Richie Egan: Finding his own groove

RICHIE Egan is clearly a man who loves what he does.

“The greatest thing for me about music and about playing music is to be able to completely switch your brain off. The music enables you to just really focus on the music and you just don’t think about anything else and that is kinda close to meditation,” he says.

“It might sound a bit pretentious but it’s more like it’s a great feeling to actually just switch your brain off for a while. So that’s what we try to do.”

Having played in a variety of bands, most notably guitar slingers the Redneck Manifesto and the more electronic-based Jape, Egan has brought the meditative quality of his music to the fore with his latest project Dimman.

“We manage as a band to lift and reflect and think. I wouldn’t say we’re really entertaining, more we offer a space for you to think about stuff, that’s the whole thing we’re trying to do.”

The group play on Saturday as part of an electronica double-bill with Cape Grace at the Triskel, a venue hosting several of the more innovative and interesting acts of the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival.

Egan formed Dimman with his fellow Redneck Manifesto and Jape sidekick Matthew Bolger. Childhood friends from the Dublin suburb of Crumlin, Dimman arose as a result of both men finding themselves living in the Swedish city of Malmö. Although both have Swedish partners, Egan describes it as a complete coincidence.

“When I moved to Malmö we were still doing the Jape stuff and still doing the Redneck stuff long distance but because we were both there and I have a studio there we thought we’d try and work together and see what the two of us would come up with,” says Egan.

“And it was no pressure really. It was more for pure love of playing together.”

Just as the pop-infused electronic textures of Jape sound different to the intricate guitar play of the Rednecks, Dimman, too, feels like its own unique thing, a wash of gently purposeful grooves and textures, evocative of the alien dreamscapes of the 1973 animated feature Fantastic Planet and its distinctive Alain Goraguer soundtrack.

“The thing with the Rednecks is that there’s five or six of us in the band so the dynamic is going to be pulled in five or six different ways and everybody’s voice is equally as important. And it’s the same in Dimman except there’s only two voices so basically it’s only pulling in two different ways,” Egan reasons.

“We were excited to hear what it would sound like if it was just the two of us. We’re not really trying to drag people in. It’s more about just giving us a meditative space to play in to get lost a bit in what we’re playing.”

After announcing themselves to the world via Facebook 12 months ago, the pair eventually made their debut live appearance at last month’s Dublin Fringe Festival. Even now that they have stepped out of the studio to become a live entity Egan feels they will continue to resist expectations.

“We’ll take it at a relaxed pace,” he insists. “We both have different things going on with our lives and when you reach the age we’re at and when you’re making music for the reasons we’re making music, the only expectation is to continue to get that feeling. It’s just chasing that feeling of creating stuff that makes you feel satisfied. That’s pretty much as far as we really want to go.”

Dimman play the Triskel on Saturday at 11pm. 


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