Two-piece Irish electronica act Nouveaunoise have been inspired. But it’s not by anything in Ireland. Despite hailing from the west of the country – “You can never get rid of that, it’s with you ‘til the day you die” – it’s the UK scene that is really opening their eyes at the moment. Indeed, they aren’t even based in the country anymore. One half, Niall, has been in Madrid for a few years and is now based in Berlin, while Conor has just finished traveling around Asia – “savage” – and is in Melbourne, Australia. They released their latest EP, Sequence Consequence, a few weeks ago and Conor admits they wanted to move away from their previous sound and try to create something, bigger, better and more modern – something that could compete with the best of the UK scene. “Hudson Mohawke would be a huge influence on us,” Conor says. “My Bloody Valentine has always been one but all that UK music that we’ve been hearing the last couple years has just been blowing us away. So we really wanted to attempt something like that.”

So whereas Nouveeaunoise’s first album Paraphrase Accolade was mostly created using traditional instruments, all five tracks on Sequence Consequence came from laptops. “We wanted to make it a bit more commercial in terms of the sound,” Conor says. And it is a massive step up for Nouveaunoise. ‘Anotherun’ is two-and-a-half minutes of a repeated riff, which should grow tiresome eventually. But there’s so much thrown in underneath the bonnet that you could listen to it a hundred times and still not know what part is coming next. ‘Believe’ sounds like it’s trying to outrun itself with ideas, before eventually settling on a dancefloor sound that continues on the stuttering machine-gun-a-like ‘Rizzu’. The five tracks clock in at just under the 15-minute mark, but will leave you gasping for breath by the end. Basically, Sequence Consequence is Nouveaunoise Part 2. And this band wants to be in the same ranks as Hudson Mohawke. Over the next few years the duo “want to build the electronic part of our studio a little bit stronger so that we can break into that market in the UK a little bit”.


Hudson Mohawke x Aaliyah – ‘Somebody’

“Because that’s one problem with Ireland,” Conor claims. “There really isn’t a scene like that. The young producers in the UK are so talented in comparison to Irish producers, I think we’re a lot weaker in that type of genre anyway. I don’t think anything really shines through from Ireland as much as it does in the UK. It must be something in their water, but we want to try and compete with them.”

It’s almost strange to hear criticism of the Irish music scene, especially from a band that gets so much acclaim. Conor says indie music is still as popular as ever and that the electronica scene is finding its feet too. But since that market isn’t saturated yet, he claims, “if you do anything that’s anyways half decent, you get a lot of really supportive feedback and blogs are really generous and post a lot about you. The general getting yourself out there and marketing yourself is way easier than having to fight through a massive crowd of great producers in the UK.” It’s a double-edged comment: coverage of Irish bands, online anyway, is good, even if the music is substandard. But it’s only because Irish electronica is still in its infancy.

“It’s still very young, you know? Especially myself and Niall – we’re no exception. We’re still really in the learning phase. I think the only issue I have with the Irish scene is that, like, if you’re in the UK and into bass music, electronica music, there’s such a healthy community of them. There’s so many of them there, and with their past, all the music coming from the UK is being directly influenced by that. The scene is just so good and there’s so many gigs to be had. You can get inspired even at the age of 16, you can be going out and seeing amazing producers. They get into it much quicker.


Joy Orbison – ‘Hyph Mngo’

“The perfect example is the big heavy hitters now like James Blake and Joy Orbison. They’re so young, you know, and they’re unbelievably talented producers and engineers, mixers. Their music sounds so good. That’s something that’s been much slower for me and Niall to learn in Ireland because just having no voice, having no community, where you can ask questions of older producers, learn the tricks of the trade – we just had to learn them off the internet.


James Blake – ‘Limit To Your Love’

“So the standard there is way way way way way ahead of what’s going on in Ireland. [But] it should never really dictate the genre either. I’d like to see Irish producers make up their own scene and have their own unique twist on it. But the only problem with the Irish scene is that the standard isn’t there yet. But it’s getting better every year.”


Nouveaunoise – ‘Cinnte’ (Toby Kaar’s Cloudy Mix)

Conor is the first to admit that he isn’t that up-to-date with the Irish scene. Even when he lived here, he says, he didn’t go to that many gigs. When it’s put to him that the likes of Solar Bears, Moths and Toby Kaar are doing great things at the moment, he agrees, but adds that they all have much more to offer. Conor admits he only listened to Moths recently but that it’s amazing and he has a great future. And Toby Kaar, who remixed Nouveaunoise’s ‘Cinnte’, when he releases another album, Conor says, it’s going to be a headturner. And on Solar Bears: “I love them. I really think they’re going to do great things. And Planet Mu is a label that we would aspire to be on – if we could get anywhere near that we’d be delighted. That’s a massive success for them. But I still think they have much more in them to offer than what they have offered and it will be really exciting to see what they do next on Planet Mu.”

He agrees they are three great producers, “but even having said that, in comparison to the UK scene, it’s uncomparable. There’s so many of them over there in comparison with here. I’m just surprised it hasn’t had more of an effect, seeing as how we listen to all of the music anyway. But every year it gets stronger.”

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Come back on Monday to read part two of the interview with Conor, where he talks about how the band started, what the future has in store for Nouveeaunoise and why there’s a fine line between what they do – or are trying to do – and what David Guetta does.