh’, as well as naming tracks and other various projects as Gaeilge. Would you explain why you do that?
In the beginning choosing the Céilí disguise was powered up from a mix of stuff but one reason for. Being drawn towards using the native language could have spurred from being another trying Irish creative in London, where a lot of the time you would be considered a UK artist automatically. So it started off pretty harmlessly but I guess I take quite a bit of inspiration from Irish culture so it’s grown automatically.
It seems like a lot of Irish creatives are moving abroad, especially since the pandemic looks to have taken a bit of a back seat recently. When did you move to London? Do you think it has worked out in your favour so far? Would you recommend moving away to other people who are interested in pursuing a future in music?
I moved here around six years ago and I’m quite settled and happy where I am. It’s definitely opened up my awareness to a larger array of sound and influence.
What do you miss most about home?
The rareness inside the local take away scene.
If you could take one thing from the English nightlife scene and have it implemented into the Irish nightlife scene, what would it be?
Well I think we can all shout this one together, extended licensing.
Can you shed some light on the current state of the London underground dance scene? What difference is there compared to Dublin for example?
London’s got a good spur of energy in the scene at the moment, I feel it’s being talked about a lot more in other scenes compared to a few years ago. It’s hard to pin it down though, there’s a lot going on here on various levels and I think that’s probably the most exciting part of it. Saying that, I think it’s pretty incomparable to Dublin.
Do you have many club shows lined up?
There’s a few things in the pipeline.
What’s next for your label and radio show, Mála Ádh?
I’m going to start a sub label soon focusing on EP’s aside from the current VA series LUCKYBAG.
Do you plan to release any more music before the year is out?
I should hopefully have another 12” to announce soon, a solo EP on a favorite label of mine, some. VA’s and some Mála Ádh stuff plotted so far.
Where is best for people to keep up to date with what you’re doing?