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March 9, 2015Feature

With a new label on the horizon, as well as their first international act set to darken the doors of the Twisted Pepper, the Loud Mouth collective have become a musical mainstay in Dublin city. We caught up with Ciaran Meister and Blake Curran to ask them how it began and what’s to come

Blake and Ciaran

How did Loud Mouth start?

BLAKE: It started out as an online magazine for a media project I was working on in college. The magazine’s goal was to help promote local producers and DJ’s. After graduating I approached Ciaran Meister and Sam Kay with the intention of developing it into a collective with the same intentions.

The first official release was the ‘Loud Mouth Compilation Volume 1’ which was a selection of tracks from producers we had gotten to know from primary school through to college.

What was your ethos at the beginning?

BLAKE: As the internet was, and is, a saturated market for music, particularly electronic music, our aim was to release music for free, to get gigs and to help our artists reach a wider audience.

CIARAN: In the beginning we had a whole bunch of friends that were sitting on music they were making. We just wanted to help get it out there.

Do you think you’ve maintained that original idea? Or how has it changed?

CIARAN: It’s just been one constant learning curve so little things change.

BLAKE: We’re still releasing free music via Loud Mouth and from doing so we’ve built relationships with event promoters and media outlets and that’s helped us grow.

CIARAN: We’re trying to focus more on quality control and give more critical feedback to the artists submitting music. So naturally our output has decreased.

"Most of the producers I know operate a small amount of hardware from their bedroom. A separate studio is a luxury."

Everything about Loud Mouth seems to have a creative purpose, from your event posters to the artists you associate with, would I be accurate in saying that?

Yeah. When we started LM I was in charge of the art department side of things and it was very important that the artwork be of an equal standard to the music we were releasing.

I think we’re lucky that a lot of our friends and people associated with LM are creative and multidisciplinary.

BLAKE: Rob Torrans is definitely one worth mentioning. He is an excellent graphic designer and illustrator. He had been running LM’s art department for the past two years. He took over when Ciaran went to New York for the year and has done nearly all the posters and album artwork in that time. It’s always the highest quality of work from him.

What was the best party Loud Mouth has held?

BLAKE: Last years LM Volume Six Compilation Launch was a personal highlight for me. It was our first time booking both the main stage and the basement of the Twisted Pepper.

We had an all-Irish line up and the night was a complete success. Lots of live sets from LM heads Calzone Kelly, Lüke B & Kali, Redahan and Mangetout. We also had D1 records label boss Eamonn Doyle playing live which was fantastic as he has been a crucial figure for Irish dance music.
CIARAN: Yeah that was a definite highlight. Especially Redahans live set. He played a really deep ambient set at like 12 o’clock on a Friday night on the Twisted Peppers main stage.
The first birthday was pretty great too. We had a BYOB event in our friend Peter’s back yard up near the 5 Lamps.
I’m a big fan of our Shaw nights. When they go right the vibe is great.

What venue do you use most and why?

BLAKE: We have been running gigs in The Bernard Shaw bi-monthly for the past three years. It has always been a very relaxed vibe in there, good tunes, good food, lovely staff, always a friendly face and a big smoking area. It has been my favourite pub in Dublin for a good while now, usually in there at least one night a week. 

CIARAN: Yeah the Shaw is a great outlet for us. We’re hoping to do a few more BYOB events around the city centre in the near future too though.

What other collectives in Dublin do you most admire?

BLAKE: Gary’s Gang, First Second, Quarter Inch…

CIARAN: Yeah, I think there are probably too many to mention. Dublin is very small but the number of crews, collectives, nights, bands is pretty high, and I’d say a lot of them overlap to an extent. I kind of think and hope we all inspire each other a little bit. There’s also probably a little competitiveness too, which keeps things interesting.

"I kind of think and hope we all inspire each other a little bit. There’s also probably a little competitiveness too, which keeps things interesting."

Why did you decide to start Evenings & Weekends?
CIARAN: Redahan had been sending me demos. He was really working hard on them, honing his sound.
The LM format really works for certain releases but we felt it was time to set up something new with the focus being on certain sounds and producers.

BLAKE: Yeah at this stage I think some people have certain expectations of Loud Mouth, so starting E&W gave us a chance to break free from that pigeonhole. We also wanted to focus on a certain sound so we thought best give it its own home.

What are you hoping to achieve out of it?

BLAKE: A new audience I suppose. LM has always been very eclectic. The genres vary and that’s what most people love about it but I think it can discourage other listeners.

CIARAN: Yeah LM is kind of organised chaos really. E&W is definitely going to be more focused on producers/artists who are exploring the downtempo side of electronic music.

The name is a reference to bedroom producers, are they the artists you will be looking to represent?

BLAKE: Not exclusively but I think it’s just the way the industry has gone, it’s a lot more low key now. Most of the producers I know operate a small amount of hardware from their bedroom. A separate studio is a luxury.

CIARAN: It’s more so a reference to the idea that if you’re making music in Ireland it’s unlikely to be your bread and butter. So you work a 9 to 5 and your free time is spent working on music.  

The first release is set to be by Dublin’s Redahan, what are we to expect from this EP?

BLAKE: A lovely mix of ambient tunes with a gritty edge. It’s quite subtle, but with really nice use of warm synth sounds and a mild glitchy element. I think Redahan has really found his sound on this EP.

CIARAN: Yeah definitely, he’s been working on his sound for around two years now. He really delved into exploring his interests and interrupting them in his own way. I think he really succeeded at making something very unique. I really hope other people take notice, because he deserves all the praise he can get.

Who will be next to release on Evenings & Weekends?

BLAKE: Next up we have Sam Kay aka Intuitive Travels In Sound. He’s had several tracks on the LM compilations. Similar to Redahan he’s been working away and I think he’s really found his own sound too. It’s for most part a house vibe but the right side of downtempo to make really fit into the sound E&W wants to represent.

CIARAN: Yep. Again lots of lush synths, Sam has got a great ear. There are a few releases in the works for E&W. Some of the artists have already had stuff out on Loud Mouth, but there are a handful of new names too.

There are a lot of people making some really interesting music in Ireland and hopefully we can help get it out to a larger audience.

The Loud Mouth Compilation Volume 7 will be available for free download on the 9th of March. 

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