They have a love and passion for electronic music and dance music. It was assured that the two would immerse themselves in the music scene after years of attending numerous club nights, which broadened their understanding and musical knowledge.
After honing their skills as a chamber DJ, they have managed to find their way into the local music scene – a scene like Derry, which prides itself on its culture of finding and developing raw young talent.
After a few years in music college, the two guys learned the ropes of electronic music production, shaping high quality sound ranging from deep, groovy techno to harsh acidic basslines with a darker techno twist.
Quaake self-released their first track “Gamma” in December 2020. They have since released tracks on labels such as Reload, Phobiq, IAMT and Numen.
This is just the start, more is to come from the Irish duo
Q. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
We’re Conor and Gerald, and we’re Techno DJs / Producers from Derry. We DJ and produce music in our free time, as often as possible. With a few years of experience in DJing, we decided to try our hand as a duo, under the name of Quaake.
Q. How did you two meet? Conor: Well, it started out when I was friends with Gerald’s brother, who I went to high school with. I used to stay with my cousin more or less every weekend, and we all hung out with each other since they lived on the same street. Still friends after more than 20 years. I’m more or less an extended member of Gerald’s family and being the youngest of the siblings we would always look out for him, and as he got older he fell into our circle of friends.
Q. How was Quaake born? Gerald: We’ve always had the idea of working together in one way or another, whether it’s as a DJ or making music. We never had the “know-how” to make it happen. We have gained experience in recent years. Playing back-to-back gigs, and as individuals we knew we had the motivation and desire to get into this industry.
Right before the pandemic, we always brought up the idea on certain drenched nights. I knew Conor had the talent and skills from his years of studying music production at the NWRC. We envisioned a name that would be simplistic, but that would have some weight behind it. Thinking of artists like Slam, we managed to come up with Quaake’s name and decided to keep it.
Q. What are your influences and why?
Conor: Obviously I would have different influences compared to Gerald given the eight-year age gap. When it comes to mainstream music, I would say that growing up I was mostly influenced by 80s music.
In terms of electronic and dance music, I have an uncle who frequently attended the Lush at Kelly’s Nightclub in Portrush, so he was hugely influenced by the dance scene from a young age listening to his tapes in the kitchen, hearing from people like Paul van Dyk, Carl Cox and Robert Miles to name a few. House music has also had a huge influence, with Crystal Waters, Paul Johnston and Everything But The Girl on television. Gerald being younger, he was always interested in the music we listened to at his home. Playing Tiesto albums and Eddie Halliwell concerts in his kitchen must have been a major part of his musical education, along with his parents’ 80s influences.
Q. How would you best describe your music?
Gerald: I would describe our music as energetic. We have a lot of variety in our tracks, from fast, catchy and exhilarating acid techno to heavy, industrial and industrial techno.
We mostly keep the same structure during production, but our sound is always evolving. We’re still tweaking our sound to find our niche, but it’s starting to show in our productions. As far as what we would play live, we try to keep things interesting and keep a solid flow in our mixes, but we’re not afraid to throw a classic track as well to hit the crowd with a bit of nostalgia. .
Q. If you could play anywhere in Derry, where would it be?
Conor: Personally, I prefer the club scene to festivals, although both would be very welcoming. The Nerve Center has always been a place I would have been throughout my teenage years and into my twenties. It was this experience that prompted me to take an interest in the job of a DJ and dream of taking the stage as the headliner of the Celtronic festival. So if I could choose where to play a gig, it would probably be there. However, we would be ready to play anywhere as each venue brings its own experiences.
Q. What got you through containment?
Gerald: I would say the main thing we focused on was having the time to start working on the music consistently and finally to put our plan into action. We managed to finish three tracks that we started before the pandemic and get them signed to our first label Reload Records; owned by the Yellowheads.
Looking back, we have surprisingly achieved more than we ever could have imagined this year. Most importantly, we would like to thank everyone who supported us over the past year. It’s great to post new content and help people get through this pandemic. It’s our way of thanking you and hopefully inspiring others to do the same.
Q. Do you have anything planned for the future??
Conor: All we can do right now is keep releasing as many tracks as possible and surely the gigs and deals will come. We have already exceeded expectations for our first year as a duo. Our music has been released on some of the best Techno labels, and we’ve been featured on BBC Radio 1’s Introducing Dance three times, hosted by Jaguar.
Our next release will be released in November on Prospect Records, as part of a VA compilation. We were also approached by French legend Joachim Garraud to release on his label. We can’t wait to see how this plays out. We have loads of EPs slated for 2022 so stay tuned …